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Readers Respond: What's the worst gym etiquette you've seen?

Responses: 122


Updated March 10, 2009

From the article: Gym Etiquette
Working out in close proximity with others isn't always the most comfortable situation. There are people leaving weights on the machines, sweat on the seats or the cloying scent of perfume in your face. What's the worst behavior you've seen at the gym? Share your story about the worst gym etiquette.

cell phones

The worst is when people are talking on the cell phone at the gym. It's distracting. I don't want to hear other's conversations, it ruins my motivation and I have a hard enough time motivating myself to get to the gym as it is ;-)

Making themselves at home

Not only is there this one guy who leaves a slimy pool of sweat behind...but he leaves all of his other stuff behind too...he just "moves in" to the gym area and treats the whole circuit as if it was his private gym! He does a set on one bench, then goes to do another set on another bench. He leaves his water bottle, his towel, his Ipod, etc...on the one bench while he goes to the other...or even worse...while he goes to the drinking fountain, or carries on a conversation! He's really big and mean looking...so no one confronts him...but I can see everyone's faces...we all hate him...or rather...ahem...lovingly wish he would just share with the rest of us!

People Who Stare

It's intimidating to a beginner to be stared at while learning! No, I don't have the strength, flexibility, or stamina that some of the others at the gym have. Yet.

Pick up after yourself

My pet peeve is members trashing the locker room. They leave wet towels everywhere, empty water bottles on the floor, and all sorts of trash in the lockers. Worse, some guys even shave in the steam room, even when there's a huge sign that explicitly prohibits it. Everyone acts as if their mother will pick up after them, and leaves the locker room disgusting. It's not the YMCA either - I'm talking about a club that costs $160/month, a luxury health club with a spa.

Worst etiquette

A member keeps turning on the fan on high with no consideration to the rest of us. The rest of us don't want the fan on. This person insists on keeping it on. What is the best thing to do in this situation? In addition, loud talking on the phone, being critizicized for your technique or someone giving you what they call great advice (and I could care less), guys thinking you want a date (not going to happen), women that put on tons of hairspray and perfume in the locker room. If you don't know how to behave and have consideration for other people, then stay home and don't work out in public.


one day right after college classes i decided to go home quickly change and go to the gym when i went into the gym a buff guy made a comment towards me because i had foundation and lipgloss on and it was bc i came right after class and i didnt want to shower then go to the gym and then shower again. and he just said in russian out loud who goes to the gym with make up and i said back to him in russian that i dont ask him what kind of steroids he uses and he looked very surprised and apologized. most disrespectful person i ever meet but then again the gym was filled with those kind of people and low air conditioner just a sucky gym all together
—Guest Sammy

Easily beaten

It does make me chuckle reading the complaints above. Most are easilky avoided: - If you dont like seeing people checking progress in the mirror, dont look that way - People are staring at you? How would you know unless your looking at them too? - People who wear skimpy clothing men/women, I bet if you had a good phsique, you would probably buy a tighter tshirt or shorts? Dont get me wrong, I hate the following: People who hog machines People who dont put their weights back People who cough and splutter all over machines, then just leave But the worst in my view, is the person who is doing any of the above, then when questioned about it tells you to f off? End of the day your their to work your muscles not your ego And oh, if you want to parade around the locker room naked, please - go and see Gok Wan about looking good naked, nobody else cares.
—Guest Steve

let them all sweat

Someone who walks into a room of members who are contentedly, seriously working out and without asking, turns off the fan and argues with you to keep it off.
—Guest gonetomorrow

Cover Up please!

Locker room etiquette- If you are naked, please do not come over and start a conversation or ask questions. Especially when I am sitting on the bench tying my shoes.
—Guest sccrmom

Fan Etiquette

When people are doing cardio/weights and the fan is off/on and someone just walks in and turns the fan on/off . Who do they think they are? I was taught to ask. If one out of ten did not want it the way I wanted it then I left it alone out of respect for that person who was their first.


I HATE it when people bounce from machine to machine.. I clean BEFORE and AFTER! Also I hate the guys that walk around, eyeing you up and down like you are piece of meat. When I notice this from someone I dont want eyeing me, I play with my wedding band and most of them get the hint.
—Guest Rochelle

Monopolizing an equipment

My office, my gym, my home are all within 5-10mns walking from each other. It irritates me soooooooo much when at rush hour, someone monopolizes a machine for the entire hour im at the gym. I mean, how many set does one really needs????
—Guest Cosmo_boi

steam room vs. sauna

There's a guy at the gym that let's all the steam out of the steam room when he get's hot. I sit in the suana, planning to use the steam room, and watch him hold the door open. Finally, I said to him "If you don't like the steam, go to the sauna."
—Guest wade

The List is Extensive

I go to an all female gym. I'm tired of seeing women exercising in jeans, flats and the worst of it all... bra-less or wearing heavy perfume. Cell phones irritate me. Are you there to work out or are you there to talk to your friends? I'm also baffled by people that pick the treadmill right next to where I'm running when there are 20 other treadmills avaiable.
—Guest Karen


Girls who feel they have to show off their perfect set of abs, bum, thighs, when actually they seem to do no work whatsoever at the gym.
—Guest jj

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