If you think gym etiquette simply means returning equipment to the right spot, or saying thanks to your personal trainer at the end of a workout, think again.
There’s an unspoken set of rules that every seasoned attendee has learned – either through watching the faux pas of others or from getting a tongue lashing from a friend when caught in a dubious act.
Whether you’re a seasoned gym bunny or an exercise novice, these golden rules must be followed when venturing into the wonderful world of working out with others.
1.Keep it down
Everyone at the gym is aware that you are straining and making effort to lift those weights or do those sit-ups. So unless you’re dead-lifting 100kgs, there’s no need to grunt like a professional tennis player hitting the ball at Wimbledon.
2.Don’t be that guy
We’ve all seen him – the creepy guy who never seems to work out but is always lurking around watching people exercise.
While there might be some nice toned bodies on display, don’t sit and stare. Most people already feel self-conscious at the gym so they don’t need to feel like they’re being scrutinized.
This also applies in the change-room. Women are far less sensitive than men about getting a casual glance from a member of the same sex, but none of us enjoy feeling like the star of a peep show.
3.Tame your inner exhibitionist
Self-conscious people have a polar opposite at the gym – the exhibitionist.
I think we’ve all experienced that awkward moment when that chatty lady from your Pilates class strikes up a conversation while standing in her birthday suit.
We’re aware that at some point you have to get naked in the locker room. However, there’s no need to let it all hang out while you casually apply mascara and discuss last night’s episode of Masterchef.
4.Prevent wardrobe malfunctions
So you’ve been going to gym for a while and you finally feel like you’re ready to instigate a meet-cute with that guy who smiles at you every morning at the smoothie bar.
Don’t go out and buy the tiniest workout outfit you can find. We guarantee that it will end in tears.
Remember that at some point you will have to either jump around or bend over, so a wardrobe malfunction is bound to occur.
5.Avoid a reign of sweaty terror
Working up a sweat at the gym is normal. Leaving a trail of sweat on all the equipment isn’t.
While pretending that you merely glow when you exercise may seem less humiliating than wiping down equipment, it’s more humiliating to cause people to avoid using it because “Sweaty Betty” used it last.
6.Don’t torture others
Discussing that woman in H.R. who cheated on her husband with your boss may seem fascinating to you, but the rest of the gym doesn’t really want to hear about it.
So taking a call and having to yell over the music to be heard while on the treadmill is definitely a rule breaker.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.