Going to the gym for the first time can be a bit of a scary experience for some. You are perhaps unsure of the proper etiquette and do not want to be labeled a gym jerk. However, today we take a look at some of the most important unspoken rules of the gym.
Every gym has their own particular set of rules which they prefer you to follow. Nevertheless, there are some unspoken rules that are important to pay attention to, no matter where you go. These are the ten most important rules to avoid being considered a jerk when you go to workout.
1. Do Not Smell Bad
Okay, so nobody expects to go to the gym and have it smell like roses and sunshine. However, it is certainly no fun to hit the weights, only to discover the person next to you is in desperate need of a shower. Please, if you are going to work out, be sure to shower, brush your teeth first. Additionally, using the same clothes more than once can be just as bad, especially if you are a heavy sweater.
Also, cologne/perfume/body spray do not work the same as a shower and some deodorant.
2. Do Not Stare
Despite what some people may think, ladies do not go to the gym to be leered at. In fact, one of the biggest reasons a lady may refuse to exercise, is due to a fear of being stared at. On the other hand, this also applies to men, or people who are early on their fitness journeys. Basically, being a creepy starer is off-putting, and strictly against the rules.
3. Do Not Leave Your Sweat
Everybody sweats, it is a part of the gym process. However, leaving your sweat behind is not supposed to be part of that process. Few things in this world are worse than grabbing a barbell, only to feel the sweat of the last schmo left behind. Not to mention, there is a massive amount of germs left behind in your sweat, and this is not something to pass on to others.
Virtually all facilities have some sort of disinfectant and towel system, so there is no excuse to be a slob.
4. Do Not Bring Your Sickness
Speaking of germs, another important rule to the gym is to not go if you are sick. Of course, maintaining a regular workout schedule is very important to get gains. However, hitting the treadmill when you are sick is not going to make you feel any better. Furthermore, all you will really accomplish is making those around you sick and miserable, too. Seriously, if you are sick, stay home.
5. Do Not Leave Your Equipment
The basic rule here is as follows: if you can lift it, you can put it back. Not only is this a safety hazard, but it’s just a generally rude thing to do. You would not go to your friend’s house, take out all of their dishes, then just leave them behind. Why would you do the equivalent at the gym?
Moreover, it is so easy to trip on weight, or at a bare minimum stub your toe. Nobody wants to stub their toe on a dumbbell.
6. Do Not Hog The Equipment
While we are on the topic of proper equipment etiquette, hogging the equipment is a big no-no too. Sure, you are doing chest day, and really need to do those bench presses. However, as they say, sharing is caring. Do a set or two, then move on to another activity. You would be unhappy going to the gym, only to find out that somebody is hogging what you are there for. Therefore it is quite rude to put others in that situation.
7. Do Not Curl In The Squat Rack
Doing massive squats is genuinely one of the most dangerous activities in the gym. This is why most gyms set aside a specific area, just for athletes to do their squats. The only problem with that is the fact that some people feel this spot is perfect for other things. There are mirrors in front of the squat rack, but they are for the squatters. If you want to curl, or shrug, or anything other than squats, find somewhere else to do it.
8. Do Not “Help” People
Everybody knows this guy. Nobody likes this guy. Do not be this guy.
Even though you may have been training in gyms for decades, and have tons of knowledge, if you are not specifically asked for help, do not offer it. Sure, your heart may be in the right place, and you might just want to help. Nevertheless, you will always come across as a jerk, butting into someone’s business unwelcome. Despite their improper form, and your “excellent” advice, if they wanted help, they would ask for it. Moreover, if someone has headphones in, do not disturb them. Although that rule applies to more than just the gym.
9. Do Not Look For Attention
We get it bro, you can deadlift some decent weight. Nevertheless, there is no excuse for being obnoxious about it in the gym. Screaming or slamming your weights are not going to help you get better gains. The only thing that is accomplished is you making yourself seem like a tool.
Obviously there are a few exceptions to this rule, like when you are trying to hit a one-rep max. Though generally speaking, there is no excuse for attention-seeking loud noises.
10. Do Not Be Loud On The Phone
Sometimes people get phone calls when they are in the gym. These things are unavoidable at times. However, there is never a reason to be screaming at your mom, or shouting about your weekend with the bros. You appear pretentious, or just simply ridiculous when you do things like this.
If you need to take a call, be respectful to those around you. Some people consider the weight room their place of worship. If you would not talk on the phone like that at church, do not do it at the gym either.
As previously stated, there are different specific rules at each gym. These are just a guideline to show respect to your surroundings, and the people in it. The important thing is to take in consideration your environment. Do not stick out among your peers, and you should not have any problems.
In summation, the big theme is the same that you should always follow. If the thing you are doing would make you upset, do not do it. Whether in the gym or on the streets, you should just try not to be a jerk.