For new exercisers, understanding gym etiquette can be a daunting task. Here's some advice to master these sometimes unspoken rules of the gym.

Re-rack your own weights

Numerous times, I’ve witnessed patrons struggling to re-rack the eight 45-pound plates that the bodybuilder before them left on the machine. This is not fair.

Each patron should be responsible for putting away the weights that he or she uses. If you’re strong enough to lift it, you are strong enough to put it back.

Wipe down your machine after use

There’s nothing more disgusting than settling in on a machine, only to find you’re lying in a puddle of someone else’s sweat.

To avoid causing this issue, locate the sanitation stations around the gym. Use the provided wipes or towels to disinfect your equipment immediately after use. If you’re unable to find the designated disinfectant, ask the weight room attendant.

Don’t hover.

I get it. You came to the gym with your mind set on using a specific machine, only to find it’s taken. Instead of creepily hovering around waiting for the current user to leave, look for a similar exercise you can do while you wait.

For example, if you plan to do squats, but all the racks are taken, complete a few reps on the leg press until a rack becomes available. This allows you to keep an eye on the prize, while continuing your workout.

Wear headphones.

There will come a time within your fitness journey, when you arrive at the gym and realize you forgot your headphones. When this happens, avoid playing your music without headphones.

When I forget my headphones, I typically focus on the gym’s background music as I work out. It may not be my playlist, but it’s an effective alternative.

Avoid hogging popular equipment.

When you are fortunate enough to secure a coveted piece of equipment, it’s tempting to stay on it for the entirety of your workout. However, I encourage you to limit your use to 30 minutes or less during peak times.

At my gym, stair masters are in high demand. When I secure one of these, I end my workout at 30 minutes to allow others an opportunity to use the machine. After about 10-15 minutes, if no one else claims the stair master, I return to complete my workout.

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