RSS header - this is hidden

10 Dos and Don’ts of Gym Etiquette

Posted by Jill Derryberry on Jan 23, 2024 2:57:37 PM
Jill Derryberry
Find me on:

10 Dos and Don’ts of Gym Etiquette 


It’s a New Year and many folks are trying out the gym for the first time or after a long time away.  Welcome!  The gym can sometimes feel intimidating.  There is a lot of equipment that you may not know how to use and a lot of people that might seem like they already know what they are doing.  That is okay!  Everyone starts somewhere and everyone in the gym has been in your shoes.   


Besides possibly not being familiar with the equipment, you may not be aware of some things to do around the gym.  What to do and what not to do.  There are some unspoken and some spoken rules (Check out any signs around the club!) of gym etiquette that are helpful to be aware of.  Here are 10 of those “rules” to keep in mind:   


  1. Put away and clean your equipment after use.  If you add weight plates to a machine, take them off and put them back on their racks when you are done.  The next person using the machine should not have to take off the weight plates you used, and they might not be able to.  Any other equipment you use should go back where you found it after you are done.  Dumbbells all have a specific spot to go back to and if you’ve loaded a barbell with weight plates, strip them off the bar and rerack them when you are done.  Don’t make other people clean up after you!
    Also, look for cleaning solution bottle to clean the equipment you used when done. Most LivRite locations have reusable cloths and bottles of cleaning solution in the club for you to use.  If you don’t see any, ask an employee.  Wiping down where you touched the equipment and where you may have left some sweat, is a good rule of thumb.
  2. Step away from the dumbbell rack.  Grab your weights off the rack and step away to complete your exercise so others can grab weights freely.  Don’t stand directly in front of the rack.  
  3. Respect others space.  Try not to set up right next to, behind, or in front of someone.  If you are planning on filming part of your workout, ask those around you that may be in the shot if they are okay with it.  Be okay with it if they are not okay with it!
  4. Respect the gym equipment.  Don’t throw dumbbells around, drop dumbbells, or let weight stacks drop uncontrolled on machines.  This is both unnecessary and destructive to the equipment.
  5. Make sure the equipment isn’t already being used before you start.  If you see a towel or water bottle around a machine, or if there are already weight plates on a machine, look around to see if anyone is nearby and ask if there is if they are using that equipment.  Sometimes people will pace around while resting between sets or they may be doing a circuit and alternating between two or more pieces of equipment.  If you don’t see anyone nearby, you can start using the equipment.  In the event someone comes forward and states they were using that machine, ask them how many sets they have left and if they have a few, ask if you can use that machine while they are in between their sets.  That is called asking to “work-in”.  More on that in number 10.
  6. Don’t interrupt someone during their set (while they are completing a set of repetitions of an exercise).  Wait until they are finished before asking anything.  This is for safety reasons as well as being courteous. 
  7. Finish your sets on a machine and move along.  Don’t sit on a machine for over 5 minutes on your phone in between working sets.  Resting 1-4 minutes between sets is normal and necessary but it shouldn’t be much more than that.
  8. The plyo boxes are not tables.  Plyo boxes are large boxes of various heights that can be used for exercises like step ups or box jumps.  These boxes aren’t there for you to leave your belongings while you work out.   Leave your personal items in a locker and keep your water bottle off the boxes if you aren’t using them yourself.
  9. Wear headphones.  Music is a great motivator for a workout.  Some people like to listen to podcasts or audio books while they exercise.  However, it’s very likely no one else wants to listen to what you are listening to, so please wear headphones if you’d like to listen to something on your phone.  Also, it’s likely (sorry) that no one wants to hear you sing those songs you are listening to.  Be courteous and listen with headphones and keep conversations (and singing) to a minimum.   Along those same lines, don’t be too loud.  It’s not a library, you don’t need to whisper, but in general it is courteous to keep grunting and self-pep-talks to yourself or in a normal indoor conversation voice. 
  10. If you are doing circuits or supersets, allow others to work in.  Circuit training involves alternating between several exercises that target different muscle groups with little to no rest in between.  A superset means alternating between two exercises without rest in between. If it is busy, it might not be a good time to use machines or the cable tower for circuits or supersets.  Because when doing those you are occupying more than one machine or piece of equipment at a time. 


    If you are alternating between two or more pieces of equipment, be accommodating if someone would like to also use that equipment.  Allow someone to “work in” while you are doing your circuit, this simply means letting someone use one piece of equipment while you use another.  By the time you are ready to use that piece of equipment again in your circuit, they should be finished with their set so it will be open again for you.  Or if you are seconds away from using it again, politely tell them that you just have one more set and then it will be free for them.   


    Lastly, remember, be nice!  Especially to those new in the gym.  Even if you are the new person now, you won’t always be.  Offering help, or just saying hi or smiling at someone, can go a long way toward maintaining a positive, welcoming, and productive environment.   


    This is by no means an exhaustive list.  Good gym etiquette is like good etiquette anywhere else for the most part - with a few workout specific things thrown in.  The biggest thing to remember when in the gym is to be aware of your surroundings, respect the equipment, and be courteous to others.  We all go to the gym for the same reason and have all been new to gym at one time.  This is a great community where we can boost each other up, learn from one another and all be healthier in the end.  LivRite team members are also on hand to answer any questions you may have.  Schedule your complimentary fitness assessment with a Personal Trainer today 

Topics: LivRite News