people taking a selfie in the gym
Habits and Lifestyle

10 Gym Etiquette Everyone Should Follow

3 min read

In as much as exercising is an individual pursuit, when you attend a gym there are a number of social protocols that should be adhered to for the sake of fostering an environment that is welcoming for all.

Listed below are 10 etiquettes that’ll benefit everyone. Be an ally, not an enemy of progress.

A group of dumbbells left on the floor
Unracked dumbbells

1. Rerack Weights

We start the list with this because this is perhaps the biggest grievance gym staffers have. Don’t be lazy, and put that weight back where it came from.

2. Reset Machines

If you’re big, able-bodied, or young then this pertains to you: not everyone at the gym has your height, physique, strength, or, even, youth. So, it’s considerate to reset a machine to its default setting when you finish, because you don’t know who’ll come after.

Do the same for barbells; remove the plates and leave the bar weightless.

3. Wipe off Your Sweat

Please, please, please, do this without having to be asked to. Sweat is the body’s pee; it’s disgusting. Don’t inconvenience other people.

4. Don’t Hog Equipment

An annoying habit a lot of people have that they might not even realize they’re doing is hogging an equipment/weight or a group of them.

How this happens is you get a person (or group) who knows exactly what exercises they’ll be doing, in what exact order they’ll come, and the weight they’ll need for each one. Now, instead of tackling things one by one, this person groups everything that s/he requires and dominates the equipment for a straight 20 minutes. Don’t be that person. Especially if you belong to a gym with limited facilities for everyone.

5. Monitor Your Noise Level

Can the grunters please stand up?

Awesome, but let’s not just pick on those who exert themselves loudly. Noisy people come in a variety of forms. For example, alongside those who grunt, those of us who go to a gym with a crew are also problematic. Yeah, you might be motivating each other and have great banter going on among yourselves, but it can be very distracting and off-putting for those around you.

6. Minimize the Social Media

I’m guilty of this myself.

Social media distracts from your priorities; slowing you down and potentially getting in the way of other people, too.

Where I try to tamper the behavior, though, is that I browse my phone between rests.

7. Keep Your Items Out of the Way

I can’t say how many times I’ve been at a gym, minding my own space and equipment only for someone else to dump their belongings near me.

This is not only annoying, but disrespectful too.

8. Cleanliness

It doesn’t make sense that some people can stink when they’re entering a gym as opposed to when they’re leaving – yet, this happens. If this is you, to combat this problem spray on some deodorant over some anti-perspirant and keep the two on-hand if you suspect you’ll need them across the length of your workout. Problem solved.

9. Be Willing to Give Advice

This goes contrary to the typical advice, but it comes with a very specific condition. Usually you should leave people alone, but if you ever find someone doing a workout incorrectly that may bring harm upon them, it’s better to step in and help before they hurt themselves. If they don’t listen, well, at least you tried; when they inevitably do get injured, someone did try to help them.

10. Respect People’s Space and Time

If you meet a friend or strike a conversation with someone keep it short. Say “Hi” and keep it moving; don’t eat up their precious time or anyone else’s for that matter.


A writer, gamer, geek, and gym rat all packaged into one. I'm a certified personal trainer who writes about the things he loves and I enjoy sharing them with others all on MXFitness.