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gym etiquette

7 Gym Etiquette That You Must Know and Practice

gym etiquette

Society needs etiquette and rules for it to function properly. Without them, it would be nothing but pure chaos.

Gyms are not an exemption. Regardless if it’s your first time going to the gym or has been a loyal gym fanatic, it’s important that you are aware of the common gym etiquette. Below are the most important ones that you must take note of.

1.    Personal Hygiene is a Must

gym hygiene

Sweat: This is the first word that pops in my head when I think of the word gym.

Whilst you can hardly see a squeaky clean person working out, it does not mean that you’re just throwing personal hygiene out of the window. Observing personal hygiene, amidst the dirt and sweat, still remains an unspoken rule.

So how do you practice cleanliness and personal hygiene?

Let’s start with a towel.

While most gyms will provide you with one, it is still important that you should bring your own. After all, one small towel may not be enough to wipe all those sweat away. You can use the gym-provided towel to wipe the equipment after use while use your own to wipe yourself down.

Next, deodorant.

Working out next to someone that has a strong body odor is certainly not a pleasant experience. Before you head out of your house, make sure that you apply a healthy amount of deodorant.

2.    Observe the Proper Dress Code

proper dress code

You may be a firm believer of the quote “Dress to impress”, but dressing too much may not be a good idea.

Choosing your outfit is important to make you feel comfortable while working out and not just to gain more likes on your OOTD post on Instagram.

Below are the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to choosing a proper gym outfit:


  • Choose the right clothing to flaunt your assets. You have worked hard for those strong biceps so wearing a good fitted T-shirt is just about right.
  • Wear breathable fabrics such as polyester, cotton or other synthetic material.


  • Regular watch
  • Clothing that is too tight or too loose
  • Normal shoes

Also, while it may be tempting to show your 6-packs abs, you should never workout without a shirt on. Don’t be that guy.

3.    Avoid Taking Too Many Selfies

gym selfies

Social media has dominated our lives.

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have become a platform where we share a piece of ourselves to the world. There’s even a new saying that goes “It did not happen if it was not posted on social media”.

Whilst taking a snap or two of your workout journey is acceptable, taking too many selfies can be distracting and annoying. Wasting too much time on selfies rather than on treadmill defeats your whole purpose of why you’re in the gym.

4.    Be Aware of your Surroundings

 Be Aware of your Surroundings

You would meet different types of people in the gym.

While you can’t possibly know each of these personalities, observing proper gym etiquette is essential to create a harmonious relationship.

You should always be conscious of your actions. Though you really don’t have to interact with everyone around you, you just have to be aware of your surroundings. Avoid taking actions that would cause distractions.

As much as possible, keep your phone away or on silent mode. If you really have to take that call, lower your voice down. You certainly don’t want everyone to overhear your conversation. If you’re on your headset, keep the volume down as well. While it may be too tempting to listen to Eminem on full volume, the guy next to you may not appreciate this distraction. Observing proper phone etiquette will certainly go a long way.

Keep in mind that a gym is a shared place. It’s important to be considerate and that you must think of other people in every action that you make.

5.    Practice Gym Equipment Etiquette

gym equipment etiquette

Applying etiquette when using gym equipment is equally important.

Here are some things that you should take note when using gym equipment:

  • Make it a habit to ask someone nearby first before you use a piece of equipment or machine.
  • Never leave your weights on the ground. Put them back to where they should belong.
  • Don’t take the equipment out of its designated area.

Avoid hogging a certain machine or equipment as well. Remember that everything at this place is for sharing. It’s not cool to stay on a particular piece of equipment for hours when you can see that some people are waiting for their turn to use it.

6.    Respect Personal Space

respect personal space

Humans are social beings, but the gym is not necessarily the best place for extended social interactions.

While a simple “Hi” or “What’s up” to a stranger next to your treadmill is perfectly acceptable, drilling them with personal questions could be too much. Many people perceive the gym as an intimidating space and may want to focus solely on their workout without engaging in conversations.

It’s important to respect the personal space that others need. Some people go to the gym to clear their minds, relieve stress, or focus on their fitness goals. They might prefer to put up a wall and avoid as much human interaction as possible.

For those who enjoy socializing, it’s crucial to read the room. If someone is wearing headphones, looking intensely focused, or seems to be in a hurry, they probably don’t want to be disturbed. Always gauge the situation and be respectful of others’ need for space and privacy.

It’s also worth noting that gym interactions should remain appropriate and non-intrusive. Avoid making comments about others’ bodies or workouts, and never touch someone without their permission, even if you think you’re being helpful. Personal space and respect are paramount in maintaining a comfortable and welcoming gym environment.

7.    Clean As You Go

clean as you go

Cleaning up after yourself is not only about hygiene but also about respect for others.

Leaving your sweat on a treadmill or any piece of equipment after using it is not only unsanitary but also inconsiderate to the next person who wants to use it. Always carry a towel with you to wipe down equipment after use. Most gyms provide disinfectant sprays and paper towels for this purpose; make sure you use them.

Cleaning a piece of equipment after use is a courtesy that shows respect for the next person. It’s a conscious effort to create a clean and healthy gym environment. Additionally, this practice helps prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, contributing to the overall well-being of everyone in the gym.

In addition to wiping down machines, remember to put away any equipment you use. This includes returning weights to their racks, putting away resistance bands, and ensuring that mats are neatly stored. A clutter-free gym floor is not only more inviting but also safer for everyone.

Also, be mindful of the locker room and other shared spaces. Dispose of any trash, avoid leaving personal items strewn about, and clean up any spills or messes you create. This extends to the showers and changing areas as well—leaving them clean and tidy for the next person shows consideration and respect.

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You may only spend an hour or two at the gym every day. But practicing gym etiquette all the time ensures that every gym experience is as pleasant as possible. It’s a holistic experience that does not only improve your physical appearance but also your social and emotional aspect.

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