Don’t Be ‘That Guy’: 10 Things You Should Never Do In The Gym

In the last few months, I’ve started easing myself into a more active lifestyle. This started when I moved into a building that actually had its own gym, which made it impossible for me to use ‘but the gym is too faaar!’ as an excuse not to work out. I’m not a serious gym addict or whatever, but I do see the benefits of exercise and the endorphins (which will henceforth be referred to as ‘happy juice’) that come with the burn.

I work out every other day to maintain this shit body, and I have seen a lot of weird and annoying things in the gym that would have led to murder if it were legal. Seriously though, if murder were legal, there’d be a lot of dead people right now. Anyway, a workout session can get really crappy really fast if you’re sharing the gym with an asshole(s).

So I’m begging you, don’t be that guy.

Don’t Leave the Machine Dripping 

Sure, everyone’s in the gym to sweat. That’s the whole point. But no one wants to swim in the sweat puddle you left behind on the machine you just used so please, pleasewipe it down first before letting others use it.

Imagine a sea of sweat. Someone else’s sweat. Would you want to swim in that sweaty, salty sea? I didn’t think so. Now  go wipe that shit down.

Don’t Hog the Machines/Weights

While working out a few weeks back, I had to share the gym with this dude who just surrounded himself with free weights, and he wouldn’t let anyone use any of them. I mean, he had several dumbbells and a couple of barbells around him and he glares at everyone who looks at him the wrong way.

This is just rude. You don’t own the gym. And even if you do, you’re still being a dick and you deserve to be high-fived in the face with one of those dumbbells. The guy in that example? I almost punched his face in. That’s another thing you need to keep in mind at the gym: don’t be an asshole, because it’s quite possible you might piss off someone bigger than you.

Don’t Dress Like Richard Simmons

One time, I had to work out beside a dude wearing mini-thongs with their butt cheeks hanging out and a tank top made of floss. I mean, I’m happy that you’re in love with yourself, but I did not go to the gym to watch your sphincter open and close for hours.

Actually, the Richard Simmons workout attire is fine compared to that.

If you want to work out naked, stay at home. Otherwise, put some clothes on.

Don’t Share Your Grunts With Everyone Else

Heavy breathing and an occasional grunt while lifting particularly heavy weights is expected. But grunting and heaving like you’re *this* close to popping a vein? If I wanted to hear the wails of a dying rhinoceros, I would have stayed at home and tuned into National Geographic.

Sure, sometimes you can’t help it. I helped a newbie once who made a sound like a puppy that just got run over for every wrist curl repetition. It’s really annoying and it gets on your nerves really fast. So I told him to start light, then work his way up, instead of whimpering while showing off.

Don’t Be The Tough Crowd

Everyone at the gym is there for one reason: to better themselves. But everyone’s not on the same level. There are those who can lift a whole house and there are those who struggle with 3lb. weights. If you’re a bit advanced compared to the other people in the gym, don’t be all Regina George and start staring people down or making them feel bad.

Chiseled abs or biceps the size of a fat kid’s head do not give you the right to treat others without respect. This is even worse when it’s done as a group. So think about it: you were once where they are now. If that were you, would you want to get singled out by the tough crowd? Didn’t think so.

Something else to think about: with all the heavy things and machines in the gym, it would be so easy for someone to have an accident. Like a barbell falling on your neck while you bench-press. So. Easy. Think about it.

Don’t Take Too Many Selfies

I’m not a fan of selfies but I know that there are people who can’t get through a day without taking one so here’s a compromise: one picture at the start of the workout, and another at the end. That isn’t so bad, is it? Because come on, you are at the gym to work out. To sweat. To better yourself. Not to take one duckface selfie after another.

This is worse if you’re a dude. Don’t you feel everyone in the room judging you? If you really need to take a picture of your man boobs, do it at home. Please. Also, here’s a rule: if you’re a dude and you take a picture with a duck-face, I get one free attempt to throw a dumbbell at your face.

Also, I’ve seen girls who come to the gym in full make-up and just sit there. They don’t work out, which is fine because I really don’t wanna see girls with smeared makeup like that matchmaker woman from Mulan. Then they bring out their camera and just start snapping pictures of whatever–their face, their hands, their ass, their feet. I think I’ve discovered a new species.

Don’t Be Too Noisy

Look, I get it. You came to the gym with your friends. You’re working out and socializing. Two birds with one stone, etcetera etcetera. But do you really need to share what you guys are talking about with everyone in the room? Use your indoor voice, please.

Noisy groups in the gym affect other people working out in several ways, the most prominent of which is the fact that their noisiness will make other people comfortable. A noisy group will seem to dominate the room, effectively marginalizing everyone else, until it becomes so uncomfortable that they just leave. I know this because it’s happened to me many times.

So don’t be those guys.

Don’t Stand Between Someone and the Mirror

I can’t find an accurate photo but whatever.

This is the scene.

Someone’s working out. Maybe doing wrist curls or whatever. Then you, filled with either blissful ignorance or utter stupidity, step between the dude working out and the mirror just so you could ogle yourself and/or take a selfie. Depending on the gym, this could earn you a beating.

The dude working out needs a view of the mirror while doing his wrist curls. And no, it’s not because he’s vain. It’s because he needs to see himself working out to make sure that he’s in proper form. You stepping between him and the mirror not only gave him an unenviable view of your buttocks, you also distracted him and made him lose his form.

Good job, asshole.

Don’t Be The Gym Police

By ‘gym police’ I meant that annoying know-it-all who tries to tell everyone how to do their sets or how to properly perform a certain workout. I know that deep deep down, this is probably rooted in good intentions. But interrupting me in the middle of a set to tell me that you think I’m doing something wrong is not the best way to get on my good side.

And, for future reference, take a look at my ears. If I have earphones on, it means I don’t want to talk to you. 

Don’t Invade Other People’s Personal Space

There was this one time when the gym in my building was pretty packed. I’d already carved out a small space of my own in the corner so I can do some push-ups when a new dude walked in and just shoved his feet in my face and started doing curl-ups. What a dick.

If ever the gym’s a bit crowded, look for your own space where you won’t disturb anyone else. If there is none, then wait patiently. Or better yet, go for a quick run around the block. Anything’s better than shoving your feet in someone’s face and giving them a full blast of eau de sweaty feet.

Also, and this is coming from my female friend who go to the gym, it is a bad idea to flirt at the gym. This place is for working out and losing weight. It’s not a dating site. Sure, if you really like a girl there then maybe you can chat them up a bit. But never during a set or while they have their earphones on. Manners, man. Come on.


So that’s it: ten foolproof tips on how not to be a dick at the gym.

Because if I ever catch you doing any of this, I promise you that I will throw a dumbbell in your face. Seriously.


4 thoughts on “Don’t Be ‘That Guy’: 10 Things You Should Never Do In The Gym

  1. Pingback: Conquering Cardio: Tips for New Runners « Coffee and Keystrokes

  2. Its always courteous to credit artists when using their artwork/cartoons in your blog. The octopus cartoon was created by Nik Eakle,

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