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