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5 biggest irritations in the gym


Posted by Cags R under Gym on 13 November 2012 at 12:00 AM

The Form Police are closing the net around a criminal group more notorious than the Mafia; that's right - that annoying guy and girl at the gym!

Here are 5 of their top offending habits which range from the pointless to the dangerous and everything inbetween.

1) The unnecessary Swiss ballSwiss ball weights idiot

"That's right buddy, just one more rep..." - meanwhile other gym-goers are looking on with horror whilst placing bets on what will break first; the bar, the ball or the back. Our money is going on this man's ankles. 

Challenging your balance is great for your core - for this reason, there is a place for Swiss balls in the fitness world. When you see Swiss balls used in a combination with heavy weights, however, you have to consider whether that PT is really working for the benefit of their client or if they're trying out the latest fad on a new guinea pig!

2) Shocking nutrition in the gym

Krispy Kremes in the gym

We all like a treat now and then, especially if we want to replenish energy but there is definitely something wrong with a gym that will sell you a Krispy Kreme! It's not just the blatantly bad nutrition on sale, it's also people taking snacks onto gym equipment - if you must eat that, please go to the side!

Bicep curls in squat rack

3) Machine/area hogs

We've all been guilty of some gym faux pas in our time but nothing is more annoying than people wasting time and space!

If you're not using the equipment, step aside and let someone else on it - we all need rests in a workout but there's not need to get all territorial on your station. 

For people like Big Swede and Adrian, nothing is worse than the classic bicep curlers taking up the squat rack - criminal!

4) A little less conversation a little more action please

Yappers! Worst ones are those who speak so loudly! People need to find a corner to talk in and not hog the machine/weights for the 10 minutes as they divulge their latest social escapades Ian C

The gym doesn't have to be just a workout, but bear in mind that other gym-goers may not give a hoot about what you've been up to of late - you can always catch up after your workout session! 

5) Leaving a workout station in a mess

Leaving dumb bells scattered all over the place; the 40's are on the floor by this bench, the 45's are under the smith machine, the 50's are over by the rowing machine.  I hate that, put your dumb bells back for god's sake. Ryan B

As well as leaving kit out, not wiping down equipment after use is just totally unacceptable; we're all there to sweat, but arriving on a sweaty machine is just a bit grim!

What are your biggest irritations in the gym? Share them here!

  • Encourage

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    Machine/area hogs for sure. And yeah, the people who are just hanging out there for some place to hang out. I get that a lot on weekend afternoons. Seriously, go get coffee. Four of you standing around talking while one person is on a machine, talking but not working out, does nobody any good! hahaha


    omg i hate area hogs and squat rack hogs,they should be banned from the gyms. I dont know if ya forgot this one,and thats men wearing really tight lycra clothes, for god sake come on,i`m in the gym not a weird show of some sort. I so agree 100% about leaving weights and machines in a mess,tidy up the weights and WIPE the freaking machine down after use,i dont want to share your body fluids. Then last but not least,people lifting in the gym and doing it wrong all the time,even after been shown about 10 time show to do it and still do it wrong and thinking they are the business. Then we have the poser`s as yous have commented on before,i think they get to me more than ever lately for some reason,why? and what? are they here and all they do is go and use the sunbeds constantly looking at them self in the mirror and annoy everyone with their mobile phone and it is not just the talking it is the freaking ringtone that they have to let ring at least for a minute before they answer,believe me this is so annoying when ya in mid squat and doing 200kg+. Thanks for a great article and please all people take note. Train hard fellow peeps


    Okay, I feel really uncomfortable with excessively loud grunting. I have given birth 3 times, so I have experienced intense, and do I mean intense, physical exertion, but I am sure I didn't sound like some of members at my gym. I can't help but think if you have to grunt like that, perhaps the weight is too much for you. But I am more than willing to listen to a grunter's reasons for making so much noise ....


    An extension of the dumbbell irks are the 'droppers'. I'm not talking about the heavy lifters who have just cranked out their fortieth rep and are totally spent, I'm referring to the douches who make their count and just let go. Not once, not twice... every damn set! I have actually made sure I could watch them out of the corner of my eye to see if they're actually throwing the weights down to make so much noise. It's little wonder that halve the rubberised weights at my gym are in tatters and the floor covering looks like a herd of ice skating hippos has done a rendition of Swan Lake.


    The dumbbell hog. The bloke who uses 4 different (for clarity) masses for each set of an exercise so to make sure that he has them close to hand he gathers them altogether on his bench like some sort of heavy iron yard sale display. Personally I'll finish my set, walk back over to the rack and switch weights, think of it as an active rest as opposed to the "looking in the mirror and fixing the 'do" rest.


    I think my biggest annoyance (especially deployed) is when the guys attempt to start conversations with me while at the gym. I don't consider myself a bitch, but when I'm working out I like to get lost in my music and in what I'm doing. If you see my headphone out of my ear, please... feel free to talk to me. If they are both in, please try again later. One other thing is when people workout in groups and use 3-4 machines at once and just rotate through. Just kind of annoying that I have to sit and wait for 15-20 minutes in order to use one. O_o I usually have my music up loud enough so that I can't hear the clanking of dropping weights or the grunting of the guy who wants everyone to know he's working out. But if I can, you are DEFINITELY too loud. LOL


    People with "all the gear and no idea" who think they know everything there is to know. People giving really bad advice to other people, especially when their own form or routine sucks. People obsessed with supplements. People who look down on others who have very obviously only recently started going to the gym - everyone has to start somewhere! Blimey - that's a list! :)


    Haha this blog made me laugh. Just seeing that guy over the swiss ball lifting that amount of weight it's just hilarious and dangerous! Really it's just about common sense, if you're not using something, step aside or put the equipment into the right place after using it. I remember when I used to go to the college gym, I spent some time to arrange all the things people left out of their place, I couln't stand see all messy.


    Grunting and heavy panting especially on treadmills, I'm just thankful I don't have to use the gym much and not much puts me of running outside and I have some gym stuff at home, but at times like when on holiday and still need to train, it a big put-off especially when your stuck on the machine next to them. This is closely followed by No.5 and believe me PT can be equally responsible for this. Its really annoying when you want to do some core work or coold down stretches and you can't find anywhere to lie etc., because everywhere is littered with weights, put them away please you only need one set out at a time.

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    One guy was working at the gym and on lunch time his girlfriend was coming to visit him and to train, but she had her 8months old baby with her. so while she was training, he was taking care of her... but the most iritating part was that she brought many toys, diapier bag... and kept talking loud with her tiny baby voice! Dude, i am taking a break off my own kids, i don't have to endure yours!!! But lucky me, the guy doesn't work there anymore!

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    I just thought of something else actually... Smelly people. Like, I understand that while you are at the gym you sweat... I get it. But some people smell like they have been wearing the same workout clothes for the whole week and then swam in a porta potty. I don't get it!! It is the WORST while I'm running on a tread mill and the pick the one RIGHT beside me when there are like 10 open!! COME ON!! LOL.


    The 3 last one the the truest one. If you are not here with a volunty, get away. You need to have reasons to be here The person around you are there to do what they have to do. Not to listen to your life or looking at you making your king. P.S. J'adore ce site. Merci aux gestionnaires et créateurs. :D

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    Hogging one piece is bad enough but the ones who hog two, or even three, are maddening. You might want to superset, mate, but the place is busy and you're stopping the rest of us from working out! The same applies to those that take two benches just to do some tricep dips. Fine if the place is empty but that might be half the available benches. Also, those dumbbells by that bench - is somebody using them and has just stepped away or are they left-overs now he's moved on? Consideration people!!!!


    Area hogs and campers are the worst! Why is it that folks feel they need to stand RIGHT in front of the dumbell rack to do their sets ensuring that NO ONE can get around them to the weights>>by the way when they are done they invariably put the weights back in the wrong spot. Of course there are those that feel they need to just sit on equipment, do some sets for Pete's Sake!!!! >>and then clean up when you're done. And finally, if you see someone working out don't decide to set up right next to them and impede their range of motion when there is plenty of room to not crowd - SERIOUSLY DON'T DO THAT!!!!

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    i find young kids who try and do massive weights with poor form not only irritating but dangerous what especially gets to me is the people running the gym not giving them sound advice and stopping their actions. I'm no expert by any means but I know poor form when I see it, trying to bench 40kg dumbells while looking like a great dane rising from and afternoon nap can hardly be beneficial. Also gear hogs and messy gym goers annoy me too, how hard is it to re rack your gear?

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    @tetleyjon they were being used by a curl-maniac who did just about every variation of dumbbell curls with them before leaving them all there. Totally agree on "circuit trainers", fine when the gym is empty. Not cool if you are sitting on the bench press for three times as long whilst you press, curl and leg raise on it.

    Dana J and Maria S encouraged this.


    @teresad I get this a lot from people, I've been told I squat too low (by someone who I have never seen squat), I've been told not to press from behind the neck even though it is required as a part of my olympic weightlifting training by my coaches (by a newly qualified PT). This always comes from commercial gym go-ers and trainers, We have a good laugh about it down at my oly training centre.


    @cags and @adrian I wasn't actually referring to the photo, I meant more of a hypothetical set a dumbbells by an unmanned bench. The picture is obviously just a case of somebody leaving a hell of a mess. A single piece of equipment that has not been put away might still be in use for all we know and denies that equipment to somebody else. At least until you've asked everybody in sight if they're using it!

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    last nite a guy really bugged me he was doing seated shoulder presses and seated bicept tricept work and he had the only gym belt on .... grr swear he took it just to piss me off doing deadlifts!!!!

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    I would add the lappers...the people who walk around and never work out, they just gawk.

    Emma C and Maria S encouraged this.


    People who douse themselves with cologne or perfume!!! I always want to tell them to take a shower instead of trying to cover up some funk. I'd rather smell some honest fresh sweat than stinky old funk with godawful cologne over it. Equipment users who don't sanitize after finishing. Oh, and on the track I hate it when people stop and clog up an area (answer a cell phone, bring a baby carriage and then rummage through it for said cell phone, stop to talk to friends, etc.). more pet peeve, the people who can't be bothered to read the track or gym rules and then wonder why they're getting the stink eye. Noises other than cell phone I mostly can ignore. Singers I find funny.


    Kara said it all! Thanx! Saved me alot of typing, which I suck at! One more thing though! People who take advanced classes, and then complain to the manager; "It's too hard", so we end up with a lot of easy beginner level stuff!

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    pretty nice article. they are indeed present everywhere. I would like to add, people who dont use towels after workout and leave the machines/ mats/ benches full of their sweat :)

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    Smell....not the type that happens during a workout but the type that happens when someone has failed to wash their kit several times and leaves a trail in their wake that would water the eyes of even the most hardened smelling salt users. Oh and lack of safety excuse.


    @andrewt1 that smell thing is one of the worst ones, how can people have any pride in themselves if they know they smell like crap from week old kit is beyond me

    Heather G and Teresa D encouraged this.


    I think my biggest bug bears are the girls that are simply there to pose in little shorts, shorts over leggings, tiny tops and full make up and not working out at all and those that just get in the way, my PT has a special area he works in and the amount of times he has to ask people to move, not once but several times - arrgh


    Numbers 3, 4, and 5 are on my list. Also, I don't like when people are using different size dumb bells. For one arm they use a liter weight and the other arm they use a heavier weight. They say that "This arm is weak, so I have to use a liter weight". I tell them that's why that arm is weak. But they don't listen. Am I wrong?


    Now I really wish I have my own gym equipment at home :)


    @macdoogle - that is hysterical! It makes you wonder what some people think they're doing in a gym. It also reminded me of a great bit in the film The 13th Warrior when Antonio Banderas complains to one of the Vikings that the sword he has been given is so heavy he can't pick it up. The Viking just tells him "get stronger!"

    Brian K and Kara A encouraged this.


    @teresad and @adriank ....This is also my pet hate, even as a Personal Trainer. There is technically no right or wrong way of doing an exercise as there are so many variations these days. If you can justify why you are doing it and it is not detrimental to your health than let the individual carry on. Half the time they try and correct you and not even know the reason for the way you have chosen to do the exercise

    Teresa D encouraged this.


    As a trainer in a gym I would like to ask Kurt S if his wife also picks up after him at his home? I see all of the above peeves listed at my place of work and it is a challenge for us as trainers to keep a safe enviornment for everyone. However I do not think it is my place to pick up after ignorant pigs. From sweat towels on the floor, gum on the windowsills, protein powder....make sure the lid is on before you shake (you must have the strength for that!) - I have seen it all! Maybe wipe before your set so you are accountable for yourself and you know it is clean before you touch it...I would encourage everyone to act like an adult, use their their big persons voice in a polite way to workout with the people around you (called communication), and I will be happy to help if there is a problem after that. I love my job when I can do it, by providing safe, fun and appropriate exercise! I do not enjoy my job when I have to be the babysitter and have to listen to complaints and tattling...

    Paul T encouraged this.


    @pjhalliday - I agree it's not your job to pick up after people, I think a lot of the issues are just communication issues, gyms should have clear etiquettes and codes of conduct so that when someone does leave a station in a mess or wastes time taking a call when on a machine, other gym users can politely remind them of the code of conduct within the gym! It definitely shouldn't be trainer's responsibility to police gyms, especially if someone has paid for a 1-to-1 session


    great article! I thought you would mention icky sweaty body parts though - that would be my major irritant lol!


    4) A little less conversation a little more action please-this one irritates me-happens a lot in my gym.


    @pjhalliday I'm sure nobody was having a go at trainers. I would say, though, that I think this is a problem with modern gyms. They used to have instructors who would show new members how to use each piece of equipment but were also always there to offer advice and remind users of both rules and etiquette. Nowadays most seem to have a couple of desk staff to let you in, after first checking if you want to purchase drinks or protein bars, and a number of independent Personal Trainers who are really only interested in those that are paying them £40-an-hour for individual coaching.


    No worries Kurt S...I am a gym attendant and a trainer and an instructor and one who works out in a gym as well so I do it all and for sure see it all. I find it remarkable when people think the attendant should be telling people what they want to say. Maybe because it will eventually be our job for the reminder it is one step ahead of communicating. And as you point out some attitudes are intimidating...We take people through the gym and show them the ropes and the rules Jon A but I think the difference is there are some who think they are above all that. Signs posted are soon forgotten to regular gym attendees, and because they are regular some newly posted reminders will go ignored. A favourite comment I have is when they talk instead of squat is "You sure must be strong to hold up all that gym equipment..." ;)


    I actually moved to a different treadmill last night due to some guy next to me talking non stop on his phone while walking on the treadmill. Another thing I don't understand is why they put a solitaire game on the recumbent bike machines-saw a lady playing solitaire while on the bike. I think that takes away from the purpose of exercise....


    Never seen a machine with solitaire before....maybe more of a mind exercise? I don't even think I could concentrate enough to play a game. I understand how you feel about the phone thing though, a woman on the track last night talked for a whole hour as she walked around the track......slowwwwly and in the runners lane. Then she stopped to hang on the rail and talk some more.


    @tessietickle I read your post Tess, and I have to disagree about this point: "Often found in packs, these self-absorbed gorillas will lift ridiculously heavy weights and need to let *everyone* know about it. They do so by grunting loudly to the room with every rep." - Lifting really heavy weights takes years to achieve, and it shows someone who is actually making great progress or is usually an athlete training for a specific person rather than just exercising. I don't want to think that people will be judging me or thinking me a self-absorbed gorilla because I lift heavy, I compete and I need to train in order to perform at my best. Sometimes I have to make noise when under enormous strain (just listen to the scream on the last lift here: - when you are pushing your body to the limits its sometimes impossible not to make noise (I know sometimes it seems like people are taking the piss with the noise they make, but you can't always judge). I know your post was probably intended to be light hearted, I just wanted to add my perspective lest people are judging me when I train.

    Eoin O encouraged this.


    @adrian Wow OK that video does put me in my place about the grunting, I do apologise! There's no way I could lift that much, and I do appreciate the work and effort that goes into weight training. My post was, as you say, a light hearted look on the irritations of the gym, from my perspective (i.e. the perspective of a non-lifting novice!) Just feel sometimes that the weights corner gets taken over by people lifting heavy and screaming loudly, which makes it uncomfortable for people like little old me! Sorry if I caused you offence. :)

    Adrian K and Cags R encouraged this.


    @tessietickle no worries! I get the point you were trying to make and I understand how it can make newbies feel uncomfortable and intimidated, also there are a minority of people could conduct themselves a little bit nicer in the weights room to make it less intimidating for others - most of the time in my gym the atmosphere is good even with all sorts of people training there.

    Tess L and Eoin O encouraged this.


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