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The Gym Etiquette Guide: What Not to Do at the Gym The Gym Etiquette Guide: What Not to Do at the Gym


The Gym Etiquette Guide: What Not to Do at the Gym

Avoid common gym etiquette mistakes and learn what not to do at the gym with this comprehensive guide.

Embarking on a fitness journey is an exhilarating experience. The gym, being your go-to place for workouts, plays a pivotal role in this adventure. However, as a newcomer or even a regular gym-goer, you might unknowingly fall into habits that can be deemed inappropriate. Navigating the unwritten rules of the gym can sometimes be tricky. So, to help you out, here’s an elaborate guide on “What should you not do at the gym?” This article not only discusses general gym etiquette but also gives special attention to running shorts etiquette.

The Don’ts of Gym Etiquette

Don’t Ignore the Dress Code

Most gyms have an implicit dress code, although not all of them explicitly state it. Wearing appropriate attire is crucial not only for your comfort and safety but also for maintaining a comfortable environment for all gym-goers.

Running shorts are a great option for the gym. They are versatile and designed to facilitate a broad range of movements. However, extremely short running shorts might not be a good choice. Apart from potentially being against the gym’s dress code, overly revealing clothing might also make other gym-goers uncomfortable.

Also, avoid clothing that restricts movement or is made from non-breathable material. Go for sweat-wicking fabrics that keep you dry and comfortable throughout your workout.

Don’t Hog the Machines

Hogging machines, especially during peak gym hours, is a big no-no. Be mindful of others waiting to use the equipment. Rest between sets is important, but try not to prolong it unnecessarily. If someone is waiting, offer to let them work in during your rest periods.

Don’t Forget to Wipe Down Equipment

Sweat is inevitable when you’re working out, but leaving a trail of it on gym equipment is inconsiderate. Most gyms provide disinfectant wipes or spray. Use these to clean equipment after you’ve used it. This simple gesture goes a long way in maintaining gym hygiene.

Don’t Drop the Weights

Dropping weights can damage the floor, the equipment, and might even cause injuries. Lower the weights gently after you’re done with your set. If you can’t control the weight, it’s probably too heavy for you.

Don’t Disrespect Personal Space

Gyms can get crowded, but it’s important to respect others’ personal space. This applies whether you’re on the gym floor or in the changing room. Avoid exercises that encroach on someone else’s space. Maintain a respectable distance when waiting for equipment.

The Don’ts of Gym Hygiene

Proper hygiene is paramount in a shared space like the gym. Here are some hygiene-related actions you should avoid:

Don’t Ignore Body Odor

Body odor can be unpleasant for those working out around you. Ensure that your gym clothes, including your running shorts, are clean. Use deodorant, but avoid strong fragrances as they might be bothersome to others.

Don’t Come to the Gym Sick

Coming to the gym while you’re sick not only hampers your recovery but also risks spreading the illness to others. If you’re unwell, it’s best to rest at home.

Don’t Use Equipment as a Clothes Hanger

Your gym bag, towel, or clothes should not be left hanging on the gym equipment. This not only makes the equipment unavailable for others but also spreads germs.


The gym is a shared space where respect and consideration go a long way in creating a comfortable and productive environment for everyone. Keeping in mind these guidelines on what not to do at the gym will not only make you a respectful gym-goer but also enhance your own gym experience.


Is it okay to wear running shorts at the gym?

Yes, running shorts are a comfortable and versatile choice for the gym. However, extremely short running shorts might not be appropriate.

What should I do if someone is hogging a machine I want to use?

You can politely ask them how many sets they have left or if you could work in during their rest periods.

How can I maintain gym hygiene?

Wipe down equipment after use, don’t leave your belongings on the gym equipment, and avoid going to the gym if you’re sick.

Is it okay to drop weights after lifting?

No, dropping weights can cause damage and injuries. If you can’t lower the weights gently, they’re probably too heavy for you.

What can I do about body odor at the gym?

Ensure your gym clothes are clean and use deodorant. However, avoid strong fragrances as they might be bothersome to others.