How to Avoid Being Creepy at the Gym: A 10 Step Guide

Gym etiquette is a real thing.  Some people get it and some don’t.  Every gym has at least one creeper that everyone tries to avoid like the plague.  Here is a simple guide to ensure that it not you:

  1. Don’t stare. Seriously don’t do it.  It’s weird and rude.  Nothing will kill your gym flow worse than noticing that the guy sitting on the bench over there has been eyeballing you for the last 10 minutes.
  1. A little grunting is ok. A lot of grunting is obnoxious.  We get it.  Those weights you’re lifting are super heavy and you just have to let everyone know.  No one should be able to hear you grunting over the sound of his or her own music playing.  If they can hear you then you sound like a major tool.
  1. The Towels are Free. Use them. There is nothing more disgusting than walking up to the only open bench in the gym only to find it drenched in sweat.  Sweating is part of working out, but be courteous and wipe down the equipment when you are done.  The rest of us don’t want to be swimming in it.
  1. Newsflash: No One Cares How Much You Bench. Bragging at the gym is never cool.  Even if you can back up everything you say, no one wants to hear it.  People go to the gym to work on improving themselves not to listen to you talk about how awesome you are.
  1. It’s the Gym not Last call at the Bar. The gym can be a social environment and while a little socializing is cool, it shouldn’t be your main focus.  Everyone knows that guy who lives at the gym and spends hours there everyday yet never breaks a sweat.  There’s a time a place for everything so make sure your behavior is appropriate for the venue you’re in.
  1. Thanks for the Unsolicited Advice. If people wanted coaching they would hire a trainer.  Just because you work out all the time and think you know the best technique for every exercise it doesn’t mean anyone wants to hear it, especially if they don’t even know you.
  1. Hygiene, Bro! I wouldn’t be saying this if it weren’t necessary.  You don’t want to be labeled as The Stinky Guy at the gym.  Wear deodorant, wash your gym clothes every time you wear them, and leave your gym bag open at night so it can air out.  Nothing will kill someone’s good workout vibe faster than catching a nose full BO that’s wafting through the gym.
  1. Keep the Compliments to a Minimum. Compliments may seem nice, but in the gym they can be taken the wrong way.  It’s perfectly fine and uplifting to compliment someone who has been making noticeable progress, especially if you know the person and speak to them regularly.  Unfortunately, compliments can get weird if they come from a complete stranger.  If you don’t know the person then don’t say anything.  Approaching them at random and complimenting their body, or specific body part, implies that you have been watching them from afar for some time.  You may think you’re being friendly but really you look like a stalker.
  1. Stop Flexing. The mirror is there to help you with your form.  Just remember that you are in public.  It should not be a flex fest every time you walk into the gym.  Save that for the privacy of your own home.  Nothing makes you look like a bigger narcissist than hogging the mirror.
  1. Appropriate Clothing. This is another one that I shouldn’t have to say, but I do because people still don’t get it.  Make sure that the clothing you are wearing is made for the gym, not the club.  Your body should be covered.  If you cut the sleeves off your shirt then make sure the world cannot see your nipples.  Nipples don’t belong in the gym.  And ladies, save the booty shorts for pole dancing class.  We should not be able to see 2 inches of ass hanging out the bottom of your shorts every time you bend over.

No one intends to be creepy at the gym.  It just sort of happens and usually by accident.  Most people have good intentions and are totally unaware that their behavior can be sending the wrong signals.  All of us have committed some type of offense at the gym before without knowing it.  Hopefully this can serve as a guideline so that YOU don’t end up being the creeper.

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