Weighing In: Gym Etiquette

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Hankins.WeighingIn01Exercise is my “me” time. It’s one of the few moments during my day when I’m not busy doing homework or stressing over a test. I can enjoy myself and sweat the day’s problems away. But, how am I supposed to enjoy myself when the line for the gym is too long, two girls are gossiping on the ab mats instead of working out and some sweaty guy forgets to wipe down his bench? While there are no official “gym etiquette” rules, some are just plain common sense.

Unofficial Gym Etiquette Rule #1

The gym is NOT the place to stand around and catch-up on the latest episode of “The Bachelor” or to be texting your friends. If you’re using the free weight area to simply gossip with your girlfriends or post a picture of your workout on Instagram, you might want to reconsider your workout. Trust me, there’s nothing more annoying than having to wait for a bench because you’re mid conversation or too busy texting.

Unofficial Gym Etiquette Rule #2

If you see a line of people waiting to use the treadmills, it means you should probably wait at the end of that line. Yes, we all hate having to wait to work out, but jumping in front of 30 people and snatching that machine isn’t going to make you many friends. Give your name to the attendant and do some wall sits and lunges while you wait. There’s nothing like making the most of your time!

This also goes for the people who sneak in and steal someone’s bench in between sets. Just because somebody walked away for 30 seconds doesn’t mean they’re done using the machine. If you’re not sure, go ahead and ask. You’d much rather be safe than sorry– especially if the guy you’re taking it from looks like the Hulk.

Unofficial Gym Etiquette Rule #3

Along with burning stress, people go to the gym to burn calories and work on a hot bod. Yes, you may have a body worthy of a spot on the cover of “Sports Illustrated”, but please don’t come to the gym wearing a low-cut tank top and booty shorts. If I’m there to work off the junk food I ate last night, I don’t want to see your junk hanging out on the elliptical.

And on top of wearing a tight, cleavage-bearing shirt, you shouldn’t have to put on a full face of makeup to come to the gym– you’re just going to sweat it all off! And if you’re not sweating, maybe you should crank up the resistance on that bike.

Unofficial Gym Etiquette Rule #4

The gym is already lurking with germs, and not wiping off your machines when you’re finished makes it even worse. It’s common courtesy to grab a towel and disinfecting spray to wipe down your sweat. Nobody wants to hop onto an elliptical that has a puddle of your sweat still on it. I beg you, don’t just walk away.

All in all, please just remember to be courteous to everyone around you at the gym. We’re all there for the same reasons. But hey, if someone is really making you angry– take it out on the weights. Motivation, anyone?

Photo by Tyler Hankins



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