John Basedow: If you've never set foot in a gym but are eager to try out that new membership, I have a few tips for you. Don't be daunted by other people exercising or buy the machines they're using, follow my rules and you'll be a welcome member before you know it. One of the most important rules of gym etiquette is wiping down the machines after you're done using them. Most gyms offer disinfectant spray bottle and towels for wiping the machines, so there is no excuse to leave them wet with your sweat.
It's also important to know how to correctly use each machine, so feel free to ask if you don't. Gym staff and fellow gymmates shouldn't fight your head off if you ask a question. So don't be afraid. If any of them do get nasty, don't ask that person again. One thing you need to remember is to ask people who look like they know what they're doing.
Knowing when to ask for a spotter isn't just safe, it's smart. Try to find someone who is doing a similar exercise and ask to work in with them. Before you know it, people will be coming to you to be a spotter and of course it's only polite to reciprocate.
Sometimes people will rest in between their reps on the machine and then you can ask to work in. But don't take offense if another gym member doesn't want you to do that. Think of the machine as their hold or on a first-come-first-serve basis. They have the say. By following these simple rules, you'll be able to fit right in at your new gym.