sweating TRAINING


Which Bad Gym Behavior Drives You Crazy?

Hey there! So for the past month we’ve been running a poll on Angry Trainer Fitness that asked what behaviors in the gym really get your goat? If you’ve ever spent time in a fitness facility, you’ve probably smelled some horrendous body odor, listened to people bangs weights (usually the little guys lifting tiny weights. Hello Napoleon Complex), or tripped over a weight left in the middle of the floor.

We’re still running the poll – but at the moment the behavior with the highest number of votes is talking on a cell phone. I’m surprised! I agree it’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t physically obstructing another persons workout, I say do whatever you want – it’s your body and time (although if you are fighting with a spouse on the phone, I’d prefer you go somewhere else).

The behavior that gets me the most is not putting weights away, or worse, putting them back in a spot that they don’t belong. In my early days as a floor trainer, one of my primary jobs was to walk around all day and put weights back where they were supposed to go. I always say, “If you can lift it, you can rack it”. In my own workouts, it’s the most annoying thing to find a set of 25lbs in place of where the 60 lbs should be, and then to have to search for what I’m looking for.

One of the more gross issues found in most gyms is “The Sweater”. Nope, not the kind you wear, but a person with “perspiration issues”. I recently saw a guy working out in my local gym that was literally dripping with sweat everywhere. Not only was it on the benches, wetting the handles of weights he used, but it was actually all over the floor. That is unacceptable, and when I approached the “trainer”, on staff he commented it wasn’t his place to say anything. I’ve seen this in many gyms over the years and it’s always been an issue that management doesn’t know how to handle, the same as bad body odor. If it were my gym, I’d have no issue having a little Angry Trainer Talk.

Another one that gets me is hogging equipment, or using a lot of floor space at one time. There is a guy in my gym that travels in a circuit of 5 exercises at a time, and routinely approaches people and asks if he can “work in”. Well once he’s in, his marathon set has started! He literally takes 5 minutes on each station he uses with complete disregard for other people waiting or the poor sap that was kind enough to let him in. He did this to me once, and that’s all I have to say about that!

The most frustrating part about all poor gym behaviors is that they go against most club’s policies. Almost all gyms have cell phone free zones, require you to put weights and equipment back, ask that you wipe down equipment, and some are following in Planet Fitness’ footsteps of limiting grunting during exercise. One guy near where I live made national news when he was kicked out of the gym for grunting too loud despite warnings from the staff! I never quite understood the yelling and screaming when lifting, and it has nothing to do with how much is being used, and more about drawing attention to oneself. In my heyday, I was quite strong and the weights I was able to lift with perfect form was respectable. If I was squatting 500 lbs, or Dumbbell Chest Pressing 140 lbs, I made not a single peep, no sound, nothing.

I’ve always seen gyms as a social experiment, for me it’s like watching National Geographic. I see the males try to exert their dominance and mark their territory, while some females parade around seeking attention, dress skimpily, and suffer from “look at me” disease. I’m not suggesting everyone does this, but if you think going to the gym is all about exercise, you’re sorely mistaken, it’s about joining a community. In every gym across the country you can find the same “characters”– the woman who puts on makeup and perfume to workout, the guys that can’t put their arms down, the elderly man or woman who is in amazing shape, and the people who think they look fit, but aren’t. People are the same no matter where you go, and what I’ve learned is that all of the behaviors in the gym can clue you in to personality types and peoples behavior outside the gym. And sorry guys, but in my opinion men are the worst offenders of all! Women just seem to not fall into these annoying behavior categories as much, although they do occasionally.

Human behavior in any setting is fascinating, and changing bad behavior requires a conscious acknowledgment that a need for change exists. I’m afraid to say that I don’t have much hope of seeing these bad habits go away. With so many other things in life to worry and stress over, I feel it’s just best to ignore these “infractions” and consider them “training variables” for you to work around. You’ll be a better person for it.

Do you agree with me? Do you have another bad gym behavior story? I’d love to hear it, start commenting now!

23 comments on “GYM BRATS

  1. i cannot stand it when people do all their sets on one machine in a row and they monopolize each machine for 10 or 15 minutes! they will do one set of, say, 15-20 reps and then just sit there until it’s time for the next set. and the next. and the next. idiots! pick 4 or 5 machines, do 15 reps on one, WIPE IT OFF and move to the next machine and work another set of muscles. then move to another machine. and another. muscles need to rest in between sets. but that doesn’t mean people should just sit on a machine that i could be using while they wait. urrrrgh. it makes me so crazy!!! also, if we’re buds, please don’t try to talk to me for longer than 3 minutes. i am there to work out, not socialize.

    • You may be there to workout, but how many others are? Most gyms look like a night club, or a speed dating event. I know it makes you crazy, it does the same to me. Ignore it, work through it, do your thing and leave the chatty patty’s behind!

  2. What a surprise, shallow douchebags at the gym.

    The thing I like about going to the gym is that for the most part people are on a solo mission to improve themselves. No eye contact, leave me alone, etc. I also like the people that show off their body, it is inspiring and I like to see people that are proud of their work.

    I like this blog because I have only been going the gym for a year and I have to learn by watching others. My skinny ass won’t drop the dumbbells anymore :-)

    There was a pair of loud chatty women the other day that had me turning the volume up on my ipod. They both had that shrieking laugh that cuts through you. How many funny things can two people say in a 5 minute span?

    One thing I have seen quite a bit are the guys with short man complex who won’t sidestep a bit when you walk by them.

    • You are at the gym to workout. I know it’s hard to not notice people or distractions, but just ignore them and focus on the task at hand. As for learning by watching others, it’s ok to get suggestions from other people, but remember if they are performing something wrong, or misguided themselves, you’ll learn the wrong way. Ask 10 people the same question in the gym, you’ll get 10 different answers. Instead, listen to other people, learn some things on your own by visiting my site;) and reading some reputable mags like Mens Fitness and form your own opinion. Learning the right way from the beginning is key.

  3. Hey Alfonso –

    I admit…I’m a heavy sweater. What can I do about this though? I keep a towel with me and wipe down everything when I’m done…but I can’t avoid dripping on the floor while I’m working out. Any suggestions?

  4. Clint my man, you are doing it already. I’m not knocking anyone for being a heavy sweater, it’s actually good- it means you are hydrated and your body is efficient at cooling it self. For those who don’t know, when sweat evoparates off your skin it helps to cool you down and regulate body temperature. I am a “sweater” too- I carry two towels, one for me to wipe my body with, and another to wipe equipment and the floor with. You definitely don’t want t cross contaminate these two so bring two different colors. Make sense? Keep sweating and thanks for the comments!

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention GYM BRATS | Angry Trainer Fitness -- Topsy.com

  6. I quit my gym because it was just a meat market! I like to swim then soak after my work outs.. but I could not do it comfortably any more.. there was always some random freakazoid guy loitering around the hot tub waiting to pounce on any half decent looking woman who dared to enter the spa area! i don’t pay to be harrassed so I figured I’d save up and buy my own hot tub!

  7. Some people do realize the need for regular exercise and either join a gym for this purpose or have a home gym. A traditional gym has many benefits over the home gym such as access to a variety of high quality equipment, the presence of professional trainers and a chance to socialize and increase motivation.

  8. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is simply cool and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.

  9. I’ve always been abrasive and confrontational, so the moment somebody does something that bothers me (and usually, also goes against gym rules), I have no problem hounding that person until that particular thing stops. I hound politely, however, not menacingly. That’s the important part.

    Turning up the music on my iPod is not an option – I don’t want to suffer from premature hearing loss, and I am not afraid to tell someone to pipe down. If they get angry, it’s not my problem, I will continue to ask them to be quiet until they are. Usually, other people don’t like confrontation (especially if there are others within earshot) and will cease their annoying habit immediately. They realize if they continue, they just look bad, especially if someone has (politely) asked them to desist.

  10. The bad BO was a killer for me when I used to go to the gym. I’d literally have to cut my workout in half and move to another machine because it was unbearable. But you’re totally right about it being a socializing club.. I’ve had all those characters in the gym I used to go to (and I’m all the way in Spain). There was the elder person in amazing shape, the girl that was always on the same treadmill, the group of girls that would come with low rise pants with revealing thongs and use the bikes side by side while staring at the mirror in front to see who was staring at their ass, the group of body builders hogging all the weights, etc.

    The most annoying of all was this one guy who would literally scream while he lifted weights. It wasn’t grunting, it wasn’t moaning, it was a loud, suffering, attention-seeking scream. The entire gym would turn around to stare at this guy..

  11. This is why I workout in my garage. I have a Power Tower,TRX,Rip Trainer Bands & Kettlebells. It’s all I need + no waiting & no body bothering me. No heat or AC keeps me tough like the old school fighters. It was 100 out there today had a great workout!

  12. There are several things that annoy me actually. 1) the guys who think they’re doing something big and then throw the weights down on the floor when they finish their set. 2) My gym has an “unofficial” women’s area where the weights are designed for more feminine hands and come in different lb sizes, and it annoys me when the guys come over and use the weights when they have a whole second floor of weights they can use, then when you need that particular weight, it’s not there 3) People not putting the weights back after using. I decided last week, to go to the gym at 3:30 a.m., before work. Thought I would be in and out because there wouldn’t be very many guys using the weights. Well it took me way longer than I anticipated because I had to walk around looking for the weights I needed.

  13. Why with the “No grunting at the gym” movement? Is it seriously that distracting? For me it’s involuntary when I start to really push myself. What sucks is people being all judgmental about how other work out and not focusing on their own improvement.

  14. I think it stinks when the women who have the time,money to pay for personal training all week,and plastic surgery ( that also look amazing) complain to over weight people at the gym about how fat they still feel..it is so narcissistic not to look at who they are saying it to and how it makes them feel…I have seen this over and over.

  15. I am a woman and a heavy sweater (I do lift heavy though) and would never leave anything without wiping down (our gym has cleaner & paper towels for this). Anyway two things people not putting weights back is a peeve of mine (giving it mostly guys in my weight area) if I can manage to put back 2 x 25kgs plates at a time I’m sure a guy can! Another thing skimpy gear and make up…..why? I seem a young girl with a short top and even shorter shorts (butt cheeks hanging out) hair done and full make up prancing around doing a circuit (she was trotting around like a show horse) I find it off putting to say the least, and her circuit mmm….work harder in my warm up. if you go to the gym to work out , you should look like you have worked out and not just stepped off a runway.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>