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Mind Your Manners… FQ10’s Rules of World-Class Gym Etiquette

Mind Your Manners…
FQ10’s Rules of World-Class Gym Etiquette.
By Todd Durki, MA. C.S.C.S.

The gym is your sanctuary. It’s where you honor your mind, body, and spirit.

It’s a safe-haven where you work to improve yourself personally (and sometimes professionally).

Maybe you do weight-training. Or cardio. Or classes. Or yoga. Or Pilates. Or maybe you do massage and bodywork.  

Either way, you are working “ON” yourself. You show up somewhere between 3-5 times per week for 30-60 minutes and you strive to get better. And for those 3-5 hours on average you invest your time and energy in the gym, I want it to be the most positive experience ever.

A few weeks ago, I got the flu so bad that I stayed home most of the week. And when I was recovering, it made me think about “proper gym etiquette.” It was just a few days before I got the flu that I came in contact with someone at Fitness Quest 10 who was as sick as a dog and trying to “sweat out” their cold by furiously pumping away. Ugggghhhhh!!!

I had to politely tell them to go home and go to bed!

But it made me think, how many people are doing this? How many people need to be reminded of some “basic” gym etiquette rules to protect themselves… and their fellow Fitness Quest 10 friends. After all, we must PROTECT OUR HOUSE.
Here are 10 basic, simple rules for proper gym etiquette at Fitness Quest 10.

1. If you are sick, stay at home. No one wants your germs. As much as we love to see you, you need to get better. Get ample rest. Hydrate. Push the Vitamin C. And take a few days to get well.

2. Wash your hands. A lot. The gym can be a dirty place with a lot of germs (not us, of course :)). Besides washing your hands with soap and water after your workouts, we have gym wipes at the front desk if you want extra sanitization throughout your workout.

3. Keep it clean. We strive to keep Fitness Quest 10 “surgically clean” and have a lot of hands that help out. Here are several of the things we (including YOU) do to keep us surgically clean.  

  • First, we have our entire team keep things neat and tidy on a regular basis.
  • Our Directors of First Impressions clean EVERY day. They sanitize mats, clean floors, and wipe down equipment.
  • We have interns. Man, I love interns. They are hungry and passionate to learn ALL aspects of the business. And the first thing I teach them is “how to take care of the shop.” They learn to do HOURLY walk-throughs through the locker room to make sure there are no towels on the floor, there is no garbage on the floor, that lockers are all closed, that counter-tops are all clean, and that all amenities are well-stocked. They also wipe down all equipment, machines, dumbbells, mats, medicine balls, etc. DAILY. This is important for them to learn along with all of the other “fun” exercise stuff. Ultimately, it comes down to client experience. And I always tell them Rule #1 is “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” KEEP it clean.
  • We have a cleaning company come 2x per week for a “deep cleaning.” They come after hours and spend several hours doing all the steaming, mopping, scrubbing, and intense type cleaning. Great investment though in ensuring Fitness Quest 10 is kept sparkling.
  • We rely on YOU! You have to keep it clean also. If you drop a puddle of sweat while working out on the ARC Trainer or running on the treadmill, please wipe down your machine when done. And clean up the puddle under the machine. No one likes to enter a machine that has sweat all over it. Please be MINDFUL when you are done to wipe down your equipment with the sanitizers that are provided. Keep the locker rooms clean. Put dirty towels in the hamper and not on the floor. Dry the countertops if you get water on them. Flush the toilets. Don’t wear dirty shoes in the “house” (Do I sound like your mother right now?). You get the idea. Fitness Quest 10 is your home away from home. Let’s treat it that way. This ensures a clean, pristine environment every time you come in.
  •  And keep washing those hands!

After almost every class I teach, I say “A clean gym is a good gym. Let’s pick up all equipment.” Let’s continue to keep Fitness Quest 10 surgically clean in ALL areas. This way, everyone prospers.

4. Use towels. We are one of the few gyms that actually provides towels and doesn’t charge for them. WHY? Because we want you to use them. We want to provide that amenity for you. But please lay down your towel on your bench before lying down. Please wipe off the Total Gym and benches when you are done using them.

And oh- yeah, don’t forget to RETURN THOSE TOWELS in the bins in the bathrooms or locker-rooms. And while they are free for you, they DO cost us money. 🙂

And if you have a stack of those little white hand-towels at your house that you have mistakenly brought home over time, please return them with a big smile on your face. Haha—got ya!

5. Use gloves. If you are going to box as part of your workout, we supply latex gloves to put on your hands before you put your hands in the boxing gloves. We disinfect those gloves but they get used by a lot of people. So by wearing the latex gloves, you are protecting your hands of the germs that may be in the boxing gloves.

And if you choose, feel free to wear “weight-training” gloves also. Besides being padded and protecting your hands, they do protect you from germs as well.

6. Avoid wearing heavy cologne and perfume in the gym. There is nothing worse than sucking air between sets of squat jumps and pushups and not being able to breathe… because your training partner has so much perfume or cologne on that you think they are back at the 8th grade dance.

Please be cognizant of the fact that when you work out, your senses get heightened and smells can become more pungent. And God forbid you are a little stuffed up in the nose, now you really can’t breathe.

So please, no extra perfume or cologne shots in the parking lot before coming in. Haha. Save it until your post-workout shower. That’s when you really need it anyway!

7. Put a cap on it. Your water bottle that is. If you are drinking water or a Gatorade on the floor, please tighten up that cap when you are done drinking. Beverage spills make more work for our Directors of First Impressions and really mess up a clean gym. And remember, ½ your bodyweight in fluid ounces of water a day. Keep drinking!

8. Share your space. I know we all love each other but it’s not always comfy to have peeps up in your grill. Be mindful of the area you work out in, try not to walk in front of someone when they are lifting, and if you would like to work in on a machine with a “friend” when they are lifting, simply ask “Do you mind if I work in with you?” Everyone is friendly here at Fitness Quest 10, so the answer will be “Of course, would love to…I’m just warming it up for you.” Haha.

9. We love kids…but not on the treadmills or machines. As you know, the gym can be a dangerous place. If you bring in your young kids (younger than 8), please make sure they are not playing around on the treadmills, weight-stacks, machines, or rebounders. Kids don’t have a sense of safety or awareness yet, so we can’t have them left unattended, especially during busy hours. They are welcome to be in the lobby playing some video games or with a trainer in session, but we can’t have them wandering alone around the gym. This is purely a safety thing for them…and for you. Thank you.

10. Re-rack your weights. The most basic rule of any good gym. Simple rule of thumb is…if you use it, put it away where it belongs. Everything has a specific home. Let’s keep the bands, balls, weights, mats, etc. in their proper home when finished using. And let’s re-rack all plates and weights from barbells when done.

Fitness Quest 10 is a sanctuary. By ensuring these “10 Gym Etiquette Rules” are followed, we can all continue to have a world-class experience every time you come in for a session/workout/service. Thanks for helping out!

Much love… and much cleanliness and good health!


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