Friday, May 14, 2010

Guest Post: Jackie Warner

Gym Etiquette

By Jackie Warner

If anybody knows about proper gym etiquette, it’s me. I own a gym and have to constantly

stay on top of my staff to follow the rules. A lot of clients tell me that they’re intimidated

by gyms because they feel they don’t know how to use the equipment or feel they are out

of place, in the way. Part of feeling comfortable in the gym is knowing the rules of a gym.

I’ll clear up a few of these for you, so you can go into any gym with confidence.

✱ Learn the proper operation of equipment. If you’re unsure of how something

works, ask for assistance.

✱ Pick up after yourself. Put your weights away. The next people in line don’t want

to hunt around for the weights they need or, worse yet, try to remove the weights

you left out.

✱ Allow people to “work in.” Many people do multiple sets on the weight machines,

then sit on the equipment during their recovery time. If someone is waiting to

use the same machine, the proper etiquette is to allow her to work in or do her

set while you recover. So do your set, get off, and let the other person work in.

Don’t be shy about asking someone if you can work in, either. However, don’t

work in if there are already two people waiting to use the same equipment.

✱ Don’t drop weights. Not only is dropping weights dangerous for your toes, but it

damages the equipment and the floor. The rule of thumb is: If you can lift it, you

can put it down gently.

✱ Observe time limits on cardio equipment. Some gyms have time limits (usually

thirty minutes) on the cardio equipment (treadmills, elliptical trainers, stationary

bikes, and so on), especially during peak hours. If you see people waiting around

to use your type of machine, be especially conscious of the time limit.

✱ Wipe your sweat off the equipment. Gyms are notorious places for spreading

nasty germs like staph infections, so practice good hygiene. And always lay a

towel on the equipment to protect yourself.

✱ Don’t disturb other gymgoers. The gym can be a great place to meet other healthy

people. But don’t be too chatty. You are there to work to intensity. Stay focused on

your goals.

Jackie Warner is the author of the New York Times best seller, This is Why You're Fat.


  1. I won her book and can't wait to read it!

  2. I so appreciate the Don't Drop Weights rule! It irritates the heck out of me as a gym-goer when others do that. Don't they understand they'd actually get more of a workout if they put the weights down instead of dropping them?