Going to the gym is not just about being able to lift heavy weights, or watch your macronutrient intakes - like taking your daily 25g of Whey Protein. There is more to this to having a good gym experience, and getting the respect and admiration of fellow gym-goers. This includes following proper norms and etiquette, which is going to improve everything for you, and for the others. I have tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible, so let's check it out.
This is one of the easiest rookie mistakes to make - you go to the gym, and you are enthusiastic about all the opportunities that await you. Then you try to lift so much or do so many repetitions, that you either injure yourself or suffer some heavy pain the next day.
In the first few weeks or months of training, you shouldn't try to push yourself too much until you learn proper form, and condition your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to the new types of weights and movements you will be doing.
You should avoid using your phone at the gym, as it is a huge distraction, and is going to make you wait longer between sets than you should. The ideal amount of waiting is between 1 and 3 minutes, while your phone can easily take 5-10 minutes of usage.
Many novices are guilty of this mistake - you get a liking to a certain machine, or perhaps you love bench pressing - and you try to keep the machine all to yourself, which is not good for all the other people in the gym.
One of the most important rules of any gym is to place the weights and dumbbells into their regular place after using them. All weights need to be properly organized so that other people can easily find the suitable dumbbell.
There are some people that try to stand close to the person that is using a machine or weight that they want to use. Don't be one of those guys, as most people just do 3-4 sets of each machine, so if you wait 10 minutes, you will get your turn.
If someone is using a weight or machine that you want to use, it is totally okay to share the machine with them. It is proper etiquette to ask them first before doing this - they will naturally say yes, but they will respect the fact you gave them an option.
This is one of my worst pet-peeves - people that try to talk to you all the time, even in the middle of a set, when you barely have any breath left in you. The gym is the place to add muscle and strength - it's not a place to have small talk.
I'm just joking with the title, but yeah, cardio is important. You can either use it a pre-workout tool, to warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate, or you can use it after your main lifts, as a tool for spending more calories and lowering your body fat.
You should always go to the gym with a towel - no one wants to sit on your sweat after you are done using a machine on sitting on the bench. You should also try to wash your towel from time to time, as it can get smelly and dirty.
Contrary to what most people think, your friends are not your main companions in the gym - your main companion is your bottle of water, or other workouts shake you can make at home. Proper hydration is essential to building muscle mass.
Apart from using a towel to sit on, you should also try to clean or dry out any equipment pieces you have been using. Imagine how grossed out other people would be if they have to touch other people's sweat
Don't sit on some piece of gym equipment without using it. The bench is not the place to have a phone conversation or to keep your water bottle. Once you are done with a weight or a machine, leave it so that other people can use it.
Some people put their headphone volume so high, that you can even hear it over the gym's own music. That's a terrible thing to do. Other terrible things you can do in the gym is to talk so loud that other people can't concentrate properly.
Some people pay to have instructors at the gym or are part of some team. Don't be late to such events, as you would be keeping everyone else down, and wasting their time in the process. Try to be 5 minutes early, and everyone is going to like you more.