A guide to gym etiquette that needs to be considered and followed while working out in a gym, to help make the gym more comfortable and appropriate for all.
If you are a beginner or restarting your fitness journey, the gym might seem like an intimidating place bringing multiple questions to your mind. There will be many fit, muscular and busy-looking people moving around, switching between machines in rapid succession. You might also notice that people seem to abide by certain unwritten rules. This guide will help you take a closer look at the gym etiquette and identify the written and unwritten rules that you should follow.
‘If You Can Lift Them, You Can Put Them Back’
Below mentioned are some of the basic yet important etiquettes to be followed in every fitness facility:
1. Read the Gym Rules
Usually, all the gyms have certain rules set for the members, trainers, and their staff to follow; when you walk into the gym, take a look around at any rules that are pasted on the walls, specially meant to promote a safe environment for everyone. If you’re unsure about a rule, ask a trainer or a staff member for clarification.
2. Use a Different Pair of Shoes Inside the Gym
Gyms have different flooring as per their training areas, as well as a certain level of hygiene is maintained inside the gyms. Hence using a separate pair of shoes specifically for working out is usually mandatory in all gyms (instead of weaning your regular footwear).
3. Put Things Back to Where they Belong
People have a habit of leaving the dumbbells on the floor after using them, and many of us forget to unrack the weight plates from the plate loaded equipment after using the machine. However, removing the plates from the machine can enable others to use the equipment without hassle. Similarly, placing the dumbbells back on the dumbbell rack can help maintain neatness in the gym without creating a mess for others to cleanup.
4. Wipe Out Equipment
Gym is a place where people tend to sweat the most, equipment with sweat is never a good thing. Make sure to carry a napkin along with you and wipe down all surfaces you’ve touched when you’re done with the equipment. Most gyms now have disinfectant sprays that you can use to spray and wipe down a piece of equipment.
5. Try to Keep Your Phone Aside
If you bring your smartphone inside the gym try to use it only for listening to music, or for watching fitness videos, etc. Keeping yourself away from your phone can help you focus better on your fitness goals, and that’s what you’re here for!
6. Don’t Take Over the Mirrors
Mirrors in the gym are mainly meant to keep a check on your own form while working out. However over indulgence in clicking pictures of yourself and/or of the gym for social media will only make you dependent on others validation about your fitness. Also, it will hamper others visibility who would want to look in the mirror while working out. Make sure to make space for others too as gym is also meant for other fitness enthusiasts!
7. Respect Personal Space
Unless you are training with someone or spotting, you should always maintain enough and safe distance from others. Whether the person is lifting or stretching, give them space, by invading personal space, you might disturb their focus and make them comfortable. Be mindful of personal space, as you would probably not like it if yours were invaded; not only is it uncomfortable to exercise in close proximity, but it's also dangerous, as you could hurt someone with your barbell or dumbbells if you’re not cautious about your space around.
8. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Gym is a place to develop your physique and improve your fitness, wearing comfortable and appropriate clothing that can let you workout comfortably without getting conscious or restricting your movements is important rather than dressing up to impress others.
This etiquette guide can be followed for being self-aware and respectful to yourself and others in the gym. By having these basic etiquettes, we can all contribute in making for a clean, respectful, and harmonious gym environment; something that all gym goers could appreciate.