Gym Faux Pas

Can we take a brief moment/post to review gym etiquette? I’m not talking about a gym’s written rules – I’m talking about those unwritten, common sense, considerations and respects for the other people in the gym. Please note I use “common sense” liberally here because its not so common :(.

Recently, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with people who just don’t know, or care to practice proper gym etiquette.

Now, most gyms do have a set of actual written rules, which typically include a dress code, cleaning up after yourself etc. Pretty standard stuff. The issues I’m talking about fall outside of these rules and make for a less than positive gym experience. Here are some of the top, MOST ANNOYING gym faux pas:


I wish I was joking – but gym hecklers are a real thing. Recently I was working out at my workplace gym. For perspective, this isn’t some thrown together make-shift gym. I work at a public University so the gym is top of the line and is shared between athletes, employees, students, faculty, alumni and any public person who chooses to hold their membership there. If anything, it should be MORE professional. Anyways, I digress. So, I’m wrapping up the first set of my circuit and this man casually walks by me and critiques my choice of dumbbell weight. I brush it off, don’t respond and continue with my workout. My lack of response apparently made him think I hadn’t heard him, so he repeated his comment LOUDER. I responded with “I’ve got it under control, thank you”, and carried on. For the rest of my workout he “stretched” 3 mats away from me (with people between us), heckling me; commenting on my weights, my form, how hard I was working etc.

Honestly – what.the.fudge.

Just so we are clear, most people go to the gym to workout, without commentary. I’m fine with small talk (within reason), but people who hoot and holler at other people while they are working out are beyond annoying. I was actually so uncomfortable, and the people between us seemed equally as uncomfortable. Especially when the girl next to me is mouthing “what the F*%$” to me as the guy is talking.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident, I hear it happen at this gym, my previous gym and my weekend gym more often than I’d like to.

Dear Gym Hecklers,

Please shut your mouth and keep your comments to yourself. You make everyone uncomfortable.


Everyone working out who you’ve now made cringe and want to leave.

Loud Grunters/Moaners

Like the group before, I wish this was a joke. I’ll start by saying that I completely understand that when you are working your tail off, or really trying to get through a set, or lift an insanely heavy weight, you will release a grunt. I’ve done it, other people do it – totally normal. Where is becomes a faux pas is when it’s constant AND weird. Let me define weird like this “If I can’t see what you’re doing, but it sounds like you’re involved in pleasure, its weird.

Please stop.

Let me give you an example; tennis players. SO many of them yell out in a pleasure like scream of ecstasy when they clobber the ball. I don’t like it. Surely there is another noise you could make. When people make this noise in the gym it sends needles up my spin and then makes me cringe.

I get your working hard, and I’m really happy for you and proud of you, but if you could contain the moaning, that’d be great.

Machine Swipers

These SOBs get me everytime.

Imagine this: your at the gym and you’re doing a circuit. You’re part way through a set and you head over to a machine you’ve been using. Suddenly, its occupied by someone else. You wait patiently for them to complete their set so you can works yours in. But they don’t. When they are done their set they remain on the machine. Then continue with another set, and another and another.

Circuits and sets are time sensitive, you’re not going to sit and wait 10 minutes for someone to be done with a machine when you’re part way through a workout. It’s also not easy to just sub out that exercise for another one.

The worst is when you have CLEARLY MARKED THE MACHINE AS OCCUPIED (you’ve left a water bottle, towel etc on it) and someone moves it!

Okay, I understand and am all for sharing machines – its called cooperation, but that requires speaking. If someone is clearly using the machine ask them how long they will be, if you can work in with them etc. it’s called being considerate, polite, and respectful.

As Dora would say “Swiper NO swiping”

Excessive Sweaters

Before you judge this one, please just wait. People sweat, its natural and it doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when you are leaving PUDDLES of sweat all over machines, mats, the floor etc and NOT CLEANING IT UP!

I was at this gym this weekend doing a spin class, a man two bikes over was sweating his brains out – clearly working insanely hard. When the class was over he just WALKED OUT! Didn’t clean his bike and definitely didn’t clean up the two massive sweat puddles on the floor. Sir – that’s nasty!

Yes there are gym staff employed to clean the gym, but you’re a grown person and can also clean up after yourself.

End Rant.

Did I miss anyone? Whats your biggest pet peeve at the gym? People who do arm curls in the squat racks?



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