Gym Etiquette: 5 Tips for Politely Crushing Your Gym Time
Getting the side-eye is never fun, especially at the gym. Heck, you might already be self conscious about starting a new fitness regimen or getting to know a new neighborhood. By learning a few of the unspoken, though sometimes explicitly stated, rules of athletic centers everywhere, you can walk through those doors with your head held high. Make gains like you know what you're doing with these five helpful gym etiquette tips.
You Do You
Remember, you're going to the gym to improve your quality of life. That's exactly what everyone else is trying to do too. Take the time before starting a new exercise routine to create a plan of attack by talking with your doctor, the staff and/or a personal trainer to determine which exercises are going to benefit you the most. Knowing when to push yourself, when to show restraint and when to get the heck out of the way is going to benefit you in the long run and may save your fellow gym-goers headaches.
Sharing is Caring
Don't hog machines or lifting equipment. Try and limit yourself to half an hour at a time in one area of the gym. If your gym doesn't have sign-up sheets or enforced time limits, try switching back and forth between a treadmill, bike or elliptical and the yoga studio, weight room or strength training machines. You never know who's looking over your shoulder waiting to get in their cardio or tone their core.
Respect the Equipment
This should be a no-brainer, but if you don't know how to use a specific piece of equipment, ask someone to show you. The staff and other gym-goers may seem intimidating when they're lifting quadruple what you thought was humanly possible, but odds are that they'll be excited to show you the ropes.
Keep It Clean
Let’s face it, by the end of your workout sesh, you're probably pretty gross. After you've been sweating, sniffling, coughing and who knows what else all over a piece of equipment, do yourself and everyone else a favor by wiping down your area. Most gyms will have sanitizing wipes placed strategically throughout the facility to make this part easy. Pro tip: Germaphobes will probably want to wipe down their machine beforehand as well, because you never know.
Walk the Walk
Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not a competition. If you're serious about your fitness goals, you're going to be going back to the gym over and over again. Most importantly, remember that a gym is a community and you're going to be seeing most of these people a lot. Start off on the right foot by being kind and considerate. Getting to know your fellow gym-goers can motivate you get off your butt, help pass the time and, heck, who doesn't just need someone to spot them every once in a while.