When you start going to the gym, it can be intimidating. You’re surrounded by people who are more fit than you and who have been going longer than you—it’s hard not to feel like an outsider!

But just because they’ve been there longer doesn’t mean they know more than you do. And just because they have more muscle than you doesn’t mean they’re necessarily better at working out. In fact, the only thing that matters is that everyone is trying their best to stay healthy, and if you can help each other out along the way, that’s so much better!

With that in mind, here are some tips for being a good gym-goer.

Wear Headphones

First off: don’t blast music out of your phone speaker. We get it—you want to show off your awesome playlist choices by playing them loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. But it’s rude and annoying, and the songs don’t sound good coming from your phone speaker anyway, so please: just play music through headphones instead.

Always Bring a Towel 

Bringing a towel to the gym is essential for your safety and comfort.

You can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face and body, as well as from your equipment. It’s also nice to have on hand if you want to wipe down the machines after you use them.

A towel can be used to keep your hands dry if you’re doing weight exercises like bicep curls or deadlifts, which will make it easier for you to grip the weights.

And if you’re going to be lifting weights heavily and sweating profusely, a towel can help absorb some of that sweat before it gets all over the place, keeping you and the facilities clean and sanitary. 

Wipe Down Your Equipment 

Wiping down your equipment with disinfectant after using it is a great way to keep germs at bay and to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your workout. Anything you touch should be cleaned, including mats, dumbbells, and the buttons on the treadmill. You should even wipe down the handles on your weight machines and the handles of cardio equipment like treadmills and elliptical machines.

This helps to keep germs from spreading from one person to another—and also helps to reduce your risk of getting sick yourself!

Don’t Wear Outdoor Shoes in the Gym

There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn’t wear outdoor shoes in the gym. The most obvious one is that they probably don’t offer adequate support—and if they do, they’re probably not meant for running or weightlifting. But, even if they did have adequate support, they’re usually dirty.

Montreal winters can be rough, and the wet snow, de-icing solution, and dirt you pick up on your shoes should NOT be part of your workout. It’s just not sanitary, and it’s not safe. You want to make sure that the surface you’re working out on is clean and free of debris, so don’t track dirt through the facilities! Just bring a change of shoes and change them in the designated area before stepping onto the gym floor.

Be Fair with Equipment

At the gym, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. One of them is that it’s not cool to hog the equipment.

If someone is waiting for your machine, be considerate of that and don’t waste time on your phone, talking to a friend, or otherwise messing around.

Alternatively, if you’re waiting for a machine that someone else is using, and they haven’t noticed you yet (which happens), just politely ask them how long they’ll be using it and inform them that when they’re done, you would like to use the machine. Don’t hover around or rush them; just be patient and wait for them to finish up so you can get started. No one likes being rushed through their workout!

At the end of the day, gym etiquette isn’t about what you’re wearing or how much you’re sweating—it’s about being considerate and polite to your fellow gym-goers. When you’re at the gym, you’re part of a community that is working toward similar goals. You have something in common: you want to get fit and healthy. So let’s all try to be friendly and polite to each other so we can get there faster!

And don’t forget: Buzzfit Gyms are here for you! We offer clean facilities and friendly staff who will help you find your way around our gyms. Come check us out!