Gym Etiquette


School sports are not for everyone. While some can score touch downs and make home-runs, others chose not to participate in team sports.

 I am part of that second group of people.   For those of us who are not physically inclined to participate in school sports yet enjoy exercise, the gym is usually where we tend to go.

Recently, my gym visits have become less enjoyable due to a severe decrease in gym etiquette. The following is a guide about how to remain as pleasant as possible while working out.

Deodorant is essential. There is nothing worse than the offensive stench of body odor.  If you can smell your stench a little bit, it is a safe bet that those around you are experiencing it five times as worse. Nobody wants that. It’s a simple equation:  deodorant plus arm pit equals a pleasant workout for everyone.  That being said, overbearing perfumes and colognes are rather intolerable as well. You may enjoy the smell of your axe body-spray, but the girl after you may not share the same sentiment when she walks out of the gym smelling like a guy.

Leave the sound effects to Tom and Jerry. Everyone can see how buff and fit you are. We understand that it takes a lot of effort to pump all of that iron, but there is no need to broadcast it dramatically across the gym for everyone to hear. Please leave the macho caveman grunts behind. If you truly must make noise to release tension under the weight you are lifting, do it in a way that will not offend others on the other side of the gym. You should also avoid slamming weights down because there is nothing more distracting than the loud clanking of equipment abuse.

There is no finish line. Keep your dignity on the treadmill and avoid racing against the person next to you. It is not only obnoxious, but unnecessary. Watch out, or you may risk the embarrassment of falling off if you are not careful. Running on a treadmill is not a competition if the other person is unaware of it. Save the speed-work for the track, please.

Keep it clean, wipe off your machine. Those paper towels and anti-bacterial wipes are there for a reason. There is nothing worse than unsanitary, slippery handle bars on the elliptical machine or lying down in someone’s pool of sweat when trying to bench-press. For goodness sake, at least be hygienic! 

Listen to your mother and share. Don’t be an equipment hog. Especially if you are working out at a busy time when there are a limited amount of machines. Always be considerate of other gym members. They would like to exercise too! This also pertains to the water fountain. You aren’t the only one who has worked out hard, so don’t spend five minutes catching your breath at the water fountain when there are obviously people behind you waiting to have a sip.

You are not Tyra Banks. Step away from the mirror. Posing in front of the mirror, especially if there are people trying to check their strength-training form, is not only inconsiderate but absolutely annoying. If you are truly at the gym to work out, you are most likely dripping with sweat and not looking your best.  Please do everyone a favor by saving the vanity for the locker room.

Turn it off.  You should not be exercising your mouth more than your body. Avoid using your cell phone in the gym unless you are expecting an emergency. Not only is yapping on the phone rude to other gym members, but unsafe. The same goes for texting.

Deer in the headlights. Staring at people is one of the creepiest things you can do at the gym. The last thing you want to do is make people feel uncomfortable. Pay attention to your own workouts, and you won’t risk  freaking people out.

When it comes down to gym etiquette, all you need is a little common sense. It is rather simple:  be hygienic and considerate of others. If you do that, gym experiences will be a lot more pleasant for everyone.


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