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Proper gym etiquette

Updated on October 16, 2010

Proper gym etiquette/ common sense

Well, this should be common sense. But all too often, when I go to the gym, people simply can't follow simple guidelines. I'll start with the most important points, then expound a bit.

1. Always return your weights to the rack. This includes placing like plates with like plates. Burying a ten pound plate under three forty five pound plates is just lazy. The standard weight tree goes (top to bottom) 2 1/2, 5, 10, on one side and 25, 45 on the other. Some gyms have 35 pound plates, while some even have 100 pound plates. 100s rarely find a home on a weight tree. They're most often on the powerlifting platform (if you have one) or near a leg press.

2. Clean the equipment once you've finished. This means bringing a workout towel with you, too, All serious gyms have spray cleaner and paper towels distributed throughout. Anything that you sweat on should be cleaned before you move on. This generally excludes barbells and dumbbells.

3. If the gym is busy, be sure that no one is using a piece of equipment before starting. Most people will let you "work in" if you ask.

4. Excessive grunting (I mean for showmanship) and needlessly dropping heavy weights is disruptive. Being a powerlifter myself, I understand that a five hundred pound deadlift makes more than a clang when it's set down.

5. DO NOT use your cell phone anywhere on the gym floor. This includes on cardio equipment. I doubt any of you are about to buy or sell 100,000.00 worth of stock whilst training. Many gyms forbid cell phones altogether. This came about once cell phones started including cameras. Too many people were getting their naked locker room shots posted on the Internet.

6. Bathe properly before you train! This doesn't mean bathe in cologne or perfume (ladies, we don't want to smell you before we see you!). If you use cologne, be reasonable.

7. Dudes, wash your friggin hands after using the bathroom! This includes after blowing your nose, or any exchange of bodily fluid. You're touching things that other people have to touch.

8. If you're sick, think you may be getting sick, or just beating a cold etc., STAY HOME. Firstly, weight training taxes your immune system, so you're NOT sweating any illness away. Delayed onset muscle soreness is one sign that your immune system is working away at you muscles (microtrauma). Regular exercise stimulates the immune system. Single bouts do not!

9. Don't ever walk in front of someone when they're preparing for a big lift. Don't even talk to someone whilst doing a set. Even when they're done, make sure they're ready to talk before you speak. Some people train so hard that the thought of speaking to someone immediately after a set makes them insane.

10. It's perfectly acceptable to fill a water bottle at the water fountain. If you do, make sure no one's standing behind you waiting. If they are, let them get their drink, then continue.

11. Don't congregate with your friends to have a chicken coop style blabathon. Sorry, ladies. You do this more often than men. This is very inconsiderate to the people around you, and you usually stand right in everyone's way when you do it.

12. If you use lifting chalk, use what you need. I use chalk all of the time, but I'm not surrounded by it when I'm done training!

13. If you're a hot chick, don't strut around the gym like some high and mighty A-hole. Some other hot schick that things you're an ass might beat you.

14. Guys, leave the ladies alone. They just want to train. And, well, you'll increase your chance of her approaching you if you just respect her space. And the women that are there for the attention? Ignore them! It'll drive them insane and they'll eventually  talk to you first.

If you can't do these simple things, stay the Hell out of the gym. I'll tell you, you're not very popular there anyway :-)


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    • Dalyinx profile image

      Dalyinx 7 years ago from New York

      This hub needed to be made. One thing I suggest adding, though: improper use of squat racks. It drives me insane when I'm waiting for a squat rack because someone decided to do 6 sets of curls in it for whatever reason. The squat rack should only be used for weight that's too heavy to lift above waist level.

    • profile image

      Alem2988 7 years ago

      Great hub mate. Shame not everyone follows this advice...

    • joecseko profile image

      Joe Cseko jr 7 years ago from New York, USA, Earth

      Thank you, sir. I wrote it somewhat haphazardly, but I'll add to it in time.

    • sid_candid profile image

      sid_candid 7 years ago

      This is an excellent Hub.