Gym Etiquette

Posted January 14, 2014 by Katie Fleming in Life After Five
January is a very busy month for the health and wellness industry!  With so many people excited to start the new year on a healthy note, gyms tend to become somewhat crowded.  Sometimes, we can get overwhelmed at the gym.  We have to figure out what machine works what part of the body, decipher class descriptions, even fight for space during peak hours (yikes!).  With our energy being pulled in so many different directions, some gym goers (whether first timers or super athletes) lose sight of basic gym etiquette.

Here are  a few basic, yet super important, gym etiquette rules:

Locker Room:

  1. Wear shower shoes!  Trust me…you don’t want to be walking on the floor in your bare feet, no matter how clean it looks.
  2. Towel your hair off as much as possible while drying off in the shower.  This way, you can prevent accidentally shaking your wet hair onto someone next to you … (I’ve been hit twice this past week.  Gross.)
  3. If you’re naked, or close to naked, place a towel down on the bench before sitting down.  Please!
  4. Especially during this weather, you can place your winter/rain boots either on the floor under the bench, or in your locker.  If you set them in your locker, place a towel beneath your boots.  This will soak up the water left behind, and will make clean up a breeze.

Gym Floor:

  1. If you pick something up (stability ball, free weights, yoga mat, etc), put it back when you’re done.
  2. Sanitize machines after you use them.  (I tend to sanitize them prior to my use as well…just in case).
  3. Carry a towel around with you to place between yourself and the equipment (ab mats, benches, etc).
  4. If you see someone you want to chat with, wait until they are taking a rest, either between intervals or sets, to walk up and strike a conversation .
  5. If you are unsure whether a person is done with a piece of equipment, go ahead and ask them.  If they seem to be doing a circuit (going from machine A to B to C, then repeat) ask if you can “Work in”.  This is gym slang for taking turns.

Have fun, and be safe!  If you ever have questions about how to use a piece of gym equipment, ask one of the trainers.  They’ll be happy to help!

About the Author

Katie Fleming

Katie earned her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University, and is currently a Crisis Therapist in Chicago. Her therapy interests include health and wellness, relationships, trauma, and crisis. Katie is also a therapist with a group practice in Arlington Heights. Katie is thrilled to be a part of Career Girl Network, helping to guide all Career Girls towards overall physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Katie is passionate about animal rescue, running, and yoga. She is the proud dog mom of Gulliver and Duke!