Gym etiquette for newcomers

With the start of a new year comes New Year’s resolutions.

That means gyms across the county will be flooded with newcomers — resolution-makers determined to meet that goal of dropping 20 pounds.

While I dread the New Year’s crowd at the gym, I do applaud people for making their health a priority.

In order to make the gym experience more pleasurable for all — veterans and newbies — I’ve compiled a list of written and unwritten rules of the gym.

I solicited suggestions from co-workers and my Facebook “fans” (

Here are some tips for proper gym etiquette:

  1. Hang up the phone. Save the phone conversations for after your workout.

  2. Wipe up your sweat. If you’re a big sweater, please bring a towel to mop up your sweat and clean off the equipment after using it.

  3. Wear deodorant. Even if you think you don’t sweat. Perfume doesn’t count.

  4. Don’t stare. Not everyone is a gym pro.

  5. Use the shower. Wash – with soap – after sitting in the sauna and before jumping into the pool.

  6. Return things to their proper place. Return dumbbells and mats to their home when you’re done using them. That also goes for weights. Remove the weights from the weight bar and return them to their stand.

  7. Don’t hog the equipment. If someone is waiting for the treadmill, limit your session to 30 minutes. That also goes for rest breaks. Don’t sit on the bench to take a breather if others are waiting.

  8. Don’t hover. Find another piece of equipment to use while you wait.

  9. Dress appropriately. Jeans aren’t practical. Neither are sandals. Clean clothes are necessary.

  10. Do not use the gym to pick up on women/men. Most people are there to get in a workout, not find a date. On a similar note, public displays of affection are not OK.

  11. No loud grunting.

  12. Keep the volume down. That goes for conversations with others and music in the headphones. Also, people wearing headphones usually don’t want you to strike up a conversation.

Any gym etiquette I’m forgetting? Share your tips in the comments section.

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