Gym Etiquette Rules You Need to Know

Stepping into the gym alone is daunting, and if you're like me, embarrassing.

Remember what it's like to start something you'd never done before?

If you’re new to it, you’re afraid to look like an idiot in front of those people who know what they’re doing. That’s how I felt at least… I STILL feel that way, and I've been consistently (kinda lol) hitting the gym for four years. That part hasn't gotten easier.

If you're starting at the gym, (now that you created a routine from my post two weeks ago), it's good to know what gym rats find terribly annoying. I've compiled a few others here for you:

Those Glued to Their Phones

I work at a community college – in the Athletics department actually – and there are TONS of new exercises I've been able to rotate to keep things fresh from others and I refer to my phone when I'm stuck. That's somewhat acceptable.

I mentioned that the cell phone is the number one pet peeve last year in Using your Phone, but there are quite a few more if I'm honest. Whether texting, reviewing form or taking pictures/selfies, it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to see it while I’m waiting for you to finish using the only available machine. If you’re not using the weights, take your cell, yourself and your selfie to the bathroom.

Weight/Machine Hogs

This term can be coined by those who use dumbbells and don't share - either by taking long rests in between their sets or work right in front of the rack. If you make it impossible for others to use things you're not using, you're inhibiting someone else from doing the same. This isn't a personal gym and we were taught as kids to share our toys.

Not picking up after yourself

Now this is just rude! Re-rack your weights. Same goes for the gross and sweaty benches – just wipe it up. We're not your mothers. Bring a towel and clean it up.


Improper Gym Attire

Those girls who just wear a sports bra and volleyball shorts are distracting - by the guys ogling her or the girls who are envious of her body (let's be honest, I'm that girl - I would love to stick Sally's waist and Julie's booty on my body).

Plus - guys who hit on girls at the gym? Just NO. That's super creepy, and no girl is ever going to enjoy getting talked to while she's sweating or trying to hit a PR on the treadmill. Unless she's wearing a face full of makeup, but then, what's the point of going to the gym in the first place? I always say:

Improper form

I hate looking like a jerk. I don't want to embarrass myself, and have other question what I'm doing - it's a confidence thing really. If I don't research things before I claim to know what I'm doing, I'm very unsure. The same should be said for the use of the gym facilities! If you aren't sure about what a machine does - ASK someone! That's the best way to get acquainted with it! I didn't know how to use some of the machines until I hired a trainer. People who have no idea what they're doing definitely make themselves known if they don't ask or have been shown. Don't be that guy.


We get it - you're lifting... HEAVY. So are we. It's going to be tough work, for some at least. You're going to struggle, and that always comes with a couple uncomfortable noises. HOWEVER - don't sound like a dying bull. It's distracting and rude to those around you.

Believe me, once you begin working out regularly in a facility, you will develop pet peeves of other people. I have some of my own, and I know it doesn't necessarily bode well to judge others in a place where we're all just trying to become healthier versions of ourselves. That being said, you wouldn't walk into a soup kitchen and wear flip flops or wear inappropriate work clothes in an office, so the gym is no different.

Be conscientious of others and safe!