If you’re an active person who uses social media, chances are you’ve come across Joey Swoll (@joeyswoll on Instagram / @thejoeyswoll on TikTok) roasting videos taken at public gyms. He specifically sets the record straight when creators post critiques of movements they see other people doing, they complain about someone walking into their frame when filming their own training, or other generally bad takes.

We all have the right to film ourselves during our training sessions whether it’s for social media, technique checking, or accountability. However, just like Joey Swoll, I think there are some ground rules that we can all agree on.

  1. Don’t film anyone else without their consent. There are a lot of layers to this, but I think the quickest way to consider it is if you would want someone else filming your training, sending it to their friends, and posting it on social with their commentary on why you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. I’d be willing to bet that your answer, like mine, is no.

  2. Remember, you’re in a public space. When you scan your membership tag upon entering the gym, you and everyone else there collectively abide by general gym etiquette: don’t walk into each other’s space when an exercise is being performed, wait until someone is finished with equipment before you use it, wipe down things after you’ve sweat on them, and so on. Setting your phone 10-15 feet away from you should be accompanied by the expectation that someone could very well walk through the frame, provided that they are otherwise abiding by normal gym etiquette. It is simply not their job to be aware of the fact that your phone is outside your immediate area required for training.

  3. Gyms are centers for self-improvement. I would be willing to bet that most gym-goers have more in common than they do differently. The gym is a place where a person can be vulnerable and work on themselves, and in one way or another, that is the reason each of us goes. The least we can do is respect that and keep our opinions (and cameras) to ourselves.

Social media is an awesome tool for connecting with a like-minded community, and we all can bond over experiences inside and outside of the gym. If you’re someone who is confident and experienced in your training space, remember what the early stages of your fitness journey felt like and respect those who are currently living it.