gym-etiquetteToday, I’m going to talk a bit about gym etiquette. I was in the gym earlier and I saw this one guy that pretty much did a lot of the things I’m about to list, and this is what got me to writing this article.  I don’t know about you guys and what ground rules your gym lays down (depending on your location), but I’m sure it’s universal to be courteous of others, put away your stuff, and clean up after yourself. Here are 10 of the most common things that many people tend to do that make them look like complete idiots in the gym.

1) Not putting away your weights

NOBODY ever likes to clean up after someone else’s mess. If you use equipment, make sure to properly put back the plates and dumbbells where they belong. There has been countless times where I’ve seen guys leave the weights on the bench press bar, laying around on the floor, or even in the wrong place after they were finished their exercise. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen a weight that was not in its right place (50lbs dumbbells sitting in a 20lbs spot on the dumbbell rack) I’d probably have a good 50 dollars or so.

2) Acting like a big shot

There’s always one guy in the gym who thinks he’s stronger than the majority of the people there. He walks around with his not-so-impressive arms flexed and non-existent lats flaring. This is also the guy that lifts weights that are way too heavy for him to handle, and thinks that he is impressing people by using improper form. But then again, it’s all about how much weight you can move right? Form doesn’t matter at all. Sense my sarcasm?

3) Being Loud in the gym 

I understand that when you’re lifting heavy weights, you kind of need to make some sort of grunting noise on the last few reps to generate some power. But there is a difference between making little grunting noises, and going all out and screaming like you’re about to go into battle. Not only does this draw un-needed attention, but the girl that you’re trying to impress is going to think you’re a complete d-bag when she sees that you’re only shoulder pressing 20 lbs dumbbells and making all kinds of noises.

4) Dropping dumbbells

Depending on what rules your gym has, some places allow you to drop dumbbells. The keyword here is drop, not throw. I know what it’s like to dumbbell press 100 lbs dumbbells, and honestly, who has the energy to put them down carefully after a grueling set? They key is letting them down with control. Some guys act like once they’re done their set, the weights need to get as far away from them as possible, and so they throw the damn things. I’ve seen a dumbbell bounce and roll out of control and almost crush someone’s foot, so you gotta be careful of other people around you.

5) Super setting exercises

“Yo bro, I’m using this for a few more sets” – while he’s sitting half way across the gym on another piece of equipment. I hate these people, taking up 3+ pieces of equipment at a time because they need to super-set their exercises. You’re not the only one in the gym, and the world does not revolve around your own workout. Be courteous of others around you, and don’t be a complete jerk about it if someone sits down on something that you plan to use.

6) Wipe down the equipment once you’re done

Some gyms may provide sanitary wipes, or spray bottles and cloths so that you can wipe down the equipment after use. This is a hygienic thing; nobody wants to sit/lay down on a bench that’s covered in your sweat. If you didn’t bring your own towel to cover a bench, wipe that sh*t down after use.

7) Giving out bad advice

Don’t be the guy that’s constantly telling people how to do things, or what they should be doing if they aren’t asking for your opinion. If they want a personal trainer, they’d hire one. On the other hand, if someone is doing something that’s dangerous and can lead to injury, you need to speak up, especially if you have experience with it.

8) Picking up women

People go to the gym to work out, not to find a potential dating candidate. Don’t be the guy that’s going to the gym just to try to get a girl’s phone number. Staring at her and constantly being around her trying to teach her exercises is just sad and probably annoying for her.

9) Don’t make excuses

I’ve seen this happen before: a guy that was bench pressing 180 pounds did it for 4 reps. He noticed me looking in his general direction and out of the blue said: “You know, I used to be able to bench 320 for 4 reps.” Good for you, buddy, do you want a cookie? The truth is that nobody really cares about what anybody does or lifts in the gym. And if you do, you’re a jerk.

10) Resting and crowding equipment

This last one isn’t so bad, and I’m guilty of doing it sometimes (when the gym isn’t busy during peak hours). Far too many times, I’ve seen hordes of guys crowd around another that is actually lifting. Sort of.  He does one set and rests for what seems like eternity  and that’s fine with me, but he’s concentrated on his phone or chatting up his buddies. Time your rest period, finish your sets, and get off the bench.

So these are the 10 most common gym etiquette mistakes that I see around the gym. I don’t want to be a complete jerk about this and pointing it out like I’m the gym police or something, but be courteous of people around you. Be mindful of what you’re doing and how it may affect others, you’ll all be grateful for it in the end.


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John considers himself as a fitness enthusiast who loves to do anything to keep the body in peak physical performance (much like a highly tuned machine). He mainly focuses on sports nutrition and supplement research, but is also highly knowledgeable in relation to muscle growth and fat loss. He's helped numerous people over the years achieve the body that they've always wanted and hopes his information will guide you to the goals you want.

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