Gym Etiquette

Gym Etiquette A current trend going on with social media: Tik Tok, Instagram, etc. involve videos where women share videos of men behaving badly at gyms, or at least badly in her interpretation. Gym shaming videos involve women secretly or openly taping men saying or doing things she deems offensive. I have watched several of these videos and honestly, I don’t really see what is so offensive by the guy with most of these videos. The supposedly offensive moments seemed pretty innocent to me, others may feel otherwise. In any event, these videos did lead me to do this little article on this subject. Ideally, gyms are a place to work out, be comfortable, and perhaps socialize a bit with people of the same sex and occasionally people of the opposite sex. What should be easy and simple seems to have been made complex and complicated in the 2020s. Sigh…

Gym Etiquette for Men:

Eye contact: keep your eye contact looking at women in the gym to 2 seconds maximum. Try to avoid looking her up and down as well. When you look longer than 2 seconds and/or look her up and down, she can quickly feel overly checked out and may assume you are a “creeper” or a “stalker”. So, look, but keep the limits within reason. Keep it brief and casual.

Proximity: a complaint women will sometimes give about men are that guys loom nearby too close for too long. Whether you are working out with weights, machines, or body weight exercises on a mat, keep adequate physical space and a buffer zone from them. And if the woman leaves the area of the gym that you are, try to not follow and do your next exercise right next to her. Because the odds are she will feel you are following her.

Conversation: unless you can see green light signals of potential interest and openness to have interaction, it is usually a good idea to not initiate conversation with women at the gym. If women are avoiding eye contact, take that as a sign she doesn’t want to talk to you. That is a good rule of thumb. Conversely, positive signs she may be open to a conversation are smiles, good eye contact, and, of course, if she initiates talking to you. For more ideas on “being approachable”, “red light signals” and “green light signals”, check out my previous articles at:

Gym Etiquette for Women:

To some extent, all of the previous suggestions I gave for men in the last section can also be adopted by women as well. The main point of etiquette beyond those points I wanted to review here for women involves dress. Simply put, how you dress will attract a certain kind of attention and looks from men in the gym. Remember that men are highly visually wired. It is what it is. So, if you are wearing a striking outfit that pulls in eye balls, guys will look out of curiosity sake. This largely involves when you are wearing tight and/or low-cut outfits. If you are wearing outfits like this at the gym, you will get more looks, more often. The more modest dress, you will get less looks, less often.

I say, wear what you want, but just understand your dress will be related to the attention that follows as explained in the last paragraph. I am just the messenger on that. The thing I notice that is that in every man shaming gym video I have seen online, the woman is dressed in a pretty low cut and/or tight outfit. I would assume this is for effect to garner attention for the video she is recording. But when the nearby guy then gives some notice to her and her outfit, she posts the video online and tries to publicly shame him as a creeper. In short, these videos seem to me like…bait and entrapment. Guys are visual, guys will always look to a degree. Just know this and make your decisions accordingly. No need to act shocked or horrified when it happens, no need to try to publicly shame a guy by posting videos of this online. We guys were created with a strong visual orientation and that will not change. Please just know this, adjust accordingly.

Final Thoughts:

If this whole subject bothers you are you don’t care to deal with any of this, I would understand it if you avoided gyms entirely and just exercise at home or outside. However, if you do choose to go to a gym, please consider the points in this little article and avoid what might otherwise be a negative gym encounter with the opposite sex. You can always keep to yourself or just chat with people of the same sex. That approach if fine. But if you do talk to the opposite sex at the gym, be careful. In today’s hypersensitive, post #metoo environment, you could be risking a complaint, possibly even get kicked out of the gym. Be careful and you should be fine. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at

2023-02-12 Randy Gilchrist Communication, Health and fitness

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to