Treadmill Running Etiquette In Gyms (8 Unwritten Rules)
By Simon Gould
Going to the gym to use a treadmill means you avoid all the hassle of maintaining one at home. The cost for a year membership is usually cheaper than buying one too. But unlike at home there are some rules to follow when using a treadmill in a gym. Some of these maybe posted on the gym wall and some may not. We'll go through them here.
1. Don't hog the treadmills
This is especially the case during busy periods. There are usually time limits posted when there aren't enough treadmills to go round and you're not to exceed these limits. This is so that everyone can have a go. Even if there are no limits posted if people are waiting don't start a long run and hog the machine for an hour as that's a bit selfish.
Try to find another time to go if you need to use the treadmill for a long period. It can be difficult if you only have a certain amount of your day free. If it's really bad and the gym is oversubscribed, then it may worth finding an alternative. Gyms are cropping up everywhere now. Remember to see how long your contract is before you do.
2. Wipe down the machine after use
Some gyms provide spray or wipes to help and encourage you. It's a good idea to use them and not leave all your sweat for others to encounter. If you run for a while there are many parts of the machine that will need a rub down. Especially do the console, handlebars and by the motor cover as when you run your sweat can cover some distance. Other gym members will thank you for it.
3. Don't save treadmills
It is really unpopular and quite selfish to claim a treadmill when you're not even using it. This may involve putting a towel over it so no one else can use it. This is similar to what people do on vacation when they put their towels on the sun beds in the morning. Even if the gym isn't too busy this is not a good idea to do. You'll like have a member of staff remove it.
4. Leave some space
This is an unwritten rule and is like invading someone's personal space. If the treadmills are very close together and there are plenty free then don't go onto a machine that is directly next to someone else. If there are 8 treadmills and only 1 person using one then leave a machine free next to you rather than going directly next to someone.
This is especially the case for us men. Don't go next to a woman who's in the middle of her treadmill routine. You're going to make her feel very uncomfortable if, out of all the equipment available, you go directly next to her. If you want to strike up a conversation with someone, there are other ways of doing it rather than encroaching on someone's space.
5. Don't stare
It can be very tempting to look at the person next to you and their console to see how fast or how long they've been running. But you really shouldn't do it. I'm guilty of the odd peek and I try my best not to be noticed! Remember it's not a competition and other people may be far more advanced in their fitness level than you.
6. Exercise properly
In the gym I go to there is always someone who scrapes their feet along the belt when they walk or run. This creates a screeching noise that is really annoying to others. It's bad enough hearing some people grunting on the weights, but a loud high pitched sound coming from the treadmill belt is very off putting so don't do it. Use the treadmills for what they're designed for.
7. Don't give any unwanted advice
Sometimes we all think we're the expert when it comes to the latest workout trends. We think we know the most effective ways to lose weight and you may think someone is doing it wrong. Unless someone looks like they could hurt them self, then keep you thoughts on their workout to yourself. If someone wants advice, they'll ask.
8. Be courteous
Don't mock anyone. Don't make any noises of dissatisfaction to anyone you think you're better than. We were all a beginner once. Make the gym a good community to be part of by being courteous to others around you. Exercise is a serious hobby for some so treat everyone with respect. A gym isn't a playground or yard and safety should be paramount.
A lot of these you will do without realizing as we've all got to take care of others when using a gym. Even new starters will pick up these rules whether they're written or not and a little reminder if someone is hogging the treadmill will often work wonders. This helps to keep the exercise flow of people in good order.
If you're a member of a gym with lots of treadmills then you're in luck. Many of these rules are not needed. Time limits may not be needed as well as saving the machines. Wiping down is something you will have to do and you might need to bring a small towel in especially for that purpose. The best thing you can do is enjoy your exercising and be considerate to others.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here's my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*