Your gym probably has a set of rules that you need to follow—always wear shoes, no running on the gym floor, and return weights to their racks. But there are lots of unwritten, unofficial rules that gym goers follow. If you’re new to the gym, it can be confusing trying to figure out how to behave and what unspoken rules you should be following. Here are the basics of gym etiquette.
Wipe Down Machines
If you’re getting a decent workout, there’s a good chance that you’ll work up a sweat. You leave sweat behind on benches, weights, handles and machines. You should wipe down the machines when you’re done using them so they’re clean for the next person. Most gyms have sanitizing wipes you can use. You may also want to wipe down equipment before you use it, just in case.
Just because you love blasting Taylor Swift while you run, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else wants to listen to pop-country ballads. Use headphones while you’re working out so you don’t disturb the people around you. There are plenty of gym-specific styles that will make working out with headphones more comfortable.
Don’t Hog Equipment
You gym has a limited amount of space and equipment, and certain times of the day or year are going to get very busy. If there’s a line for the treadmills, don’t use them for an hour while people are waiting. Stick to thirty minutes maximum on cardio machines. When you’re resting between sets on weight machines, don’t just sit on the machine so no one else can use it. Let another person get their reps in while you recover, then switch off.
Get Off the Phone
Talking loudly on the phone on the gym floor is a big faux pas. No one needs to hear about your issues with your mom or the sordid details of your night out last night. Save the chitchat for your car ride home.
Give Some Space
When you’re working out, it’s nice to have a little bit of space and breathing room. If there are ten open ellipticals, there’s no reason to get on the one right next to the only person using them. Give people a little space and you’ll have more privacy, too.
Don’t Treat the Locker Room Like Your Bathroom
The gym locker room is not your home bathroom. You don’t need to be grooming excessively, taking long showers or engaging in any other more personal habits. You also don’t need to be hanging out completely nude and letting it all hang out. You may be comfortable chilling in your birthday suit, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.
Use the Mirrors Appropriately
Gym mirrors are not for applying lip-gloss or taking gym selfies. They are there so that people can watch themselves while lifting to make sure that they’re keeping proper form. Don’t take up space in the mirror or walk right in front of someone who’s using it correctly. Leave the preening and admiring for your mirror at home.