The 10 Most Annoying Habits At The Gym (And How To Deal With Them)

The 10 Most Annoying Habits At The Gym (And How To Deal With Them)

One of the main reasons we avoid visiting the gym is the annoying behaviour of some gym-goers. The gear hogs, the grunters, the serial nudists — here are 10 of the most heinous offences, and how you can deal with them.


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10. Not Cleaning The Equipment

The problem: You’re about to use a machine, and you realise it’s covered with sweat from the last person who used it. Eww!

The solution: Don’t let someone get away with this — if you’ve been waiting on a particular piece of gear and you see someone leave without cleaning up, politely call them on it. And don’t contribute to the problem — wipe or spray your own sweat off anything you’ve used (and remember buttons and handles too). Treadmill picture from Shutterstock

9. Excessive Genitalia Displays

The problem: We get it: there are showers, people are going to be naked. But when someone starts wandering around the change room on a 10-minute phone call with all their bits on display, it’s not great. We don’t need to contemplate your elongated scrotum, thanks.

The solution: If possible, look the other way. If not, steal a line from Gunther on Friends: “Hey buddy — put the mouse back in the house.” (On a related note: guys, don’t wear ultra-loose shorts to yoga classes.) Towels picture from Shutterstock

8. Grunt-O-Rama

The problem: Again, we understand that exercise involves exertion. But grunting like you’re Serena Williams in a Grand Slam final quickly becomes tiring for everyone else.

The solution: Headphones are your friend. Check out our guide to the best earbuds. Weights picture from Shutterstock

7. Overly Noisy Encouragement

The problem: There’s nothing wrong with taking a fitness buddy along for spotting. But they don’t need to repeatedly yell “YOU GOT THIS! PUSH! SQUEEZE IT OUT! SQUEEZE THAT BIG THING OUT REAL GOOD!”

The solution: Again, headphones/earbuds. Though don’t go too far and have music so loud that everyone else in the gym can hear it. And for goodness’ sake, don’t sing.Picture: Getty Images/Renee McKay

6. Unsolicited “Help”

The problem:: Giving others constant advice on what they’re doing wrong. That’s OK if what someone’s doing is genuinely dangerous, but most of the time it’s just an aggressive way to show off.

The solution: Say “Thanks, but I prefer to take advice from my personal trainer.” Speaking of which . . . Picture: Getty Images/Phil Walter

5. Pushy Personal Trainers

The problem: Being hassled by would-be personal trainers who try to upsell personal training.

The solution: Just say “Thanks, but I already have a trainer.” picturePersonal trainer picture from Shutterstock

4. Equipment Hogs

The problem: Someone stops using a machine, you start to use it, and then they complain and say they were just resting between sets. Related annoyance #1: people who sit on the machines and browse nonsense on their phones. Related annoyance #2: people who give you a death stare to try and persuade you to leave a machine.

The solution: Be a good gym citizen yourself — use a machine as long as you need to, but move on when you’re done. (After cleaning up, of course.) Picture: Getty Images/Marco Luzzani

3. Flatulence/Manic Bowel Movements

The problem: What’s that smell? It’s the person in front of you in class, letting rip like there’s no tomorrow.

The solution: If possible, move somewhere else. If you have to, change classes. No-one needs that much bad whiff karma. And on a related note: don’t chow down on a protein-laced smoothie and then unleash a toxic bowel movement at the gym toilet. Save that for when you get home. Picture: Getty Images/Lily Lawrence

2. Not Putting Equipment Away

The problem: Someone uses the free weights and then leaves them spread out over the entire gym.

The solution: Again, don’t be afraid to call someone on this if you see them do it. Weights picture from Shutterstock

1. Gym Selfies

The problem: Posers spending their time showing off their “moves” for the benefit of their 7 Instagram pals.

The solution: Photo bomb like there’s no tomorrow. Picture: Jere Keys, jayceloop

What drives you nuts in the gym, and how do you deal with it? Tell us in the comments.

Main gym picture from Shutterstock


    • Some of those people might not have a choice.

      My brother had eye surgery and needed to wear dark sunglasses afterwards. He was getting hate from certain people demanding he take sunglasses off inside.

      Also myself when my glasses broke, I had to wear my prescription sunglasses for the week it took to get new regular glasses to arrive. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to see

  • Just go outside of peak times and you avoid most if not all of these things.. I go later on during the week and early on the weekends.

    Most of the time theres not another person in the gym with me to annoy me.

  • 14. People who are only there to show off their buff bodies.

    15. People of give you a “what are you doing in a gym” stare if you are not already as buffed as they are.

    • 15) I started going to the gym a couple years ago as a medium fatty (about 120kg)…. I was a bit self concious at first but honestly the only reason people might look your way is if you’re doing something wrong.

      Generally I’ll only double take on someone in the area if I think “oh man I don’t want that guy to hurt himself or “That guy is doing that thing wayyyyyy wrong, I kinda want to talk to him and tell him to do x/y/z….. but I don’t wanna be that guy….. should I say something…. oh shit I’ve been staring his way for 15 seconds already”


      Please don’t let #15 deter you 🙂

  • The person that wrote this article might be better suited to a basement. Gyms are social environments, where athletes engage with one another with the aim of helping others and themselves improve. That is fundamental. All of the things listed as faux pas in the gym above are actually part and parcel to the gym. For those that don’t like this kind of openness, a better place for them to exercise might be their basement, or a quiet park where they can exercise in solitude.
    Gyms are social environments. Not like facebook, but like the real world.

  • 4. I pretty much only go to the gym to do supersets involving three different exercises, which could mean 2-3 bits of equipment. No problem with working in with people, but don’t jump on it when I move away only to sit there on fkn facebook or texting your girlfriend, while doing no exercise.

    If you have the balls to ask if you can work in, you shouldn’t ever really have a problem with this though, I’ve never had anyone say no.

    • You know what, most dudes who have been going for a while have no problem if I want to work in, but it seems to be the young newbs who object and tell me they only have a couple of sets left. Fkn little fkwits. You’re skinny or fat and you need to learn some respect. Bitches

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