Whether you’re a regular goer at the gym or starting to work out at your local community center, there are probably a few things you should and shouldn’t know. For example, you probably know that you need to wipe down your equipment when you’re done working so that you don’t hog the machine when you notice someone waiting.
Using common sense and basic courtesy when working out in a public gym can give you (and everyone else) the best possible experience. But if you’re confused about what you should do and what not to do, these 7 rules of gym etiquette can help.
Dress for success.
Here are some rules of gym etiquette to follow; wearing the wrong clothes at the gym can actually hurt you or at least harm your workout.
100% cotton clothing. Although it smells less than synthetics, cotton absorbs all your sweat, which can lead to bacterial growth. Try sweat-wicking materials like spandex or polyester instead of worn sneakers. As tennis shoe age, they can lose cushioning and affect the alignment of your feet, knees, and hips. Replace with new shoes when the sole design wears out.
Wearing jewelry can cause injury by not being able to grip her weights or by the iron bar scratching the metal or stone in the ring. Leave the jewelry in her dressing room, at her home, or go to the gym with a silicone ring.
Poorly fitting clothing.
Gear that is too tight can cause chafing, leg cramps, and even breathing difficulties. On the other hand, loose clothing can get in the way of running and lifting.
Find a compromise:
Training clothes that fit you and make you stand out.
And once you’ve found the best workout outfit, wear new gear for every workout. You don’t want damp, sweaty clothes breeding bacteria in your gym bag!
Come to class on time.
Group fitness classes are an amazing trick to meet people at the gym and connect with the community that’s already there. It’s good manners to arrive on time (the earlier, the better!).
If you’re going to be late, it’s a good idea to skip classes like restorative yoga. Arriving 10 minutes after the start time can disrupt the group’s quiet atmosphere.
Respect the machine.
Ensure your equipment is clean before getting on the treadmill or lifting weights. If not, ask if you can “cooperate” with someone. That means swapping a set of cardio or free weights with someone else. However, they can decline the collaboration request when other studio visitors are almost done. Be patient and give him space until he is ready to hand you the machine and weights.
When using gym equipment, it’s important to remember that others like you work out on a tight schedule. If you need to go to the bathroom or get a drink, put a towel over the machine and come back quickly (in 1-2 minutes instead of 10). Sitting on an idle device to text, scroll through social media, or take the perfect selfie is disrespectful to the person waiting.
Give people personal space.
Gyms can get crowded, but giving other gym-goers as much space as possible is polite. Never ride a bike or treadmill next to someone while other machines are open. If you need to do cardio with other people, keep an eye on your device, your TV screen, and your exercise stats. Your neighbors don’t want you looking over their shoulders!
Now you are ready to follow these gym rules of conduct. You are now a a step closer to your fitness goals. But if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Our fitness trainers and other staff are here to help you feel at home with great workout tips.