Gym Rules: Tips On What You Should Not Do At The Gym

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This list is a gym etiquette based list which is focusing on basically how to act in the gym so don’t expect to find any advice for which workouts are best for building X,Y,Z muscle.

I put this list together through mostly my own gym experiences over the years and seeing things like this happen that just made me shake my head, so even though some of these items might sound ridiculous, just know that someone out there has done it.

Don’t Put On Cologne/Perfume To Come To The Gym

should you wear cologne or perfume to the gym

Before I even start, I want to clarify what I mean here.

When I say wearing it to the gym I’m not meaning you having it on from your work clothes and coming inside to change with it on.

I’m meaning getting into your workout clothes THEN spraying your cologne/perfume on.

This is almost as bad as not wearing deodorant in my opinion, no one wants smell your perfume/cologne when they come to work out, no matter how good you think it smells.

Don’t Forget To Put The Weights Back After You’re Done With Them

gym rules put the weight back after you use it

Don’t be that person in the gym who just leaves weights wherever after you get through with using them.

This goes for dumbbells being left on the floor to taking the actual weights off the bar.

By not re-racking the weights back you not only start to piss off other gym members but this is also becoming a quick way for you to potentially lose your gym membership if it becomes an ongoing issue.

Don’t Try To Claim Multiple Areas Are In Use For Your Circuit Workout

A circuit workout is where you will do multiple exercises in that will basically make up as 1 set.

This is fine if you are doing this on the same machine such as a cable machine where you can just swap out different attachments to do whatever you need.

The problem begins where you start your circuit on the cable machine but also are using that bench and also that triceps machine.

Unless the gym is dead empty then this is usually a no go.

Don’t Adjust The Thermostat Temperature

This isn’t a very common issue but I have seen it happen.

Most gyms nowadays will have a lock on the thermostat for this very reason.

However just because you don’t see it locked up, don’t see that as “fair game” on adjusting the temperature to whatever you want it to be.

Make Sure Someone Is Done With A Machine Before You Jump In

If you’re needing a certain machine and someone is using it then make sure they’re completely done with it before you decide to start using it.

This doesn’t mean if they walk away to get water then you think it’s fair game, most of the time you should actually ask them if they’re still using it.

Be Aware Of How You Smell

dont stink at the gym

Don’t just assume since you’re working out that you’re supposed to “smell bad” and just leave it at that.

This means to make sure you don’t work out in the same clothes every day without washing them, trust me everyone in the gym can smell it.

Also be sure to have on deodorant, a lot of people will quickly call you out on it if you repeatedly come workout with any on.

Don’t Forget To Wipe Down Machines When You Finish Using Them

This is mainly meant for wiping any sweat off that you would have left when using the machine.

Usually you’ll find wipes in the gym to be used for this, if not then you might have to bring your own towel.

Don’t Give Out Unwanted Lifting Advice

Don’t be that guy who has started reading about proper lifting techniques, so you decide you’re an expert so you go around giving everyone pointers on what they’re doing wrong.

The only exception to this is if they have either asked you for lifting advice in the past or they’re doing something that could seriously hurt themselves.

Don’t Hog A Machine While You Text Your Girlfriend

If you’re using or claiming a machine then be using it.

Don’t be just chilling on it while you text your girl or talk with your buddies.

This is fine to do in between your sets. (Time in between sets should be a MAX of 2 minutes)

Don’t Get In Front Of Someone In The Mirror

gym mirror

If someone is lifting don’t get in front of their line of sight of the mirror.

The mirror is there for more than just seeing how pumped you look.

It plays a big role in helping with maintaining a good form when lifting as well.

Don’t Play Your Music On Speaker Mode For Everyone To Hear

Lifting with music is perfectly normal but have your headset/mp3 on.

Turning your music on and blasting it on your phone is a no go unless you’re the only one in the gym.

Don’t Lift Without A Shirt On

dont lift weights without a shirt on

Just don’t be this douche who tries to lift without wearing a shirt because you think it may help you pull one of the chicks you’ve been eyeing.

Most gyms out there will quickly make you put your shirt back on but just trying to save you the embarrassment here.

Don’t Try To Splash Water On Your Face At The Water Fountain

Just use common sense here, go to the bathroom and do this.

Don’t Try To Take Pics Of Girls In Your Gym

I get it, there are a lot of good looking girls doing squats in yoga pants.

Looking is fine but once you start taking pics of them then you’re just asking for problems.

Don’t Sing Out Loud With Your Music

The bass drops, you’re feeling pumped up and it’s your favorite song.

I got you, but just head bang or sing it in your head.

Don’t Try To Eat While Chilling On A Machine/Bench

The only thing I can say would be fine is drinking your pre workout or post workout.

With that said this is only OK if there is no one in the gym needing any of the equipment.

Bringing food is out of the question.

Don’t Do This With Chewing Gum

I don’t see to many people lift with gum but I still want to throw this out there.

If you do have gum then don’t go around blowing bubbles and popping it repeatedly.

On top of that don’t stick your gum under one of the benches, throw it in the garbage!

Don’t Use Chewing Tobacco In The Gym

The main reason for this is because every time I see someone try to do this they think it’s fine to spit in the garbage or heck even the water fountain.

Don’t Go Up To Everyone Asking What Supplements They Take

This is fine if you’re having a general conversation with the person or have chatted before but don’t just go asking this to random people.

Don’t Ask If Someone Is On Steroids Or Where To Get Them

This is not something people openly talk about in gyms (at least with random people) no matter what you may think.

Don’t Try To Use The Same Machine More Than 30 minutes

Someone may be waiting to use that machine whether you know it or not.

Try to arrange your workout to where you utilize different gym equipment.

This rule can be bent a little if you’re doing multiple exercises on that same machine but try to be considerate of others.

Don’t Put Your Stuff In A Locker That Already Has Someones Else’s Items In It

Sometimes there may not be any gym lockers available which isn’t uncommon around rush hour.

This doesn’t give you the green light to stuff your stuff into any locker you feel like.

You may need to go back to your car and put your stuff while you keep your car keeps in your pocket when working out.

Don’t Leave Lifting Chalk Everywhere

lifting chalk

Some lifters like to use lifting chalk which can make a mess.

If you do use this then just make sure to clean it up and not leave it on any machines you use.

Don’t Take Up Equipment That You Don’t Really Need

What I mean by this is don’t do curls in the squat rack when you can do curls anywhere in the gym, you don’t need the wrack to curl but other people do need the wrack to squat.

Don’t Put Weights Back In Random Places

putting weights back

For example the dumbbells are aligned in weight order so if you pull some 15lbs DBs off, make sure you put them back in that spot.

This goes for actual gym plates as well but its typically not as big of an issue.

Don’t Talk Loudly On Your Cell Phone At The Gym

Talking on your phone is fine as long as your not talking loud for everyone to hear.

For the most part if you know it’s going to be a long conversation then step outside or just wait to call them back after your gym session.

Don’t Stay Exposed In The Locker Room For Longer Than You Need To

It never fails any gym I go into there is also this older man who is naked and has a captain morgan stance on the only bench in there.

To make this worse he tries to casually have a conversation with you while awkwardly thrusting his junk out even more.

Don’t Treat The Locker Room Like You Own It

This means get in and out with your shower.

Don’t spread all of your shaving, toothbrush, deodorant etc.. across the counter which makes it where everyone has to work around you to get to the sink.

Don’t Dress Skimpy Then Get Mad If People Look

This one is for you ladies, don’t wear the tightest/shortest pair of workout shorts that you can find then do squats in front of a bunch of guys and expect them not to look.

That’s just common sense but I think it needs to be said.

Don’t Come To The Gym High Or Drunk

Yes, I’ve seen this happen and of course it didn’t end well of course.

Not sure what to say here that most people wouldn’t already know but yea, just don’t do this.

Don’t Deny Someone A Spot Just To Be A Jerk

Spotting someone is where you hover them to make sure they don’t drop the weight on themselves.

This is a common thing that you’ll be asked to do in the gym so if someone asks you just try to help them out.

Why I Wrote This Article

When I started lifting I had zero idea not only what in the heck I was doing routine wise but also I didn’t know a lot of the things mentioned in this article.

Sure, a lot of them are pretty much common courtesy or heck even common sense types of stuff but some things I had to learn on my own.

Most gyms don’t actually go into detail on what proper gym etiquette is so you’re kind of left with being unsure on a lot of things.

So basically this article was written with people who are just starting out in the gym to have at least some sort of information to go off of.

This article can also be a subtle way of letting someone that goes to your gym that they are probably doing something on this list, just mention it on your social media if they’re friends with you and maybe they will see it.

Thats basically it, I will be adding on to this article as I come across new things or if I have recommendations from others on something they would like added to this list.

With that being said, just submit me you’re idea on something if you don’t see it here but feel it should be added and I’ll gladly consider it to be added on.

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Image Credits: qOppi

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