Worst Things to Do in the Gym

The benefits of going to the gym cannot be understated. For meeting your weight loss goals and feeling healthy about yourself, there is simply no substitution for vigorous daily exercise.

Acquiring a gym membership does come with some responsibility. If you are visiting a gym regularly or decide to start doing so, there are some aspects of social etiquette you’ll need to bear in mind. Here are some of the worst things you can do in the gym. Aim to avoid these practices.

  1. Leaving sweat on machines. Almost every gym offers towels and disinfectant spray to help you clean the equipment after sweating all over it.
  2. Endangering yourself and others by lifting too much. Many people enter a gym feeling like they have something to prove to everyone else there. Rest assured that no one worth their salt is judging you for how much weight you can lift. More important than how much you can lift is how proper your form is and how much you challenge yourself personally. Never lift to show off for others.
  3. Leaving weights out of place. After you use a weight, put it back where you found it. Remove weights from bars when you are done using them and place dumbbells back in their proper location on the racks. It’s a shared facility so treat it as such.
  4. Crossing line-of-sight paths of others. Never walk in front of someone’s line of sight while they are working out. They could be relying on seeing their reflection to maintain form and balance. Plus it’s just rude.
  5. Hogging machines. If you’re taking five minute breaks in between sets, don’t rest on the machine since others may want to use it. Work cooperatively to give others a chance to use the same equipment if you intend on using it for more than just a brief while.
  6. Staring at others. Whether it’s in the locker room or in the gym itself, it’s rude to stare at others no matter how attractive or goofy they might appear.
  7. Taking up too much space with personal belongings. Use lockers to stow away personal belongings and keep them out of the way of others. You shouldn’t take a big bag into a group exercise class or carry it around with you on the gym floor.
  8. Letting it all hang in the locker room. The locker room is not your home bathroom. It makes others uncomfortable if you’re strutting around naked for longer than is necessary. It’s great if you feel that comfortable in your own skin, but a public locker room is not the place to express that comfort.
  9. Giving unsolicited advice. You can quickly earn a reputation as the most annoying member of your gym by approaching others with tips, tricks or corrections on their workouts. You are not a pro trainer. Some peoples goals differ from your own. If someone asks you to assist them with a lift, it does not equate to permission to tell them what you think they’re doing wrong. And if you absolutely insist on dispensing advice to others, ask them first for their permission to share with them what you have to say.
  10. Making loud noises. Some light involuntary grunting is pretty normal when lifting weights. But it shouldn’t be anything audible to anyone more than five feet away from you. If you’re yelling like Tarzan on each rep loud enough for the whole gym to hear you it’s a big inspiration for everyone else… inspiration to join another gym to get away from you!
  11. Talking too much. Making acquaintances in the gym is great, but remember that people are there to work. If you’re following people around and constantly bugging them for conversation, you could be pestering them and distracting them from their workout. While they’re talking with you they might really be thinking about how much they’re cooling down and losing momentum from their workout. Keep conversations brief.

For your viewing entertainment, have a look at this funny video about gym etiquette to avoid:

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