Basic Gym Etiquette Everyone Should Know

Gym etiquette is basic self awareness, awareness of what’s going on around you and what type of gym you’re in. However, there are some nuances to gym etiquette that this article goes over. 

Basic Gym Etiquette Everyone Should Know

Re-rack Your Weights

Some of the most important gym etiquette involves free weights. First and foremost, re-rack your weights. Leaving weights scattered around makes the gym look kind of trashy. In that regard, if you see the gym messy and you’re resting in between sets, it’s the perfect time to help tidy up the space. Do not take multiple sets of dumbbells or weights to your area or bench, especially if there is only one of the sizes and especially at peak gym hours. Assume that someone else is eyeing the weights that you have. Get your sets in and respect and share with others. 

Respect Surroundings and Others During Conversations

Please feel free to engage in casual and light conversation, in fact saying hi to people you see is a wonderful practice. However, you need to watch getting into deeper conversations, especially with people you don’t know, the gym might not be the place. Second, gyms can be breeding grounds for creeps. Stay safe out there, fam.

If you’re going to talk on the phone, pay attention to who is around and be considerate. Use headphones over speaker phone so others don’t have to hear the entire conversation.

Don’t Give Unsolicited Gym Advice

Mansplaining is inappropriate at the gym. Even if someone isn’t doing a movement right, it’s not up to you to save them. Keep your comments to yourself unless you think someone is going to acutely hurt themselves and you’re a qualified person to give such advice. 

Excessive Noise

If you’re not working out at a specialty gym (powerlifting, strongman, bodybuilding or crossfit), excessive grunting or screaming is not cool and it’s disruptive to others. There is an appropriate level of grunting when lifting that is ok. Feel this out and try to keep screaming and grunting to a minimum if you’re not going for a huge PR or in a specialty gym.

Asking to “Work In” During Someone’s Set

Asking to work in your own set during someone’s set is acceptable if done correctly. Ideally, it is ok to do this if the person is lifting a similar amount to you, so you’re not adding a lot of weight to the bar and taking it off after every single set. Be polite if you ask someone if you can work in during their set. If you’re at a power or strength-based gym, you can expect someone to be on a piece of equipment for a longer period of time. But at commercial gyms, most people are doing 3-5 sets on a piece and it’s totally fine to ask how many sets they have left or if you can work in. And if someone is asking you about your set/working in, be polite back! They are simply trying to get their workout in, too.


Keep in mind the gym is a public place. Make sure you are wearing deodorant or at least not using the same gym clothes for a week. In other words, make sure your body odor is not offensive or disruptive to others. 

As for cleaning machines, we all sweat, just wipe it down. Even if there is no noticeable sweat. It’s the right thing to do.

Taking Video or Photo

In today’s world, it’s not uncommon for people to have online personal trainers, and a huge part of remote training is taking videos of yourself performing a movement to send to a coach. Maybe someone is taking a video for social media. However, none of this is your concern. Being judgmental of others at the gym is not a good look. Let people do them and hey maybe you can offer to film them for a better angle next time! 

One place you should not take photos or videos is the locker room. We all love a good selfie post-workout, but beware of your surroundings and the safety risk. If there is a private bathroom or mirror you can find, take your selfies there versus taking one in the middle of the locker room when someone could be undressing.

How is Your Gym Etiquette?

Although there are some nuances to gym etiquette depending on what type of gym you’re in, if you’re self aware and aware of others around you, you’re setting yourself up for being a pleasant person at the gym. And remember, leaving a space in better order than you found it in is always good practice. 


Want to learn more about gym Etiquette? listen to our Stronger Than Your Boyfriend podcast episode: Gym Etiquette 

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