The Rudest Things You Can Do At The Gym

Caroline Bologna

Going to the gym is a regular part of many people’s routines, and as with any public activity, it comes with many opportunities for rude behavior. 

“Because a gym is a shared space, one where adrenaline is in ample supply, members must be particularly mindful of how their behavior can adversely affect the experiences of others,” said Thomas P. Farley, an etiquette expert also known as “Mister Manners.” “Whether their commitment entails a once-a-week treadmill run or a daily heavy-lifting regimen, all members should remember they are part of a community and therefore need to follow common-sense guidelines to ensure everyone hits their goals.”

Of course, people are often not aware of the consequences of their actions in shared spaces ― gym or otherwise. To help make working out an enjoyable experience for everyone, HuffPost asked Farley and other etiquette experts to identify the faux pas they often see people committing at the gym. Read on for 11 examples.

Not Wiping Down Equipment 

After you sweat all over a piece of equipment, it’s important to wipe it down before moving onto the next machine. 

“Nobody wants to sit in your sweat,” said April Masini, an etiquette expert and fitness advocate. “So grab a towel or wipe to clean it.”

If you notice someone else failing to do this, there’s a polite way to confront them, said Jodi R.R. Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting.

“You can say, ’Oh excuse me, I don’t think you realized it, but there are paper towels over there so you can wipe down the machine,” Smith said. “Most people are well-intentioned and will do that. But don’t engage further if they disagree. Just go tell some staff members.”

Failing To Return Weights

If you use the free weights at the gym, be sure to put them away when you’re finished. Leaving them on the floor is not only rude but can pose a safety hazard, as people may trip over them. 

“This is a kindergarten skill,” Smith said. “Once...

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