For many people, a gym is a place of escape. A haven. You can’t wait to enter and feel the stress—and calories—fading away while you grab the weights or get onto the treadmill. But how do other people in the gym feel when they see you entering the doors? Are you following proper etiquette that makes the space beneficial for everyone who needs the escape as much as you do?
Whether you’re using a gym Frankston based, in greater Melbourne or Sydney, the unspoken rules are similar. If you haven’t given the following much thought—or perhaps it’s your first time heading to a gym—please scroll down and make sure you follow proper procedures from now on.
Keep it Neat and Clean
With many people all working up a sweat, you can imagine there’s a lot of bacteria and even viruses inside a gym. If everyone works together though, you’re helping to maintain a more hygienic environment. So, are you doing the following?
- Wipe down machines after using them
- Carry disinfectant spray, so you can clean your hands or surfaces properly
- Any mess you make, even just spilling water, you need to clean up yourself
People tend to be less focused in a cluttered space, so don’t leave your personal items scattered across the room. Keep your towel, water bottle and other accessories close to you, and preferably in a bag and out the way so it doesn’t cause others to trip when passing by.
Check the Time
You may need that 30-minute run on the treadmill, but if the gym is busy, do consider cutting your routines short so everyone can have an opportunity to work out. When you take a bathroom break you are allowed to ‘book’ the machine by leaving a towel or other personal item on equipment. However, keep these breaks short—you can’t take 10 minutes just to get a drink of water!
Honour Your Bookings
Time is especially important when you commit to organised workout sessions. Whether it’s a class for Pilates Frankston locals will join in on, or an appointment with your personal trainer, always be on time—or even early!
When you’re late for group classes, your late arrival can disrupt the flow of the session, affecting others’ focus and workout results. Also, you’re limiting your own progress when you get there late and don’t get the full benefit of the session you were hoping for. If your trainer is understanding, he or she may extend the lesson to make up for your tardiness, but this means other bookings on their calendar will be impacted.
Make sure your actions benefit yourself and others in the gym!
Consider the Available Space
A gym has to accommodate multiple people, so you need to respect others if you want to help create an efficient, enjoyable workout environment for all. When stretching, using weights or doing other activities that require room for movement, pick a spot where you won’t bother others. Also, use as little space as possible instead of monopolising an entire section of the venue.
Keep Noise to a Minimum
Here we’re not just referring to loud noise. Even talking on your phone can be bothersome to someone who is trying to focus. If you enjoy listening to music while you work out, use headphones at all times, because others may not appreciate your playlist.
Of course, you’re allowed to talk inside a gym, but keep your voice down and be aware of other people’s preferences. If someone’s body language is telling you they don’t want to strike up a conversation, rather leave them be.
One reason to talk in a gym is to discuss exercise goals and activities. When you engage in such a conversation, always be supportive. Remember, many people head to the gym to work on their bodies because they feel self-conscious about their weight or build. They don’t need criticism inside the gym as well!
To avoid harming someone’s self-esteem even more, ONLY offer advice if someone asks you for it.
Respect Each Other’s Belongings
Your respect for others should also extend to their possessions, so don’t move anything that doesn’t belong to you. If members don’t follow gym etiquette themselves and leave something where it’s in your way, first ask them if you can move it.
Respect the Dress Code
Do enquire with your local gym if they have specific clothing rules. Some establishments accept sports bras only for women, while others prefer you wearing a shirt as well. For men, gym rules may stipulate that no one is allowed to show nipples.
The rule of thumb is to wear comfortable clothing but avoid anything that can be distracting to others.
You can see these guidelines aren’t about putting restrictions on gym users or making up random rules. When everybody uses proper etiquette in an exercise environment, everyone benefits! If you have any other tips for your fellow gym users, please share in the comments section so we can all achieve fitness goals and enjoy the process even more.