Young Professional Gym Etiquette

Some people – even seasoned gym-goers – are clueless as to how to conduct themselves in a gym. A gym is a place to focus on one’s self, perhaps the only solid 45 minutes or an hour per day the typical young professional indulges in his or her own well-being.

Beware of Your Hygiene
It should go without saying, but be extremely aware of your body odour. A tiny amount of BO may go excused or forgiven here and there, but you shouldn’t be able to smell someone from across the room. Carry a towel and wipe off any bench or machine you use; if you forget one, use the paper towel provided. There are few things as “special” as sitting down on a machine in a pool of a stranger’s sweat.  

The Gym is Not A Social Club
Don’t join a gym for purely social reasons. Of course, a little conversation is fine (especially pre and post exercise class), but remember that the majority of people are there to workout rather than socialize. Don’t initiate conversations with people wearing headphones. If you do happen to make friends at the gym, loud banter and laughter between the two of you may go over as well in a gym as a high school cafeteria. Save it for the coffee shop post-workout or for a friendly jog or tennis match.

The Gym is Not a Meat Market
It’s a safe bet that at gyms have those one or two token guys (or in some cases ladies) who creep everyone out, obviously there more to stare at the eye candy than to work out. Both the guys and ladies may feel more vulnerable than usual when sweaty and decked out in formfitting exercise gear that leaves little to the imagination. Very few people want to be approached, forced to indulge small talk, then have to look for an escape while at the gym.

Be Considerate with Equipment Use
Share. Don’t monopolize equipment. If someone asks, let a fellow gym member work in and alternate sets with you on a piece of weightlifting equipment. Return weights, exercise balls and other equipment where you got it. At peak gym times, when you walk away from one of the few pieces of available equipment with plates still on the bar, no one knows if someone is still using it. Furthermore, peak time or not, don’t sit on a machine while you rest between sets. 

Don’t Show up to Class Late
With many of the popular classes usually full at gyms, nothing is more annoying (especially in yoga class) than the fellow gym goers who interrupt the energy of the class by rushing in late, apologizing repeatedly and forcing others to re-locate their mats on the ground to make room for them.

Don’t Offer Unsolicited Advice to Fellow Gym-goers
Keep your opinions and advice to yourself. Especially among men, nobody wants be corrected on what they are doing at the gym by a fellow know-it-all. If he or she needs help or is visibly doing something wrong, that’s what the gym staff is for.

You Are Not the Only One There
When we say this we mean be cautious of the noise you are making. If you need to work out with a cell phone on hand (and we are guilty of this from time to time, too) take any phone calls outside and otherwise stick to text messaging. If you are listening to music, make sure you are not blasting it so loud that it can be heard by anyone within a twelve-foot radius of you. By the same principle, don’t sing along. Finally, keep grunting to a minimum. We have heard sounds coming from guys and ladies alike that sound more like something from a porno than a fitness facility.

Check Your Ego
Just because you have it doesn’t mean you have to flaunt it in barely-there attire. Furthermore, though it doesn’t directly harm any of your fellow gym-goers, don’t think they don’t notice perpetual mirror staring, complete with muscle flexing and turning like a rotisserie chicken to make sure all angles look good. Though you may be too wrapped up in yourself to notice, everyone is laughing at you inside.

Don’t be Overly Impatient
Almost as annoying as someone hogging the equipment is that overly impatient person who invades your personal space by standing an inch away from your machine, alternating glares from you, the machine and their watch or clock, coupled by impatient sighs or foot taps. Don’t be that person. 

The Locker Room is Not Your Personal Home Bathroom
Don’t take prolonged showers if you know someone else is waiting for it. For the ladies, don’t spread all your makeup and hair products in front of the mirror or all over the counter so that nobody else can get in. If there are only a few hair dryers, curling irons or straighteners, and you know your hair is going to require some work, bring your own.