By Mark Robson
Here is my list of the 10 things that other people do at the gym that drive me absolutely crazy while I work out. Let me start off by warning my friends, that some of you may qualify for a certain one or two of the below mentioned annoying gym traits. Don’t worry, it’s not just you. Several of these things happen on a daily basis and it might not annoy everyone as much as it does me. From body odors, to equipment Nazis to being the idiot who wears his weight lifting belt to do bench press, without further ado here is my top 10 list of the most annoying gym habits of others.
- Equipment Nazi’s – We’ve all seen them. The guy who uses the only squat rack in the gym to perform his entire workout. First legs, then shoulders and finally biceps. You go up to Gym Nazi and say “hey buddy, how many more sets you got?” and he looks at you confused and angry telling you he just started his workout. Like you really need to use the rack for standing shoulder press and bicep curls, ya dummy?! And then he starts doing squats with a couple 25’s per side and you get even more pissed. The other kind of gym Nazi is almost always the young kid who puts his towel on one rack, his hat over on a bench across the room and his water bottle is left at a cable station.The kid is doing interval training, taking up three pieces of equipment and looks at you like you’re the ass when you start using something he hasn’t touched in 5 minutes. And when you tell him you’re working in, he looks at you in disgust.
- Walking Lunges around the Gym – Okay, so I know I am going to get called out a lot for this one as MANY of you do it, but please stop! Do you know how annoying and dangerous it is lifting heavy and taking plates on and off a barbell when someone is doing travel lunges in close proximity right in front of or beside you. Now to be fair, the people that do this exercise are usually regulars who know what they are doing, but still, not in the free weight area. Go take your dumbbells to one of the studios or in front of the cardio machines. Stay away from the people pressing heavy.
- People carrying their gym bags with them while they workout – Folks, what’s the deal with your dirty, over filled, sweat ridden and stank ass bag being left all over the gym floor? Last I checked there were a few hundred lockers a hundred feet away. Go buy a $5 combination lock, or if you have a piss poor memory you can even buy the cool little ones with the key! Put your crap in a locker like normal people and if you aren’t going to change at the gym, why not leave it in your car?
- Anyone who thinks the gym is their kickboxing dojo – So, this won’t apply to all gyms, but anywhere there’s a bag stand and heavy bag in a regular fitness center, I’m sure you will all know what I mean. Ever see that guy who’s a little past his prime, looks like he took a few Muay Thai kickboxing classes when he was younger and had some aspiring dreams to become the next Ken or Ryu from Street Fighter? And now he wants to show off his limited knowledge on how to perform a roundhouse to anyone who will watch. This is the same guy who comes to a Goodlife, with a gym bag full of his old and very smelly wraps, bag gloves and Thai shin guards. He’ll deck himself out and proceed to pound away on that ONE and ONLY bag in the gym for the next hour and a half leaving a trail of sweat and body odour a mile long, while making the loudest noises the entire time in hopes that people will look at him and think he was once a UFC fighter. Pal, listen, there are MMA and Kick boxing gyms all over the Country for that type of training. Only difference is people there won’t give a rat’s ass about you, so there will be no one to impress. Take your hadookens elsewhere my friend. Goodlife and other gyms are partially to blame, why have a heavy bag and stand there in the first place?
- Skipping anywhere near where I am lifting weights – Where are my skippers at? Let me start off by saying, that I LOVE skipping. I am also not referring to what 90% of people would think of as skipping. Jump rope and Double Dutch do not count as skipping as it pertains to fitness. Skipping when done right is a great cardio workout which helps with agility and speed and can make some pretty sick looking calf muscles. With that being said, please go find an open area, away from the free-weights and machines to do this. Skipping in the middle of the aisles in the busiest areas of the gym is not cool. It’s almost as bad as travel lunges to be honest. Maybe worse come to think of it. At least with the lunges worst case scenario somebody bangs into you at a snail’s pace. You ever been hit by a skipping rope or worse yet, one of those weighted ropes? I haven’t and I don’t want to be so skip away people, away from me!
- Guys who wear a lifting belt for no bloody reason – This really shouldn’t bug me. To be honest this has absolutely no impact on me whatsoever. Fact of the matter is buddy looks like an idiot. I sometimes feel like a dick because I wonder if maybe the person in question has a serious back issue I am unaware of, but then I see him lay on a bench to do a machine bench press and I know he has NO CLUE what a weightlifting belt is for. I wonder if they think if they do it up tight enough it’s working their core? Or maybe it makes their chest puff out a little more when they walk with that I have something stuck up my butt posture? Who knows? Deadlifts, squats, Olympic lifts, I have no problem if you want to wear a belt. Walk in the club with a belt already fastened around your waist and head over to work your chest and biceps, and yes I will be laughing at you.
- Anyone using chalk for deadlifts of a couple hundred lbs – I personally believe chalk should be banned from all major trendy commercial gyms. The guys who need chalk, the power lifters, don’t generally go to a Goodlife or a local Community Center to do their power lifting. It’s just not the place. Where there is no 2000lb tested powerlifting barbells and no bumper plates, where there is no rows of dozens of power racks, there should be no chalk. These every day gyms are not for that kind of lifting. The everyday gym goer does not want to use equipment that you failed to clean up properly, covered in chalk residue when you are finished. And please it’s not like you need chalk to bench or deadlift or clean 100-200lbs. That’s what lifting straps or gloves are for. $10 you can get them for at any local fitness store. Chalk this one up to common sense people! Okay, I had to throw that in there.
- Leaving free weights on the other side of the gym – Okay, here it is! MY NUMBER ONE MOST ANNOYING THING that you can EVER do at the gym. Not putting your shit away! There are three categories in this one, and I hate it so much, I will go into detail for each.
- The person who puts their weight back in the wrong spot. This person is definitely not the most hated and we are all guilty of this at some point. Some gyms have co-op students or employees that stay on top of the ball here, others do not. It is annoying when you are in the dumbbell section and you have to walk back and forth for your next set of weights. Please just try to keep them in the general vicinity of where they should be. Don’t leave the 100’s down by the 10’s and 20’s.
- Slightly more annoying is the girl or guy (I find it’s more often girls then guys with this one) that decides she wants to super set, drop set or do pyramids and have 10 pairs of dumbbells all around one bench so that she doesn’t have to get up and search for the weights that person listen above “number 1” has probably put back in the wrong spot to begin with. This may solve your immediate problem but you are being ignorant and causing a bigger problem by now taking up several sets of dumbbells which other people would like to use. In addition 9 times out of 10, it’s so much work to put them all back when you are done, that you just leave them there for someone else to clean up or come over and scavenge through to find the weight they are looking for. You know who you are! You are bad. But there is still one person worse.
- Ever been on your 3rd or 4th set and you go to look for say a pair of 40lb dumbbells to curl. Well guess what? You know that annoying walking lunger we were talking about a little earlier? He or she finished their set of annoying walking lunges, and now your set of 40lb dumbbells are somewhere next to the drinking fountain beside the girls change room. After you spend several minutes searching the gym for them you might locate them, on your wait out of the gym, long after you’ve quit your search and failed miserably on lifting a weight too heavy for you that you probably shouldn’t have been lifting in the first place. But you couldn’t find the weights you needed so you tried your best to go bigger. No one should have to search for 10 minutes to find a weight they need to use. This also goes for handles, ropes and other fitness accessories. Put things back where you get them from, please!
- Tying up equipment for impractical uses – “Hey bro, I think it’s great that you are working so hard on your 6 pack, but could you please get the hell off the decline bench rack, so I can work my chest!?” or “Hello miss, I think it’s great that you like stepping up and down on things, but that weight bench I could really use for about a million other things and eventually laying down on the shit off your shoes is not one of them!” In other words people, there is specific equipment for every exercise so please don’t take up equipment when you could be doing it elsewhere.
- Body Odors – I often find myself wondering if certain people are really that oblivious to just how appalling they smell. Showering regularly, applying deodorant before and after working out, eating a clean diet and washing your gym clothes after every use easily fixes this problem. We’ve all gotten stuck on a machine next to one of these people and most of us are far too polite to ever say anything. I mean how do you tell a stranger, they stink in the kindest of ways? Carry an extra stick of deodorant and before you vacate the conjuring cloud of toxic human stank, place the deodorant slightly out of sight but on the piece of machinery they are using. Or if they happen to be one of those annoying people who carry their gym bag everywhere, even better, slip it in their bag. Problem solved.
So there you have it, my top ten most annoying gym habits of other people. You may agree, you may disagree but at the end of the day they are what annoy me, so they are all very wrong and you shouldn’t do them in my presence. Now I know I can be very anal and I have a slight case of OCD, so some of mine may sound extreme to other readers but please feel free to share your own experiences and what makes you cringe, cry or go absolutely crazy when at the gym surrounded by the stinky, walking lunger, wearing the weight lifting belt for all the wrong reasons and covered in chalk, with their gym bag left somewhere on the gym floor.
See you at the gym!
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