Mind Your Manners: The Gym Edition

It’s no surprise that fitness is a huge part of the average Penn Stater’s daily routine. Whether you’re the type of gym goer who likes to do a quick circuit to get in and out of the gym as efficiently as possible or you prefer long full-body workouts, there will always be people at the gym that are hindering the quality of your workout.

No matter what your workout routine, it is safe to say that whichever gym facility is your favorite on campus, there will, without question, always be that fellow gym goer that gets under your skin and leaves you ranting to your roommate all day about how that one guy who was hogging your favorite machine had his music turned up way too loud and forgot to put on deodorant this morning. Your entire day is ruined.

Petitioning for a new gym membership agreement that includes new policies on gym etiquette seemed a little pretentious. However, here are the ten things one should never, under any circumstance, do at the gym.

Do Not:

1. Wear Non-Athletic Shoes or Apparel: This should be a no-brainer, right? But we’ve all seen that moron on the elliptical in jeans, or that idiot lifting in skate shoes (skate shoes are still a thing, really?). You’re at the gym. Dress accordingly, because how serious is your workout if you’re still wearing your street clothes?

2. Text/Talk on the Phone While Working Out: This is actually an official rule, because not only does nobody else want to hear about how your date never called or how you failed your management exam, but it’s dangerous. If you’re talking on the phone, I can guarantee there at least three people waiting to see you misstep on that treadmill.

3. Take Excessive Breaks: We get it. You’re hang cleaning 200+ pounds. But how much muscle is that actually building if you’re doing one rep every five minutes? Stop hogging the equipment.

4. Copy Cats: Maybe imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but whatever you do, don’t be the creep who’s following people around and copying every move someone else does. At least have some kind of decency to ask what the routine is because you think it’s an awesome workout. I can safely say that everyone hates a shadow.

5. Leave Weights On: You were tough enough to put on those 100+ pounds, and I highly doubt your regimen was that demanding that you’re too exhausted to take them off. You aren’t a hard-ass. You’re just annoying.

6. Leave Sweat on the Machines: I’ll admit, I question the effectivity of the towels that are sitting out all day. But whether they’re soaked with sweat or the mystery cleaning liquid (I’m sure we’ll never know), at least attempt to wipe off your bodily fluids with whatever cleaning power those drenched towels hold. It’ll put everyone’s mind at ease.

7. Gym-Glam: This one is for the ladies. While most of us understand the social pressure to cover that huge red zit, that in no way gives you a pass to come to the gym fully made-up. This includes working out with your hair curled, straightened, or left down. The boys are too busy flexing in the mirror to notice you at the gym, and if that’s the kind of male attention you are seeking, you’ve got some deeper issues.

8. Take Pictures/Videos: Having a buddy snap a picture of the weight you are squatting, or how many push-ups you can do in one minute only makes other gym gores question what it is exactly that you are compensating for.

9. Grunt: For those of you grunters out there (yeah, I’m talking to you in the DIY cut off), you are just making the gym environment awkward for everyone else. Grunting is not attractive. And you are bringing the wrong kind of attention to yourself.

10. Cut In Without Asking: Mistakes happen, and while fitness centers on campus get crowded quickly and it becomes harder to decipher which machines are currently being used, don’t be that self-righteous jock that steals machines from people. I can say with certainty that your workout is not better than anyone else’s just because you are lifting more.

The gym is supposed to be a place where we can relieve the stress of our busy student lives, not to mention getting and staying fit. So, on behalf of your fellow gym-mates, steer clear of doing any of these ten things. You’ll avoid ruining someone’s day and not to mention, your workout will most definitely improve if you adhere to these ten simple do nots.

About the Author


Sophomore majoring in Journalism and minoring in Sociology. From Albany, NY


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