How to not make everyone hate you at the gym

We all know there’s social etiquette. But there are sub-branches too, like… gym etiquette??

Yep. The unwritten rules of the gym that somehow everybody seemed to know about…

….Except me.

Only by keen observation, and tentatively asking friends, did I manage to figure out the basics of what and what not to do at the gym.

Like not wiping down your equipment after you use it.

Or not standing on the treadmill for 5 minutes trying to pick out a good playlist to listen to.

It made me wish that there was some sort of guide out there that laid out exactly what you’re expected to do! And then I realized… if no one has done it yet, I’ll just make one myself.

So after some extensive primary and secondary research, I’ve put together a list that will take you less than 5 minutes to read, and after those 5 minutes, you’ll fit in flawlessly at whatever gym you go to. It’s like you’ve always lived there!

Gym etiquette, airplane etiquette, Valentine’s Day dinner etiquette for hamsters… seems like there’s rules for everything.

But gym etiquette is pretty self-explanatory. Check it out:

  1. Be mindful of the time limits on the cardio machines. Even if it’s not strictly enforced, you should obey that 30 minute courtesy limit. Everyone pays membership for the gym, and these time limits are to ensure that everyone gets a fair share of time on all the equipment. This is especially true during peak hours. Want to run more? Try taking it outside!
  2. Practice basic hygiene–but don’t overdo it. There’s no need for too much perfume and cologne–deodorant should suffice.
  3. Don’t hog the water fountains. If there’s a long line of people behind you, take some sips and then step back in line. Don’t make them wait ages for you to finish!
  4. Store your equipment appropriately. Gym bags can be a hazard when left on the floor, and gyms usually have regulations in place anyway. Be sure to keep your stuff safely out of the way of others so no one gets injured.
  5. Take your phone conversations somewhere else. If you really need to take a call, step outside.
  6. Don’t use the machines for anything other than its intended use. This will help the overall flow of the gym. The rowing machine? Not a resting spot! The treadmill? Not a place to check your texts and take your time trying to find the perfect running song.
  7. Be mindful of others trying to use the same equipment. Definitely do not spend hours doing reps on the same machine. Try spacing out your sets and alternating between exercises, or letting the other person alternate sets with you–something known as “working in.”
  8. Remove the plates from the bar when you’re done. Simply put, you’re an adult. Don’t make other people pick up after you!
  9. Put your equipment back where they came from. Self explanatory? It helps keep the training space neat and free of hazards, and it’ll save others the hassle of trying to hunt for the right dumbbell.
  10. Use a towel and clean up your space. This is especially important if you just finished a really tough workout and you’re super sweaty. It’s just gross, and in rare cases, you could end up spreading illnesses this way. Please use a towel and the disinfectant spray/wipes!

Am I missing anything? Am I completely wrong about something? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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