They always say that first impressions count for the most. If you are dressed well and conduct yourself to the same standard, the people surrounding you may be more likely to be receptive towards you.
Appearance and body language are key, be it in that major presentation you’re making, or that round of golf with the founder of the startup you’re so keen to join.
To put it simply, it’s all about etiquette, and the gym is a great place to cultivate both self-awareness and external awareness, basically being mindful of others.
Fit and healthy individuals tend to have lower resting pulse rates, and so are generally more calm and easier to be around.
With the added confidence of being comfortable in their bodies, people who have learned good etiquette are poised in any social setting.
Here are the Do’s and Don’ts for great personal gym etiquette:
- Dress appropriately. Gym attire maximises your workout by ensuring ease of movement, made of breathable materials that dry your sweat more quickly, keeping you dry and comfortable.
- Be considerate about how much you’re sweating., it can be a sign of progress, but just as you appreciate arriving at a clean station, please clean as you go and wipe down equipment after use.
- Share. The gym is a friendly and collective space. Sharing makes a better workout for everyone so please allow others to use the equipment as you rest in between sets.
- Replace equipment. Wherever they came from, they should be returned. Dumbbells, barbells, weight plates, barbell collars, etc., should always be back in their correct positions on the racks, for the courtesy and safety of everyone.
- Be aware of your surroundings and leave space for others. In front of the mirror or on the mat, be mindful of who you might be blocking from checking their form, and be thoughtful of others who might cross into your personal space during group workouts.
- Shower briskly, time is valuable to everyone.
- Go to gym if you’re sick. Go see your doctor.
- Overuse your phone. Save it for the right times during your workout, if you’re using a fitness app or timing yourself. Don’t let it divert you from your real focus.
- Drop equipment. Loud bangs and vibrations can spoil it for others, and barbells and dumbbells are not indestructible. Our floors certainly aren’t.
- Make others uncomfortable by staring at them. Even if you feel it is innocent admiration, don’t assume they know you mean well.
- Offer unsolicited advice. There are professional fitness coaches and trainers for this. If somebody approaches you for advice, do be sociable but please volunteer only what you are confident with.
- Be afraid to ask. Trainers are there for your assistance, with how to properly use the equipment or your body’s form and function. You can ask fellow gym goers, but only if you’re certain they aren’t being interrupted.
- Be late. If you know you’ll be running late for a class or your personal session, inform us or your trainer. Also be aware that leaving early can easily disrupt others during group classes.
- Be messy. Don’t scatter your personal belongings or used towels around the changing room. Bring used towels to the appropriate drop off point and leave your area tidy.
Learning good gym etiquette brings a certain self-awareness. It allows you to respond to people and situations around you reasonably and responsibly and sets a pleasant tone for your workout.