Gym Etiquette: Absolute Do’s & Dont’s for Exercise Enthusiasts

A woman using cell phone on treadmill


Walking into a gym for the first time can feel like entering the wilderness, where everyone but you seems to know the secret survival code. With machines that look like medieval torture devices and treadmills that never seem to end, it’s no wonder the gym can be intimidating.

But here’s a twist: most of the awkwardness you experience isn’t about not knowing how to use the equipment—it’s about breaking gym etiquette.

Here’s a funny guide to things that you should and should never do at the gym, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned fitness pro. From respecting the equipment to understanding personal conduct, we’ve got everything you need to navigate the gym like a pro.

Ready to keep your workout space safe and enjoyable for everyone? Let’s dive in!

Respect Equipment Usage

1. Don’t Be an Equipment Hog

Avoid being the gym version of a toddler hoarding all the toys. Sharing is caring, especially when the gym is packed. If you monopolize a machine for too long, people will start giving you the stink eye. Remember, hogging equipment is a gym felony—just ask anyone who’s had to wait! Take turns, keep your workouts concise, and let everyone have a go.

2. Put Weights Back Where They Belong

Treat weights like your ex’s stuff—put them back where you found them. It’s not just about keeping the gym tidy; it’s about not turning it into an obstacle course. Imagine tripping over a misplaced dumbbell and performing an unintended, painful split. Re-racking weights is a universally appreciated practice.

3. Clean Up After Yourself

Leaving a sweaty bench or scattered weights is like leaving a crime scene. Always wipe down equipment after use—think of it as your civic gym duty. Everyone values a clean and germ-free workout environment, so do your part to keep it tidy.

4. Don’t Drop Weights

Dropping weights like they’re hot potatoes is a quick way to annoy everyone within earshot. It’s loud, it’s jarring, and it’s dangerous. Your fellow gym-goers will thank you for gently placing weights down instead of letting them crash like cymbals in a marching band.

Personal Gym Etiquette Conduct

5. Limit Your Phone Usage

Scrolling through social media between sets? That’s a one-way ticket to distraction city. Keeping your focus on your workout pays off, so save the selfies for post-workout glory shots.

6. Dress Appropriately

Wearing the right attire is crucial. Think practical and comfortable, not fashion runway. Avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose—both can lead to wardrobe malfunctions that even the best gym buddies can’t unsee. And don’t forget proper footwear unless you’re aiming for a toe-crushing disaster.

7. Avoid Unsolicited Advice

Resist the urge to play personal trainer unless someone asks. Offering advice can disrupt someone’s focus and, worse, make them feel self-conscious. Everyone has their own workout groove—don’t mess with their rhythm unless they invite you to.

8. Don’t Sing Out Loud

We get it, you love your workout playlist. But belting out tunes while others are trying to focus is a no-go. Save the karaoke session for your shower at home. Nobody needs an unsolicited concert while they’re pumping iron.

Respect Others’ Space

9. Give People Space

Respect personal bubbles like you would in an elevator. Getting too close to someone mid-squat is just awkward. Keep a respectful distance to avoid creating uncomfortable and potentially hazardous situations. If you find someone encroaching on your space, a polite request for a bit of room usually does the trick.

10. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

Always be aware of those around you to avoid collisions or disruptions. Don’t block paths or hog too much space with your elaborate stretching routine. Stay alert to maintain a safe and harmonious workout environment.

11. Avoid Unnecessary Socializing

While it’s great to be friendly, avoid turning the gym into your personal chat room. Long-winded conversations can disrupt other people’s focus and extend your own workout unnecessarily. Keep the socializing to a minimum so everyone can stay on track.

Group Fitness Etiquette

12. Be On Time for Classes

Show up on time for group fitness classes to avoid being the annoying latecomer. Respecting the instructor and fellow participants ensures the class starts smoothly and everyone enjoys their workout.

13. Mind Your Volume and Disruptions

Keep conversations brief and at a low volume during peak hours. Loud chats can be distracting and disrupt the focused gym vibe. Save the gossip for after the workout, and let everyone maintain their concentration.

Sauna and Locker Room Conduct

14. Keep Personal Grooming Private

Save the grooming for home. The locker room isn’t the place for full-on beauty routines. Clipping nails, applying makeup, or other grooming activities can make others uncomfortable. Keep it quick and discreet to maintain a respectful environment.

15. Be Quick and Clean in Shared Spaces

Don’t linger in shared spaces like the locker room or sauna. Be prompt and tidy up after yourself to ensure everyone can use these areas comfortably. Respect the shared environment by keeping it clean and quick.

16. Don’t Hog the Mirror

The mirror isn’t just for you to admire your muscles. Others need it too. Finish your flexing session and move on so everyone gets a fair share of mirror time. Plus, constant mirror hogging can come off as a bit vain.


Mastering gym etiquette is essential for creating a harmonious workout environment. Respecting equipment, cleaning up after yourself, dressing appropriately, and respecting others’ space all contribute to a positive gym experience. Punctuality in group classes and mindfulness in shared spaces show consideration for fellow gym-goers. Implement these tips to enhance your gym experience and contribute to a welcoming workout culture.


  1. What are some things I should avoid doing at the gym?
    Avoid hogging equipment, leaving a mess, giving unsolicited advice, singing out loud, and unnecessary socializing.
  2. Can my behaviour affect others in the gym?
    Yes, your actions can impact other people’s experiences. Be mindful and considerate.
  3. How can I make sure I’m not making common mistakes in the gym?
    Be aware of common errors like improper equipment use or hygiene issues, and strive to avoid them.
  4. Are there any specific rules that gyms usually have?
    Each gym may have its own rules, but common ones include sharing equipment, re-racking weights, respecting personal space, and keeping personal grooming private.

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