Why do some gyms have air conditioning

6 gym rules that nobody will tell you

The gym. A parallel world with its own gym rules.

It can seem strange at first. At least that's how I felt when I got my first gym membership.

If you don't know the gym etiquette, it's easy to make a mistake. Just like me a good 20 years ago.

This article is there to prevent that from happening to you.

By the way, there are also “veterans” who are not aware of them ...

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Which gym rules are communicated (and which are not)

You have probably already read gym rules somewhere. Sometimes house rules are posted, sometimes you sign them when you sign the contract.

These written rules usually have onelegal Background.

They should protect you from injuries or other types of damage - and the studio operator from legal disputes.

Here are a few examples:

  • Keep your valuables safe.
  • Treat the devices with care.
  • Be careful not to pinch your fingers between weight plates.
  • Put the weights back when you no longer need them.
  • Disinfect the devices after use.
  • Etc.

The usual things.

And then there are gym rules that usually nobody announces in public. You learn them in time by observing. Or someone who has been training for a long time.

These unwritten gym rules have one social Background.

A typical gym has thousands of members: an average of one member per 1.4 square meters of studio space

That's a lot of people in a small space, especially at peak times. Only a few should know each other, but everyone wants to get along well.

More and more people are setting themselves clear goals and training according to the principles of correct strength training. I like the thought.

The unwritten gym rules are based on consideration.

Beginners in particular can easily put themselves in the wrong place.

Sometimes they notice it from the strange looks of other studio guests.

The dividing line between the publicly communicated and the unwritten rules is not always sharp. There are overlaps depending on the studio culture.

The fact is, everyone should know them. Because they shape the social environment in weight training. And that makes our gym a nicer place for all of us.

6 gym rules that everyone who stays at it should know (and adhere to)

It is quite possible that you will raise your eyebrows at some of the rules: "That goes without saying."


With a little empathy and training experience, many of the rules are self-explanatory.

And some people are not aware of them.

No problem! Just share this article and make the gym a nicer place for all of us.

1. Put your stuff away

I know this “unwritten” rule hangs on the wall in many gyms. I suspect that most of us grew up putting our things away - automatically.

The truth is, this rule works better in some studios than others.

So let me fill in, then we have them unwritten Rule:

Put away the weights WITHOUT having to be asked to do so.

Have you ever noticed that especially those who seem to be successful in training usually also put away their weights?

Successful strength athletes clear away their stuff.

Why is that? Does the clearing make it successful? I think so. Because it is a sign that people are taking responsibility. And without them, success - even in training - is difficult to achieve.

And also:

Anyone who has scoured 2,000 m² for a dumbbell knows what a brake on fun is.

I recently heard from a studio owner where he can find dumbbells everywhere: in the sauna, by the pool, in the classroom, on treadmills or on the square in front of the studio.

Of course, the same applies to the rest of the equipment: Barbells, weight plates, clamps, straps, chains and kettlebells also belong back to their regular place.

There is also a reason that the barbell plates on the storage bars are sorted by weight, if possible. Sometimes I ask myself:

What does it say about a person who hangs his 25 kg weight plates directly over a 2.5 kg weight plate when dismantling?

This makes the 2.5 kg disc useless for everyone else. Especially for those who cannot (yet) easily lift 25 kg discs.

Not do!

2. You are the host

Exciting question:

Would you behave the same way if it was your own studio - and the other athletes your guests?

Of course that's not your topic. But with some people one wonders whether they ...

  • ... just leave your rubbish at home?
  • ... or your sweat stains as a greeting for the next one who wants to use the device?
  • ... or just piss next to it when going to the toilet (or worse) without cleaning up afterwards?

Clearly: A good gym manager makes sure that his shop is clean and tidy.

But very few fitness studios employ people who constantly run after their members to clear away their rubbish.

Anyone who is aware of this (and acts accordingly) makes the gym a nicer place for everyone.

3. Flirting in the gym?

If you are like me, then health has a high priority in your life. And in the fitness studio you will meet a lot of like-minded people.

A great basis to meet the future partner. It is easy for anyone who is on the hunt to forget:

Most people in the gym are not about flirting.

It's about training, a pleasant atmosphere, nice interaction with each other, all these things.

Of course, something can emerge from this. But just because someone is friendly doesn't mean they (or he) want to go to bed with you.

Most of the women I know have a good sense of how close they can get to someone. But men in particular sometimes have no feeling in the gym when they cross the line to discomfort with their looks or advances at the other.

When in doubt, friendly restraint is best.

If a woman wears headphones and avoids eye contact, a witty “Hey! Naaaaa, do you train here too? " In the middle of the training set probably not to break out into storms of enthusiasm. Incidentally, the same applies to us men:

Headphones are the international symbol for: "Please let me exercise in peace."

That's okay! Some prefer to train without talking to each other in every pause in a sentence.

Anyone who crosses this invisible border by staring at them and having unwanted conversation will quickly be catapulted into the sidelines in the gym.

And yes, they do exist: the women and men who go to the gym primarily to flirt. You can tell who that is at first glance. This is how you find the right people - and everything is good. If you are not sure, it is best to drive with caution here.

4. The fastest route to impotence and insexyness

No risk for us staying at it. After all, none of us would steal.

And there are people who take things with them in gyms. Personal items of others and studio equipment as well as towels:

Do you know that theft suddenly makes you impotent and unsexy?

If you see someone putting something in the locker room or on the floor that does not belong to them, the same applies as for the last point:

What would you do if it was your studio?

In almost two decades of training in fitness studios, nothing has ever been stolen from me - toi, toi, toi.

Still, when I talk to gym managers, I sometimes hear amazing stories of mysteriously disappearing dumbbells and dramatic loan loss. In my circle of acquaintances, I know of one or two people from whom something was stolen while they were showering.

If you should ever observe something like this:

A kind but specific word can work wonders.

Sometimes the supposed theft turns out to be an accident: Once another studio guest accidentally packed my shirt in his mind because it looked like his. He wouldn't have liked it at all.

Still, it's a good idea to take care of your belongings.

5. Keep the mirror clear

Beginners in particular often don't have this point on their radar:

Never block the field of view between the mirror and someone doing their best in a training set.

In many exercises, the mirror can be an important corrective to learn and perform the exercise in a technically clean manner.

If you run across someone's field of vision in the middle of a training set, you can rob them of focus. And ruin the training set.

Anyone who has been training a little longer should know that.

Incidentally, this also applies if you just need the pair of dumbbells that lies between the person and the mirror.

You just wait for the sentence to finish.

Any strength athlete would do the same for you.

Here is another rule of thumb:

Keep an arm's length from the dumbbell rack.

Or more. The meter in front of the rack is no man's land, so to speak. You only need to enter it if you want to take dumbbells or put them back.

6. Don't disturb anyone during their training set

This point follows on from the previous one.

If someone is using a machine, bench, or rack - be considerate and wait for the sentence to be over.

By that I mean things like:

  • Weight plates on the storage bars on the device that you need (or want to hang back),
  • Handles or bars that lie under each other's feet,
  • getting very close to someone who is in a training set or
  • the response during a training set.

In simple words:

Do not speak to anyone in the middle of their exercise and keep your distance.

Incidentally, this also refers to “niceties”, such as unsolicited support when bench press or a “come on, press!”.

Especially with intensive training sets, we shift our concentration from the outside to the inside - on the stressed muscles.

This focus is what makes the exercise really effective.

Distraction leads to injuries. Sometimes also because the distracted person gets violent. 😉

Some people assume that they can use a squat rack that is in use without being asked.

If a squat rack is in use, ask.

Just ask, …

  • ... whether it is okay if you do pull-ups in the breaks between sentences.
  • ... before you grab the last pair of weight plates from the rack.
  • ... when you remove clips, chains, straps from the rack.

The right time to ask questions is of course during the pause in sentences.

Last point:

If a device is currently in use, the “first come, first served” principle applies.

Of course, it's okay to ask if you can take turns. But there is no right to it.

If someone works with scheduled breaks, trains in a circle, with supersets, etc., he needs the device for himself. Such reasons are legitimate!


In my opinion, the six gym rules are not just for newbies, but for all of us.

Above all, there are no rules that you should stress yourself with. On the contrary: they make training for you (and everyone else) more relaxed and enjoyable.

My compilation is not exhaustive either. It shouldn't be either.

Because for me it is about the principles to which actually every form of behavior during training can be traced back:

  1. Be careful and be considerate.
  2. Treat everything like it's yours.
  3. Stay calm.

Even if others don't follow the rules or don't know them. We all started sometime. Then you can just share this article with them.

Question: Perhaps while reading you have thought of things that you would like to add? For example:

  • What's the weirdest thing you've seen in the gym?
  • Which gym rule would you add?

I'm curious. Write a comment.

Photos in “Gym Rules” article: © Shutterstock.com: Guryanov Andrey, Nomad_Soul, Everett Collection, g-stockstudio.

  1. Karsten Hollasch, Fabian Menzel, et al .: The German Fitness Market - Study 2016. Sport Business Group, Deloitte. [↩]

Category: Fitness with M.A.R.K., muscle buildingTags: stay tuned, fitness studio, fitness training, strength training, social environment, training, training philosophy