The Rundown on Gym Etiquette

As one who loves to, start my day with a workout,  I’ve come across many awkward and uncomfortable instances at the gym. From BO issues to swiping squat racks, I was at the gym last week, and a quick glance to my right had me beaming (and not from the workout endorphins). My friends and I that frequent the gym always find ourselves swapping stories of different encounters and inconveniences that we frequently come across. Thankfully, most of these things can be solved by quick notes on etiquette. November and December may be some of the busiest months of the year, and the gym may be put on the back-burner. However, there’s no need to let our mindfulness slip. Here’re some few notes on gym etiquette that will benefit anyone looking to get their workout in.

Spare Everyone the Unsolicited Advice

It’s one thing if someone is about to injure themselves from attempting an exercise in a way that seriously endangers you or themselves. Someone could potentially be using a weight that’s way to heavy that they’re about to fail their set. Other than that, seldom do I ever encourage anyone to chime into someone else’s workout routine. Spare the brosicene. Even if you’re “swol” and all decked out in the latest Gymshark attire many would prefer to get nutritional advice from a registered dietitian, or a trainer. I can’t believe the number of times people have chimed in to correct my form. I've also faced countless instances where individuals have attempted to "help me" by informing that women should focus on higher reps and lower weight. Little do they know, I know I thing or two about fitness. Not only can it come across as insulting and uninviting it discredits the knowledge that someone may have. Though I try not to let it get to me, it often ruins a good workout. I know

Sometimes even I forget that It’s not my job to be everyone’s personal trainer, but if anything, keep the chitchat to asking how they’re workout is going? Who knows? once you build a rapport they may come to you for advice later on!


Noise Control

The gym is definitely a loud space. Dropping and banging weights, running cardio machines, and blasting music to get pumped up is all encouraged!

Let’s face it, for anyone that’s hit the gym a few times, I’m sure you’ve come across some grunting that leaves everyone feeling little too uncomfortable. Now, it’s absolutely normal to let out some sound whilst trying to push out that final rep. Overall,  I think many would agree that excessive loud grunting is distracting and leaves you attracting one too many stares. Out of courtesy of those around you, I strongly suggest toning down the intense battle cries.


Clean Up

Clean up! Clean up! We learned this one back in kindergarten my, friends. Done with the dumbbells? Re-rack them. Finished with the squat rack? Deload the bar?

On another note, B.O is already present in a higher amount at the gym. I’m not trying to gift others my sweaty equipment and I definitely don’t want to receive theirs.  We all know that skipping the step of wiping down the machines, is gross, yet we all do it. Even I’m guilty of walking away with my glistening odor on a bench once or twice.

How do we fix this perspiration problem? It's Easy! Simply just take an extra few seconds to wipe down your equipment. Make sure you wipe down your mats, benches and any other equipment that your sweat comes in contact with.


Keep your Eye on Your Prize:

If you’re going to stare, make sure you limit your gaze to your own reflection in the mirror. There’s no worse feeling than assuming that you’re being stared down, judged, or sexualized by someone else in any space…let alone a place where sweat is probably dripping down your back. The gym is a zone where people come to work on themselves. Weather it’s to destress, build muscle, increase strength, or get toned; working out is a time for self-betterment. No one should feel threatened or uncomfortable in a space where everyone is doing their best to improve or maintain some aspect of thier health.  Even if your admiring, someone’s impeccable squat form, know it is very easy to misinterpret any sort of gaze in the weight room. I’m not saying you need to wear blinders, just be aware of the deeper connotation that any glance can give off.

Be Considerate of Other’s Time and Space

There’s nothing wrong with claiming a couple pair of dumbbells, for a few sets. Hoarding numerous machines, benches and bars is another story to create a personal circuit, is another story. Many people only have an hour or two to squeeze in their workout. We're all working with the same window, and the same equipment, so it’s important to be aware of how much space you’re trying to claim. Even better, if you do need to cycle in and out of a few machines, be open and invite people to work into your sets- there’s no need to slow down someone’s workout just to propel yours.


Save the Selfies

I completely understand that you need a picture of #motivationmonday, #transformation. Who knows? Maybe you’re trying to film a part of your workout to post on Instagram? Either way, selfies are excessive in the workout room.  Furthermore, I rather not be featured in the back of your snapshot or boomerang. Save the pics for later, or at least pose in a part of the gym that not too busy.  


Ladies, don’t let Your Space be Evaded

Last week at the gym, a quick glance to my right left me feeling driven ( no, it wasn’t for pre-workout or the endorphins). All three squat racks were occupied by women. How thrilling. My first thought was that I needed to capture this moment. It felt so good to see my fellow ladies show their presence in the weight room with confidence. It can be difficult to venture into the weight room for anyone, but any added factor heightens the pressure. There are still fare way to go,  but It’s a great feeling to know that a space traditionally dominated by men is starting to be balanced out. For those who have yet to venture into the weight room in fear of putting on too much muscle- lifting weight will not make you bulky. That's a falsely repeated sentiment is nothing but a myth.

I’ve found that gym-goers carry a sense of comradery with one another. Keeping these notes on etiquette in mind, we can be sure that we are working out with each other, rather than against each other.  Create a space where everyone feels comfortable while making their gains!