Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


Gym Etiquette
March 6, 2009, 12:13 PM
Filed under: Fitness, Workout tips | Tags: , , , ,

Sure there are signs posted around the gym asking to “please re-rack weights” and “limit cardio to 30 minutes during peak hours” but every gym-goer knows that there are so many more “unspoken” gym laws. And if you don’t, consider this your formal education.

1. Bring a towel – and USE it. Wipe down the machine after use, even if you’re one of those miraculous human beings who just doesn’t sweat.

2. Do not leave a towel on a machine (cardio or circuit training) or weight bench, walk away for the next 10 minutes and consider your spot saved. We’re all busy people so don’t reserve machines for future use; use it now or lose it.

3. Smell good but don’t overcompensate. Just shower and be conscious in your choice and amount of perfume/cologne. You’re at the gym, I endorse getting sweaty but don’t be smelly. I’ve literally had to give up the precious cardio machine I was on (there was a line of people waiting) because of the body odor of the person next to me. Imagine being suffocated by aromatherapy overload gone horribly horribly wrong.

4. Re-rack your weights. Seriously, listen to management and do it. There is nothing I hate more than going to use a free weight machine to find the person who used it before me left over 75 lbs on each side. Some of those machines have weights being loaded at a difficult angle for someone of my petite height to lift over and off. I’ve hit myself in the clavicle with weights far too many times because of it.

5. I’m all about sharing machines, especially during busy hours, but all I ask is for people to be practical about sharing. If I’m using a machine at 45 lbs and you are not only twice as tall as me (need to readjust the seat height) and will be using three times the weight I am can’t you please wait the five minutes until I’m done? I’ll still share, but I’ll be mildly frustrated.

6. Personally, I don’t mind it when people talk on their cell phones at the gym – particularly on the cardio machines, but I realize that a lot of people find this noise extremely annoying so I recommend against it. Plus, if you’re able to carry on a full conversation you’re probably not working hard enough. But my gripe is when friends are unable to find cardio machines next to one another and happen to end split up on each of my sides and continue to carry on their conversation with me in the middle. That is loud, annoying and rude. Save it for later or wait for machines next to each other to open.

7. Especially during busy hours, mat space is a precious commodity. Do ab work and stretch all you want, but don’t use an entire corner to just sit there and carry on a conversation with friends, please.

8. Wear appropriate clothing. This is not a fashion show nor the beach. Baggy, short shorts aren’t the best for yoga classes and a sports bra and hot shorts probably aren’t the most practical gym apparel.

To me, the gym is my second home and I am respectful to both it and its visitors so please, just do the same!

Have you had horrible gym experiences? Or a few more rules you’d like to add to list? Please share below!

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4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Really interesting blog thanks.

Comment by Tom

AMEN on those unspoken rules. That should be nationally published or an oath you have to take.

Comment by john

Great blog- sometimes its good to sit back and look at various options-
A- to keep my interest and
B- to wach my dollars !

Comment by Lynne

i completly agree. i have actually had to get off my machine because od body odor. i have also not been able to use certain machines because the weights are above my head and i can’t safetly remove them so i can put my desired weight on it. and i also have walked up to a machine will balls of sweat on it – that was digusting. These are really good gym etiqutte rules that need to be followed for safety and curtosy.

Comment by Stacy




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