These 10 Basics Will Have You Mastering Gym Etiquette

If music be the food of love, then let etiquette be the science of manners, especially when it comes to the gym environment.


  • From selfie-takers, to weight-not-returners or the ‘sweat towel refrainer’, everyone has their bugbear.
  • ‘Etiquette’ as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary is ‘the set of rules or customs that control accepted behaviour in particular social groups or social situations’.
  • Virgin Active shared some helpful basic gym etiquette to avoid those #AwkwardMoments whilst the heartbeats are up.
  • Visit for more stories.


Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or just starting your fitness journey, adhering to basic gym etiquette can enhance your experience and that of others around you. As Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said: ‘Remember, above all else, the gym is a community, and we are all working just to be a little better every day’. There are some key tips to ensure a positive and respectful gym environment. These 10 basics will have you mastering gym etiquette:

  1. Selfie Awareness: While it’s tempting to capture your progress with a selfie or video for ‘the gram’, be mindful of others around you. Ensure that only you are in the frame, respecting the privacy of fellow gym members – not everyone is looking to be famous quite yet! And refrain from taking photos in changing rooms…for obvious reasons.
  2. Put Equipment Back: After using weights, mats, or any other equipment, return them to their designated areas. This prevents unnecessary delays for other gym goers and maintains a tidy workout space for everyone. Besides, who feels like looking for stuff first thing in the morning besides car keys, phones and EarPods!
  3. Share Equipment: During peak times, sharing equipment is essential. Use what you need, but be considerate of others waiting. Remember, those WhatsApp messages can wait until after your workout and the only heavy lifting should be with weights not smartphones.
  4. Maintain Cleanliness: Always wipe down machines, barbells, and mats after use, especially in the post-pandemic era. Bringing your towel to wipe off sweat and clean equipment demonstrates respect for fellow gym-goers and besides, ain’t nobody got time to marinate in others perspiration. Enough said.
  5. Respect Personal Space: Even in a crowded gym, be mindful of others’ personal space. Avoid encroaching on their workout area, which enhances safety and comfort for everyone – this includes the changerooms.
  6. Flexibility: If a machine you planned to use is occupied, don’t hover around waiting. Move on to the next exercise in your routine and return later. Adaptability fosters a smoother gym experience for all and the change of pace and routine will keep boredom at bay.
  7. Limit Chatter: While being friendly is encouraged, be mindful of others’ time constraints. Avoid engaging in lengthy conversations, as many gym-goers have busy schedules and limited time for workouts. There’s always the coffee or smoothie bar afterwards for that much needed catch up!
  8. Minimize Phone Use: Refrain from engaging in phone conversations or excessively checking your device during workouts. Save personal calls or messages for after your session to avoid disrupting others. Aside from the fact that not everyone is keen to hear about the big weekend you had at the coast.
  9. Be Aware of Surroundings: Before starting any exercises, ensure there is clear space around you and check for any fellow gym members nearby. Stay alert and attentive to prevent accidents or collisions. You don’t want to end up a gym meme…which brings us to the final point.
  10. Everyone for Themselves: Everyone has joined the gym to climb their own mountain and achieve their own personal goals. Filming or photographic other people’s progress or lack thereof and sharing it on social media without their permission is just not on in so many ways. Besides, it’s taking away time from your sit-ups so put your phone down and give us another ten!


Incorporating these etiquette tips into your gym routine promotes a positive and respectful atmosphere for all members. Remember, a little courtesy and mindfulness can go a long way in enhancing everyone’s gym experience. Manners maketh the member – see you in the club!


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