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Mis-Manners at the Gym
(Gym Etiquette)

Mis-Manners at the Gym

As a personal trainer I make my living by working with people in gyms. It's a nice environment, and the atmosphere is relaxed, but there are still rules that apply. These rules are for everyone, beginners and advanced body builders alike. Follow them and you'll make the workout experience more pleasant for everyone.

Be considerate of others.

Wear clean and appropriate clothes. If your gym has a dress code, follow it. Don't wear strong perfumes, cologne, or body lotion. And please wear deodorant. It's good to sweat, that's one of the reasons we're there, but don't make me smell you across the workout floor.

Use the locker room to store your gym bags and other personal items. If you insist on carrying your bags with you, keep them out of the way so others won't trip over them.

Bring a towel with you to wipe off equipment when you finish. The rest of us don't want to lie in your sweat, no matter how fabulous you think you are.

If you're late to class enter as quietly as possible so you don't disturb the other students.

If you want to use a piece of equipment someone else is using, ask if you can "work in". If there is only one person on the equipment the proper response is yes, provided there is not a large difference in weight or many adjustments to be made on the equipment. When you're finished don't linger or chat. Others may be waiting for the equipment.

Use clips and collars to secure weights on barbells. I don't want to take care of you if the weight falls off and injures you.

Neatness counts. Return your weights to the rack where they belong so others won't have to hunt them down. Take your towel off the bench when you're done using it. I'm not wearing a little maid uniform and cleaning up after your lazy butt.

Don't stand too close to someone performing an exercise. It's distracting and potentially dangerous. Try not to block mirrors either. The mirrors are there so you can watch your form, not check out your coordinated outfit.

When possible don't drop weights on the floor. If you can't set it down, don't pick it up.

During busy times don't do supersets that require you to use two or three pieces of equipment at the same time. If that's the only time you can workout, and you have to do a superset workout, then make sure to allow others to work in with you.

Don't offer unsolicited advice. If someone is doing something potentially harmful, notify gym staff.

Don't clown around. The gym is a place to get in shape and contains a lot of potentially dangerous equipment. Treat it with respect.

People wear headphones for a reason. Don't talk to them. Think of them as big "Do Not Disturb" signs. Don't talk to someone during an exercise either. If you distract them they might injure themselves. And you grunters... While it may be necessary to grunt a little to help get out the last rep or two, we do not need to hear you grunt on each rep of every exercise.

Turn your cell phone on vibrate so the ringing doesn't distract anyone. If you get a call, please, no long conversations on the gym floor. If you can't make the call short, take the conversation off the gym floor.

Help keep the locker room clean. Wipe down the countertops when you're done at the sink. Don't clip your nails in the sink. Don't shave in the sauna. Flush the toilet when you're done. (You wouldn't believe how many people don't.) If there's a problem with the toilet tell the gym staff. And don't leave trash behind in the lockers.

Finally, don't be embarrassed to ask questions, that's how you learn. These rules are guidelines; you should also familiarize yourself with your gym's rules before beginning any training program.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.

8/13/2006
Updated 4/23/2014