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10 Habits Of Highly Offensive Gym Goers

Read these 10 gym 'don'ts' to ensure that you're being an obliging, neighborly gym member. You don't want to be the gym jerk!

The gym can be a scary place, especially if you are new to fitness and unfamiliar with gym protocol. And while you may not feel completely comfortable, don't let intimidation stop you from reaching your goals. You just need a little gym etiquette training.

Just like any other community, the gym requires some special considerations. More often than not, general politeness works wonders, but if you'd like a more detailed approach, check out these 10 gym "don'ts."

1 / Don't Be A Chatty Cathy

Whether you're lifting with a buddy or just are in the gym on your own, it's tempting to use the gym as your social hour. Do not do this. If you're holding a dumbbell or barbell, lift it—don't just cradle it as you blab to your girlfriend about Timmy's school project. Other people want to use that equipment. This also goes for people who just sit on a bench or machine while they chat. There are a gazillion other places you can chat besides the pec deck. Do the work, or step away.

Even worse are the people who insist on talking in the middle of a difficult set. Hint: if the person you're talking to is breathing really hard, grunting, or is wearing an expression of pain mixed with mild panic, shut up. That person doesn't want to—and probably can't—talk to you. Sorry.

2 / Don't Smell

There's nothing worse than getting a deep breath of Acqua Di Gio when you're in the middle of a heavy squat. It means instant nausea, instant headache. I can't think of a reason why anyone would need to swim in cologne before he goes to the gym. The same can be said about ladies: Love Spell perfume does not mix well with sweat and effort.

On the other hand, excessive body odor is just as bad. Treadmilling next to a person who clearly had numerous tequila shots and cigarettes the night before is an awful experience.

3 / Don't Leave Your Weights

Bro, I'm totally impressed that you can bench 315 pounds. But when you're done, please don't leave the plates on the bar. By doing this, you're essentially telling everyone else at the gym that you're more important than they are. That's just plain rude.

4 / Don't Leave A Sweat Puddle

Sweat happens. You're in a gym, that's what you do. But not everyone else in the gym wants to lay or sit in your puddle. It's just not the right way to mark your territory. Blech!

5 / Don't Coach

If you see someone who is clearly lifting improperly, don't say anything. OK, I'll allow this: Unless that person is in a near-death position and you are the only one who can save them, don't say anything. It's not your place.

Furthermore, knowing what you're talking about and thinking you know what you're talking about are two different things. If you learned from watching a YouTube video about proper deadlifting technique, telling Hulkmaster Huge in the corner that his feet aren't spaced wide enough is a bad call.

6 / Don't Be Selfish

Say it with me friends, "sharing is caring." Gyms have limited equipment. You may need to let someone do their working sets during your rest periods. True, if you share the cable machine, you may not be able to time your circuit like a Swiss watch. But that's not something to worry about—your biceps aren't going to lose an inch if you have to wait an extra 30 seconds.

7 / Don't Be Oblivious

Gyms are full of other people. No matter how awesome Eminem sounds blasting in your Dre Beats, you can't pretend that you're the only person there. That means you should be cognizant of how much room you're taking up, whether you're standing directly in front of someone, and how much noise you're making.

8 / Don't Ogle

Man or woman, it's difficult not to be aware of the myriad attractive people you may find in the gym. However, staring creepily at the chick doing bent-over rows or the dude doing barbell hip thrusts is not cool. Mind your own business.

9 / Don't Misuse Equipment

If you don't know how something works, ask. If you aren't sure that a machine is working properly, ask. If you think something's wrong with your treadmill, ask.

It's also best if you use equipment as it's meant to be used. For instance, if you find yourself doing biceps curls in a squat rack, you'd better move. Someone might kill you.

10 / Don't Make Fun of Overweight People

If you make fun of people who are in the gym trying to be more healthy and fit, then you are an asshat.


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About The Author

Cassie Smith is a writer/editor for Bodybuilding.com and former professor & college athlete. Find out more about her right here.

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cssrss

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cssrss

I agree! Especially with the last rule. Nothing worse than a person insulting someone who is truly aspiring to better their health.

Dec 24, 2012 12:00pm | report
 
piccdk

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piccdk

Indeed

Dec 26, 2012 9:33am | report
elmeato

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elmeato

no. 10 should be the first rule.

Dec 27, 2012 6:55am | report
GabrielGodbey

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GabrielGodbey

10 and 1....finding out your new training partner never shuts up and tells jokes while your lifting isnt cool.

Dec 27, 2012 7:47am | report
dmg0320

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dmg0320

seriously. it's bad enough that for newbies (myself included) it's hard to muster up the courage to get in there and do the work, but for people to stare and smurk while you're really trying to squat properly is a bit insulting...

Dec 28, 2012 1:02am | report
gisfinest01

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gisfinest01

You are the biggest *** in the world if you make fun of someone fat/overweight coming to the gym. I applaud when they come. I want them to make the right steps and continue to come. I knew guys like this and let's just say they weren't very popular. And if I see someone doing curls in the squat rack, I'm going to spartan kick them in the chest!!! JBS

Dec 31, 2012 2:25pm | report
BSwanny

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BSwanny

Love #10 :))

Jan 6, 2013 5:57am | report
C41177

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C41177

My biggest pet peeves is #1 and #4.

If you're not using the bench or the machine, get up, and let someone else use it.

The sweat puddles are just gross. Clean up after yourself.

Dec 24, 2012 12:30pm | report
 
NonoRssll58

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NonoRssll58

I agree. Especially the chatty cathy. I hate when guys see me lifting as heavy as I can and they make a point to come up and try to start a half hour conversation on "how did I start lifting". Bro I'm between my sets, I'm losing gains!

And when I moved the bench today it happened to be right over a puddle a guy left after doing planks...I was so grossed out.

Feb 25, 2014 2:01am | report
Barnett1

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Barnett1

great article couldnt agree more

Dec 24, 2012 1:01pm | report
 
BUBU69

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BUBU69

I've delt with #10 plenty of times in my life and especially in the gym i reached my limit one at day the gym and told two well built guys pointing and laughing at me beacuse on the eliptical i got off on walked towards them and they saw me coming thier way they turned around like they didn't see me i approached them and i said"is thier a problem here" quickly they started back pedaling i resolved the situation myself not going to get in to much detail but i ended the convesation with "u dont poke the grizzly at the zoo because ur a*** will get ripped to pieces" sorry its just a sore subject

Dec 24, 2012 2:14pm | report
 
RUNNER14

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RUNNER14

people make fun of people for being out of shape or over weight, and then make fun of them for trying to get in shape or trying to lose weight. makes no sense and clearly those kinds of people are idiots. glad you resolved the situation yourself hopefully others can to.

Dec 24, 2012 7:54pm | report
fatapon

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fatapon

they were just jelly of your beard bro.

Dec 24, 2012 8:43pm | report
inaka_rob

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inaka_rob

I don't care if you are ripped or fat as a whale. If you are in the gym, you are off the couch and doing something!

Dec 27, 2012 9:55am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 175.56 lbs
  • bf: 16.0%
Jejjay

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Jejjay

just for the record i don't mind anyone staring at me.....please look all you like ladies

Dec 24, 2012 2:35pm | report
 
JESSICA0431

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JESSICA0431

LOL J!

Dec 28, 2012 7:49am | report
bkaufman91

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bkaufman91

I am sure the women hate it. But its a complete different story for men, we dont mind at all.

Dec 28, 2012 11:34pm | report
DCHodges36

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DCHodges36

Eh number 5...I'm a Physical Therapist and we're all about form. I cringe when I see people doing something incorrectly. I mean, it's cool to cheat on 1-2 reps but if it looks like you're going to hurt yourself I can see myself helping. I have done so in the past. Someone my age eh maybe they saw something in magazine but an older lady or man I would help because I would want someone to do the same for me. I help in a non-threating way...

Dec 24, 2012 2:48pm | report
 
whaaaaat

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whaaaaat

Yeah saw a guy at the gym the other day, kept rounding his back while doing deadlifts. I kept telling myself "I don't want to be that guy.... 'the know it all'." So I didn't.... sure enough after 4 sets I see him sitting down, grasping his back.

Dec 24, 2012 4:19pm | report
whaaaaat

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whaaaaat

It's hard not to go over and help someone, but then everyone looks at you like 'the know it all'.

Dec 24, 2012 4:20pm | report
Pieterdb

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Pieterdb

I have the same opinion, I like it when people correct my form. When I see some new guys destroying their wrists or deforming their spines I tell them on a friendly manner and they seem to appreciate it. I don't do this too much though.

Otherwise, I concur with all the other points in this article.

Dec 26, 2012 4:10am | report
GabrielGodbey

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GabrielGodbey

my introduction to free weights was via powerlifting...so when I see guys benching thumless and feet on the bench...I cant help it ...its like verbal diarrhea. I mean if the guy does it all the time and says hes fine it still doent make it safe.

Dec 27, 2012 7:55am | report
inaka_rob

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inaka_rob

you would be at my gym ALL day if you helped out people. In Japan no one knows ANYTHING! They seem to just make it up as they go. OMFG. There are a maybe 5 guys at my gym who train correctly, IE form, not over training, and not wasting their time doing 10 sets. Half the guys walk around the gym with protective belts on, like for squats and dead lifting. They use them for curls, or what ever. They use them on bench, but then arch their back for EVERY rep. Every time I see a guy doing a triceps or biceps they are using their shoilders, swinigng their body. I could on and on and on. It is so hard to stay focused in the gym beucase everyone is doign something wrong. You wonder why there are only 1 or 2 pro Japanese body builders, come to a Japanese gym and you will see why. Not to mention NO ONE even drinks water while they work out.

Dec 27, 2012 10:01am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 175.56 lbs
  • bf: 16.0%
dumaka1

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dumaka1

Broken bones is the only way they will learn folks.

Dec 27, 2012 1:24pm | report
Azizti

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Azizti

For myself, not being a pro in the gym, I'd much rather someone come up to me and tell me I'm doing something wrong. It's all in the way you do it, if you're polite and helpful, nobody will mind but if you're condescending that's a different story.

Jan 3, 2013 9:37am | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 196 Comments

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