8 Things Not to Do at the Gym

You probably already know what to do at the gym, but do you know what not to do? Fitness expert, Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT, gives us his take on the don'ts of gym etiquette.

By Mike Donavanik | CSCS
gym© Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Thinkstock

You probably already know what to do at the gym, but do you know what not to do? Fitness expert Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT and creator of Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training DVD gives us his take on the top 8 don’ts of gym etiquette:

1. Don’t hog the machines
Remember, the gym is a communal place. If someone wants to work in with you, let him/her. They’re not trying to cramp your style, they’re just trying to get their workout in and better themselves – just like you!

2. Don’t leave the machine dripping
Nothing is grosser than coming across a machine with someone else’s sweat on it. It’s also unsanitary!  Take the extra second to place a towel down on your machine/bench BEFORE you start using it. If you forget, take the extra time to wipe it down after you’re done using it. Many gyms will provide wipes just for this purpose!

3. Don’t forget to put your weights in their proper place
You know how annoying it is when you can’t find something around your house? That’s exactly what you’re doing to others if you just leave your weights wherever you want. Be considerate and place your weights in the appropriate place you’re when finished with them.

4. Don’t drop your weights
Be considerate of others around you — when you drop your weights after you’re finished completing an exercise, the sound and vibration can cause other people to lose focus. Plus, by dropping your weights, you are more likely to injure yourself and those around you.

5. Don’t be mean
The gym is already an intimidating place for a lot of people. It magnifies people’s self-perceived flaws and can make them very self-conscious. The last thing people want to hear is someone making snide remarks, making fun of others, or snapping at people when they ask a question. Understand that everyone is at the gym to get healthier – be nice and treat others the way you would want to be treated.

6. Don’t invade someone’s private space
The gym can get packed at times, especially in the early morning or after work. There may not be a ton of space for you to do what you want, and if that’s the case, don’t be selfish and invade someone else’s space. Try to find a spot of your own; and if you can’t, improvise and pick another exercise, or patiently wait.

7.  Don’t have a conversation on your cellphone
Nothing disrupts the gym’s energy more than when someone takes a call on the gym floor. If you know the call is important or going to be a long one, kindly grab your belongings and step off the gym floor to take the call. This way you can focus on your call and you’ll free up gym space, allowing other people to use the equipment.

8. Don’t be the ‘know it all’
For the most part when people are working out, they get into their own groove. Don’t be the guy or girl that interrupts someone’s workout to tell them they are doing the exercise wrong, or that there is a better way of doing it. If you are concerned about someone doing something dangerous, seek out a trainer and tell them about the situation. It’s not your job to be the gym police.

Plus: 13 Things Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You

Source: Mike Donavanik, CSCS, CPT, creator of Extreme Burn: Total Body Interval Training DVD

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  • Your Comments

    • Leavemealone!

      DONT ask me how much longer I’m going to be on /use a particular apparatus.
      I’m wearing ear buds because I don’t want to interact with others.
      I’ll be done when I move to the next spot.

    • Bettyrubble

      Don’t wear perfume!!  Gag!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LOCOB4T4AOLE3JN2JWEBBWH7GY Bob Smith

      And I thought the #1 no-no, based on the photo, would be “No obvious ogling of scantily clad women”

      • idiocracyrules

        If you are the scantily clad woman put on less revealing workout clothes.

    • Triman121

      Please don’t take up a “lap lane only” if you’re only standing or aquacizing. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1134175772 Osman Mirza

      And if someone DOES violate one of the rules, please forgive them. They are only human.  The most important rule is to BE KIND. Also, sometimes people are doing sets that require only a VERY SHORT break and allowing people to work in completely ruins that and ruins the workout.  

    • Mdpiano

      Get rid of the cologne and perfume.  The gym is not the place for over-fragranced, asthma or allergy inducing men or women.  This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, but I recently watched a girl have an asthma attack for this reason.  It is inconsiderate and selfish and actually dangerous.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HHPQ7O7FKCM2FYDBOWKAWOSGDY Dave

        Even more importantly, wear deodorant, especially if you are over 250 lb

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HHPQ7O7FKCM2FYDBOWKAWOSGDY Dave

        Even more importantly, wear deodorant, especially if you are over 250 lb