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Gym etiquette 101

Claudia Bergman | Interrobang | Lifestyles | January 8th, 2018

Almost every, if not all gym goers have experienced this feeling, the uncertainty behind how to act when in the gym environment. Considered a space shared equally by gym experts and novices alike, the inability to follow basic protocol can lead to feelings of uneasiness and awkwardness which can lead to being discouraged from returning. The good news is that with some preparedness, the fi rst few visits should feel relatively smooth and before you know it, practicing gym etiquette will be second nature.

No photos or recordings unless stated otherwise

In an age of technology and gym selfi es, most gyms will have rules regarding the use of cameras and recording equipment written in their contract and staff will reiterate this upon signing up. Unless stated otherwise, most gyms prohibit the use of photo taking whether it be on the workout fl oors or in the change rooms. This can be considered an invasion of privacy for some who may find themselves in vulnerable positions and can lead to fi nes and charges. Take for example former Playboy model Dani Mathers who was sentenced to 30 days of community service, on top of losing her job, receiving death threats and being banned from the gym indefinitely for capturing a photo of a woman in the change room.

Ensure your gym clothing is appropriate

Although your new shirt may wick away sweat five times better than leading competitors and contain the newest technology in fitness fashion, it still may not be appropriate for your local gym. All fitness centres have their own respective rules concerning dress code indicating what is acceptable and what is not. Typical areas of concern revolve around width of top straps, amount of chest and/or midriff revealed, length of bottoms etc. Fitness centres which feature child minding and/or daycare services tend to uphold a more conservative dress code. Wearing what is deemed inappropriate to the gym may result in a few side glances from strangers, but more importantly, it may make you feel uncomfortable and out of place. If unsure of the policy, ask the staff members to reiterate their dress code or bring in the clothing in question separately to get the approval before working out.

Clean your machine after use

No one likes touching or working out in sweat covered equipment, so be sure to clean your station after each use. Throughout the gym, there should be bottles of cleaner along with a towel to wipe down the area providing the next user with a clean experience. It is common courtesy, if not policy to the rest of the gym goers and failure to comply may see some penalty. On the other hand, by cleaning machines after each use you will be leading by example to those who are unsure of gym protocol.

Put away any weights or extra equipment

Often in a gym, you will see staff members walking around and putting back gym weights and equipment to their rightful place. It is easy to come to the conclusion that this is part of their job and you are free to use the weights and leave them wherever afterwards. This is not true. Many gyms strongly encourage if not write in membership contracts that weights are to be put away after usage. Imagine the scenario where you are in your mental zone, everything is transitioning smoothly, you are confi dent in your reps and the right songs are playing at the right time, but your next set of dumbbells are nowhere to be found or your leg press machine has 250 pound plates piled on that you now have to remove because you only need 75 pounds These are annoyances that can alter someone’s routine and overall gym experience. Again, taking an extra minute to clean up is a respectful gesture that benefi ts you and other gym members.

Keep noise to a minimum

For many members, the gym is their moment of sanctuary away from their busy lives, and where they can solely focus on themselves in peace and without distractions. It’s best to keep phone calls away from speakerphone status and refrain from shouting into the phone or saying anything obnoxious. Keep conversations with gym buddies to a normal talking volume because nothing is more annoying than losing your focus due to distractions like these. Following these rules can mean a more relaxed and better visit for you and all other members of the gym and most importantly, allows you to focus on the actual workout itself.
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