The gym can be a daunting place. It’s easy to feel like you’re doing things wrong or that other people are watching and judging you.

Rest assured that your fellow gym-goers are probably too focused on their own workout to even notice you struggling to figure out how to use the assisted pull-up machine. And there’s nothing wrong with not knowing how a piece of gym equipment works!

But there’s a lot wrong with being the gym bro from hell.

Your behaviour in the gym affects everyone around you. The best way to avoid becoming your gym’s resident jerk is to be aware of mistakes so you can avoid making them.

Are you guilty of any of these common gym faux pas?

Leaving the gym worse than you found it

It’s not your job to clean the gym, but it is your responsibility to clean up after yourself.

It’s not unusual to get sweaty in the gym (in fact, it’s kind of the reason that you’re there). But it’s important to wipe down equipment — especially benches — after you use them. It’s not just polite, but super important for hygiene.

And for the love of god, please re-rack your weights and de-load any machine you’ve used. The next person to use that machine isn’t going to be impressed by how much you can lift. They’re going to be annoyed that they have to take all that weight off before loading their own weights for their session.

Do you really want to be the reason someone else is walking all over the gym for 15 minutes, trying to find the 12kg dumbbells?

Offering unsolicited advice and comments

Interrupting people during their workout isn’t just annoying. It can actually be dangerous, especially if they’re lifting heavy weights.

If you do need to interrupt someone for a valid reason (more on that below), wait until they’ve finished their set.

Valid reasons for making someone take out their earbuds during their workout include asking if they’re using a nearby piece of equipment or asking them what program they’re doing. You know, friendly gym banter,

But if you’re about to interrupt someone to give them unsolicited advice (“don’t lift too heavy or you’ll bulk up those nice arms!”), make small talk or flirt with them? Just don’t. Your “expert” advice might not be well received, and the small talk or flirting is probably best kept to the reception area. Remember: they’re there to work out, not find a date.

Dominating the gym

You may consider yourself the king of the gym. but there’s a wrong and a right way to go about that.

The right way: Pretending you’re at the Crossfit games and trying to deadlift more than the person across the room, then smashing out 10 pull-ups for a silent victory.

The wrong way: Preventing other people from using equipment when you’re not really using any of it.

Whether you’re doing bicep curls in the squat rack or taking up three different machines for a 15-minute superset, hogging equipment is the ultimate gym sin.

Remember that the squat rack is for squatting only. Stand a few metres away from any equipment you’re not using so you don’t block it off for other gym patrons.

If the gym is especially busy, allow someone else to work-in during your rest periods. Sharing is caring!

And if you really don’t want to share, then perhaps you’d be better off building your own home gym— we’ve got the perfect equipment for that!