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

Responses: 128


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. Share your stories

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.


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

triangle makers

hate it when 3 young guys stand all next to each other like a triangle and block equipement and show each other what is on their phones.Also one may grab a pulldown bar and just hold it while talking and therefore the 3 guys take over an hour for each one to do a set of lat pulldowns. Finally when they do pulldowns they go way to heavy and jerk it and that is why they have no lats.They never get bigger.They just goof off and get in the way.
—Guest rickyv

Leave me alone At the gym

If its personal trainers , the gym owners or random annoying people,at the gym when i have my earphones on and i am using both my cell phone it is clear i do not want to interact with anyone!!! I definitly dont want the stupid personal trAiner over my shoulder observing my everymove if i wanted i would have paid for a private session i know my routine and i like to finish it peacfully which i am not doing lately because everyone is so chatty what do i have to do wear a dont bothwr me and leave me alone tshirt?
—Guest Yana


Annoying men who want to "work in" with you on a machine. It will take these idiots longer to adjust the weight and the machine than it would for me to knock out 10 more reps. So no, jackass, you may not "work in" with me.
—Guest Marsha

How they walk

This obnoxious person who has trouble seeing what's in front of him and walks into your way. Just foolish behaviour.
—Guest Guest

smoke break

I gotta go with the smoking outside the gym.Are these people insane? Thats like bailing water into a sinking boat
—Guest ted

Maybe I'm rude, but you can share a fan!

I pay $ to go to the gym. I even paid to get a personal trainer. I get to go in a private room to work out except cardio equipment is shared in another room. I got on the treadmill where the fan is, I moved it a few inches to be able to get some on me, I am a female, I did not hog it. A thin sweaty man jumped off the treadmill and moved the fan back on him 100% and told me it was hotter where he was. I said it's hot here too. I thought about it. Got off the treadmill mad and went and told on him. This guy is notorious for bad manners and no one was surprised. I was told he would be talked too. That was about it. If I was a dude, with muscles, he wouldn't have done that. But I think when I got off angry it made him think and I was told he jumped off the machine and left the building. So maybe he did realize that you can share a fan, and the gym is suppose to be hot, and the fan is suppose to help but it's a community place. When I moved the fan, I knew it took guts to do it. It was fun
—Guest Use to get sand kicked in my face


I work out in a private community gym. It is used only by residents and their guests. We have a resident who will come into the gym and begin doing his leg stretching routine on machines that people are currently using. For example, if you are sitting on a machine and doing shoulder and arm exercises he will walk up behind you and put his foot on a bar three feet off the ground, on the dcme machine you are using. How do you convince the gym manager that this is an inappropriate action. One person for each machine and also this machine was designed for shoulder work outs and not leg stretching?
—Guest Rob

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

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