If you’re a frequent gym-goer, you have a good idea of what proper gym etiquette is. However, both veteran and rookie fitness enthusiasts can forget unspoken rules of the gym. So, if you’re clocking in time on the elliptical anytime soon, be sure to heed these basic guidelines, all of which you’d expect others to heed, as well.
Clean Your Machine
Whether you sweat a little or a lot, always clean your machine. There’s usually a bottle of cleaning solution and towels near by—use this to wipe your machine down. Clean the face of the machine where buttons are, the sides where you your hands were, and any surrounding areas that sweat may have landed.
Don’t forget to wipe the mat you use, and any equipment you sat or laid on.
Some gyms require this, however, if yours doesn’t, it’s good practice anyway. Being able to wipe your sweat keeps the mess on your machine and equipment to a minimum. Consider placing one under your neck if you’re especially sweaty on a mat.
Be Conscious of Your Machine Time
Some gyms have maximum machine times, and/or sign ups with half hour blocks to schedule yourself in. Whether yours does or doesn’t, it’s common practice to be wary of your time on a cardio machine. If all the bikes are taken, and you can tell others are waiting, hop off and let someone else have a chance.
Ask Before Taking Equipment
People put down weights between sets, but that doesn’t mean they’re done using them. Before grabbing anything off the ground—this includes weights, a medicine ball, yoga ball, jump rope, mat, etc—look around you. If it seems like someone might be in mid-use, ask just in case.
An iPad is a great way to pass the time on your cardio machine, but that doesn’t mean everyone around you wants to hear it. Always wear headphones if you’re watching something on a personal electronic device.
Keep Your Gym Stuff Together
If you use the gym locker room and showers, keep your bag and clothing together in one spot, especially if there are a lot of other people changing. Not only does this ensure nothing gets stolen, but other people may need some space, as well. Try to use a locker where you can keep your items safe and out of the way.
Keep Your Shoes On
You’ve just finished a great workout, and are ready to stretch. Though it feels great to take your shoes off for a 15 minute cool down session, your feet may not be the most pleasant smell to inhale. Most gyms have a rule against taking your shoes off outside the locker room, but even if yours doesn’t, spare everyone around you and keep them on until you hit the showers or walk out the front door.
Attend Classes You Sign Up For
Many classes are closed after they fill up, and a last-minute sign up may be kicked off the list if this is the case. Don’t take the class away from someone else by signing up and then blowing it off. Not only does this look bad on you, but someone else could have taken advantage of the class instead.
Most gym etiquette is unspoken, but appreciated by everyone around you. Whether you’re new to the gym scene or have been going for years, remember the basic gym-goer guidelines at your next workout session.