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The Essential Guide to Gym Etiquette

The Essential Guide to Gym Etiquette


Whether you’re new to the gym or regularly, it is important to brush up on the proper etiquette of working out at the gym. One of the great things about a gym membership is access to all kinds of equipment you probably couldn’t afford and don’t have room for at home.

The tradeoff is that you need to share this equipment with others as well. As long as everyone shows respect by using proper gym etiquette, this goes smoothly.

Don’t be the one person everyone cringes at when they see you coming.


#1 Read the Gym Rules

All gyms will have a list of rules designed to help keep you safe and promote everyone's pleasant experience. Most gym etiquette is built on common sense ideas that anyone should be able to follow. If you don’t know where your gym posts the rules, just ask. Someone will no doubt be happy to help.

#2 Cell Phone Etiquette

With cell phones now ever-present, some thoughtfulness is required for their use – even at the gym!

If a call comes in, feel free to answer, but if it’s going to be more than a quick conversation, consider taking it outside. Be considerate of those around you who probably aren’t interested in hearing you discuss your colonoscopy results with your spouse.

When moving between exercise areas, keep your attention focused on where you are walking, rather than having your phone eyes and possibly walking into someone.

#3 Manage Your Sweat

Few things are more intensely disgusting than having someone else’s bodily fluids flung on you. You may be immersed in your treadmill jog, but the person who just walked behind you just got sweat sprayed on them from your elbows. Consider using headbands or arm sleeves if you are going to be sweating heavily.

#4 Wipe Off Equipment

Going along with the point about managing your sweat, always wipe down equipment when done using it. It’s no fun sitting at an exercise bench only to be coated with sweat from the previous person. Most gyms provide towels for this purpose, or bring one of your own to keep it classy.

#5 Rack Your Weights

In the middle of an intense routine, it can be tempting to walk away from the weights you were just using to get started on your next set of reps. But it only takes a few moments to rack your weights, so they’re ready for the next person. This not only shows courtesy to others but will burn a few calories in the process as well.



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#6 In the Sauna

There are few things as relaxing and healthful as spending some time in a sauna. But here, too, etiquette goes a long way. Keep your voice down when talking to avoid disturbing those using the sauna for meditation and relaxation.

When entering or exiting, get through the door as quickly as possible to avoid letting steam out. In most places, it’s best to use three towels – one to wrap around yourself, one to sit or lay on, and one to leave outside to dry off with when you’re done.

#7 In the Pool

One of the most important things you can do for those sharing the pool with you is to shower before getting in. This helps keep the pool clean for everyone. If there’s an empty lane to swim in, use that one. And if you are sharing a lane, keep to one side and allow faster swimmers plenty of room to pass.

#8 Back in the Locker Room

Out of courtesy, wrap a towel around yourself while going to and from the showers. If at all possible, save your cell phone usage after you leave the gym.

If you must take a call, keep your voice down to a discrete level. While ‘locker room talk’ has become synonymous with a conversation that wouldn’t be acceptable elsewhere, keep in mind the people around you as you talk.

Slurs and epithets are generally not tolerated by a gym anywhere, even the locker room. Finally, never mess with someone else’s belongings.

Remember, gym etiquette is mostly just about showing thoughtfulness and courtesy to those around you. Keep these simple tips in mind to help keep a productive and pleasant environment for everyone.

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