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In an Ideal World: Gym Etiquette for Men and Women

You may already be a gym rat or maybe you just decided to join the gym. No matter what stage you are at, some rules exist. Some of these rules may seem like common sense, but it is crucial to keep them in mind in a public gym. Follow the proper gym etiquette to ensure everyone gets the best experience. I’ll also add that there may be different standards of gym etiquette in different types of gyms or parts of the world, so note that this is for a personal training studio in Austin Texas.

Gym Etiquette

Gym etiquette is another way of saying how you respect the equipment and others in the gym. Everybody is there for a reason, so understanding the appropriate gym etiquette will make your and everyone else’s experience the best they can be. Making the gym a safe place for all is the goal.

There are common courtesies to follow, such as simply respecting the privacy of those around you. Especially if people are new to the gym, they could experience gym intimidation from the new environment. In an ideal world, no one would have poor gym etiquette. Taking steps to make sure you do your part can help the community you are a part of.

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Be Aware of Your Space

When using equipment or space to exercise, know who is next to you and how much space is in your surrounding area. Be sure you respect personal space so everyone can effectively work out, and keep your bags and other belongings out from underfoot and in the designated areas.

Here are some other things to consider in the space you use at the gym. Most of them are universal, although there may be a couple that only apply to personal training gyms or the Austin area.

First Rule of Gym Etiquette: Dropping Weights

Whether you are lifting heavier weights or doing a pulling exercise like deadlifts, you may feel like you need to drop the weight on the ground. Do not drop your weights! It can damage your gym's floors or the weights.

The only time this is necessary is if you need to safely bail out of a set in an emergency. Otherwise, it can come off as obnoxious or like you're doing too much to impress others around you.

Putting Equipment Back

Have you ever walked up to the dumbbell rack to find the weights you need missing? Although no one is using the weight, you find it left in the far corner and have to clean up someone's mess while taking up extra time in your workout. Proper gym etiquette is respecting fellow gymgoers and putting everything back in the appropriate place.

Sharing Equipment

Many people work during the day, which makes the gym crowded in the evenings. Sharing a machine or dumbbells is a courtesy you can take to allow everyone to get their workouts done. It’s important not to hog something another person may need.

Filming and Picture Taking

As the influencer community grows in the gym, we see more people document their workouts and progress. If this is something you do, ask the people around you if it’s OK to avoid anyone feeling uncomfortable.

Remember, proper gym etiquette is rooted in being respectful.

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Know The Norms

Your gym is a community of people who share a common interest. It is natural to want to make friends and socialize. Although the gym's primary use is to exercise, socializing properly is not a bad thing to do here and there. These are the social norms for gym etiquette to follow in Austin, Texas.

Grunting, Screaming, Strange Noises

We understand you are lifting heavy weights and it may be challenging, but keep noises to a minimum. They can make others around you uncomfortable or distracted. It’s best to focus on your breathing rather than grunting.

Comments About Others

Unsolicited advice is never appropriate in the gym and can make new gymgoers feel out of place. Unless someone asks explicitly, do not go out of your way.

Compliments can be tricky as well. If you do feel compelled to do so, avoid pointing out anything specific. A simple “you’re doing great!” or “keep up the good work!” is the best way to navigate compliments. Never call out a specific body-part or goal.

Staring or Gawking

The gym is male-dominated (calling you out, guys!), so women especially may fear men staring or gawking while they work out. It is imperative we take steps to make sure women are not uncomfortable while working out.

A report on harassment in the gym stated around 53% of women have been harassed while working out, and that’s only out of the women who report it. We need to create awareness for it and allow everyone a good experience at the gym. Staring and unwanted comments can make both men and women feel uncomfortable, so please avoid these behaviors.

Stay as Sanitary as Possible

A gym is a place where we sweat – a lot! Make sure you clean up after yourself so everyone can enjoy the equipment without worrying about how you left things.

Equipment Wipe

Wipe Down the Equipment

When using a bench, machine, or cardio equipment, be sure to wipe it free of your sweat. No one wants to use a bench that has someone else's bodily fluids on it!

Use Deodorant

When in a crowded space, you will likely get hot. Use deodorant to mask any unpleasant smells. It can be difficult to deal with others’ odors, especially when you get out of breath from cardio or heavy lifts. Our Austin location even keeps some extra spray deodorant on hand in the bathroom in case you forget, so feel free to make use of it!

Smoking, Vaping, Eating

This one is simple – do not smoke or vape in or near a gym. People come to better their health and should not be disturbed by the smell of unhealthy smoke or vaping pens. Other than a quick protein bar or sports drink, don’t eat or drink on the gym floor – it’s not sanitary and will only prove distracting for you and others. Our personal training studio in Austin has a picnic table out front, so if you need to have a meal make use of it.

What is appropriate gym etiquette in Austin? Now you know! If you’re new to the gym or want to take your fitness to the next level, contact a personal trainer. You can put your gym etiquette in Austin, Texas, to the test and learn even more ways to get into the gym life.

Schedule Your First Training Session Today

If you’re ready to take the next step in your fitness goals, and you are located in Austin, click here for a Transformation Session that’s free of charge. In this session, one of our professional trainers will give you a thorough consultation and start assembling a workout strategy. Please feel free to message us with any questions you have!

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About the author: Beth is the content manager and Managing Editor at Body+Mind and a lover of all things health and wellness. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to fitness, nutrition and disease prevention. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends.


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