Top 10 Gym Annoyances

I went to the gym this morning, which I’ve begun doing on Sunday mornings because it’s not very crowded. I’ve also been walking on the treadmill lately and that’s been going well. I can handle speeds in the 3.5-4.3 range without discomfort and I also enjoy choosing programs that randomly incorporate hills (incline changes). What I do not enjoy is people who take calls on their cell phones while on the treadmill.

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My gym used to have signs explicitly prohibiting this but I haven’t seen any recently. To me it’s just common sense that you don’t take calls while on the treadmill as it’s incredibly annoying to the people around you, but not to this lady.

“Hello?”
“No, it’s fine, I’m at the gym, I’m just doing cardio.”
“Yeah, I’ve been on the treadmill for (some amount of time)”.

I tried to ignore her, but when I hear a conversation in close proximity to me, I have a hard time not latching on to it, no matter how boring it is. Thankfully she got off the treadmill after a couple minutes of chit chat and took her conversation elsewhere.

I’ve encountered this many times at my gym and it never ceases to be annoying. My usual strategy is to send subliminal messages of judgement and the occasional stare of annoyance, but some people are just oblivious to the fact there are other people sharing the same space they’re in. When you’re sharing space with so many people, you quickly realize how annoying people can be. I have to include myself in that grouping, because I realized I do some stuff at the gym that likely annoys others:

  • Using cardio machines for more than 30 minutes. This is the limit when it’s crowded, but I’ve exceeded that a lot in the past and gotten away with it.
  • Not wiping down cardio machines if I’ve not gotten especially sweaty.
  • Not using a towel when sitting on the weight machines if I plan to spend less than ten minutes on them.
  • Wearing my pajamas home from the gym. In my opinion, it just makes good sense.
  • Wearing flip flops home, even when there’s snow on the ground. (Maybe this doesn’t make so much sense.)
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    Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here are my top ten gym annoyances (that I’m not currently doing):

    10. People who hold on to the front of the treadmill while walking, or worse, running. Are you under the impression you’re waterskiing?

    9. People wearing jeans as workout attire. Are you here to exercise or are you here to play mahjong tiles? (Lots of elderly people at the YMCA.) In my time at the YMCA, I’ve also witnessed patrons wearing pajamas to exercise. This makes a bit more sense to me as at least those fabrics allow for movement. Another time I saw a woman wearing a trench coat during Zumba class. In her defense, it was chilly.

    8. Men in the hot tub with hairy backs. We all have our own grooming habits, and I’m sure it’s a challenge to get to that area, but it would be best for society if there was less hair visible when we’re communally soaking. That said, I’m pretty sure I have some male friends who are into hairiness on other men, so maybe I just need to get over myself and live and let live.

    7. Poorly behaved children in the locker room. My YMCA has a family locker room but most often parents take their kids with them in the men’s or women’s locker rooms. I don’t know if it’s the acoustics or what, but these kids are always screaming. I wish there was a separate kids only locker room. It could be like Lord of the Flies. What could go wrong?

    6. People who don’t shower before getting into the pool. I witnessed an entire family do this today. It was pretty awesome knowing I was swimming through their filth.

    5. People who use the locker room as a waiting room. I’m not sure what these people are waiting for, but there always seem to be some people just sitting there. And of course these people are always sitting in front of my locker.

    4. People who use a machine and continue sitting on it while they recover, oblivious to the fact that people are waiting.

    3. People who walk side by side with friends on the track. This blocks all lanes and forces people behind them to say “excuse me!” in order to get past.

    2. People who get naked in the locker room and then try to have a conversation with you. The past few months I’ve been changing in the locker room. I always used to change in a bathroom stall but then I decided I was being ridiculous and now enjoy the efficiency of changing at a locker. But the deal is, I don’t look at you and you don’t look at me. Talking to me while pantsless? Are you kidding me? Where am I supposed to look?

    1. People talking on cell phones. Obviously this is the worst offense. It’s a good thing there’s no cell phone reception in the locker room or else I’d probably be witnessing a lot of naked phone calls, and nobody wants to see that.

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    13 responses to “Top 10 Gym Annoyances

    1. Good points, Nora! I experience #4 quite often at my gym, and it really annoys me! [even tho the people are “older,” like me!] I mean, if you need to recover, can’t you find another spot? (The machines I use are part of a circuit, so those people are in the way when others are trying to use the entire circuit!)

    2. Couldn’t agree more with this list!

    3. I wouldn’t mind the naked ladies part so much. 😉
      I hate it when people are on the phones and/or texting – especially when they are on the equipment!!! That and people who wear scrubs to the gym. The way I see it, they are either taking germs back to the hospital, or they’re bringing germs from the hospital to the gym!

    4. Haha! I love that you said that you send “subliminal messages of judgement and the occasional stare of annoyance.” I do the same thing! I let myself get all flustered, then try to tell myself to just ignore the person, that he/she is taking the joy out of my workout and I should let that happen. It’s so hard sometimes, though! And yes, people walking two across on the track is obnoxious. I want to barrel through them and yell, “Red Rover!”

    5. All are good points! It’s been a while since I’ve been a gym member but I recall these two leg machines for quads ( one you squeezed in the other you’d push out ) and people would be on one and claim that they were using the other, even though they weren’t actually a ON the machine.
      Also, some of us guys are cursed with hairy backs. I’ll try and stay out of the hot tub. 🙂

      • Haha! Actually, I have adapted to the hairy back situation. The greater awkwardness is simply being in a tub of water with strangers, not knowing where to look.

    6. lol so many of these annoy me too. omg the poorly behaved kids at the Y…GHFDJSGSGFK. the showering before the pool doesn’t really bother me, and I definitely have been guitly of this. I just figure I’m going to take a shower afterwards anyways. And the walking holding the treadmill-you aren’t working if you are holding onto the treadmill as support! glad we can agree on these lol

      • I think the Y is probably worse for this stuff than most gyms since it’s so family orientated and I think they attract people new to exercise. I want to be supportive but I can’t help but be annoyed since I’m not new to exercise!

    7. Pingback: Saturday Morning Motivaton | The Rockin' Runner

    8. Anyone who doesn’t have a clue on what they’re doing(kids) and just sit on the first machine they can find, eyeballing others who are actually trying to train. And they always come in groups of at least two, NEVER alone.

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