Within the evolving realm of fitness culture, a notable phenomenon has surfaced—gym filming. No longer confined to personal workout logs, individuals are now capturing each squat, deadlift, and bicep curl, sharing their workouts with the world. This surge in gym filming, driven by a desire for personal progress documentation, community engagement, aspirations for social media recognition, and even monetary gain, has sparked both admiration and controversy. As gyms tighten regulations on this practice a profound question looms: Is it the right move?

The Rise of Gym Filming Culture

As social media takes over more and more of our life, and more individuals begin to look to the online world for validation, money, or even recognition, gyms have seen an expansive growth in filming from content creators. Gyms are now a much more social venture, with some individuals sharing their content to shed light on their own fitness journey, how proud they are, and advice for others, for some, this is an avenue or revenue, in which they seek to bolster their own income.

It is important to note, filming in the gym is not strictly limited to social media. Taking videos of yourself while exercising is an incredibly valid, and even valuable tool, by which individuals can improve their performance, form, and ultimately physique. For some compound movements, the form or correct execution can be quite difficult to understand or pull off, and turning your neck to check for form can often be very dangerous, especially for certain very heavy compound lifts such as deadlifts and squats. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore the apparent benefit of filming in the gym, and as more people are aware of the advantages of this, more people will begin to do it, further contributing to the gym filming phenomenon.

We won’t use any specific examples within this article, as we need to respect the rights and intellectual property of creators, but we are more than certain you’ve witnessed both poor and good filming etiquette at the gym or on social media.

The Positive Side of Filming at The Gym

While the trend has sparked controversy, there are undeniable benefits to filming workouts. Gym-goers use videos for form checks, tracking progress, and sharing their fitness journeys. Remote coaching and online fitness communities also leverage filmed content to provide feedback and foster a sense of support and community among members.

Additionally, the often-vilified online fitness “influencer” may contribute an incredible amount to the community, and world of fitness. While ultimately, there are an undeniably large amount of negative personalities within this space, there are a lot of content creators who create immense value for the community, such as instructional videos, informative science-based content (Think Jeff Nippard), and “sets”, by which the creator will create a routine for targeting certain groups, or to fit certain routines. It is strictly unfair to tar all with the same brush, as we’re often the beneficiary of such informative content.

The Negatives

While gym filming has its merits, a vocal segment of gym-goers has raised legitimate concerns, shining a light on the potential drawbacks associated with this practice. Privacy issues take centre stage, as individuals express discomfort with the inadvertent inclusion of their workouts in someone else’s fitness videos. The gym, traditionally seen as a “sanctuary” for personal well-being, faces a challenge as its private nature collides with the expanding reach of social media.

Safety hazards emerge as a tangible worry during gym filming. Elaborate setups and equipment, often required for capturing the perfect shot or video, can pose risks to both the individual filming and those working out nearby. Distracted by the quest for the ideal angle, individuals with cameras or smartphones in hand may inadvertently encroach on the personal space of others, heightening the risk of accidents and injuries.

Workout Video Filming

A Photoshoot or Video at an open-weight section in a gym.

How Have the Gyms Responded?

Recognizing the escalating concerns and tensions surrounding gym filming, fitness establishments are taking proactive measures to maintain a conducive workout environment. Specialized and commercial gyms alike are stepping up with comprehensive rules and regulations aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of filming while respecting the diverse needs of their clientele.

Major gym chains are at the forefront of this movement, recognizing the need to establish clear rules and guidelines. These documents outline the dos and don’ts of filming within the gym, addressing issues such as privacy, safety, and disruptions. The rules often include specific zones designated for filming, ensuring that those who wish to document their workouts can do so without encroaching on the space and focus of fellow gym-goers.

However, the crackdown on filming is not a suppression of individual expression but rather a collective effort to safeguard the rights and preferences of all gym-goers. Gym policies are designed to strike a delicate balance, acknowledging the evolving nature of fitness culture while maintaining the integrity of the gym as a haven for personal growth and well-being. These policies aim to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable pursuing their fitness goals without unnecessary intrusions.

Proper Filming Etiquette: What is it, and Why is it Important?

Gym-goers engaging in filming should cultivate a heightened sense of mindfulness to avoid disruptions. This involves being aware of the immediate surroundings, recognizing the flow of foot traffic, and choosing filming locations that minimize interference with other individuals’ workouts. A conscious effort to keep equipment and setups compact reduces the risk of unintentional disturbances and promotes an atmosphere where everyone can focus on their fitness objectives without unnecessary distractions.

Moreover, while the desire for the perfect shot is understandable, it’s essential to avoid elaborate setups that encroach on the workout space of others. Bulky equipment, extensive lighting arrangements, and lengthy preparation can disrupt the seamless flow of the gym. By opting for more streamlined setups that prioritize efficiency and minimal intrusion, individuals can contribute to a cooperative atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to pursue their fitness objectives without unnecessary hindrances. Online forum users seem to feel the same, with one Reddit user stating, “Bad filming etiquette is setting up an entire tripod and separate ring light to film yourself… and taking up a ton of gym space”.

Respecting the personal space and preferences of fellow gym enthusiasts extends to seeking consent when filming in shared spaces. This involves acknowledging the presence of others, especially when capturing footage that may include them inadvertently. Taking a moment to communicate intentions and checking if others are comfortable being in the background of a video fosters an atmosphere of mutual respect. It’s an acknowledgment that each person in the gym has their own comfort level with being featured in someone else’s fitness documentation. And as it seems, most of the online community seem to agree, with another Reddit user stating “Filming others or selfie sticking yourself whilst being obnoxious = bad. Discreet camera filming just your squats from a side angle = perfectly acceptable”.


The trend of filming in the gym is a multifaceted phenomenon with both positive and negative aspects. While it serves as a valuable tool for personal progress and community building, concerns about privacy and disruptions have led to increased scrutiny and restrictions. The key lies in finding a balance that accommodates individual goals while fostering a considerate and inclusive gym environment. As gyms crackdown on filming, it is crucial for all gym-goers to reflect on their practices, communicate openly, and contribute to a positive and supportive fitness community.


Is it okay to film in the gym?

While the acceptability of filming in the gym varies, many gyms have specific rules and guidelines regarding this practice. It’s crucial to check with your gym’s policies and be mindful of others to ensure a positive workout environment.

Do people dislike filming in the gym?

Opinions on gym filming are diverse. Some individuals appreciate the documentation of fitness journeys, and the potential creation of educational, valuable content, while others find it intrusive. It’s essential to be considerate of others’ preferences and seek consent when filming in shared spaces.

Can it be okay to take a video in the gym?

Filming in the gym can be acceptable if done with proper etiquette and consideration for others. Seeking consent, avoiding disruptions, and following gym policies contribute to a positive filming experience.

Why do people film in the gym?

People film in the gym for various reasons, including form checks, tracking fitness progress, sharing on social media, creating educational videos, and participating in online fitness communities. It serves as a tool for personal motivation and community engagement.