Fitness Articles

Proper Gym Etiquette

How to Play Well with Others While Working Out

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Personal Protocol
In addition to using equipment properly and respectfully, the way you carry yourself also affects those around you. If every gym member abided by these personal rules of conduct, the gym would be a more pleasant place for everyone! So do your best to:
  • Lower the volume. While exercising to music is motivating and fun, blasting your MP3 player at maximum volume is not. Respect the people around you and turn down the music—not everyone wants to hear your playlist.
     
  • Turn off the cell phone. Are you there to exercise or to chat? Keep your private life private by shutting off your phone while you’re at the gym. Some facilities have rules against bringing phones inside, especially camera phones. Respect the people around you and leave your phone in the car while you’re working out.
     
  • Share the water fountain. If you’re filling up a huge water bottle, check to see if anyone is waiting to take a quick drink and let him or her go first. Don’t spit in the fountain or use it to dispose of your used chewing gum.
     
  • Don’t offer unsolicited advice. Unless you are a certified personal trainer, don’t go around correcting other people's form without permission. If someone asks you how to perform an exercise, don’t give them advice unless you’re absolutely sure—injuries happen all the time and your wrong suggestion could end up hurting someone.
     
  • Dress appropriately. Torn, dirty clothing doesn’t belong at the gym—nobody wants to see your underwear peeking through your ratty sweatpants. Similarly, cover your body appropriately up top too. The gym isn't the place for women to show off their cleavage (always wear a well-supporting sports bra too), or for men to go shirtless (talk about spreading sweat and germs onto equipment).
     
  • Wear deodorant. Exercising will make you sweat and that can cause body odor. Wear a good deodorant/antiperspirant to keep odor to a minimum, but don’t spray yourself with perfume before hitting the gym—some people are very sensitive to scent and get headaches or migraines from the chemicals.
Above all, always respect the people around you and follow any posted rules that your gym may have. If you see someone blatantly breaking the rules, ask them politely to correct the behavior or talk to the facility manager about the problem. If you’ve noticed a situation, others probably have as well. Getting along with others at the gym just takes a little common sense. By following the rules of gym etiquette, you—and the exercisers around you—can all enjoy a great workout with minimal aggravation.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

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