I really should have titled this post “How Not to be an A**Hat at the Gym” but I decided to skip the expletives. But the title might be a little misleading: these aren’t really deadly sins, unless you make someone mad enough to clobber you with a dumbbell. The temptation is very real, folks! But nonetheless, these are my list of things that are really irritating at the gym. There are plenty of others but since that would fill a book, so I’m keeping this brief.
The reason I am writing this list is that while many of these things seem pretty common sense, people still manage to continually act like the gym world revolves around them. I have had gym-goers trample our things and walk through the middle of the classes I am teaching. Instead of getting angry about it, I decided to write about it. Oh wait…I’m already angry about it, too late! I’ll channel that frustration into something constructive: my list of 7 deadly gym sins to avoid, aka the things that annoy me the most when I’m at the gym. Read it, share it, and most of all, be considerate!
- Walking through a class in progress. Just don’t. I don’t care who you are, or who you think you are, it is a common courtesy not to intrude and interrupt a fitness class in progress. You would be surprised at how many times this has happened in my classes
- Judging people’s differing fitness levels. Don’t mock people who lift less, run less, or cycle less than you. Everyone is in a different place in their fitness journey. And a person’s size doesn’t always determine their athletic ability, so don’t judge the book by it’s cover. It takes a lot of guts for some people to even get themselves to the gym, don’t be the reason they decide to never come back.
- Not respecting personal space. Don’t offer random advice to someone if you don’t know them, unless they are on an obvious road to injury. If you just can’t hold back and feel the need to be a busy-body, then ask first if they want some advice. Some will say yes, but if someone says no, respect that and leave them alone. And guys: quit gawking at girls (and vise versa). Some people actually go to the gym to exercise (crazy, right?!), so keep your eyes and comments to yourself. Chit-chat is fine, but trolling for gym-chics is just gross
- Disrespecting other fitness styles. I know you think YOUR workout/class is the best thing since protein powder, but do me a favor and give some respect to the other fitness modalities out there. Not everyone has the same goals or the same fitness abilities, so stop judging. Better yet, get some variety in your life and try the other classes and workouts, you might be surprised
- Hogging equipment. Sitting on a piece of strength training equipment for 10 solid minutes, especially when the gym is busy, or doing 200 reps of on the leg press is very irritating. I know you are afraid that as soon as you leave that machine to rest, someone will snatch it up, but when the place is busy it is courteous to alternate sets with people who might need the same machine. Our gym even has signs on equipment directing people to move away from the machines when resting. On a similar note…
- Staking claim to equipment without checking to see if others are using it. I do a lot of supersets, giant sets, and circuits so I often step away from a piece of equipment and come back a few minutes later. I am always willing to share equipment, but many people won’t ask and they claim that piece of equipment for the next 20 minutes solid, and I still have 3 more sets to go. This happens a lot, and I have had to change my training plan for clients in the middle of our sessions because of this. I often leave a water bottle or my notebook behind to show that it is currently in use, but people are welcome to jump in to use it between my sets if 1) they ask and 2) they don’t start hogging the machine
- Gossip. Nothing is more irritating than hearing non-stop gossip between gym-goers. Enough already! Go get some coffee and give us some peace and quiet.
Friends don’t let friends be gym trolls – share this if you know someone who needs to read it!