Brush Up on Gym Etiquette as You Kick Off New Year's Resolutions

Heading to the gym for your New Year's resolution? Follow these rules.

ByABC News
December 26, 2014, 12:06 PM
Heading to the gym to make good on your New Year's resolution is great, but keep gym etiquette in mind.
Heading to the gym to make good on your New Year's resolution is great, but keep gym etiquette in mind.
Getty Images/Cultura RF

— -- It's almost that time of year again; the time when the New Year's resolution crowd flocks to the gym, annoying the regulars.

If going to the gym more is part of your New Year's resolution, great! But there are a few things you can do to be more considerate of your fellow gym-goers once you get there.

Wipe down machines and put equipment away.

There's nothing quite like the sudden realization that you've just grabbed hold of a handle covered in sweat, or snot. (It is flu season, after all.) Make sure you wipe down your equipment before moving on to your next activity. Gyms like Planet Fitness make it part of their official rules.

Put equipment away.

Putting equipment away is important because if someone lifts 900 pounds and doesn't remove the weight before leaving, it may be tough for the next person to take the weight off.

"If you're strong enough to do it, you're strong enough to put it back," said Tom Holland, a New York-area exercise physiologist and author of "Beat the Gym."

Remember to share.

Don't take up too much room, and don't hog the machines too long. If you're doing three sets of 10 reps on a machine, for example, someone else can rotate in while you rest between sets.

If you want to use the equipment while someone is resting between sets, just ask to "work in," Holland said.

"It's perfect because it gives you the perfect amount of time to rest," he said. "It can actually help your workout."

Use one piece of equipment at a time.

A faux pas Holland said he's seeing more and more is that people are using more than one piece of equipment at the same time. For instance, a person may put a towel down and use the dumb bells, go across the room to do something else, leaving the towel as a placeholder and then complain when someone else uses the dumbbells.

"I've been doing this for 20-some odd years," Holland said. "For some reason, it's just worse."

Don't stand in front of the free weights.

Taking free weights off the rack in front of the mirror and just doing your exercises there may seem to make sense, but it's actually inconsiderate because other people can't get to the weights while you're standing in front of them. Move off to the side, Holland said.

Avoid loud phone calls.

No one needs to hear your conversations or awkward noises, and class instructors like Debbie Hanoka of Madison, New Jersey, insist that no one talks during her class, calling it "unbelievably rude" when she spoke to ABC News about gym pet peeves. Gyms have designated areas if you really need to make a call.

Avoid grunting when you're lifting weights.

"If you have to yell, it's too heavy," Holland said.

Wear the right clothing.

Gyms often set dress codes, such as asking members to avoid bare midriffs and flip-flops.

The right footwear is also about your safety. You don't want to go flying off the back of a treadmill because you wore flip-flops, do you?

Use deodorant.


And on the flip side, avoid cologne. It really bugged people on Twitter in January.

Have rules of your own?

Add them to the comments section.