Almost all gym etiquette comes down to being respectful and being aware that the gym is a facility used by many different people. Below are listed some basic gym rules which individuals with a new gym membership should know.
Wipe Down the Machines
A good workout usually comes with a good amount of sweat. When a gym member is done using a machine, that person is expected to wipe away any sweat that is on the seat. Bringing a workout towel makes this a quick and easy process. A good tip is to lay the towel across the bench or seat before sitting down so that there is a barrier between the seat and your body.
Put Back Weights That You Use
All gym goers are free to use the resistance bands, yoga mats, medicine balls, etc. that are provided by the gym. When done using the equipment, you should put it back in its rightful place. Putting workout equipment back in the appropriate place ensures that the next gym member will not need to spend time looking around for the equipment that he or she needs.
Share the Machines
During peak hours at the gym there may be more people than machines. This can be true of cardio machines and weight machines. Some gyms have cardio machine time limits during these peak hours. Individuals should be aware of these limits and follow them when they are in effect. Most gyms do not have a specific time limit for weight machines. However, a general rule is that if you are resting more than about 15 seconds between sets you should get off of the machine to allow other people to use it. Short rest times are not only courteous, but good for your workout as well. Shorter rest breaks between sets have been shown to increase your caloric burn.
Unload the Weight Bar
If you adds weights to a bar or machine, you are expected to remove the weights when you are finished with the equipment. Leaving 200 lbs of weight on a bench press bar means that the next gym member needs to spend time removing the weight before beginning his or her workout. Even if you are only using a small amount of weight, it is still considered best practice to clear the bar of all weights before moving on to your next machine or exercise.
Be Mindful of Safety and Surroundings
There is a lot of big and heavy equipment at the gym, and there are a lot of individuals using the same finite space. This can lead to serious injury if individuals do not follow safety procedures and are not mindful of the space and people around them. Try to put as little as possible on the ground. This includes personal items like a gym bag. Gym bags should be kept in a locker, not brought onto the gym floor. It is a good idea to take a look around yourself to make sure no one else is in the way before starting a new exercise. Also, you should try to avoid blocking other people from accessing gym equipment. For example, lifting weights directly in front of the dumbbell rack may make getting to the dumbbells difficult for other people.
Stay Off the Phone
Refraining from talking or texting on the phone while at the gym benefits everyone. When individuals are on the phone, they cannot focus their whole attention on their workout. Most individuals have relatively busy lives and would prefer to make the most out of their time at the gym. For other gym goers, as well, it can be distracting and annoying to be forced hear one side of a lengthy conversation. Possibly even worse is texting while sitting at a weight machine during peak gym hours. When other individuals are waiting in line for machines, it can be frustrating to see someone else holding up a machine while not actually using it.