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6 Gym Etiquette Tips for Every Gym-Goer

woman's arm reaching for a weights on a dumbell rack
Good gym etiquette goes a long way.

by Autumn Jones

When it comes to getting fit, there's no one-size-fits-all blueprint for doing things right. But as far as how you act when you're getting fit — old fashioned gym etiquette — there are a few hard and fast rules all gym-goers should stick to. Adhering to a set of standard courtesies will help keep your workout facility clean and organized and create an environment of respect for you and your fellow members. To avoid side-eye stares and frustrated fitness buddies, follow these gym etiquette rules during every workout.

1. Spray and Wipe

Breaking a sweat feels good when you're working out, but leaving that sweat on the equipment is a no-no. Who wants to walk up to a machine that's still damp with someone else's perspiration?

Most gyms — Planet Fitness included — stock their facilities with cleaner, wipes and towels to make tidying up easy. Once you've finished using whatever equipment you were using, wipe it down to make sure it's clean and ready for the next person.

2. Mind Your Reflection

Using the mirror to check your form while lifting weights is a helpful way to avoid injury and get the most out of those reps. Be mindful of others when they are utilizing the mirror; avoid walking in front of them or blocking their view as they're curling and pressing. Step behind them or wait to pass until they take a break between sets.

3. Keep Everything In Its Place

It can be super frustrating when you have to interrupt your workout to go on a scavenger hunt for something you need. To help your gym stay organized, return all equipment to its proper spot after use. That way, no one will have to run around the gym looking for a mat, a dumbbell or a pulldown bar because you brought it elsewhere.

4. Watch The Clock

When machines or weights are limited, everyone deserves an equal turn. Be aware of how long you're using equipment, especially if others seem to be waiting to use it as well. A simple civility, such as not hogging the treadmill, goes a long way in the gym community. An easy way to make sure there's enough equipment to go around is to share your machine between reps if someone seems to want to step in. It's not like you'll be doing lat pulldowns for six minutes straight, so what's the damage in sharing?

5. Respect Others' Space

The cool-down area is a great place to reward your body with some juicy stretching after a workout, but be courteous of those around you also looking for a good stretch. Avoid crowding other members of your gym family while they're reaching for their toes. Especially if mat space is limited, share it wisely — or, wait your turn.

6. Post-Workout Convos Are Best

Saving conversations for after a workout provides your gym buddies the space they need to focus on their routine. If you and your gym buddy need a good venting session to distract from mile one, keep your voices to a minimum so you don't distract fellow gym-goers. Additionally, keep this rule in mind when talking on your phone in the gym. If you need to have a lengthy phone convo, it's best to step outside and complete your workout once you've finishing talking. 

Going the extra mile with good gym etiquette contributes to a respectful gym experience and a well-maintained facility. Follow this simple conduct code and your peers are bound to have as good of a time there as you will be.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.