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Gym Noise Causing Complaints? – 11 EASY Ways to Reduce It

Gym Noise Causing Complaints

If you have a home gym or a fitness centres business, then we’re sure you’ve had your fair share of issues.

Among them, though, we bet the biggest issue was the amount of NOISE your gym creates. You’ve probably encountered a few noise complaints from your neighbours.

Now before you encounter any more complaints or possibly even a lawsuit, we’ll share with you 11 ways on how to reduce gym noise of any kind.

Let’s get started so you can start lifting weights worry-free!

Table of Contents

How Do You Reduce Noise at Your Gym?

There are many different noise-reduction techniques you can look at to solve your noise problem. Take your pick among these options.

#1 Drop Those Weights Sloooowly

A crucial factor in how much noise is made is how much force an impact is exerting.

The amount of force your dumbbell transfers to the gym floor or any other surface depends on the following:

  • Weight
  • Speed

You could always lower weights to reduce impact, but that would DEFEAT the purpose of actually going to the gym. Instead, what you can do is reduce the speed of impact.

You can do this by lowering your weights slooowly, so you significantly REDUCE the amount of noise made.

WE UNDERSTAND this isn’t always possible, especially when you’re doing lifts where you have to lift ABOVE your head.

Here’s What You Can Do:

However, if noise really is a big issue for your neighbors, then lowering them slowly is an EFFECTIVE solution.

There should be a compromise between doing overhead lifts and lifts that you could lower the bar slowly.

However, if you have a couple of friends over at your house to work out with you at your home gym, it may be HARD to control their behavior when it comes to lowering your bars slowly.

You could try this solution: Tell them that lowering their weight slowly ENGAGES your muscles for a longer period, giving you a better workout.

#2 Perform the Noisiest Exercises While Everyone’s Awake

There are certain exercises that particularly make a ton of noise. This is why it is important to choose the best exercises to keep the excessive noise to a minimum.

Here are some exercises that create REALLY LOUD noise.

Deadlifts

Among the exercises that cause the most noise, deadlifting ranks at the TOP of the list.

The excessive noise is mostly caused by dropping heavy barbells on the gym floor. It doesn’t help that deadlifts are often done with the heaviest weights possible.

For many gym rats (you and a couple of your friends probably included), deadlifts are a CORE part of their workout program. So, it’s understandable that you don’t remove it from your program.

The Solution?

Instead, a good solution for this is to compromise and limit the number of deadlifts you do.

Another solution is to only do deadlifts when you’re CERTAIN your neighbors (at least the ones who complain about the noise) aren’t dead asleep!

Cardio

Another gym activity that makes so much noise is CARDIO. If you’re on a treadmill, elliptical, or rowing machine, you’re probably making too much noise just by using it.

On top of that, you may also be grunting because of EXHAUSTION, so that’s not great at all.

The Solution?

Instead of these, a stationary bike or a quiet bike trainer is a great option in keeping noise in your gym to a minimum. If your neighbors are very DEMANDING, probably just go with bodyweight cardio exercise.

Make sure to avoid grunting so your annoying neighbors can’t complain about the smallest things. This way, you eliminate the machines that make a significant amount of noise.

#3 Obvious But Effective: CLOSE the Door

Fairly obvious? Too simple? Well…sometimes, maybe that’s ALL YOU NEED TO DO!

If you’re one of those people who use their home gym with the door open, we understand. You need it to get some fresh air into your space and also to cool the room.

However, closing the door is a very SIMPLE way to lower the amount of noise your neighbor experiences.

Even if your doors are hollow and don’t actually stop much noise, just the simple fact that you close the door still helps reduce the noise that comes out of your house.

You can also close your windows, but the problem with that is, you’ll need to add additional ventilation to your gym.

Want a Sound Proofing Tip?

Invest and replace your door with a solid-core door. Hollow doors contribute to a TON of noise.

This doesn’t just apply to gyms but also bedrooms and homes that have a problem with the noise coming in from loud traffic, cars beeping, etc.

#4 Fix the Ventilation

A closed-off gym will result in an atmosphere of heat and humidity. Your gym needs a supply of fresh air to stay inhabitable.

So, if it isn’t obvious by now, you have to find a way to ventilate your gym.

Some solutions can be the following:

  • Ventilation ducts on the ceiling
  • Air-conditioning

Remember, though, that the placement and position of your units should be thought out carefully.

You may be ADDING noise your neighbors might complain of if you place your ventilation unit in an area where your neighbors can hear airflow from the ducts or the cooling system running.

Here’s the Solution:

So, make sure the ducts are directed outside towards the street and that your cooling system is notably quieter than most other machines.

#5 If the Previous Steps Don’t Work, It’s Time to Soundproof Your Space

With all openings in the gym closed off, and the ventilation system in place, you can now further reduce noise by soundproofing your gym. Areas you need to soundproof are:

  • Floor
  • Walls and ceiling

Flooring — Rubber. Rubber. Rubber.

Gym flooring helps ABSORB VIBRATION from dropping gym weights, as well as any other weight that hits the gym floor when you’re working out. Gym machines included!

The material of choice for gym flooring is rubber. Rubber flooring is especially elastic and dissipates the energy your flooring absorbs on the floor.

This results in your rubber floor reducing a SIGNIFICANT amount of noise.

Aside from this, your gym flooring also has the added benefit of protecting your floor from impact damage. So flooring in gyms is definitely a MUST-HAVE.

In comparison, if you don’t have rubber flooring, your inelastic floor cannot absorb the energy from dropping weight. A part of this energy then turns into sound, which neighbors love to HATE.

With RUBBER gym flooring, dropping weights is a luxury you can now afford if you’re really, REALLY tired.

Get Rid of Echoes! Walls and Ceiling

A gym with large walls and floor space usually tends to have echoes. Echoes tend to amplify all sounds in the gym.

That one ear-shattering thud because you drop your weights becomes 2 or 3 echoes of noise.

By reducing the echo in your gym, you will ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT noise reduction.

Echoing is a common occurrence in gyms because there are usually a lot of hard surfaces — the ceiling and walls that gym sound waves bounce off from.

If you have the flooring installed, then lucky for you as these not only REDUCE vibrations from occurring but also help in sound deadening your floor.

However, you still have a lot of sound deadening to do as walls are often the LARGEST CONTRIBUTORS to echoes occurring.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic sound panels help minimize echo from your walls.

The soft surface of acoustic foam panels allows them to absorb and dissipate the sound waves instead of reflecting them.

As the sound waves are absorbed into the acoustic foam and bounce around inside it, they reach the wall on the other side and bounce back again through the foam.

Because of this, the sound energy and vibrations are dispersed and are not heard by the time it gets back through the panel.

How to install the panels:

  • Attach them to your walls and cover all of the walls as much as possible.
  • Make sure you check your walls if they’re installed correctly. Check for any areas that might still be producing echoes, and add more foam.

Follow these steps, and rest assured, it won’t just be your flooring that will absorb the vibrations.

#6 Decoupling Gym Machines: Build an EXTRA Barrier

Decoupling means you create a barrier against vibrations made by the machines.

By decoupling your gym equipment, YOU PREVENT VIBRATIONS from reaching your floor, preventing loud noise from occurring.

So, What’s the Best Barrier to Use?

One of the best ways to decouple is to put shock-absorbing pads to the base of all of your exercise equipment.

Also, placing these on treadmills at your home gym softens the blow of your weight and lessens the intensity of sound made when using machines like the treadmill.

Machines like rowing machines and stationary bikes often make LESS noise than your treadmill.

However, you will probably want to go further by sound deadening the vibrations of your equipment.

If that’s the case, then you can put them on top of an ANTI-VIBRATION MAT. This way, you’re protected from additional noise that might come out of your equipment.

#7 Do Some Self-Care on Your Weight Plates: Add Bumper Plates

Bumper plates are basically weight plates that have an outer layer of solid rubber covering the steel weight.

They are designed to counteract users who like dropping weights carelessly.

Similar to the gym floorings mentioned earlier, they absorb energy to significantly reduce sound and vibrations due to impact.

In combination with flooring, bumper plates reduce the noise level by A LOT.

Compared to cast iron plates, bumper plates are much THICKER due to the surrounding rubber covering. The clank of cast iron plates is probably an annoying and big noise you’re familiar with!

Thanks to the elastic rubber of bumper plates, you can drop them from practically anywhere, and this way, it will bounce from your flooring.

This ELASTICITY prevents damage to the floor and gives your gym significant sound and noise reduction, and sound vibrations as well.

Areas of the gym that need bumper plates are where people do the following things:

  • Shoulder presses
  • Snatches
  • Bent over rows
  • Deadlifts
  • Clean and jerk

Your training area where these exercises are performed is where weights are very likely to be dropped.

#8 If That’s Not Enough, Then You Might Want to Consider a Lifting Platform

Consider installing a weightlifting platform WHEN you lift heavier weights at your gym.

Lifting platforms are designed specifically to soften the blow of very HEAVY weights being dropped, and they make a HUGE difference in the overall noise levels.

A weightlifting platform is composed of a wooden platform at the center. This is where you stand while you lift the very heavy barbell.

On the sides of your platform are extremely THICK rubber mats, which are even thicker than your rubber flooring.

When heavy weights are dropped onto the rubber mats, the platform absorbs a ton of sound energy than the usual rubber flooring would, thanks to its rhino thickness!

At your gym, encourage your gym users to lift heavy weights in areas where you have a weightlifting platform.

The noise levels from dropped weights will be greatly reduced and will make a huge difference to your noisy gym!

#9 Weightlifting Drop Pads

Weightlifting drop pads are essentially huge cushions to soften the blow of dropping EXTREME weight on your flooring.

If you have gym users who regularly lift OLYMPIC levels of weights, you should probably use weightlifting drop pads.

#10 Silent Exercise Machines! Wait, That Actually Exists?!

Yes, they do!

There are exercise machines for your gym that don’t make too much noise, even if you put a lot of weight onto it or make it run for a long time.

These machines are designed to make as little noise as possible.

For example, your treadmills run smoother(you won’t even hear it whirring or whizzing), and your weight machines often have bumper plates on them.

On top of your flooring and decoupling, you should look into buying equipment like these if your machine still makes a TON of noise. We suggest that you start with getting some of the best quiet treadmills first.

#11 And Finally, Rubberize Your Rack

Weights don’t only belong on the floor. You might have a weight rack. If you do, this may be a noise issue. To control noise, you should minimize the impact of metal.

When metal hits another metal, it causes a clanking noise. If your weights aren’t coated with rubber, then you are potentially inviting NOISE in your space.

Aside from these, placing the bar on your rack causes vibrations. This can then create noise as the vibration SPREADS to the whole rack.

Lucky for you, the solution to this problem is easy: GET RUBBER COVERING.

Rubber covering the rack will lessen noise levels and reduce the vibrations that occur in your rack.

Source of Gym Noise

The type of gym noise you hear depends on where it comes from. It’s crucial to know the sources of different gym noises so that you can reduce background noise by addressing each of the noises one-by-one.

Gym Machines

Gym machines are our first culprit. Why? Imagine someone running on the treadmill intensely, the THUD of the runners’ feet makes a lot of sound.

Aside from this, people on weight machines can cause a lot of sound. People can cause the weights of the machines to hit each other, causing a LOUD sound.

This occurs when people suddenly drop the machine they’re using instead of bringing it slowly back into place.

Music

Yeah, music is fun and can HYPE up most people, but your neighbours aren’t going to be happy.

This is especially true for your home gym since your neighbours can be resting, and if they have sleep problems, they’ll probably think of you as the DEVIL.

At commercial gyms, you can probably get away with loud sound BLASTING through the speakers, but for your home gym, it might be best to just stick with your earphones.

Gym Weights

Dropping gym weights make A LOT of sound. These very HEAVY weights are often dropped on the floor after an intense workout.

This is a big problem because not only does the gym equipment damage your floor, it also creates a loud noise.

Gym Users

Gym users make all kinds of noises when training — grunting, shouting, heavy breathing. You name it; the gym has it.

Of course, you really can’t blame those training for the noises. They’re deep in their workout and are DEAD tired. Still, we should do something about it. How loud is too loud?

Is It OK to Grunt at the Gym?

Most gyms don’t have no-grunting policies. However, we can’t really expect people not to make a single sound when working out.

Just always be sensitive to the people around the gym. Gym etiquette is always a must! As long as you’re NOT OBNOXIOUSLY loud, you should be fine.

A rule of thumb you can follow is to not grunt louder than the background noise at the gym. Otherwise, you’re probably too loud.

Conclusion

2 guys exhausted from lifting weights

Reducing the noise in your gym shouldn’t be an ALL OR NOTHING situation. There is no ONE WAY to reduce gym noise. You can source out solutions of every kind so that all areas of your gym are covered.

This way, if your neighbor places the BLAME on you as the source of noise in your neighborhood, you’ve got all areas covered.

From your gym equipment to the closing of your doors and windows to the soundproofing of your walls, ceiling, and floor, you’re totally soundproofed.

Now, time to hit the gym and POST your progress on social media!


Changelog:

July 8, 2021 – removed affiliate links, updated external links

June 30, 2021 – added changelog, updated title and featured image, fixed article format, updated internal linking, optimized content

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.