The gym means different things to different people. Yet one thing we can all agree on is: Do not treat the gym like your personal retreat. The gym is a temple to some, while to others its a way to blow off a little steam. Yet other go for classes and friends. The point is we all go for our specific goal in mind and treating naturally it comes with some inherit rules we should adhere to, to get the most pleasant experience not only for ourselves but for our fellow gym-goers as well.  Without any further ado. Here are 8 mistakes everyone should avoid at the gym:

1.) Clean up after yourself.

An image of a messy gym, with weights all over the place.

This one should be a no brainer. The gym is a place we all go to improve ourselves, it’s not our personal playpen. Cleaning up after yourself is therefore a reflection of yourself and how you view others around you. Rerack your weights, wipe down any machines; especially if you’ve left a Lake Superior sized puddle on it, and throw your energy drinks away in the trash. It’s courteous and respectful, and risking sounding like a swole Smokey the bear, if we all did our parts, the gym would be a clean friendly environment to improve ourselves.


2.) Don’t give unwanted advice.

Though I haven’t seen this done too often, when it is done, it’s a cringe worthy moment, for the recipient and anyone within the vicinity. Now I’m not saying if you see someone improperly using a machine or weights that you shouldn’t attempt to respectfully advise them on the proper way to use said machine. However, us guys are guilty of giving advice on how to do an exercise to our female counterparts under the guise of helpfulness, when they’re really out to score a date. Fellas, let’s be respectful of everyone there, if you want to pick up on girls, either wait until after a class you two may have taken together, or on your way out crack a joke or two, but intruding on someone’s space to give advice is just tacky and can be a turn off for future visits to the gym for anyone involved.


3.) Don’t workout in heavy-foot traffic areas

An image of an overcrowded gym

I’ve seen this done many times, and I myself have somewhat been guilty of working out in heavily trafficked areas, yet steps can be taken to mitigate the act. I understand if its busy at the gym, maybe you’ve just finished work and decided to hit the 5-8 p.m. rush at the gym, that’s great! Good on you for bettering yourself. Yet there are walkways that people use to get weights, get to machines, and stretch and those walkways should be avoided. Instead, workout a few feet away from someone working, in a corner, or take some weights to a less crowded area. Just be sure to clean up!


4.) Don’t be these guy(s) grunting

I understand lifting weights causes strain and a grunt or even some pocketed gas that relishes its freedom may escape from time to time. What I mean by the guy grunting are those guys, that I’m sure we’ve all seen, yelling and pumping each other up. Its confusing fellas, we know you’re there. Just get your workout done, no need to yell, or macho man Randy Savage one another up. Though it is impressive that you’re leg pressing 600+ lbs. or squatting 475, announcing the victory for the entire gym and half the parking lot outside just sort of makes you look douche. Don’t be that guy.


5.) Get off your phone, especially on a machine or in a walkway!

An image of 2 guys on their phones at the gym.

In 2018 there are a lot of people on their phones at the gym. That in and of itself isn’t a problem, if you get a text, you’re waiting on a call, you’re switching songs, or even watching an entire series from the comfort of that elliptical, that’s all fine. The problem comes when you start lingering on that phone for over a minute, during busy hours, on a regularly used machine. Out of all the mistakes people make at the gym, I believe this one gets under people’s skin the most. So switch that song, hell post a selfie or two, just don’t let your time on the phone exceed your time on the machine. If you’re hitting the 10 minute mark on your phone, it wouldn’t be rude of people to ask you how much time you have on that particular set. After all, you can work out your thumbs at home.


6.) Fellas, keep your shirts on, please.

A guy doing shirtless squats with half the weights in the gym.

This doesn’t happen in every gym, as in most instances an employee will approach you and ask you to put your shirt on or inform you that you footwear isn’t adequate and violates safety regulations. I found this out when I forgot to pack my gym clothes one day, and decided to go to the gym in my work clothes. An employee informed me that wearing jeans actually causes additional wear and tear on the benches that I was utilizing at the time. I digress however. Although you may look good without a shirt on, it’s just disrespectful. The majority of people there don’t really care for the alpha man stuff, save it for the beach fellas.


7.) Wear shoes that cover your feet.

A man wearing proper gym shoes.

This is more for safety. Even though you may have things under control around you, others sometimes mess up. Its just human nature to make mistakes, you don’t want a Rube Goldberg machine of unfortunate events ending a 45 lb barbell on your big toe in those sandals, you’ll be sporting a cast for the rest of summer if that’s the case. Light shoes can be purchased for a very reasonable price. Payless shoe source, Amazon or Ebay can all have shoes that will protect your feet from serious injury. Safety first, then friendship.


8.) Don’t be a weight hog!

An image of some kids hoarding all the weights in their vicinity.

Supersets – or using multiple machines to quickly engage the same targeted muscle areas are common, and I personally use 45 pounds for shoulder presses followed by 20 pound standing shoulder fly’s, yet I am considerate of how long I am using both sets of weights, and how busy the gym is. I feel this is in the realm of decency. However, if you’re using 3 different sets of weights, and constantly disappear to chat with your buddy across the gym, or hoard them all under you, while posting selfies on Facebook like an narcissistic weight dragon, don’t.


These recommendations can be easily implemented into your routine to make your gym experience satisfying. Dreading the gym shouldn’t be an issue, especially if it’s from a bad experience by others who practice unsatisfactory gym etiquette. Let’s get out there and hit it hard.