Check Yourself | Gym Etiquette Edition

Posted in Blog

April 2019 Fitness & Wellness Corner
By Maegen C. Stoner, Director, Fitness & Wellness

If I had to guess, most of us speed through our gym’s policies and procedures when we’re signing up for a membership. It’s another long list of terms and agreements, and well let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time for that when you’re itching to get your workout on! Another likely occurrence is that unless you had a required weight lifting class in high school or college, or a friend who showed you the ropes, no one told you how to avoid being “that” person in the gym. Let me help you out 🙂 If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Fitness Floor or The Rack Guidelines, I’d certainly encourage you to do so when you have a chance. Our guidelines outline expected behavior, promote safety of all patrons, and help prolong the life of our equipment.

Sometimes it appears that gym etiquette has gone out the window, but to encourage our community of gym goers, we’ll touch on some common courtesy rules to keep everyone on the same page!

If someone is using a machine or piece of equipment and you need something nearby, ask before entering that space. Refrain from walking up and grabbing the equipment when someone else is performing an exercise on the machine or piece of equipment. You could startle or bump them, which can be disastrous for both parties involved.

Ever wandered around looking for something that has a rightful home, but someone didn’t return it to its proper location? Or tried to get to the dumbbell rack but there’s a bench blocking access? Equipment is placed in specific areas of the fitness floor to ensure yours and others around you safe. It helps everyone out when you keep equipment in and perform designated exercises in the appropriate areas. Keep it tidy!

Hands down, the number one rule that’s broken in any gym. It should go without saying, but when you’re done using it, return it to where you got it from. However, if you found a set of weights somewhere where they don’t belong, return them to their rightful location or ask a Fitness Attendant where they should be placed if you’re unsure. Also, refrain from leaving machines and/or barbells loaded up with weight.

When you’ve finished your set and need to rest, hop up (wipe down your machine of course!) and allow others to work in. Machines are meant for sharing!

Clean-up, clean-up, everybody do their share! Sweat is expected during a workout and wiping down your equipment after use helps reduce the spread of infections and illnesses. Our facility has Gym Wipe stations located throughout the space and are available for your convenience.

Dropping, throwing, or slamming weights or weight stacks, not only damages them, but also the floor. Additionally, this habit is unnecessarily loud. A good practice to follow is to gently return the weights to their resting position. If you’re performing a free weight exercise with dumbbells, complete the repetition before the weights touch. Ask yourself this question, “if this was something valuable and important to me, would I drop or throw it to the ground?”

Give people some room! If it’s overly crowded and you can’t get to a piece of equipment, refrain from standing inches away from someone who is already utilizing it. This can be dangerous for you both. It can also be very uncomfortable for the person on the equipment.

Training takes time and depending on the routine you’re following, multiple sets are needed. It’s totally cool to use a piece of equipment to perform multiple sets. Just keep a check on the room and be mindful of others and their time. Allow others to work in during your rest periods. Our facility additionally has a 30-minute time limit on cardio equipment during peak usage times, and we greatly appreciate our members respecting this so others can utilize the equipment.

Key components for most people’s workout: headphones, cell phone, and water bottle.  Definitely bump your favorite beats for a killer workout sesh, but please take cell phone conversations to the lobby or lounge areas so others can concentrate on their workout. If you’re texting, please do not sit on a machine while doing so. Members using their personal device for photography and/or video must not interrupt the experience of other members or cause a safety risk to others. Be discrete and please do not infringe on others gym experience.  Check out our photography/videography guidelines for more information about our “selfie” and recording policies.

Yates is a great place to meet friends and have a brief conversation! However, remember that others come to the gym to de-stress and have some “me” time. To be respectful of other patrons, avoid standing around and holding a lengthy conversation with someone you know (especially around machines). If you’d like to connect with a friend, visit our lounge areas and catch up!

At any given time, Yates can have a wide range of members, from children to older adults, in the facility. We do not tolerate the use of profane language in our building. Remember, it can be offensive to others around you. Please be respectful of your surroundings and verbal requests from staff members to refrain from the use of obscene language.

Always be polite and ask if someone nearby would mind assisting you briefly. If you see someone looking for a spot and are resting between sets, lend a hand!

If you’re unsure how to operate a particular machine, please inquire with a Fitness Attendant (they’re uniform is marked with this designation on the back) or a staff member. We’d be more than happy to show you how something works!

Manners do matter! Being considerate of others in the gym and exercising proper etiquette creates an enjoyable, safe, and friendly environment where everyone can get their fit on!


Hedger, D. (2016). Top 10 Gym Etiquette Rules. Retrieved from

Nitschke, E. (2017) Have Bad Gym Etiquette? Retrieved from

Sherwood, M. (n.d.). Retrieved from


This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.