With many people starting their New Year’s resolutions, some will be new to the gym, and others will haven’t visited for a while. You may feel intimidated if you’re not used to going to the gym, but there’s no need to worry. A good gym will make you feel welcome and make sure you know your way around. But what about gym etiquette?

This blog will guide you through the dos and don’ts of visiting a gym. You will be prepared for your fitness journey without worrying about doing something wrong, or that will annoy fellow gymgoers.

1.What Not To Wear 

Wearing the wrong clothing to the gym can negatively impact your workout. When you come to the gym for a workout, it’s best to leave the following things at home:

100% cotton clothes

Even though it may stink less than synthetic fabrics, cotton absorbs your sweat, which means it doesn’t dry out quickly, making you uncomfortable. Instead, try sweat-wicking materials like spandex and polyester, which also allow you to move without restriction, so you can use your full range of motion.

Worn-out Footwear

As your trainers age, they lose their tread and provide less shock absorption. So, when sprinting in a class or jumping off a box, you may feel less stable, causing embarrassing tumbles. Old shoes can also impact the alignment of your feet, knees, and hips, affecting the quality of your workout and slowly causing injuries.


Wearing a ring while you lift or use a piece of equipment can cause an injury if you lose your grip on the weights. In a worst-case scenario, your ring could unsheath your finger, which isn’t pretty. Leave your jewellery in the locker room or home, or wear a silicon ring to the gym.

Poorly-fitting clothes

If your gym clothes are too tight, you may experience chafing, leg cramps, or even breathing difficulty. However, baggy clothes can get in the way while running or lifting. Find a middle ground: workout clothes that fit and flatter you.

2. Get To Fitness Classes On Time 

Turning up on time for a class isn’t always possible, but you’ll get a bad reputation if you’re constantly late. The other people in your class may be on a tight time scale and have planned their day to the minute. If you consistently cause the class to start late and people don’t have time to finish it, they won’t be happy with you.

3. Make Sure The Equipment Is Free 

Before jumping on the exercise bike or stepping into the Smith’s Machine, ensure the equipment is free. If not, do a different exercise until it’s free or ask if you can “work in” with someone. Working in is when you take turns doing sets; when one of you is resting, the other is working out.

But don’t be disappointed if the other gymgoer declines; they may be nearly finished or short on time. Just be patient, don’t take it personally, and wait your turn.

If you’re using a piece of equipment but need to go to the toilet or grab a drink, drape your towel over the machine and return quickly. And once you’ve finished with the machine, move on. Sitting on a bench, you’re not using while texting or scrolling social media is a great way to annoy people.

4. Give Other Gym Users Space 

Although we try to limit the number of people in our gym, it can get busy. However, we should do our best to give other gymgoers as much space as possible. Maintaining space makes the gym safer, but it is also polite. Nobody wants to feel like someone is looking over their shoulder or bump elbows with random people.

On the flip side, a current trend is people recording their workouts on their phones. This is a great way to check your form, but don’t get angry if someone walks in front of your camera; they didn’t do it on purpose.

Additionally, the gym is a great place to meet new people, but we are there to workout not find a new life partner. So, keep the flirting to a more appropriate venue.

5. Try Not To Take Phone Calls 

We all have busy lives, but when you use your phone for anything other than music, you can distract and annoy other people in the gym. If your phone rings, please take your call out of the gym; nobody wants to hear your business.

Our gym has a great sound system to which members can connect their phones, meaning you can listen to your music without headphones. However, if your taste in music is unique, you may want to spare fellow gymgoers your favourite dubstep or metalcore playlist by using headphones.

6. Clean The Equipment 

Have you ever seen someone have an incredibly sweaty workout and walk away from gym equipment without wiping it down? If so, you know that using that equipment is uninspiring. Therefore, wipe the equipment using the cleaning fluid and paper towels provided. It removes bacteria that can fester for several hours after use. You can also use a towel to mop your brow before sweat lands on the equipment.

7. Don’t Drop Weights 

One of the things that annoys gymgoers the most is when people drop weights after each set. Of course, it’s not always avoidable when you’ve pushed yourself and are tired, but placing them gently on the ground is considered proper gym etiquette.

The loud crashes of dropped weights are incredibly distracting and draw negative attention to you. Also, dropping weights can damage the equipment or floor, which is expensive.

8. It’s Bad Gym Etiquette To Grunt Loudly

Another way you can attract negative attention to yourself is by grunting and swearing while you lift. You may be pushing for your personal best, but try to keep the expletives to yourself; you’re not impressing anyone.

9. Don’t Give Advice To People You Don’t Know 

You may spot someone you don’t know doing something wrong. It’s tempting to advise them, but it’s not your place to do so unless they are clearly doing something that will injure them or damage something.

If you see someone struggling, mention it to a staff member. They can subtly “notice” what the person is doing and give them advice if necessary.

10. You Don’t Have To “Spot Someone” 

On occasion, a fellow gymgoer may ask you to spot them. This is when you help them stay safe while lifting weights. For example, they will ask you to stand over them while bench-pressing a heavyweight. Your job would be to help them return the bar to a safe position if they cannot do it themselves.

If you’re unsure how to do this or don’t have time, politely decline and suggest that a staff member would be a better person to help them.

11. Use The Safety Clamps On Bars 

When lifting weights, ALWAYS put the safety clamps or pins on the ends of the bars. If you don’t secure the weights, they can slide to the end of the bar, pulling you off balance before dropping off. Then, the weight on the other side pulls you the other way, which is incredibly dangerous for you and those around you.

12. Don’t Do Complicated Circuits When The Gym Is Busy 

Sometimes, our workouts are more complicated than 3 sets of each exercise. Circuits using various gym equipment are great for an effective workout but should only be done when the gym is quiet.

Circuits use a lot of gym equipment, and you claim it for the entirety of your session. This is fine if only you and a couple of others are in the gym, but it’s bad gym etiquette when it is packed.

When the gym is busy, it’s best to do a more traditional workout so everyone can exercise efficiently.

13. Put Equipment Away 

While we’re on the subject of using equipment, please put it back when you’ve finished with it. If you leave weights on the floor, people aren’t sure if you’ve finished with them or not; it also creates a tripping hazard. On top of this, a messy gym is not a welcoming environment for fellow members.

14. Wash Your Kit 

When you work out, you produce lots of sweat that gets absorbed by your clothing. It doesn’t take long for the bacteria to start making your clothing stink. If you wear the same unwashed gym clothes all week, people will start noticing you for the wrong reasons.

It’s terrible gym etiquette to make other gymgoers put up with your smell, so please wash your gym clothing regularly and have one or two spare sets to mix it up.

15. Don’t Wear Muddy Shoes

You need to wear the correct footwear to the gym, but please don’t wear dirty outdoor trainers in the gym. Your trail of muddy footprints between all the equipment will annoy other gym members and those working there.

It is best to have indoor and outdoor shoes to ensure the gym floor is as clean as possible.

Final Thoughts On Gym Etiquette

Don’t be put off by anything we’ve mentioned above. These points ensure the gym is safe and welcoming for everyone to enjoy and exercise. If you need clarification, please ask a staff member; they will be more than happy to help.

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