Gym etiquette has always been important, but will be more important than ever as gyms open back up.  Having terrible gym etiquette is a surefire way to upset others and destroy your reputation among your fellow exercisers.

Why should you care about your etiquette in the gym?  Well, there’s nothing wrong with being a kind and considerate human being at the gym.  In fact, I’m positive that many of my friendships (that have started in the gym) are a result of being a thoughtful meat head.

Some of these tips are classics.. Keep them in mind throughout your lifetime – not just immediately post-quarantine (however long we consider that period).  You’ll impress others with your respect for those around you and the facility that you call a second home.

Enthusiastically Adhere to the Rules

Admittedly, rules aren’t always my favorite, but they absolutely serve a purpose.  Keep in mind that your gym is owned by a corporation, a family, a sole proprietor, or a group of partners who are taking on the responsibility of keeping their clientele healthy and happy.  This will require rules – it did before COVID-19 and it will afterward as well.

As somewhat of a contrarian myself, I understand not liking additional rules/regulations.  I’m not asking you to abide by anything unreasonable, but if your gym has certain safety precautions in place, you have the ability to either agree to those terms or not go to that gym.  It’s that simple.  

Don’t like wearing a mask?  I don’t necessarily enjoy it either, but if your gym sets that rule (or the state does), you need to follow it in order to use the facility.  You may have to make certain sacrifices.  Gyms may be limited to a capacity that could cut the size of groups and classes.  Understand the rules and either follow them and be grateful that you can go to the gym, or find somewhere else to work out.

Now that I’ve said my peace, let’s get into some etiquette tips!

If You’re Sick, Stay Home

This one shouldn’t take much elaboration.  Again, this is a rule that you should abide by regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Nobody thinks you’re cool when you come to the gym to grind through a workout while sick.  If you’re coughing/sneezing, nobody wants to be around you or use the equipment you’re using.  Be conscious of others and respect your gym as an environment to focus on HEALTH.  This includes making the effort to quarantine yourself if you are ill.  If you’re sick and it can be passed to others, STAY HOME.

Clean Your Equipment Before/After Use

This one isn’t rocket science either, but most gyms offer the ability to disinfect your equipment.  A quick wipe-down of the barbell before and after use takes seconds.  While you hope the person who used the equipment before you did the same, don’t expect that.  Simply make sure that you are protecting yourself and your fellow gym members by cleaning your equipment regularly.

Normal Stuff

Here are some etiquette tips that shouldn’t come as a surprise:

Say ‘Hello,’ to others when you are in the gym.  Strike up a conversation with a stranger.  Wave to the gym owner and ask how things are going when you see them.  We’ve all been quarantined for a while.. A little human interaction is good for you.  I know you may not go to the gym to make friends, but put your ego aside and be a friendly human being from time to time.  Use your best judgement and don’t force people to talk with you, but ‘being nice’ is some good advice when it comes to proper gym etiquette.

Ask people before you ever touch equipment that they are using.  Don’t assume that you can ‘warm up’ with someone else’s weights just because they are resting.  Try to see if anyone in close proximity is using the machine before you hop in and get a quick set.  Be mindful of those around you and do your best to respect others’ boundaries. 

Be cognizant of where you are in the gym relative to others.  Observe what those around you are doing.  Are you in someone’s way?  Will you be in their way in the next 10 seconds if they are lunging, running, pushing a sled, etc.?  Awareness is key to having great gym etiquette.

If you can, avoid looking at your phone in between sets to pass the time.  The gym is not the place to be on your phone, unless you have a good reason – Especially if someone is waiting on you to use the same equipement.  

If these ideas seem like no-brainers to you… GOOD!  You probably have fantastic gym etiquette already.

Closing Thoughts

In summary, don’t be a gym fool.  I was inspired to write this article because I feel that gym etiquette isn’t often discussed.  We want our Milo Family to respect the sanctity of the gym and the people around us.  Gym etiquette has and will always be important.

We want to know.. What are the things people do in the gym that drive you crazy?  Have you seen any poor gym etiquette that you care to share?  We want to hear your stories!

Be well, respect the gym, and stay moving!

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