10 of Our Best Pieces of Workout Etiquette Advice of 2021

10 of Our Best Pieces of Workout Etiquette Advice of 2021
Photo: Flamingo Images, Shutterstock

Fitness etiquette has come a long way this year. We kicked off 2021 with most gyms still closed due to the pandemic. We navigated their gradual reopenings together, with all the ups and downs of safety concerns that entailed. Still, some tenants of fitness etiquette are timeless, like the art of dealing with unsolicited advice or how to politely pass someone when you’re on a run. We here at Lifehacker believe that no matter your fitness goals, proper form includes proper etiquette, too. Here is all of our best advice from 2021 to help you be as decent a person as possible during your workout.

When is it OK to tell someone they’re doing something wrong in the gym?

On its surface, this is a tricky question. Yet with few exceptions, the answer is almost always going to be a resounding “never.” Still, sometimes you feel like you might burst if you don’t help a fellow gym-goer out with your knowledge. We dive into those few exceptions to the rule and all the reasons why it’s usually better for everyone involved to simply mind your own business.

What to do if somebody gives you unsolicited advice at the gym

Photo: MilanMarkovic78, Shutterstock Photo: MilanMarkovic78, Shutterstock

Alright, someone didn’t read the previous slide and they’ve approached you with unwanted commentary. What do you do? Is this stranger a random nobody, or are they a personal trainer trying to find a new client? We go over whether it’s safe to take unsolicited advice and, more importantly, how to get people to mind their own business and leave you alone.

The unwritten rules of running, according to Reddit

Photo: dotshock, Shutterstock Photo: dotshock, Shutterstock

Is it weird to wave at fellow runners? Is it weird to not wave at other runners? Are you unwittingly using the “forbidden lane” at the track? Running is daunting enough as a physical activity, and the solo aspect of it is often a mighty comfort. Now you’re telling me there are social anxieties that come with it? Thanks to Reddit’s r/running, we explore all those questions and more of the “unwritten rules” that you might not know until you break them.

A beginner’s guide to gym terminology

Photo: Syda Productions, Shutterstock Photo: Syda Productions, Shutterstock

AMRAP? EMOM? Failure? Every hobby has its lingo, and lifting is no exception. In fact, the language of lifters can be extra intimidating and feel like a barrier to entry for newcomers. Don’t let the confusion of gym-speak hold you back. We collected a list of the lifting-related words that most often confuse beginners, so educate yourself with our beginner’s guide to gym terminology.

How to work out quietly in your apartment

Photo: Friends Stock, Shutterstock Photo: Friends Stock, Shutterstock

Ah, burpees. Or, as your downstairs neighbour calls them, “they have got to be kidding me with these death stomps.” Even if you feel safe going back to the gym right now, there are plenty of benefits of at-home workouts. Still, you don’t want to be a jerk in your own home, especially when your spouse is trying to work one room over. We compiled tips to channel the eye of the tiger while you stay as quiet as a mouse.

How to pass someone the right way when you’re running

Photo: sportpoint, Shutterstock Photo: sportpoint, Shutterstock

From track lanes to footpaths to park loops, most of us can’t go on a run without passing someone (or getting passed by ourselves). Sometimes you’re trying to edge out another runner, other times you need to get around a baby stroller and a dog without giving in to your road rage. Here’s how to run around someone politely and efficiently.

How to go to the gym before work, according to Reddit

Photo: KeyStock, Shutterstock Photo: KeyStock, Shutterstock

Do you go straight from the gym to the office? What do you do with your stinky clothes, and how do you pack all the toiletries you might need? This one is less about etiquette at the gym, and more about etiquette for those in your post-gym location. After you’ve motivated yourself to want to work out in the morning, here are our logistics tips to get it done (without stinking up your office).

Is it OK to run in cemeteries?

Photo: Meredith Dietz Photo: Meredith Dietz

Our readers had a range of reactions to this question. Especially if you live in a city, your local cemetery might be the safest (and most beautiful) option for you to go on a run or walk. Here’s our take on how to be respectful and how you can reframe some graveyards as a space for the living, too.

Do you need mirrors when lifting weights?

Photo: Microgen, Shutterstock Photo: Microgen, Shutterstock

Struggling to get a glimpse of your reflection at the gym? While there are a lot of advantages to checking your form in the mirror, chances are you don’t need to fight anyone to get a good view. If you’re sick of waiting your turn to train in front of the mirror, here’s what to do instead.

Why gym selfies are good, actually

Photo: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock Photo: Olena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

Lifehacker’s Senior Health Editor Beth Skwarecki offers a revolutionary approach to the ever-controversial gym selfie: Chill out about it. Not only does someone else’s selfie have nothing to do with you, but there are a lot of benefits to snapping a pic, such motivating yourself and others, or evaluating progress over time. Maybe you want to give it a try yourself in 2022.


Log in to comment on this story!