by Jake Sterny

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. I’m sure you’ve heard this a few times and it’s one of the most common cliches for people that thrive on a Clean environment(I’m one of them). I love a clean gym. I love when people act like responsible adults and put equipment back where they got it from instead acting lazy and treating gym staff like their mothers(insert “Your mother does not work here”). But, can a gym be too clean and does this affect how you train?

A Gym Can Be Too Clean

After working at a number of different facilities over the course of my coaching career I have come to the conclusion that a gym can be too clean. Basic gym upkeep such as cleaning floors, organizing and putting equipment away, disinfecting things such as benches,Glute Ham Developers(GHDs) or AbMats, cleaning restrooms etc are important in maintaining a respectable facility and should fall on the gym owner or the staff that these tasks are delegated to. Additional cleaning of things such as barbells or plates help ensure the longevity of these pieces of equipment and help owners get the most out of their money spent on these things. Where I find gym cleanliness gets excessive is when staff are told to go above and beyond and clean things such as the handles of kettlebells, dumbbells or pull-up bars after nearly every session or use. Sure these things should be cleaned but I feel that this amount of frequency is excessive. I want a clean gym but I also want it to look like it is used. This may just be me but it puts me off as an athlete when I walk into a gym that looks like it has never been used. I’m afraid to use chalk.