in: Featured, Fitness, Health & Fitness, Visual Guides

• Last updated: May 31, 2021

Gym Etiquette 101

Gym etiquette 101 diagram illustration.

It’s the time of year when there’s a rush of new members at the gym. It’s awesome that these folks are making a new commitment to their health, but if you number yourself among them, know that the gym, like every other place and space, has its own culture, including its own rules of etiquette. These rules are something new members should familiarize themselves with. 

Beyond the general guidelines shown above, you should always make sure you’re familiar with your gym’s specific rules too. For example, some allow folks to work out barefoot, while other facilities have strict regulations against it. Other rules regarding the use of grip chalk and the practice of dropping weights are good to check. If you’re unsure about anything, ask a gym employee before you start your routine. Finally, always treat the equipment with respect, and maintain awareness of your surroundings. With those rules in mind, you should be an exemplary fellow gym-goer. (Should you find any of the rules erroneous, consider starting your own gym in your garage!)

Veteran gym goers aren’t off the hook here either; while it’s easy to cluck your tongue at the faux pas committed by the newbies, it’s up to you to set the example for them. They’ll be watching other people to figure out how to behave. So be extra vigilant about your own etiquette; e.g., in a case where you’re unsure if something needs wiping down, just wipe it, so that others pick up on the idea of what should be done.

Gyms are busy right now, and the more consideration everyone decides to give each other, the better experience everyone can have, and the healthier everyone can become. That’s a resolution we should all be able to get behind.

1: Tidy up after yourself. Rack weights in their proper place and wipe down equipment after you’re done.

2: Use equipment properly. Don’t do bicep curls in the power rack or toss dumbbells around like medicine balls. If you don’t know how to use something, ask an employee.

3: Don’t hover near equipment you want to use. Likewise, don’t hog machines. Get in, do you work, and get out.

4: Don’t drop the weights unless you have to. It’s dangerous, loud, damaging to the floor, and typically unnecessary.

5: This isn’t social hour. Don’t make (or take) phone calls. Avoid giving unsolicited advice to other gym-goers. In general, Don’t bother people.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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