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Don’t Be a Gym Troll: 7 Deadly Gym Sins to Avoid

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Don’t be a gym troll! Get the details on common courtesy at the gym and avoid these 7 deadly gym sins to keep your workouts running smoothly.

Don't Be a Gym Troll: 7 Deadly Gym Sins to Avoid - @Fit_Betty @TheFitCookie #fitness #life

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 myself and with my training clients, so I often step away from a piece of equipment and come back a couple 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.


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

14 thoughts on “Don’t Be a Gym Troll: 7 Deadly Gym Sins to Avoid”

    • Nope! Women especially shouldn’t skip leg day: hip strength is important for knee health and knee stability and women tend to have more knee problems due to a higher Q-angle than men. Women shouldn’t skip leg day so they can keep their hips and knees strong 🙂

  1. You forgot a big one. Clean up your own sweat. It is not the job of the next person to clean up. That is just disgusting and lazy if you do.

  2. I think the biggest most distracting thing to me is when people are gossiping. I guess it kind of wakes me up to the fact that gossip is not very attractive on other people and on myself.

  3. I agree with all of the “7 Sins” that you listed. My personal pet peeve is when someone wears heavy perfume/cologne while working out. I’m sensitive to perfume as it is (it makes me sneeze or gives me a headache). When the temps get warm in a fitness class or a fellow gym-goer is sweating it up on the cardio machine next to me with strong perfume. No bueno…

    • Oh yes, that is definitely another one! My husband is sensitive to fragrance, too, so we have to be careful of perfume. I walked by the mens lockers room one day and someone must have showered in their cologne because the smell nearly knocked me out! Strong smells of any kind (BO included) are not a good thing when you’re trying to focus on a workout

  4. So funny! These are all so true. Along with walking through a class in progress, how about latecomers who just HAVE to be up in the front and basically squeeze into a spot that doesn’t even exist. Seen that happen a few times and giggled. And what about people who wear see-thru pants (either intentionally or not). I don’t want to see your butt when you’re doing dead lifts! YIKES! Happy New Year!

  5. This is perfection. People are always interrupting my classes. I don’t mind curiosity but my class participants aren’t going to be focused with a line of onlookers watching them.

    • I agree, especially when it’s a class like Zumba where people may feel self conscious at first. One of our classrooms has a big window and it gets awkward when people stand and stare…too long lol


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