I think we’ve all been at the gym and seen people behaving badly. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to get fit while you’re having the experience be more uncomfortable and potentially ruin the entire experience for you. There’s something to be said for some basic etiquette in every aspect of life, but especially at the gym. Gyms are full of people who may or not want to interact with each other and have their own agendas. This kind of situation can fail spectacularly if basic etiquette, written or unwritten isn’t observed.
It’s easy to look at others and see what they are doing incorrectly. Bad habits are very easily observed in others. However, sometimes, you need to look at your own actions as well. While it’s easy to judge others, it can sometimes be rather tricky to be introspective about things. In these cases it’s best to ask yourself, “could my gym etiquette be improved?”
Answer: Mindfulness and a mental checklist can help improve your gym etiquette.
Improving your gym etiquette may come down to a simple wish to act better around other people at the gym. No one wants to be the one who ruins the entire situation for everyone else nearby. While every gym is different, you want to make a checklist of the basics of gym etiquette. Run through them in your head after each station you use. Even if you know you already follow the rules, keep at it until it’s pure muscle memory to behave correctly.
There’s several aspects of gym etiquette that will need to be observed. The first should always be about keeping things clean. You and others are sharing machines and equipment. Gyms are one of the most consistent transmitters of viruses because of this fact. What does this mean? It means that cleaning up after yourself should be priority number one. Ensure you’ve got a towel ready to go, and after using a machine, get some disinfectant spray or wipes from a dispenser and clean up the equipment. It may be hard, but if you see someone who isn’t, be the better person and perhaps clean up after them as well, then inform them of their mistake. There’s no way to make a gym 100% germ free, but the simple use of towels and disinfectant is a big start.
Most of the rest of gym etiquette will come with the social aspect of being in a gym. While there are several different parts to this, it can boil down to one simple thought: “Try to be considerate”. When you’d like to use something near where someone else is working out, ask them first. Place back any weights or equipment that you grab and put it in the correct place. There’s no need for someone else around you to deal with your laziness. The same can be said about personal space. Don’t crowd people who are working out just because you want their equipment next. In return, when you see someone waiting, try to avoid hogging the equipment if there’s a limited amount. These two concepts work perfectly in tandem with each other. Finally, make sure your phone is either on silent or put away completely. Gym selfies can be inconsiderate to others in the background. Let everyone enjoy their own journey to fitness.
With more people than ever before subscribed to gym memberships across the country, it’s not surprising there’s a lot of information out there about fitness. Less focus on the importance of gym etiquette. These are some great resources to learn more and help become a better gym person.
- Cnet - Cnet has always had a lot of information about a wide variety of topics. This article about gym etiquette is intended for those just starting out, so they can understand the etiquette of gyms before they arrive.
- Legion Athletics - This website is known to help provide information and products in regards to a wide variety of gym and fitness topics. This article in question provides several ways in which people are making mistakes in etiquette at the gym.
- WebMD - The people at WebMD have put together one of the most trusted and respected medical websites of all out there. People go to WedMD for almost anything health related. This article is about how to be a good person at the gym and respect the people around you.