Skip to content

Fitness & Exercise

Mind Your Manners -- In the Gym

Annoying socializers, grunters, and excessive sweaters can bum out your workout. Following gym etiquette not only is polite, it's safe -- for you and your fellow gym-goers.
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

We all have different reasons for working out, whether it's to lose weight, to obtain rock-hard abs, or to stay healthy. Whatever the motivation, for some of us, getting to the gym is an achievement unto itself. So when people there are rude, gross, or downright annoying, it can be frustrating because they can distract us from our fitness goals, or worse, can hurt us. Or sometimes, we might not know it, but we may be the offending club member.

Salvatore Fichera, an exercise physiologist in New York, and Joe Warpeha, Duluth, Minnesota-based certified strength and conditioning specialist, have seen their share of careless and inconsiderate acts resulting in injury.

For example, customers who fail to wipe sweat from exercise equipment have reportedly been known to pass on communicable diseases such as rashes to other people. Cell-phone yakkers or excessively loud grunters have caused serious trainers to lose concentration and strain muscles. Weightlifters who neglect to secure barbells properly have had loose plates drop and crush toes -- theirs and others'.

These mishaps are easily avoidable. With good manners and common sense, gym-going can become a pleasant, safe, and healthy experience for everyone.

The Lazy ... and Dangerous

One of the most common gaffes people make at the gym is failing to put equipment back in its proper place.

"Some people just leave dumbbells on the floor, which is totally dumb," Fichera says. "It is inconvenient for someone who may need that particular weight afterwards, and it could hurt other members who, while looking at themselves in the mirror, back up and don't see it on the floor."

The rule also applies to clients using free weights. Besides leaving them on the floor, some lifters apparently don't return them to their proper number slots (i.e., the 10-pound weight in the "10" spot, the 20-pounder in the "20" spot, etc.) Some people carry weights to different parts of the gym and leave them there. This obviously inconveniences others who may have to do some searching to complete their exercise.

It is also important to secure the collars on barbells. Loose plates can slide off, bounce on the ground, and hurt someone. Such common-sense rules fall under the heading of "Use equipment properly" and "Follow instructions," which should be a no-brainer, but some people still surprisingly act foolish.

1 | 2 | 3

Healthy Living Tools

Ditch Those Inches

Set goals, tally calorie intake, track workouts and more, all via WebMD’s free Food & Fitness Planner.

Get Started

Today on WebMD

pilates instructor
15 moves that get results.
woman stretching before exercise
How and when to do it.
 
couple working out
Moves you can do at home.
woman exercising
Strengthen your core with these moves.
 
man exercising
Article
7 most effective exercises
Interactive
 
Man looking at watch before workout
Slideshow
Overweight man sitting on park bench
Video
 

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

pilates instructor
Slideshow
jogger running among flowering plants
Video
 
woman walking
Article
Taylor Lautner
Article