The gym is a facility that is used by many different people who have their reasons for being there working on their bodies. Whether it’s the guy who’s sweating it out on the treadmill or the middle-aged lady who’s giving weights a try, everyone has their own story to be there. People from all walks of life workout at the gym and it is out of sheer respect for the place and the people that one must follow basic etiquette. If you are a newbie at the gym or are not educated in its ways, below are some basic gym rules that you need to follow.

No need to be shy

Gym intimidation is faced by all of us. It’s okay not to know how a particular equipment works. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask the gym staff or the trainer for some help. Usually all the exercise machines come with their own set of instructions which are easy to follow. It’s okay to fumble, everyone is so busy with their own workouts that they won’t bother with yours.

Don’t be that guy

We have all encountered that one guy who hogs all the equipment, leaves puddles of sweat on every machine he uses, and is on the phone for hours! Hopefully you are not one of them (and even if you are) then you need this gym education. Carry your own towel to wipe the sweat and if you want to be on the phone, then please do so outside the confines of the workout area. Don’t interrupt people when they are working out, respect their space.

No place to mime

This is not an acting class. You are here to workout and if you are serious about it then don’t copy the exercise someone else is doing blindly, because your body has a different set of requirements to theirs. Read up on fitness training and expert advice when it comes to tough exercises. The gym instructors and trainers will be more than happy to oblige and help you with your difficulties.

Carry a towel to wipe sweat off the equipment and weights after you are done using them.

Time Management

Stick to one set of timings for when you hit the gym. Many gyms have a 30-minute cardio policy during peak hours. If you plan on hitting the gym during these hours then respect the time limit and don’t go over. If you are looking at a long session then plan it accordingly with enough amount of cardio, stretching, and weights. Just because you are in a rush, it’s simply ill-mannered to hurry someone else with their workouts. Wait until he or she takes a break between sets and be prepared to wait or substitute with another machine.

Locker room talk

Keep in mind that these are public lockers and showers. Don’t spread out your personal supplies all over the place. If you are assigned one locker, please stick to that one alone and remove all your belongings before you leave the facility. If you do intend on taking a shower, don’t linger for too long because more than often there will be others waiting for you to finish.

Return weights and equipment

The most important one of the lot, always return weights and other equipment to the proper storage area! If you use something it is basic etiquette to put it back in place. If you are leaving trails of sweat on the equipment, please wipe them because someone else will be using that after you. Would you like to lift something that is covered in another person’s bodily fluids? Many gyms provide the users with paper towels, otherwise it is always best to carry your own.

Follow these and you will make the gym a happier place for others and yourself. These will also instill a sense of discipline and purpose in you, which will help you with your workouts in the long run. Till then, watch this video by mobiefit’s Fitness icon Meghna Kunwar on how annoying people are when they don’t follow gym etiquette:

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