It's no secret that a) everyone's approach to hitting the gym is different and b) we all have personal goals in mind while we're there. So, when working out, it's totally fair to "lock in" and focus on your own needs before your sweaty neighbor's — after all, who doesn't? But, since PGS is about keeping it real, there's no excuse for having a lack of common courtesy and leaving your manners at home. Being the avid gym-goer I am, I'm telling you, proper etiquette is definitely a thing — plus, you can learn A LOT about a person from how they do or don't act. If for some reason people are always giving you the stank eye, here's a handy list of seven annoying gym mistakes that might help explain why. Brace yourself and prepare to take some notes!
1. You never put your weights back after using them.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've stepped up to the squat rack just to find four giant 45-pound weights on each side of the bar. Tsk-tsk. The golden rule of every gym is this: if you're strong enough to load the bar with hundreds of pounds, you're strong enough to unload it — AND put the weights back where they go. This is true for dumbells as well. Because at the end of the day, nobody likes "cleaning up" after another grown adult and they shouldn't have to TBH.
2. You talk too much.
When I'm sweating profusely and short of breath, the last thing I want to do is talk to someone, let alone a stranger, about the party their sister's, best friend's cousin went to or anything remotely close to that. I want to focus. In other words: The gym can be a social place, but make sure you're staying mindful of your neighbor, what they're doing, and why you're there yourself. Check for cues — including body language. If you see they've got their head down with headphones in, just smile, wave, and keep it pushing.
3. You're kind of gross.
Some folks sweat more than others, and that's perfectly okay! But the idea of touching or sitting in another person's bodily fluids is just plain nasty. So, remember to wipe down the machines/mats you use with sanitizer and consider toting around a towel too just in case.
4. You're very amp.
Getting overly excited shouldn’t be an issue for most. However, I thought I’d mention it since I’ve noticed quite a lot of grunting and screaming at my gym lately. I mean, it's awesome that you may be able to lift hundreds of pounds above your head or hold a squat for 10 minutes...but try taking your celebration down a few notches for everyone else's sake.
5. Your music is super loud.
There's two types of people who get carried away with music at the gym. Person A doesn't have headphones, so they play their tunes out loud for all to hear. Person B does have headphones, but rather than listen quietly, they choose to put on an entire concert. FYI: Both are equally distracting...
6. You hog the machines.
As an example, I can't understand why a person would spend hours working on the squat rack and use it for everything else except squats. Sigh, if you notice there's a line forming next to the equipment you're at, offer to share or take a break between sets so someone else can hop in. Chances are that everyone waiting pays the same membership fee, so please be considerate.
7. You're not that pleasant.
On that note, being polite at the gym is just as important as it is everywhere else. Let others skip ahead of you sometimes. Make sure you say "hi" to employees when you walk in and out. Offer your help to someone who may be unsure of something — like where the bathrooms are or where to find a clean towel. Spread positive vibes! It'll take you far.
The gym is a unique environment to say the least. But mine, just like yours I assume, is a special community filled with regulars bonded by a love of fitness. That's why it's important to our wellness sanctuaries with care.
Do you have a tip I missed? Comment below to join the conversation!