Gyms and fitness centres are usually a hive of hard-core regulars, people getting back on the fitness wagon and those who’ve just realised that their summer bodies have not been made this past winter. With the mercury steadily rising many of us are heading to the gym hoping to make some last minute gains for the summer holidays. 

Sharing space with a motley mix of people, perspectives and goals can be an intimidating and daunting environmentWeather it’s the lurker, ogler or gym jockey muscle-flexing-exhibitionist, every gym has at least one… The serial gym etiquette offender. 

Geanne, our poster girl and fitness enthusiast weighed in on wrongdoings at her local gym. “Gym bunnies who spend so much time in the gym posing and checking themselves out in the mirror instead of working out. Sweaty Bettie’s who don’t wipe down the equipment after using it and the over-enthusiastic grunter and groaner. It’s obvious it’s for show. 

“People filming themselves and not wearing underpants. It may sound crazy, but it’s more common than you may think,” says Anita, an avid gym goer and Commander HQ member.  

Whether you’re a “newbie” or regular, being conscientious of gym etiquette is key to enjoying your gym time and avoiding those eye rolls, weird looks and cringe worthy moments. 

Here are some best practice tips to help you avoid being a serial gym offender:

What not to wear 

There are some things that simply cannot be unseen. Being inadvertently flashed in the gym can burn unwanted images in one’s brain. Comfort is key but choose gym appropriate clothing that’s not too revealing, won’t ride up (or down) and isn’t see-through. Check your wardrobe from every angle before wearing it to a yoga class or on the gym floor – In the privacy of your home please - not the gym mirror. 

Body odour 

Save your eau de parfum and eau de toilette for your post work out shower. Yes, you’re at the gym to work up a sweat but not to offend with a mix of BO and Chanel. Invest in and USE a good quality, effective anti-perspirant. 

Keep your workout clothes smelling fresh. “Pre-soaking your kit in a solution of water and vinegar before washing can help eliminate built up bacteria and stubborn odours,” advises our resident stylist. 

Keep it tidy 

Unless you have an assistant running after you in the gym, pick up and clean up after yourself. Return your equipment back where it belongs. Stray kettlebells, plates and other gym essentials are not only a safety hazard but inconsiderateMost gyms provide spray cleaners and paper towels to wipe down equipment. Use them.

Be locker room savvy. Keep contained. Avoid spreading out clothes and toiletries across benches or counters, particularly during peak times.

The hot spot 

Practice posing in front of the mirror at home. Mirrors in the gym ensure that that you’re using proper form, using the correct muscles and doing it safely.  

Cellphone debate 

With cellphones being multifunctional and indispensable for most people it’s unlikely that work out areas will ever be cell-free zones. While many rely on their play list to get them through the gruelling workout others use various apps to track their progress.  If you cannot cut yourself off from your phone while logging miles on the treadmill remember: 
  • Keep your phone on silent or vibrate mode 
  • Don’t video or take selfies. It can violate others privacy. 
  • If you must take a call get off the equipment and find a more private spot to have your conversation. 

Additional quick tips: 

  • Don’t be a pick up artist. Yes, gyms offer delicious eye candy and chiselled bodies but it’s just rude to ogle and stare. If you must (and we’re only human), be discrete and NEVER wear sunglasses.
  • Don’t drop your weights. Simple. It’s not cool and no one is impressed. Save it for the drama class.
  • Avoid interrupting someone in the middle of an exercise.  
  • Be space aware, you may have your “favourite spot” but you have no claim to prime floor real-estate. Avoid reserving equipment and floor space by leaving towels and water bottles to mark your territory. Adhere to the allocated time limit.  
  • If using the pool facilities, share your lane. 
  • Save personal grooming to the privacy of your bathroom. Shaving, waxing, clipping nails and other practices are better left for home.   
  • Even if your physique rivals the cast of Magic Mike, don’t be an exhibitionist. Nudity is offensive to some. Cover up before you strike up conversation in the locker room and always in the gym sauna. Not everyone is comfortable with bits hanging out. 
  • Be water wise. Keep showers short. 

Our club member Daniel Voros has this to say "Be friendly. Thank your instructor if you’re in a group class and offer positive affirmation. If you’re new to the gym culture, get an instructor. It’s worth the investment. Ask questions. Most importantly, you’ve made it into the gym. Have fun” 


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