Fitness Etiquette: The Top 10 Gym Pet Peeves

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Gym Pet Peeves. We ALL have them.. Those pesky things that people do in the gym having you wonder whether or not they live in a zoo or barn. Let’s dive into my personal top 10 that drive me absolutely batty! These are the rules that should be posted in EVERY gym, and given by hand to every new member!



Re-rack your Weights.

It’s pretty sad that this still needs to be said repeatedly. There are tons of signs in all gyms I’ve ever been in that state this rule pretty clearly. Yet, everytime I go to the gym, any gym at all, there are plates and weights sitting around. The most laughable scenarios are when the plates are literally lying down NEXT to the bar that they are supposed to be racked on. As if the person got SO close to it and then decided, “Nah, I’ll just put it on the floor. That’s a better place for it. ” Come on people. Just put them back where they belong.



Wipe Down Equipment – Don’t forget mats and benches and handles.

I don’t care if you’re on a machine for 5 minutes or 50 minutes – wipe it down. I know, you might think spraying a little antibacterial spray on a machine kills 2 germs but it’s better than nothing. No one wants to sit on a machine or put their hands on the handles and touch a sweaty mess. Gross. Take a towel around with you and take the 10 seconds to clean it off. Your fellow trainers will thank you.



Take Cell Phone conversations out of the weight room.

There’s nothing more distracting than hearing someone have a conversation on their phone while you’re trying to lift something heavy off the ground. No one is saying the gym has to be a library, but do be courteous of the people around you and just walk somewhere less busy and deserted. Better yet, just turn off your phone. You should be working out your body, not your mouth.



Walk behind someone to get to the weight rack, not directly in front of them. 

This is a safety issue moreso than an annoyance. You have to be mindful of the people around you. If you all of a sudden come up and walk in front of them while they are lifting, you could cause them to be distracted and possibly drop a weight on your foot. So when it’s time for you to grab your DB’s, wait until they are done with their set and walk behind them to approach the weight rack.



Step away from the weight rack 

Going along with the tip above, once you have your weights, take a few steps back. If you’re doing a standing exercise, this is especially important. Don’t stand directly in front of the weight rack so everyone is blocked from grabbing what they need.



Don’t start a conversation with someone while they are in the middle of a lift.

This is also a safety issue. It sounds like it would be a no-brainer but I’ve seen it all at the gyms I’ve been to. If you are trying to ask if someone is going to be done soon or “How many sets do you have left?”, please wait until they are done with their set.



Don’t jump on a machine or a bench without making sure the person before it is completely done.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if someone is done with a machine if they just get up and walk away from it. If they haven’t gone to clean it off, and have left their weights on it, it’s safe to say they are still using it. OR they don’t know gym etiquette and have left their mess for you. Either way, make sure you show them the same respect and courtesy and at least ask before you start your workout.



Turn down for what!

No reason to blast your music so loud that everyone can hear your music THROUGH your earbuds. Save your hearing and turn it down a notch.



Don’t hunt and gather.

There’s always that one person (usually a dude, sorry guys) who hunts and gathers and takes ALL the dumbbells or ALL the kettlebells or ALL the resistance bands because they are doing a circuit or some sort of crazy workout. Don’t be that guy, or gal. I think two sets of dumbbells is fine if you need to do a circuit of something. If you belong to a bigger gym, maybe you can get away with more, but the point is to be courteous to everyone and attempt to share the weights. 


Don’t live on a machine.

What I mean by this is don’t spend 15 minutes on one machine. I saw this recently with the assisted pull-up machine at my gym. We only have one there and a gentleman was on it (and not using it) and looking at his phone. I had performed 3 lifts and he was STILL on it. It had to be a good 15-20 minutes. He would do some dips, stop, be on his phone scrolling through Facebook probably, then he would do some pull ups and repeat the cycle over again. It’s just rude and ridiculous at this point. If you want to take long breaks in between lifts, I get it but more than 2 minutes in between is probably pointless. So when you get on a machine, do your sets and get off. Don’t linger. Others want in!      



What are your MOST annoying pet peeves, and what rules would you add to the list?  Post in the comments below.




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