If you happen to go to the gym at a day and time when very few people are there, you have little to worry about as far as gym etiquette goes, other than generally picking up after yourself and keeping things clean.
However, gyms are often crowded, with any number of people waiting to use the equipment. There are lots of unspoken when it comes to said equipment, most of which revolve around common courtesy. Unless you want to earn a reputation as “that guy,” keep the following etiquette guidelines in mind:
Nobody wants to sit in a puddle of your sweat, or grip sweaty handles or pulleys. It might help to bring a separate towel specifically for that purpose. Some gyms offer disinfectant wipes—use them.
When people are waiting, don’t camp out on the benches in between reps or exercises. Don’t sit on them to catch your breath, make a phonecall, talk to your buddy on the next machine, or just hang out in general. Don’t park your towels or water bottle on the bench, either, while you get a drink or use the bathroom.
Let other people work out in between your reps. The exception: if you’re using resistance that is clearly not workable for the next person in line, and it would take an inordinate amount of time to adjust the resistance between sets, you can stay on it exclusively. If someone’s waiting for equipment, but you’re already taking turns with someone else, let the waiting person know.
Reset resistance machines to their original weight after you use them. And for the love of Pete, put your dumbells back on the rack in the proper location. Nobody, including yourself, wants to waste half of their workout roaming around looking for their weights. Just put them back where they go, it’s so simple.
Don’t lug bulky equipment with you around the gym, and don’t place yourself or your items in the way of others. Make sure everyone has room to get around. If you have a huge duffel bag laying it just gets in the way and makes you one of “those guys.”
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