Gym Etiquette


It’s time for one of those almost required articles for a web site like this.  Gym Etiquette.  This one will be taught by the person most likely to break the rules.  Cindy “the slob” Fatchick!  Maybe I should have a shirt made up for myself.  Just as a warning for my unsuspecting adversaries.

What you have to understand is although you may be sweating and grunting your way through your morning muscles wake up call.  For some other people a visit to the gym is more of a gentle, spiritual awakening of the senses (or so I assume).  They look at you and see a pig at the trough and you look at them and wonder who invited the Queen of England.

So in an effort to provide some middle ground where we can all get along here is my take on the rules of gym etiquette.

  1. The biggest complaint seems to be with the sweating.  Even though most people who are concerned about germs will clean a machine or bench before they use it, you have to do your part and wipe up your sweat including puddles on the floor as it is a slipping hazard and does seem to cause some individuals to go into convulsions at the site.
  2. The next big complaint is with the grunting.  On this one I am going to say “Bite Me” if I am lifting big weight I make noises.
  3. Unsolicited advice and “Have you tried exercising to lose weight?” or “Only an idiot would do Cross-fit”.   Nobody asked you so please keep it to yourself.  If I ask “How’s it going?  That is not an invite for a full run down of the superiority of your method vs the choses of other puny humans.
  4. Please don’t drop the weights.  Please put them back in the correct location even if that is not where you found them.  Please don’t leave weights on the bar. PLEASE!
  5. Hogging equipment.  Generally at my club this is not a problem until you get the group that comes in together.  What you end up with is 5 people hogging 3 popular pieces of equipment during peak hours switching off with one another.  You have to have some fancy moves to shinny your butt in there and get your desire to work in respected.  Otherwise people are pretty good about sharing equipment. I mean yes they may not like you very much if you ask to share but they won’t trip you on the stairs or anything (so far).
  6. Hogging cardio equipment is another issue.  Usually any gym has rules for dealing with this as it is a common problem.  Check what your clubs rules are then respect them.  I only last about 10 minutes on any cardio machine before I am wheezing so this is not a big concern yet for me.
  7. Dress appropriately.  Generally worn out, see through and if the slightest slip will show your genitals then it is inappropriate.  I know you are thinking this is an unnecessary rule this never happens in the gym.  Well it does, but the place it happens often is the pool.  The pool is hard on your swimwear so check and make sure it is providing enough coverage.  If last year’s suit is a little snug best to not find out it is too small while doing stretches on the deck of the pool.  I don’t need the anatomy refresher. Thanks!
  8. If you go to a gym with tight space, odor can be a big issue.  If you are on a specialized diet you are possibly the biggest offender.  Here is some information for everybody.  Some people are going to sweat a lot and even though they showered before the workout and they have a clean outfit on and they used super strength deodorant, they smell.  There is one more thing that person can do to try to keep the odor down.  Drink lots of water.  That is all I am aware of that you can do.


When informing a gym slob such as myself of the error of her ways please avoid using a confrontational or reprimanding style in order to get your point across.  Please just ask me to follow which ever rule I have broken with a please thrown in on the end.  If that does not get the desired result then you are dealing with a knucklehead and it is best to look to staff to enforce the rules.  The behavior of the common knucklehead can be unpredictable and volatile so it is just not worth it to deal with them directly.

Well this is my list of the most pressing etiquette issues in the gym.  I will rant about discuss Locker Room Etiquette at another time.


Gym Etiquette — 2 Comments

  1. OMG #1 is my biggest pit peeve, especially in regards to sweat puddles. Eww! Luckily most people at our gym wipe the machines but those who make sweat puddles never mop it up…As for #7, last week there was guy working out bare feet => NASTY.

    Something I would add to my list of annoyances are the people who sing in the stretch room (even though there’s a huge sign indicating that it’s a quiet space).

    PS – I’ve never seen you break any of the etiquette rules.

    • Don’t beleive all the PR I put out there about myself. I have had more than one confrontation about my sweating where I play. Don’t worry I have seen the error of my ways and always lay a towel under my bike in spinning class now.

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