How to Not Be THAT Person at the Gym

August 24, 2015
An etiquette guide for fit women.

Emily Post wasn't exactly a gym rat, but that doesn't mean there's no such thing as fitness etiquette. We created the ultimate guide to fit-i-quette, including these new rules for the weight room—follow these as if Miss Manners were spotting you.

Put It Back
No one came here to play hide-and-seek. People who move equipment around (or just drop dumbbells wherever they please) are the most frequent offenders, says strength and conditioning specialist David Otey, fitness manager at Equinox Sports Club in New York City. "If you move something, always return it to where it was when you found it."

 

A photo posted by @klowfit on

 

Wipe Down Equipment
C'mon, you'd think we were asking you to reupholster the flippin' seat. Many facilities have a towelette dispenser, and almost all have hand towels. Grab one, and quickly run it along any surface you touched, including mats. Full disclosure: Some research has found that doing so may not significantly clear away germs, but we're standing by it because every bit helps. And, ick, because sitting in other people's sweat is just gross.

RELATED: Are You Guilty of Any of These Fitness Instructor Pet Peeves?

Ditch Your Baggage
We get it—you're popping in for a quick sesh, you're already changed, and you'd rather not make a pit stop to the locker room. But bringing your bag as a plus-one isn't just annoying, it's a safety concern: Don't make fellow exercisers hop over your crap.

RELATED: 10 True Locker Room Horror Stories You're So Glad Didn't Happen to YOU

Ask for Help
Not sure how to use that TRX thingy? Can't find a sandbag? Pipe up! "Approaching trainers can be intimidating, but we encourage the questions," says Andrew Aranzamendez, assistant department head of personal training at Life Time Athletic Montvale in New Jersey. Just watch your timing: Hitting up a staffer who's in the middle of training someone is plain ol' rude—and won't win you any gym buds.

Mind the Mirrors
Watching your reflection can help you catch form fails, says Aranzamendez. But don't hog the mirror if you're not actually using it. And be considerate of how your reflection is impacting fellow lifters. Leave about an arm's length of space around anyone doing sets alongside you.

 

A photo posted by Mahlia Monroe (@mimientertainment) on

 

Tone Down the Tech!
It was the first thing out of every expert's mouth, but we're putting it last for emphasis and because it applies to the weight room and beyond: Stop with the constant texting and selfies. By all means, post a motivating pic pre- or post-workout, but not on the floor. Easily distracted by every ding? Put your phone on airplane mode, says Otey. You'll still get your tunes, but you'll tune out the noise.

RELATED: 13 Gym Rules Everyone Should Follow

For everything else you need to know about gym etiquette, pick up the September 2015 issue of Women's Health, on newsstands now.

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