Ever wish your gym had a nice, quiet space where you could do some stretching or bodyweight exercises without having to wedge yourself in between the machines and the dumbbell bros? Here’s a secret: it probably does.
If your gym has a studio where they hold group classes, chances are they don’t mind if you wander in there when classes aren’t in session. In fact, there is probably someone in there doing cool-down yoga right now.
To be sure that it’s ok, ask at the gym’s front desk. But every gym I’ve ever been to allows people to use the studios when they’re empty. Verify, but in general these are the unwritten rules:
Check the class schedule to make sure there isn’t a class about to start.
If you use any gear in the room (like an exercise ball or a yoga mat), make sure to put it back, wiping it down if necessary.
If somebody else is already in the room, respect that they were there first. Don’t get in their way, and if you want to turn the lights on or anything like that, be a decent human being and ask if they mind.
To that last point, yep, you should definitely ask before you turn on the lights. Or if you truly need to turn them on to see for safety reasons — you should at least say something, like “Hey, I need to turn the lights on, so sorry to bother you.”
It’s possible you didn’t see anyone in the room at first (especially if they're working out in a dark corner) so this interaction may go smoother if you can make sure to be in a place they’ll see when you walk in. And they have every right to say “Hey, mind if we keep the lights off?” But in the end, it’s a space that’s open to both of you and you were lucky to find it empty, so enjoy the solitude while you have it.