The Smells of Weightlifting: What Do Gym Guys Smell Before Lifting?

Weightlifting can be an intense activity that involves a lot of physical exertion, sweat, and sometimes even blood. It is no wonder that there are a lot of smells associated with weightlifting that can be quite overwhelming for some people. Whether you are a seasoned weightlifter or just starting out, it is important to understand what you might smell before and during a workout.


Sweat is one of the most common smells associated with weightlifting. As you work out, your body temperature rises, and your sweat glands activate to cool you down. The sweat produced during weightlifting can be quite strong, especially if you are doing high-intensity workouts. This smell can be quite overpowering, but it is a necessary part of the workout process.

Deodorants and Fragrances

Many gym-goers use deodorants and fragrances to mask the smell of sweat. While this can be helpful in reducing the overwhelming smell of sweat, it can also cause problems for people with allergies or sensitive skin. The scent of perfumes and colognes can be quite overwhelming, so it is best to go easy on the fragrance if you are heading to the gym.

Pre-workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice for many weightlifters. These supplements are designed to give you an extra boost of energy, focus, and endurance during your workouts. However, some pre-workout supplements can have a distinct smell that can be quite off-putting to some people. This smell is usually due to the combination of ingredients in the supplement.

Pre-workout Supplement Smell
Creatine Odorless
Beta-Alanine Slightly sweet
Citrulline Malate Sweet-sour
Arginine Odorless


Eating before a workout is essential for providing your body with the energy it needs to power through your routine. However, the food you eat can also contribute to the smells in the gym. Foods that are high in protein or spicy can produce strong smells that can be quite noticeable. It is best to eat a well-balanced meal that is not too heavy on the spices or protein to avoid overpowering smells.


Chalk is a common accessory for weightlifters. It is used to improve grip and reduce sweating during workouts. However, it can also produce a distinctive smell that many people find unpleasant. The smell of chalk is often described as a musty or earthy scent that can linger in the air for some time.


Injury is always a risk when you are weightlifting. While it is not common, it is possible to experience cuts or scrapes while lifting weights. When this happens, the smell of blood can be quite strong and alarming to some people. It is important to take proper precautions to avoid injury while weightlifting.


Finally, cleanliness is an essential part of weightlifting. Gyms that are not cleaned regularly can produce a variety of unpleasant smells that can be quite overwhelming. Cleanliness also applies to personal hygiene. Everyone working out in the gym should take a shower before hitting the weights to avoid unpleasant odors and bacteria.

In conclusion, weightlifting can produce a variety of smells that can be quite overwhelming for some people. Understanding what these smells are and how to manage them can help make your workout experience more enjoyable. Whether it’s the smell of sweat, pre-workout supplements, or food, be mindful of your surroundings and practice good personal hygiene to reduce unpleasant smells in the gym.