Don’t be this Gym Guy/Gal…..Please!!

Are you this person? I hope not....

Are you this person? I hope not....

I’ve spent enough times in gyms all starting since I was in high school (many many years ago). I’ve worked out in many different ones and worked as a trainer in plenty others. I’ve pretty much seen it all, and sometimes I just shake my head at what people are doing. So here’s my list, to help us all make a gym environment that works for all of us while keeping our sanity…..so please….don’t be one of these gym guys/gals (and trainers, you are not safe either….I got one for you)

The Wanderer

You shouldn’t be walking around the gym like you are lost for hours. These people wander around, look at machines, try things here and there, wait till the clock says an hour later and then go home. Now if you need to try new exercises or equipment that is one thing. If you are new and not sure what to do, then I suggest you hire someone for a session to show you how to do things. But please don’t just walk around without a plan killing time and then think you got a fantastic workout in. Cattle wander around, don’t become part of the herd. Have a plan, get in, get out, go on with life outside the gym.

The Super Strong Guy who Doesn’t Re-rack the Weights

If you are strong enough to put those 45lb plates on a bar, or pull 60lb dumbbells off the rack….please do us all a favor and put the damn things back. No one is going to walk past a smith machine in awe of your 2 plates on each side once you are done. Other people may actually want to use the machine without all your awesome weights. People may actually want to walk around the gym without having to trip over 60lb dumbbells laying around. So please be considerate and put those weights back.

The 1/4 Heavy Squat Guy

This probably goes hand in hand with the one above, but unless you are doing some sort of advanced East German periodization program that includes 1/4 range of motion overload…do a full squat. If you are tossing on big plates to just impress people around you, and can’t get it even 50% of the way down…you are just embarrassing yourself. Workout for the right reasons, to build real muscle in a full range of motion…not to try and impress others with bad form. Don’t worry, no one is watching or cares.

There is still hope for a cure to ELS.....a sad state that many suffer from.

There is still hope for a cure to ELS.....a sad state that many suffer from.

The ELS Person

It’s a scary condition and I know there is help for people out there. If you see someone showing signs of ELS, please help them. Symptoms may include appearing to hold waterjugs under their arms…yet there are no jugs, or having trouble fitting through doorways. There is hope for people suffering from ELS (Exaggerated Lats Syndrome). Just tell them to put down the waterjugs, as no one cares….maybe they will see the light.

The Grunter/Screamer

We all can let out little sounds, especially when the work is hard. But do you really need to let everyone in the gym know about it? One can exhale air without actually needing it to be a loud noise. I’ve had trouble keeping a straight face training clients when I hear these people. One guy would do it with weights that any 15 yr old can handle…and another women made noises that made the whole gym stop like they were watching the infamous scene from “When Harry Met Sally”. As comical as these times are, it’s not needed for the most part and just takes away our concentration from what we need to focus on.

The Bluetooth Person

I can’t hide my personal dislike for the way these headsets have intruded into our lives. Now I have one, I use it in the car or when at home…it does have a purpose. But I take it off…I don’t walk around in public with it waiting for the next call (because I am THAT important). I certainly don’t take it to the gym and wear it while working out. I once ran a workout group where one woman stopped, went to her phone and answered it….let’s just say we didn’t have that problem for any more of the sessions. If you are taking phone calls during a workout….it’s not a workout. Unless you are a surgeon on duty or you are Jack Bauer and the president needs you, leave it in your car or locker. Your gossip and random talking can wait till later and the world will go on without you. Break free from your cell phone dependence.

Her sweating is sexy....me and you, not so much.

Her sweating is sexy....me and you, not so much.

The No-Wiper

Everyone for the most part breaks a sweat, nothing wrong with that. But if you are using equipment or weights…and leaving your sweat behind for the next person, then you are a no-wiper. Bring a small towel to the gym and use it to wipe down any equipment that you may be using. Have some courtesy for people who may not be so happy to sit in your pile of sweat.

The “Off-Duty” Trainer

This is actually not for the trainers (you will get one later) but it’s actually for people who just act like they know what they are talking about. If your vast knowledge/experience comes from reading a couple magazines or watching it on the biggest loser, please don’t walk around like you know it all. I’ve seen way too many people giving out very bad advice, it’s not going to help anyone. Stop the spreading of bad information and let’s keep the tips to things we actually know are right. I just don’t have enough time to keep correcting all your bad advice.

The Cologne/Perfume Person

We all go to the gym to workout, sweat and go home. It only makes sense it’s not going to be the best place to try and pick up someone. So stop lathering on all the cologne and perfume. I worked at one gym where the trainer (of all people) would make me and my client gag everytime he walked by. Leave all the fancy smelling stuff at home and just help us all to breathe a little easier….as breathing is quite important when working out.

Trainers, let's leave the circus acts out of the gym

Trainers, let's leave the circus acts out of the gym

The Functional Training Catalog Trainer

If you are buying everything you find in a catalog because it’s the newest and latest “functional” thing, then you don’t know how to train a client. While there are things one can use, and people do enjoy variety…make sure your clients are actually seeing results. Don’t just overcomplicate and make sure you still focus on the basic things that we know what works especially for fat loss. Don’t make the workout into a 3 ring circus equipped with walking on a rope (yes they have this) and juggling stuff. And please don’t take all your toys out into the middle of a gym floor just to be seen and get in everyone else’s way. Unless you want a lawsuit from someone tripping on your new toy laying around, keep it away from the mainstream traffic areas.

The Cutoff Guy

There should be fashion police in the gym. I wish they were around to smack some sense into me when I was in my early 20s (oh the embarrassing stuff I would wear). But it’s one thing to buy something as is in a store and wear it, but another to look at something…take some scissors and make your own tank top or shorts. I will admit, women you are allowed to cut off anything you want….jeans….shirts….I think that is a universal accepted rule. But guys….you are not, sorry just the way the world works.

The Leaner

If you lean on any piece of equipment for any more than 1-2 minutes (other than taking a short rest between your own demanding sets), then you are a leaner. If you are spending your time with ELS syndrome, cut-off tank tops and talking to people while they try to workout by leaning on the equipment they are using….you are a leaner (the gym is not a nightclub, go do your picking up somewhere else). If you are doing a treadmill/elliptical with 85% of your body weight slumped forward onto the machine and holding on for dear life, you are a leaner.

Ok, well I am sure there are more characters out there…and feel free to mention your own below in the comments, but that is my list. Ask yourself this “Why do you workout”. If you are really doing it for yourself, you won’t care about trying to impress others and will get some real results from your efforts. But if you are going to the gym to kill time, socialize, pick-up, be seen lifting and flexing….you need to get your head in order. Stop trying to feed your own ego, and workout but also keep respectful to the people around you. If you are doing things that are getting in the way of others from working out, you are just being a selfish ass. Picture your mom trying to use a local gym and people around her didn’t put back their weights, left sweat all over the place and chased her away from the gym forever. You probably wouldn’t be happy, would you? So now just keep that in mind as you workout and there are others around you….as my voice is getting tired telling people to “put back their weights”.

And women….please help us out, us guys need the truth….are tight shirts, tank tops, heavy curls, flexing in the mirror and ELS REALLY that sexy and attractive?? Come on women….tell us like it is, give us your brutally honest comments, tell the guys what really matters….so we can all stop looking like jackasses while at the gym!

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