“It’s A Community”—Arnold Schwarzenegger Shares His Three Golden Rules For Being A Good Gym-Goer

Arnold Schwarzenegger smiling and giving a thumbs up, he is arriving onstage at an Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger presented by Fane at London Palladium on October 24, 2023
(Image credit: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images for Fane)

If there’s one man who knows a thing or two about how to behave in the gym, it’s Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

Now the bodybuilding icon has shared his three rules of gym etiquette, to help old and new lifters get along. Not curling in the squat rack isn’t one of them, sadly, but that’s probably not top three.

1. Don’t Take Over Equipment

We’ve all had this problem—waiting for a squat rack while someone stands in front of the bar scrolling on their phone. That’s a no in Schwarzenegger’s book. 

“You should never make your phone calls and do your social media while you’re sitting at a machine,” he says, especially if this leads to a backlog of people waiting to use the equipment you’re hogging. 

That’s not to say you can’t go on your phone at the gym, Schwarzenegger adds. 

“To be considerate, he will get off the machine, complete all his social media stuff and phone calls and FaceTiming if he needs to do that in the gym, but let other people come in and train.”

2. Put Your Weights Away

Schwarzenegger’s next rule is to always put your weights away, although his reason might surprise you.

Yes, this will contribute to a cleaner gym, but Schwarzenegger stresses how it will also help your fellow gym-goers complete their workout without interruption. 

“It’s very important [to put your weights away] because there will be someone else working down the rack, using 5lb and 10lb, and obviously they will miss the 10lb weights,” he says. That could refer to someone performing drop sets, or perhaps a run-the-rack workout.

3. Share

I can’t imagine anyone has ever said no to Schwarzenegger asking to work in with them, but the Austrian Oak says this approach is for everyone, allowing more people to access the equipment they need for their workout without having to wait for others to finish.

He also gives a quick example of how to do it politely. He starts by asking if it’s OK to work in, then pushing his newfound lifting partner to squeeze out a few extra reps on a lat pull-down machine and paying them a quick compliment before settling down for his own set. 

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.