If you are a fitness beginner, joining a gym can be overwhelming. After all, when you look around the facility, you might not recognize most of the weights and equipment you see. In some instances, this might be the first time many beginners even step into a gym. There is nothing wrong with that, but outside of learning how to exercise safely and correctly, you must also learn how to be a good gym member.
When you first decide to go to the gym, your first worry is about learning how to exercise correctly. However, almost immediately, you discover that to navigate this new world and feel more confident in yourself, you must learn proper gym etiquette. When you agree to a gym membership, you agree to behave yourself. However, there are many unwritten rules within the gym that everyone follows.
Being a good gym member will not only improve your experience at a gym, but it will also help everyone else around you. Whether they say it or not, they appreciate you following these rules and keeping balance in this world. But how does one become a good gym member?
At Fitness Nation, we strive to create an environment that makes everyone feel welcome, no matter their fitness level. However, even we need our members to be respectful of our facility and one another.
What is Gym Etiquette?
Nobody wants to bother anyone when they are working out, and nobody wants to be bothered. It is a two-way street. At its core, gym etiquette is being aware of how your own behavior affects those around you and being respectful towards other members and their time. Also, you have to remember the gym is not your home. You cannot treat the weights like they’re your own personal workout equipment.
For the most part, gym etiquette is common sense. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want others to do. Does it irritate you when others don’t rack their weights? Then always rack them yourself when you have finished using them. The goal of gym etiquette is to ensure all members and employees are safe and comfortable.
But how do you learn gym etiquette and become a good gym member?
Put Everything Back Where It Belongs.
Since we just briefly mentioned it, let’s start with putting back your weights. This rule might be one of the best things you can do to be a good gym member. If you use something (whether you use dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, etc.), put it back where you got it after you have finished.
Gyms are public spaces. It is up to all members to keep it clean and organized. Yes, employees do get paid to keep up with the gym, but that does not give you the right to be disrespectful. Plus, if you leave equipment lying around, it could get in someone’s way and cause an accident. Also, you wouldn’t want to scour the gym looking for one thing, so why would you do that to someone else?
Plain and simple, once done, put equipment back where it belongs.
Wipe Down Equipment.
Now more than ever, you should always wipe down your equipment. However, even before the current pandemic, it was always courteous to wipe down the equipment you were using once you’ve finished your exercise. Even if you feel like you didn’t sweat a lot, you should still practice good hygiene.
Bacteria can live on the surfaces of gym equipment for several hours, meaning that just because you didn’t sweat does not mean you can’t spread germs. Almost all gyms provide equipment disinfectant and towels (either linen or paper), so you can wipe down equipment.
Avoid Unnecessary Grunting.
We are not telling you that you have to treat the gym like you would a library. However, there comes a time when making noise becomes too much. We all know that person who practically screams during every rep. Often, this noise disrupts other members’ workouts. We understand that sometimes a grunt or noise will come out of your mouth during a heavy lift. It happens.
However, when you loudly grunt during every rep, you might become a nuisance to those around you. Just be conscious and respectful of all other members.
Do Not Hog the Equipment.
From a young age, your parents, teachers, and all other caregivers taught you that sharing is caring. Well, that does not change when you’re at the gym. Do not hog all the equipment. Yes, you have a plan and goals you want to reach, but so do others. They might need the same equipment as you. Do not sit on your phone on a piece of equipment if someone else is waiting. If you aren’t going to use the equipment, let others use it.
Respect Others’ Personal Space.
Depending on what time of the day you go to the gym, the facility might get crowded. There are periods like the beginning of the year when people set New Year’s Resolutions. However, just because a gym is busy does not mean you can stop respecting others’ boundaries. You should still make an effort to respect all other members’ personal space.
Working out too close to another member is not only uncomfortable, but it is also dangerous. If someone were to fail an overhead press, it could spell disaster for not only them but you, as well.
Just like you do, people go to the gym with a plan and goals. Often, people need to use the same equipment as you. Sometimes you might stumble on some weights or a machine, and others are standing around it, but not using it. Instead of just jumping in and working out, ask if anyone is using it.
You don’t want to be the person that steals away a machine from someone when they are in between sets.
Never Make Fun of Others.
This tip goes to everyone, and it should be common sense. Everyone is in the gym to work towards a goal. Others might have more experience and be more in shape, while others are just beginning their fitness journey. A lot of people face gym anxiety, regardless if they are new to the gym or not. If they feel like others are judging or making fun of them, they might feel even more anxious.
Far too often, people take to social media to post pictures of others simply trying to improve themselves. Yet here these people are trying to ridicule them. That has no place in the gym. Always respect other members’ privacy and journey.
Join Fitness Nation.
Deciding to take control of your health is the first step. Getting into the gym is what comes next. While starting your fitness journey is daunting enough, learning gym etiquette can be even more stressful. After all, you might not know what it takes to be a good gym member right away.
Fortunately, at Fitness Nation, we have created a welcoming environment that encourages all members to respect one another. We strive to create a culture that welcomes everyone of any fitness level, making them feel comfortable. If you are ready to start your fitness journey, join Fitness Nation today.