Sweatiquette: The fitness fanatic’s guide to good gym manners

Eat. Sleep. Gym. Wipe your machine. Repeat.

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Monday 15 January 2018 14:01

Anyone who regularly goes to the gym knows that there are certain unspoken rules that everyone abides by.

Wipe down your machine after use, don’t hover over someone when they’re using a piece of equipment… basically, use your common sense and respect others.

However, some people at the gym will always falter in the manners department.

Debrett’s, a recognised authority on etiquette since 1769, has formulated a handy gym etiquette guide so that everyone can work out in harmony.

Keeping it clean

There’s nothing worse than going to use a piece of gym equipment, only to find that the person who was using it before you has left without giving it a proper wipe down.

This is even more gross when you consider the fact that 12 per cent of people don’t wear deodorant at the gym, with 18 per cent of people wearing their exercise clothes more than once without giving them a thorough wash, according to a YouGov study conducted in partnership with Freya Lingerie.

Almost a fifth of people neglect to wipe down machines after use, failing to consider other gym members who may prefer not to use equipment that’s covered with sweat.

Debrett’s advises using paper towels to briefly clean the equipment and perhaps even carrying some hygiene spray with you.

Making friends

While many people prefer to exercise in solace when they go to the gym, 42 per cent of us would very happily chat with fellow gym goers.

It’s been revealed that 26 per cent of people aged between 18 and 45 have made new friends while working out.

However, Debrett’s has advised people tread with caution when attempting to make idle chat.

If someone is exhibiting clear signals that they don’t want to engage in conversation, for example if they’re listening to music or appear very focussed, it would be best to leave them alone, no matter how friendly your intentions.

Waiting your turn

When you go to the gym during peak hours, chances are you may have to wait for others to finish their reps before using particular pieces of equipment.

However, waiting closely by someone as they’re engrossed in their workout can be one of the most annoying things you can do, according to Debrett’s.

13 per cent of people would describe someone hovering over them while they’re using a machine as their greatest gym pet peeve.

On the other hand, it’s important not to use the equipment selfishly.

Eight per cent of people surveyed admitted that they sometimes sit on exercise machines to chat with friends, while seven per cent of people confessed that they often book classes and decide not to go without cancelling their place, leaving their spot unfilled.

Avoid being leery

You never know where you’re going to find love.

Only a small number of people go to the gym specifically to seek out romance, with a mere four per cent of Brits admitting that they do so.

While only 16 per cent of women have said that they wouldn’t mind being asked out at the gym in comparison to 33 per cent of men, there’s no reason why you can’t meet a potential partner between the barbells as long as you’re attentive to other people’s signals.

As mentioned above, if someone is listening to music or appears content working out without company, it’d be best to leave them alone.

However, nearly half of Brits believe that it’s acceptable to ask someone out at the gym.

Try not to be selfie-centred

The study discovered that 25 per cent of women who go to their gym use their phone while working out, with 22 per cent of men also unable to resist.

Furthermore, six per cent of people feel the need to take selfies during their workouts, a habit that unsurprisingly annoys five per cent of fellow gym-goers.

If you can’t go to the gym without updating your Instagram story, make sure that you don’t accidentally snap any unsuspecting people in the background.

Understandably, many people would prefer not to be pictured while working up a sweat.

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