Written by cpanthers89 over on bb.c:
I can't even tell you how many idiots I see at the gym each day. Me, as well others who workout regularly, have developed a keen eye for spotting gym "noobs" who have absolutely no idea what they're doing. It's not that I care that people look dumb when working out...I really don't, what bothers me is a) that people are cheating themselves out of a solid workout and b) that they make the gym environment less enjoyable for everyone else. Where do you think all of the stereotypes about regular gym-goers came from? Those jackasses. Abide by the following ten rules of gym etiquette and you'll instantly look more experienced and professional, but most importantly you'll give others the best possible chance to have a kick ass workout.
1. Get the !@#$ off your cell phone. This is my #1 pet peeve among all else, even more so than the lazy ass people who stand still on the airport moving walkways (they're not rides). The gym is a place to bust-ass and work hard, NOT check your voice mail, text, make calls, or check e-mail. If you're on your phone your work ethic is immediately discredited and you appear as if you really don't give a **** about what you're doing. Exercise with purpose and with intensity...it's the only way you'll achieve your goals. Get rid of all the distractions, your cell phone is a biggy. My only exception to this is the iPhone because of it's iPod functionality.
2. Put back your weights. If you use dumbbells or load a barbell, be courteous and return what you used back to its original spot. I have two major reasons for this. 1) If a barbell is loaded or dumbbells are sitting next to a bench it signals to other lifters that the equipment is still in use. If you leave weights behind it prevents others from using the equipment. 2) Why should someone else have to clean up after your lazy ass? If you use equipment it's NOT the job of other lifters or gym employees to move the weights that you used. It takes unnecessary time and energy to return weights, re-rack your weights after you're done.
3. Don't stand in front of weight racks. If you're using dumbbells use them away from the rack. I can't tell you how frustrating it is when I'm trying to get a set of dumbbells, but some idiot is doing curls right in front of the rack blocking it. It's really not difficult, just move to an open area and move on your way.
4. Stop admiring yourself. Everyone loves looking at themselves...admiring the herculean body they've sculpted, but remember you're in a public place. Staring at yourself, flexing excessively, and pulling up your shirt to show off your abs all fall into the category of being a conceited jackass. You look like an idiot, everyone around you thinks you're an idiot (and I mean everyone), and trust me you don't look good or cool no matter how sexy your body is. Do it in the locker room or in the privacy of your own home.
5. Stop hitting on women. This one's mainly for guys, but a huge no-no is trying to pick up women in the gym. Women at the gym are typically focused on one thing, their workout, and they don't want to be bothered by some meat head throwing around inappropriate remarks. I guarantee you that they'll ignore you or give you a disgusted look, and really what you're doing is throwing off their workout and making yourself look stupid. Respect a woman's space and focus and leave her be. If she asks for help or advice that's one thing, but keep everything appropriate and friendly.
6. Respect people's space when they're working. If someone is in the process of working out, DO NOT talk to them, ask if you can use the equipment next, distract them, or crowd their space (this is assuming they're not standing in front of the weight rack, in that case do what you want). It's beyond disrespectful to interfere with someone when they're smack dab in the middle of a hard ass set, pushing themselves to hit a new max. Wait until they finish their set and then kindly move along with your business.
7. Don't be a hog. Gyms are a public place, nobody owns any of the equipment. Often gyms get really crowded, equipment gets backed up, and people are forced to wait to use what they want. If you know others are waiting, accommodate them by offering to work in with them (switch off), or simply go a little faster. Also, if you're resting in between sets do not sit on the equipment. Get off until your next set so that it gives others a chance to use it. There's no reason you should have to skip an exercise because equipment is occupied. Kindly ask if you can work in and they should more than happily agree to share.
8. Don't be obnoxious. Don't throw weights, grunt, yell, scream, or making stupid noises. You look like an idiot and sound like an idiot. Breathe under control and lower weights slowly. If you have to throw weights down when you're done that means they're way too heavy.
9. Do some research. One of the things that bothers me most is when people use awful form. So many people flail weights around like floppy fish, throwing their arms everywhere back and forth, thinking that they're actually doing something productive. They're not. Using proper form and doing exercises correctly is so important for getting maximal results and preventing injury. Get your thighs parallel to the ground on squats. Tuck your elbows into your sides during bicep curls and triceps extensions. Don't arch your back during deadlifts. Raise and lower weights in a slow, controlled manner. These are fundamental skills that so many people lack. Do a little research, watch a YouTube video, or ask an experienced friend...it doesn't matter. It takes a little bit of work to vastly improve the quality of your workout. Besides being more effective, you'll automatically look 100x more experienced and proficient.
10. Wipe down. If you sweat all over a bench or machine, wipe it down with some disinfectant. Noone wants your sweat or germs on their clothes.
Stolen from here: How NOT To Look Like an Idiot at the Gym - Bodybuilding.com Forums