Modern lives are busy. Work, family, and social commitments take the most, if not all, of our time and at the end of the day, a cozy bed seems a lot more enticing.

So, amidst all this hustle and bustle, if you still find the time and self-discipline to join a gym, then give yourself a pat on the back because you have already taken the hardest step of all.

Starting the gym can be intimidating at first. You see jacked people around you, huffing and puffing, and grunting – working on the machines you don’t even recognize, let alone know to use correctly.

But even amid the chaotic, charged-up gym energy, there is a sense of right conduct. Navigating that chaos and cracking the “secret” code of gym conduct may seem puzzling at first, but it really is no rocket science.

It’s natural to have questions as a newbie – is there a time limit for using the machines? Are there any designated spots? How do I ask someone to spot me?

All of these questions are very valid and sometimes confuse even the regular gym-goers. But the good news is that the gym rules are universal and less ambiguous than they apparently seem.

This article discusses the gym rules you should know by heart to keep yourself and others around you safe.

1.    Dress Appropriately

Some gym etiquettes apply even before you set foot in the gym, and dressing appropriately is one of them. Even the gear you bring with you should provide maximum comfort and performance.

Don’t buy gymwear and sports health products just because someone else use them. Consult professional gym-equipment websites, like Physiflex, to buy top quality gym gear for your gym needs.

Don’t be misguided by retouched gym shoots and grids posted to Instagram. Gym wear has to be comfortable and flexible before looking aesthetic.

Don’t wear clothes that are too tight because they lead to chafing and a general discomfort. Don’t wear loose clothes either, as they can get in your way of working out efficiently.

Invest in well-fitted moisture-wicking gym outfits and make sure to wear a fresh piece to every workout. After all, no one should be subjected to your sweaty smell just because you don’t care for basic hygiene.

2.    Read the rules

Although most gym rules and etiquettes are universal, still, you may come across gyms that have some rules of their own.

Before you follow or worry about any unwritten gym conduct, check out the rules of your own gym. These rules can be found posted on the gym wall. Go through them and follow them religiously.

If you cannot find the gym rules, or if you are confused about one, feel free to ask a staff member about them. Different gyms or community centers may have different policies regarding the following practices:

  • Dropping Weights
  • Deadlifting
  • Working Out Barefoot

The list can go on, so it’s always a good idea to read the rules in advance.

3.    If You Can Pick It Up, You Can Put It Back

As this article proceeds you will find that many etiquettes in this list are the same ones that we were taught in kindergarten. Yet so many people ignore these rules altogether.

The number one unwritten rule of the gym is to put back the equipment on the racks after you are done using it. After all, no one should be taking the plates off a machine after you.

Not only is it plainly rude, but it is also a physical gym hazard. For example, unattended weights on the gym floor can cause someone to trip and seriously injure themselves.

Gyms are public spaces, and just like any other shared space, it’s your responsibility to play your part in keeping it organized. So, be considerate and put everything back in the place where you picked it up from.

4.    Clean Up After Yourself

As an extension of the previous point, make sure you are wiping the station after you are done using it.

No matter how careful you are, you are bound to sweat on the bench or seat. Sweating is normal, but not taking the time to wipe the seat clean afterwards is just inconsiderate and flaunting of societal conventions.

No one wants to sit in a puddle of sweat left behind by some stranger. Not only is it gross, but your sweat could be highly infectious, especially given we are just getting back to normal after a horrific pandemic.

Use the disinfectant spray and paper towels to wipe down the equipment. Most gyms keep these items accessible to encourage people to clean after themselves.

5.    Respect Others’ Personal Space

Even if you are an extrovert, learn to keep the conversations to a minimum while you are working out. If you absolutely must have that powwow with a friend, do it in the locker room or sitting area.

Respect other people’s time that they have wrested after great effort out of their busy schedules. Engaging in idle talk or gossiping only serves to distract yourself and others.

Gossiping is not the only thing you should avoid:

  • Don’t comment on someone else’s appearance
  • Don’t talk to people unless absolutely necessary
  • Don’t jump up behind people especially when they are lifting weights
  • Give people a wide berth whenever possible
  • Don’t talk on the phone – you are disturbing other people

You should simply stick to your own routine, and if you must talk to someone or ask a question, make sure to be polite and considerate of their personal space.

6.    Don’t hog the equipment

Gyms are busy places, and some machines have a reputation for attracting the most attention. If you are using any of the machines, or equipment, don’t hog it!

Don’t be anxious or pressurized to give away your machine just because you see someone waiting, but also, don’t sit idly by, taking selfies, when you working out on that machine or equipment.

Plan your workouts in advance to save your and everybody else’s time.

Be Respectful

All these gym etiquettes can be boiled down to one phrase – be respectful. Be respectful of others and don’t do anything that might be considered annoying or intrusive. Be respectful of your surroundings – keep it clean, organized, and pleasant. Lastly, be respectful toward yourself – utilize your time effectively, work on yourself, and dress for success.