Gym Etiquette 101


Whether you are a novice in the gym, or a seasoned ‘gym-goer’, it is important to know the secret code of conduct on both what to do, and what not to do.

When it comes to gym etiquette, there are a few rules that everyone should follow and will work in every gym. They are simply a means to keep both you, and other gym goers safe, and will help you get the most out of your workout.

Wipe down equipment
Cleanliness makes everyone feel more comfortable.
Use a towel and be sure to wipe all the surfaces your skin touches after you are done using a piece of equipment. Every gym has wipes and/or a spray bottle with disinfectant, just for that purpose! Even if your gym does not require its members to carry a small towel, it’s considerate to bring one anyway.

Put equipment away
If you can lift it, you can put it away.
Clean up as you go along and put stuff back where it goes. The weight room floor should not look like an obstacle course, and you do not need to be a member of Mensa to stack weights in order. If you can not recall where something belongs, the staff are always happy to help.

Clean your workout clothes
Keep things fresh!
Some individuals think it is okay if they smell before their workout because they will just shower afterward. People should not smell you coming. In addition to showering, do not leave used clothes in a gym bag, especially if you use it the following time after letting it marinate for a few days. Shirts should be washed after each session.

Step away from the mirror/dumbbells
Keep a comfortable distance.
After grabbing a set of dumbbells, take a few steps back to avoid preventing others from being able to approach the dumbbells. Most people use the mirrors to watch their own form – so try not to linger right in front of others and block their field of vision. Keep a comfortable distance from others and if things are too tight, find a less crowded spot.

Don’t drop weights
Do not drop your weights!
Unless you are using rubber coated plates for Olympic weightlifting, try and not drop your weights. Dropping equipment, especially dumbbells, destroys the equipment and disturbs others. It also signals to others that you are using them incorrectly. People passing especially do not appreciate it when a dumbbell rolls or bounces on them.

Keep the electronics at home
A cell phone’s buzzing can easily disrupt people.
Serious exercise requires concentration. Just like at a movie or dinner, a cell phone’s buzzing can easily disrupt the people the people around you. If it is necessary to make a call, it’s polite to step outside. If you were using weights, put them back so someone else can use them while you are on hiatus.

“Spotting” someone
Be ready to assist if needed.
It is not uncommon for someone to ask you to “spot” them with an exercise, most often on the bench press. The person is simply asking you to watch over them for a set and be ready to assist if needed. If you are not comfortable doing so, it’s always okay to decline! If you decide to help, it’s important to ask beforehand how much help the person expects they’ll need, and how many repetitions they plan on doing.

Save the grunts for home
Yelling is very distracting!
Loudly grunting and yelling is very distracting to other people. While some gyms are fine with expletives during lifting, it’s always safer to refrain. Making noise makes it seem like you want others to notice you and they do – but in a negative way. Be conscious of the gym’s atmosphere.



“13 Rules of Gym Etiquette for 2015” Jill S. Brown,

“Gym Etiquette 101: 17 Rules You Absolutely Must Follow” Myatt Murphy, Michael Mejia,

“Gym Etiquette 101: Don’t Break These 29 Unwritten Rules” Jim Bathurst,

“16 Gym Etiquette Rules That People Often Break” Linda Melone,



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Post by David Eydus