If you are not a regular gym-goer, then entering those hallowed halls for the first time can be quite the intimidating experience. Everyone will seem twice as fit as you, and you will likely be terrified of the large bodybuilders grunting in the corner. The best way to ingratiate yourself in a new gym environment is simply not to commit any massive gym faux pas—like in any social environment, the gym has a certain code of etiquette that must be followed at all costs. If you are about to start going the gym for the first time, and do not want to annoy everyone around you, then avoid these major gym no-nos.
1. Using A Machine Incorrectly
This faux pas goes first because it can be the least egregious: everybody makes mistakes, especially beginners. If you are not sure how to use a piece of equipment, then for the safety of yourself and others, ask one of the staff. Gym staff will usually show you how to use any piece of machinery during an induction, and are almost always willing to follow up if you need them to. if there are no gym staff around, then it might be as easy as observing someone else and copying what they do.
2. Pointing Out Someone’s Poor Form
There is a very big difference between a casual helping hand and an annoying pointing-out of a mistake, so if you notice someone performing an exercise incorrectly, then think carefully about how to approach them (if at all). Many gym-goers do not want input, no matter how friendly you come across or helpful you might be. As a rule of thumb, do not butt in to someone’s exercise routine unless you think they are at serious risk of an injury. For all you know, they may be performing an exercise differently due to an injury or illness, so you may not always be right.
3. Not Cleaning Up After Yourself
This should be a common courtesy, but many people often forget that nobody wants to workout in a pool of someone else’s sweat. If you have sweated all over a piece of equipment, then clean it up after yourself. Most gyms have wipes and cleaning fluid to swipe up machines once you’re done, so make use of it.
4. Talking On The Phone
This faux pas can vary gym-to-gym, as some places are more accommodating of corporate types who cannot leave their phone alone for more than 5 minutes. Talking on the phone can distract the zen of other gym goers, so chat away in your loudest voice at your own risk.
5. Dressing Like You’re Going To A Nightclub
Unless you are a supermodel, nobody looks good when they work out. You are red-faced, sweaty and gross—that’s just a fact. So turning up at the gym in your short-shorts, caked in make-up, does not make you look pretty—it makes you look silly. Wear appropriate clothing and go in fresh-faced, because all gym-goers look the same when they walk out the door.
6. Grunting like Maria Sharapova
Just as grunting does not belong on a tennis court, nor does it belong in a gym. Making an excess amount of noise disturbs other gym-goers and is just completely unnecessary. If you know you are prone to grunting, don’t workout with your earphones in. If you can’t hear yourself, you are only likely to grunt louder.
7. Resting On Equipment
Everybody needs a break at the gym, but don’t take your break while still sitting on a piece of equipment. Even if there is nobody directly waiting in front of you, there could be plenty of people who are waiting in the wings for that particular machine and are cursing you under their breath.
8. Hogging A Machine
Everybody is equally entitled to use gym equipment, so hogging a machine for an excessive amount of time is pretty rude. If you go to the gym during peak times, try not spend more than a reasonable amount of time on a machine if all the others are full. Spend more than 20-30 minutes on a treadmills or elliptical machine is just asking for trouble.
9. Not Returning Equipment To Its Place
Using dumbbells and then just leaving them on the ground is not just rude, it is dangerous. If you use an item in the gym like free weights or a balance ball, ensure that you put them back in the correct place when you’re finished.
10. Forgetting To Wear Deodorant
The most unholy of all gym sins, forgetting to wear deodorant puts you on a moral par with bank robbers and murders in the gym world. If you have a body odour issue, then make sure you wear enough deodorant to mask the smell so that you are not overpowering all those near to you.