Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

Etiquette at the Gym: How to Use the Machines Properly

Anyone who has ever gone to the gym has likely encountered a person who doesn't observe proper gym etiquette. While the practices that make up a sensitive, thoughtful gym use are not necessarily always posted, sometimes gyms make the expectations clear to their members. It's important to follow those guidelines carefully. First, doing so is polite and conscientious to the other people who are working out around you. Additionally, and perhaps even more importantly, maintaining proper gym etiquette can actually stem the spread of disease and contamination, making your gym experience a safer and healthier one.

Clean Up

It's important to clean up after yourself when you're through working out at a particular station, whether it's on a machine or with free weights. Don't hesitate to clean up after yourself by waiting until you're through with your entire workout. Most gyms are crowded enough that someone else will want to use your machine or weights shortly after you're through. When you're done with your workout on a particular weight machine, use cleaning solution provided by the gym and a paper towel or cloth to clean up any sweat that you may have left. It's a good idea to wipe down the machine in general, even if you haven't sweat very much.

Reset the Weights

One of the most frustrating things about working out a gym is when you encounter a machine where someone left the weight at a particular level. If you're working out with a lot of weight on a machine, be sure to reset the weight down to zero when you're finished. This is considered a common courtesy for the other people at the gym.

Share Machines

One of the important characteristics of any solid workout is to experience a wide variety of machines and exercises. This means that you should never spend a great deal of time on any one machine or with one set of weights. Beyond this, however, it's important to be aware that there are likely other people who are interested in using the machine as well, and it's a good idea to share. Many gyms post a maximum time limit that you're allowed to stay on any one machine. Be courteous to others and offer a machine up to them so that you can mix up your own routine as well.

Keep Volume Down

It's one thing to grunt and groan a bit while you're working out, but many people find it distracting if you talk loudly or make other sounds. One thing that is increasingly common in gyms throughout the United States is cell phone use. Unless it's an emergency, avoid talking on a cell phone while you're working out. If you do need to talk, be courteous to those around you and take your phone out of the main workout area where you will not be able to bother others.

Article Comments