30 Things You Should Never Do At The Gym

Do NOT be this person 😬

Emily Abbate |

There is a certain unspoken etiquette that comes into play the second you walk into a gym, ready to sweat. Still, we’ve all been there: watching someone text endlessly while hogging a piece of equipment or rolling our eyes at the that is-this-ever-going-to-end selfie taker. Avoid irritating your fellow sweat-seekers by skipping out on these annoying gym habits.

Don’t leave your equipment everywhere.

This is not your bedroom. The last thing anyone wants to do is pick up a dumbbell that’s covered in someone else’s sweat. Clean up after yourself!

Avoid texting while using equipment.

While you’re busy making plans for tonight, someone else is standing by trying to be productive with their sweat strategy. Your conversation can wait until you’re done with the weights. Research even found that texting during exercise impacted balance and stability by 45 percent, compared to not using a phone.

READ MORE: This 12-Minute Workout Is All You Need To Bur Fat – Yes, Really

Try not to check your smartwatch during a dark workout class.

The data will be there waiting for you once the instructor yells “final sprint!” That watch face may be little, but that light can be a mega distraction to everyone around you.

There’s no excuse for not racking your weights properly.

This is ultimate laziness, especially since the weights couldn’t be in a more easy-to-organise format, TBH. Go on, and put the five kilo in the five kilogram slot.

Never listen to music without headphones.

It’s cool that you’re into listening to loud hip-hop while you work out, but not everyone needs to be up to speed on your latest playlist.

There’s no need for a full face of make-up.

Let your skin breathe! This is a place to work out, not a fashion show. Exert any actual effort, and you can immediately kiss that glam goodbye.

Don’t hover over someone who isn’t finished with their set yet.

There is a whole gym here, people. If someone is in the middle of using the piece of equipment you want to use, find something else to do until they’re done. It’s really not that difficult.

Don’t leave your belongings on a bench to claim it as yours, then walk away.

You. Do. Not. Own. This. Bench. If you’re hoping to stake your claim on a particular piece of gym equipment, look into how much it costs online and start saving your rands.

Don’t hit on someone wearing headphones.

Headphones are the ultimate don’t-eff-with-me indicator. Save your game for the smoothie bar, and let a lady sweat (and jam out) in peace.

READ MORE: “Here’s Why I’m Suddenly Totally Obsessed With Yin Yoga”

No staring.

This is a fitness facility, not a movie theatre. If you’re too busy focusing on what someone else is doing, you’re certainly not giving your workout the attention it deserves.

Try not to grunt too loudly.

Shun the grunt. Even when it feels really, really hard, the gym is not a place to showcase your Idols SA-worthy vocals.

Save the selfies for your own mirror.

Looking swole is cool and all, but the gym is for working out – not photoshoots. Extra penalty points for taking selfies that showcase other gym-goers.

Don’t drop your weights loudly.

It is super empowering (and awesome!) to be able to lift heavy weights. It’s super lame when you throw them around, causing a ruckus.

Come on, no flexing in the mirror.

Again, kudos on the gains. But it’s not cool to make your fellow gym-goers feel awkward, watching you flex on ’em in the mirror.

Never give someone unsolicited advice.

No matter what your qualifications are, it’s never cool to intrude on someone’s workout space, especially when they aren’t looking for your opinion. If you see someone doing something totally wrong, it’s better to pull aside a trainer or staff member to give them the heads up. Then, they can approach them without making it awkward.

Don’t ditch your sneakers.

Barefoot training is totally trending, but that doesn’t mean ditching the sneakers is cool with the people getting after a new PR next to you. Hold off on going socks-only in public, especially if there’s stink potential.

Avoid slamming your feet on the treadmill.

If you can hear the slamming of your stride on the treadmill over the music in your headphones, that’s a clear indication that you need to re-evaluate your running form. Proper running technique involves a soft landing, one that doesn’t make the person on the next tread think Bigfoot is coming.

READ MORE: 9 Best Calf Exercises To Give You Toned Legs Like No Other

Never compare yourself to the person next to you.

Your progress is just that, yours. While comparison can be easy in this sort of setting, the best thing you can do for a stellar sweat is stay focused on your goal and avoid putting yourself up against someone else.

Don’t hoard the weights.

Saving those for later? That’s not cool for everyone else. It’s a pretty simple formula: Take what you need, use it, then return it to its proper location.

Don’t make phone calls.

Not only does chatting on the phone during your workout distract you from what you’re doing, but it’s also totally annoying. Whatever it is, it can wait. And if it can’t? Get off the gym floor, and take care of your business somewhere else.

Please, do not douse yourself in perfume.

No one wants to stink up the gym floor, so we understand the desire to mask potential stench in a little bit of spritz. But when you start to perspire, that’s going to get amplified – fast. Your signature smell may not be ideal for those around you, and you’ve gotta respect that.

Don’t show up with a bad attitude.

We’ve all been in that working-out-is-going-to-make-this-feel-better mood. But if you’re in a bad place when you kick things off, you could be a little too distracted (and even risk injury). Keep your head up, and really reap the benefits of those sweaty endorphins.

Try not to talk during a workout class.

People pay big bucks to take motivating classes, and instructors work hard to cultivate a fun, enjoyable experience. Talking when it’s someone else’s job to lead the whole shebang is disrespectful to the person leading the workout – and the other people around you.

Don’t disrespect someone else’s personal space.

There are a dozen empty treadmills, but for some reason you feel the need to take the one right next to the only other person on the gym floor. How RUDE! Be easy and take a step back.

READ MORE: Why You Should Include Hip Exercises In Every Workout

Don’t linger around naked for long periods of time in the locker room.

Yes, it’s a safe space. And yes, it’s totally cool to strip down, change and get ready for the next thing on your agenda. Still, lingering around sans clothes can make the other people around you a tad uncomfortable. Refrain from channeling your inner exhibitionist and save that for the comfort of your own home.

Try not to fart. (For real!)

Okay, okay, so it happens! Especially when working out, because well, stuff’s getting jostled up in there. But if you’ve gotta let one rip, try and do it when no one is around.

Don’t stay on a machine for too long.

Especially during peak hours (read: before or after work), there’s a lot of foot traffic at the gym. Be mindful if there are people waiting around for their turn and respect that everyone deserves some workout TLC.

The gym is not a café, so don’t treat it like one.

Whether it’s before, during or after your workout – the gym is not a place to sit on equipment and enjoy your juice/coffee/smoothie/protein shake. Keep your sips (and eats!) off the gym floor and save that for another time.

A workout class is not the time to do your own workout.

If you don’t want to follow someone else’s directions, don’t sign up for a workout class –period. It’s one thing to modify what an instructor is telling you, it’s another to completely disregard their voice in favour of something totally different.


Please don’t attempt! Workouts are a super fun date idea, but the gym is not a substitute for bedroom time – no matter how turned on a good sweat makes you feel.

This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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