Gym etiquette for beginners

guy with muscles in gym
Gym etiquette for beginners

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o you are a gym member. Congratulations! All you need to do now is turn up, work out, watch what you eat and in a few months time you will have the body of a Greek God (or a Goddess if you are one of our precious female readers). Before you get too carried away, you need to take a few moments and familiarise yourself with your gym’s rules.

[pull_quote_center]Yes, gyms do have rules and as a member you need to follow them. This gym etiquette for beginners should also help you get off to a good start.[/pull_quote_center]

The way you use the gym equipment and the way you carry yourself affect not just you but your fellow gym members too. It is important to do both of these things right regardless of your gym status – a complete beginner or an expert who’s just joined this particular gym.

[quote_center]Using the gym equipment[/quote_center]

Even if you are going for a quick workout, you are going to use some of the equipment in the gym. Don’t just assume that because you are a paying member, you can do whatever you like. If you see any notices regarding the equipment you are about to use, read them and follow the instructions. Don’t ignore them.

There are a few unwritten rules you need to follow too:


If you live on your own, then you may be forgiven for not washing up your protein shaker after use but nobody at the gym will thank you for leaving your sweat all over the equipment. Bring a towel and use it to wipe the machines after you use them and lay the towel on that bench press (and other seats) before you start your sets.

[quote_box_center]If you “forget” to bring your own towel, then use the cleaning supplies in the gym to wipe the equipment after you use it.[/quote_box_center]


You are not likely to tidy up after the other gym members and you shouldn’t expect anyone else to have to tidy up after you. If you use dumbbells and/or any other equipment that you picked up from a rack, then put it back where it belongs when you finish with it.

[quote_box_center]As well as making you unpopular with the other members, leaving dumbbells and other equipment on the gym floor is a tripping hazard.[/quote_box_center]


Like it or not, you have to share the equipment in your gym. Don’t put your towel on the bench and walk away.

[quote_box_center]If you are not using the equipment or having a long break between sets, then give somebody else the chance to use it.[/quote_box_center]


Very occasionally there’s a guy in the gym who is constantly rushing others, asking them if they are finished because he needs to use this very machine at this very second. Don’t be that guy. It’s really annoying.

[quote_box_center]Go and use a different machine or politely wait for your turn. It really isn’t that big a deal.[/quote_box_center]


It’s very likely that your gym will have a 30-minute limit on the cardio equipment during peak times. That rule is not there to ruin your workout, it’s there to give you a chance to use the cardio equipment when you need it.

[quote_box_center]If cardio is big part of your routine or you have dedicated cardio days, then avoid the gym rush hours.[/quote_box_center]

[quote_center]Your manners matter[/quote_center]

Your personal conduct and (bad) manners are likely to affect your fellow gym members. Here are a few tips to help you avoid any awkward/embarrassing situations:


If you can’t (or don’t want to) leave your mobile phone in your locker, then at least have the decency to turn it off or put it on silent. By all means, listen to your music and keep track of your exercises on it but don’t answer every phone call telling the caller that you are in the gym.

[quote_box_center]If it’s really important, then step outside and have a normal conversation with the person who is calling you.[/quote_box_center]


If you are like me and fill your water bottle from the gym’s water dispenser, then make sure you are not causing a queue. If there’s somebody waiting to have just a cup of water, then step aside and let them go.

[quote_box_center]Similarly, if you are having a drink, don’t occupy the water dispenser preventing anyone else from having a drink.[/quote_box_center]


Of course you need to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and feel comfortable during your workout. Just make sure your gym clothes are clean and not too revealing. Nobody wants to look at your sweaty bare chest.

[quote_box_center]Have a pair of dedicated workout trainers. Don’t workout in trainers (or whatever footwear you prefer) which you use outside of the gym.[/quote_box_center]


Even though you are expected to sweat during your workout, nobody wants to smell your body odours. Have a deodorant or an anti-perspirant of your choice and use it.

Well done for making it thus far. All of the information in this article is meant to answer any queries you may have about the dos and don’ts in the gym.

The important thing is to use your common sense and good manners. Going to the gym should be a pleasurable experience and getting on well with the other members is part of that experience.

[quote_box_center]If you have any tips or anything else you like to add to the gym etiquette for beginners, then please leave a comment below.[/quote_box_center]

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