Fit for a King: Etiquette in the Gym

William working out in the gym

Working out with a smile

The summer is here and many people will probably want to tone up their bodies for the warmer weather. Admirable, but do remember that gyms, like everything else, have an un-written (until now) etiquette that people should follow and respect.

Here are my tips for working out politely.

Good gym kit Make sure your gym kit is clean and presentable. Men should not go bare chested either

Mirrors They are there for you to check your technique and not for preening

Music As with public transport, keep your personal music devices turned down so only you can hear them

Grunting, etc Not allowed, ever! There’s no need for others to be acutely aware that you are working out

Equipment hogging Don’t use a piece of equipment for longer than 15 minutes if there are others in the gym. There may not be a visible queue, but it’s not to say that others won’t be wanting to use your machine

Saving machines Don’t go and drape a towel over a machine you want to use next until you are ready to use it

Gym bores Don’t bore other people (inside or outside of the gym) about how well you are doing with your workout regime, or how your new diet is going. Only tell if they ask – too many people can become boorish when discussing fitness

Not a competition If the person on the machine next to you is doing a higher speed than you, do not worry that you are not as fit as them. Exercise should be taken at your own pace and not dictated by others – you can actually do yourself harm if you try to match others’ speeds

Wipe up! After use, make sure you give sweaty machines a wipe down so they are ready to be used by the next person.

William Hanson
Tutor, The English Manner

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1 Response to “Fit for a King: Etiquette in the Gym”


  1. 1 Jay Remer 4 July 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Excellent advice, especially for those of us to whom the gym can be an embarrassing place to go. I tend to get my exercise pushing a lawn mower around two acres of hilly green grass. The hill, going up, does cause the occasional groan, which I see is a no-no in the gym. I have two questions then. One, if the gym is empty – my idea of bliss – is grunting allowed? Two, if not in a public place (such as my lawn), I am hoping groaning and grunting is de rigeur. It seems to satisfy some deep animal need.


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