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Things You Should Not Do at the Gym

Proper gym etiquette is both a courtesy towards other members and it also keeps the gym looking clean and safe. Here are a few things that I have noticed that people do at the gym and that you should consider not doing while working out.

People who come to the gym with a bad cold or flu, especially in the early to mid-stages of the illness. You hear it in the news that you should stay home if you are sick so as not to get others sick, well the same is true at the gym. The problem is that since this is an enclosed public space where everybody is touching fitness equipment, other people run the risk of getting ill. Not fair to them. Best thing is to take a few days to a week to recover. The rest will do you good and you will feel rejuvenated and ready to exercise when you do return. A few days or a week will not be the end of the world. Your body retains muscle memory. Also, just think of your body as if it were a car or a machine. If it is broken, it will not operate or operate at its peak performance.

People who sit on a machine and at machines and just text or use their cellphone especially for long periods of times The problem with this is that it ties up the use of the machine. You should not be texting while using an exercise machine or at a work station. Gym equipment is a limited resource, especially at peak times. If you are not using your phone to listen to music, leave it in the locker and just focus on your exercise workout. Look at the time you exercise as time solely devoted to “Your Time.” Smartphones have also now become a new addiction and you hear about this all the time in the news.

People who take free weights from the weight rack or barbells from the barbell rack to another part of the gym and leave them there. If you were able to take them there, then you should be able to bring them back. Sometimes I have to search the entire gym for a specific weight which can often be time consuming and ties up a bench.



Working out in front of dumbbell racks so that it is difficult for people to get weights or return them. It is always best to leave adequate room in front of all dumbbell racks.

People who sit or put their stuff, gear on a workout bench while not using it or using another bench. Tying up a bench prevents other people from using it and there are people who may want to use it but are a little shy or afraid to ask.

Sweating and cleaning benches. Well let’s face it everyone sweats, but some people sweat more than others. If you do sweat clean the bench with disinfectant sprays that gyms provide or use a towel.

People in the change room who bring their hockey-style gym bags and occupy a lot of space on a bench that normally would be enough for 2 people. Remember, the space in most change rooms is limited and there are other people around you who need to sit and use those benches.

Walking on mats with dirty running shoes or footwear and getting them dirty or soiled. These mats are for any exercises lying down and not standing up, the floor is for that.

Try to remove plates that you place on machines or at least the very heavy ones. Leaving say four to nine 45lb plates on each side say on a leg press machine is a lot of work for someone to remove.

I have thought up of 9 gym etiquette mistakes. There are probably many more no-no’s that I haven’t thought about or mentioned and that could easily be included in this article. A friend of mine once mentioned that at one time gyms would take away your membership for rule infractions. Nowadays, it does not happen since maintaining and increasing gym memberships is very important for the viability of the gym and in providing its services and keeping up-to-date with classes provided and exercise equipment.



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