Gym etiquette - what you need to know

 Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

There is nothing more annoying than the beef head who constantly grunts then drops ridiculously heavy weights on the floor after another gruelling set. Worse is the person who perpetually “checks in” to the gym. We get it – you’re working out.

These aren’t the only faux pars one can make in the gym however. Below is a guide to the dos and don’ts while in the gym, so listen up!

Mobile phone usage

Believe it or not, the gym is a place to exercise, by which I mean sweat, lift and stretch. It is not a time to make calls, check Facebook, Instagram or text endlessly.

While most gyms have a no cell phone policy when on the floor, most people blatantly disregard this. Don’t be one of those people. Practice courtesy by turning your phone on silent while you work out, and if you must take that call, do so in the phone friendly zone, or better yet, outside. 

Machine hogs

Gyms at peak hour can be a nightmare. Lining up to get on a treadmill kind of defeats the purpose of exercising – only making it harder to get your workout in. Ditto to those people who hang their gym towels on the weight machines, or take ages “resting” in between sets.

The solution? Approach the person and nicely ask if they are done, or if it is alright if you fit in your sets while they take some time out. This approach generally works, as most people don’t even realise there are other people waiting around for them to finish. If not, try to remain courteous and just move on to something else.

 Unwanted advice

Ever come across the gym rats who seem to offer their advice at every turn? The ones who sit and watch you perform every rep and set, waiting for you to slip up?

There are two approaches to this one. Depending on who is offering the advice, some of this information could be useful, particularly if you are actually performing a certain exercise incorrectly. If, for example, one of the gym’s personal trainers offers to help correct your technique, take this on board and change your method ASAP. If, however, the advice is coming from the aforementioned gym rat, a simple but direct reply will suffice. Let them know that you are fine and you can handle it on your own. Alternatively, thank them for the advice but mention you are on a tight schedule and have to get through your workout quickly and therefore don’t have time to stop and chat. If they persist, move to another side of the gym. They should get the picture.

The gym as a pick up joint

This is a classic one and unfortunately happens more often than it should. As women increasingly move into resistance training, a traditionally male-dominated area of the gym, there can be leering and gawking going on, as well and unwanted comments. In this situation, the best way to handle any idiots is to flat out ignore them. If the problem continues, and/or escalates, report the offending people to gym management.

The gym should be a pleasurable experience for everyone, so make sure you follow the etiquette rules and be courteous.