Do Not Be a Gym Jerk - Weight Room Etiquette

Kaleena Lawless

Personal Training Specialist

If you do not have equipment at home, and go to a gym instead, you may have noticed that gym goers can be pretty rude at times! Try to be the better person, and make the gym a friendlier place by following three simple rules of weight room etiquette:

Harbor Steps Fitness Room

Three Rules for Weight Room Etiquette

1. Do not be a Cardio Hog!

Imagine rushing from work to the gym, and all you want to do is grab a 30 minute bout of exercise on the treadmill, only to find that the machines are already in use. Okay, you think, I can wait. You patiently sit by waiting for your turn and then 30 minutes goes by, then 40, and the same people are still using the equipment, despite seeing you sitting there waiting for them! It is frustrating when this happens, and for that reason, it is polite to only use cardiovascular equipment for 20 to 30 minutes if people are waiting.

2. Do not be a Weight Hog!

Same as above, I see this all of the time. A weight lifter has his own little circuit going on. He will rotate between the cable machine, bench press and free weights, resting in between sets. You go to use the cable machine and he says, "Hey, I'm using that!" So instead, you go for a bench press and he says, "I still have one more set on that one." Okay, buddy, now you're getting on my nerves!

Look, if you want to use equipment exactly when and how you want to, then consider buying a bench and cable machine for at home. To use a busy gym and take all of the equipment hostage until you are done your own workout, is pretty rude!

3. Wipe Equipment

It only takes thirty seconds and it makes a huge difference to the quality of the gym. Nobody wants to lie down in someones head sweat, or on a mat covered with back sweat. Ew! Keep the gym sanitary and fresh by using the cleaning solution provided and either a towel, or a paper towel.

Everybody needs to work together to make the gym a friendly and enjoyable experience. Without every member's cooperation, the fitness facility and experience as a whole, truly suffers.

Be Courteous!

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  • Wice says
    Sounds like good, sensible advice for gym goers - not me I'm afraid. I like to exercise privately and go for long walks. There is a certain courtesy involved in doing this too such as keeping left, moving over if you hear a runner behind you, etc. I always think it's lovely how we in NZ almost always greet fellow walkers as they trundle past - might be "Hi", "Lovely Day" or just a smile - but it adds to the quality of the exercise!
  • KH says
    I'm not a gym goer either. I do also like that we great one another as while out walking though. Even a shared smile is nice!
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    • Zoe says
      OMG I can not agree more with all three rules, especially the wipe the equipment rule.
    • Anna says
      yer they are all great rules... luckily everyone at my gym seems to follow most of these rules.... the girls gym area at les mills is great coz all the woman tend to be pretty friendly!!
    • New Member says
      i belong to a gym in papamoa that is run as a club therefore members of the public cannot just wander in they must be members. and without exception we are all so proud of our club
      one of the rules is a max of 20 min on and cardio equipment if someonne is waiting to use it
      there is also a cardio circuit where 20 machines are in a circle and a buzzer and light go on overhead every 1 minute and you have to change to the next machine this works well when the gym is busy
    • Wice says
      I wish they had rules like this in takeaway kitchens. A number of times I've seen guys sweating from their brows onto the hot plate - SIZZLE!! - and then cooking food. It's totally disgusting!
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