Millions of Americans go to the gym even before the pandemic. According to some expert sources, at least 1 out of every 5 Americans had membership in a gym or a fitness studio in 2019. Just like most business organizations or enterprises, gyms and health clubs have rules of conduct for their members.
But more than that, every gymgoer has to remember some unspoken etiquette. Keeping these rules in mind is essential to cooperating with other members and ensuring you only have friendly and professional interactions.
1. Return the Weights
The weights in a gym are communal property and there can be not enough of a specific set of weights. Naturally, you can’t just begin working out in front of the weight racks and have to take them elsewhere. However, once you’re done using them, don’t just leave the weights you took lying on the floor.
Not only can this type of behavior create tripping hazards, it’s also rude. People who want to use the weights you’ve taken may not be able to find them and have to use inappropriate equipment. Always remember to put back any weights you’ve used to the rack.
2. Bring Your Own Towel
Although gyms and other fitness clubs provide their own towels, its almost always advisable to bring your own. The reason for bringing your own towel is that people are more inclined to take care of them and not just leave them all over the shower room floor or hanging about the gym equipment. Bringing your own towel can also be a little more hygienic since you are absolutely sure that they are clean.
3. Always Have a Spotter
Don’t become overconfident with your weightlifting skills. You will need a spotter every time you use the heaviest of weights or else you can suffer some of the most common injuries involving weightlifting.
A spotter helps keep an eye on you as you do bench presses and other exercises. They can swoop in at any time to stop the bar from falling if you can’t keep it raised or provide other assistance and even encouragement.
If you go to the gym and need a spotter, don’t just ask random gymgoers to do so. Find a trainer or an employee who can do the service for you.
4. Respect Personal Space
Not every gym consists of large spaces, and some can be quite small and intimate. No matter the square footage of a gym, always respect the personal space of other gymgoers.
You could smile or nod politely to other people, but never strike up a conversation with another person, especially if they are in the middle of a workout. Don’t butt in on someone’s training session or loiter around their station because that will make people uncomfortable.
5. Don’t Be Too Noisy
Working out is an intense experience and you may want to grunt or encourage yourself as you perform your exercises. However, you don’t want to distract everyone around you with too much noise.
Regulate your sounds and breathing so that they don’t get too noisy. If you want music to motivate you throughout your training session, wear a good pair of earphones instead of blasting them through your speakers.
6. Give Everyone a Turn
Every gym has a limited number of equipment, and not everyone will be able to use all machines at the same time. If other people are forming a line because they need to use your machine to exercise, don’t be stubborn and give way to others.
There will always be time later on but you must let everyone use the machine because they are also paying members. A good rule of thumb is that if other people indicate they also need to use the machine you’re on is to only continue using it for about 5 to 10 minutes. You can always circle back.
7. Keep Selfies to a Minimum
People go to the gym to make themselves feel better about their bodies and naturally a lot of people want to take selfies to document how they are improving. Unfortunately, taking selfies in the middle of crowded gym can not only make other people conscious about their own bodies, it can also distract them while exercising.
Be very discrete and try to keep picture taking inside the gym to a minimum. Make it a point not to include people exercising in the background if you can because they may not be comfortable having their picture taken. Remember that you are there to exercise not for a photo op.
A gym membership comes with certain responsibilities. Whenever you head down to the gym, remember that you must follow these etiquette and you can continue using any fitness facility without any regretful incidents.