Anyone who has spent any time in a fitness club has probably encountered THAT person. You know, the one who forgets to wipe down the machine or who insists on talking to you while you’re in the zone on the treadmill. While those are obvious “sins,” what other gym club etiquette mistakes might you be making? Read on to find out.
- Wear deodorant, dude.
Yes, you’re working out and you’re going to sweat. No one expects you to smell like a dozen roses. But in between workouts, there’s this thing called a shower. And another thing called deodorant. Please use them both (definitely put on deodorant before you hit the gym for your next session). That said, there’s no need to douse yourself in bottle of aftershave or the latest perfume you picked up at the mall. We’re looking for balance here.
- Keep your germs at home.
If you’re sick, stay home. We’re talking about anything contagious. If you’re in that in-between stage with a cold, use your judgment, but please don’t touch anything after you’ve sneezed or coughed. Wash your hands first. (Same is true if your gym has a care area for kids—don’t bring in sick kids.)
- Learn how to read other people’s cues.
Some folks are open to conversation. Others aren’t. If they aren’t, this likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them (they’re in the zone, they’re pre-occupied, they’re concentrating, they’re shy). Don’t push conversation with someone who clearly isn’t interested.
- Mind the time.
During peak rush hours, be mindful of how much time you’re spending on popular machines. Abide by the rules posted. The same is true for group classes. Everyone runs late from time to time, but regularly making a grand entrance 10 or 15 minutes late is rude and disruptive.
- Pick up after yourself.
Towels, tissues, kettle balls, whatever—put things in their proper place. And if you find someone’s belongings, do the right thing and bring the stuff to the front desk (instead of tossing it or stepping on it).
- Pay attention to your gym’s unique vibe.
Every gym is a little different, and that’s a good thing. You’re bound to find one that fits your needs and your personality. So when you start at a new gym, pay attention to the vibe. Learn the rules. And follow them.
- The locker room is not your day spa.
Yes, you should be able to shower and head out feeling good about how you look and wherever you have to go next. So doing things like shaving and applying makeup are all normal, expected activities. However, other grooming activities (e.g. waxing, clipping toenails, tweezing) should be done in the privacy of your own bathroom at home.
- Remember, it’s the gym—not your office.
Focus on what you came to do: exercise. Save socializing, phone calls, and any other non-gym related activity for your office, home, or even the parking lot.
- Be honest about your fitness level.
When you’re working with a personal trainer or you’re new to a group class, be honest about your fitness level, including injuries or anything your trainer/instructor should know. Their job is to train/teach you safely, but they need you to meet them halfway.
- Be considerate of others.
From sharing machines to keeping your tunes to a moderate level to wiping down your sweaty brow, it’s all about being considerate. Remember the saying: treat other people the way you’d like to be treated. If a certain action has you rolling your eyes or internally saying, “Ew, gross,” make sure you’re not committing any gym sins either.
What other important gym club etiquette can you think of? Share in the comments!