Bring a Buddy for Better Gym Etiquette

I love going to the gym.  Sure, you can exercise anywhere, but why not go to a place that has all of the equipment you can possibly need.  I often dream of my own exercise utopia full of bumper plates, kettlebells, and an army of Airdynes to make my stomach churn.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a reality yet, so I make do working out in slightly more commercialized spaces.  It’s typically necessary to be somewhat politically correct, as most people don’t want to find out that jogging or eliptisizing is a pretty low-result time investment.  Rather than lambast the selectorized machines and cardio theatre, I sometimes need to remember that not everyone is going to actually work hard.  I find that having a training partner helps keep me focused, and following proper gym etiquette minimizes awkward interactions with others.

First of all, having somebody to work out with is important.  Anyone that’s ever exercised with an amigo is going to tell you that they had more fun and pushed themselves harder thanks to the presence of a training partner.  I make a serious attempt to have a training partner during most of my workouts, and I think you should as well.  Dom Mazzetti makes a great sales pitch for the Gym Buddy here:


Now that you know the importance of having a Gym Buddy, it’s essential that you follow proper gym etiquette.  Gyms vary in atmosphere and what they encourage or allow, so it’s best to check with your preferred training venue to see what you can get away with.

Gym Etiquette  is important, and it’s better to not offend those around you.  Some places encourage dropping weights, using chalk, and grunting, while gyms like Planet Fitness market themselves on the absence of any legitimate training.  Not that I’m biased.  Let’s get a lesson in Gym Etiquette from Jimmy:


Even though I have two pairs of Vibrams, I’ve gotta admit, there’s nothing sexy about them.  Heavy deadlifts though, that’s sexy, and that’s exactly what I’m going to work on.  I’ll leave the toe shoes at home though.

While Dom and Jimmy are pretty damn funny, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite training videos.  It helps me switch into, “Go forth and pick-up heavy shit” mode.



4 Replies to “Bring a Buddy for Better Gym Etiquette”

  1. After moving to Philadelphia, I had to leave my wonderful LA Fitness (because the Philly location is a dump and not worth $35/mo.) and rejoin my high school sweetheart of Planet Fitness. Loved your PF remark…it is a complete joke. Even the people who lift know less than I do, which is impressive. I got the “Lunk Alarm” to go off on me for lowering the inclined bench too loudly. The convenience is what’s keeping me there, but not having free weights heavier than 60 lbs is getting harder and harder to work around…I might forego convenience for a respectable location that allows people bigger and better than me.

    1. Brendan, we never forget our first loves, do we? Although, the second time around, we tend to see flaws that we didn’t see the last time. I feel like Taylor Swift has written a song about this…

      Anyway, congrats on setting off the Lunk Alarm. That’s definitely an accomplishment in my book. It is definitely possible to train hard at a Planet Fitness, just as it’s possible to train hard anywhere you go. Obviously, you know that training at one isn’t the most conducive to big progress. I’m not sure how close you are, but here’s a link to Iron Sport Gym, in Glenholden. I try to stop there every time I head down to Newark:

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