We’ve all experienced it – you are at the gym, right into your workout and there’s this person standing next to the machine, tapping their feet and doing that really irritating thing where they check their watch every ten seconds. In fact, we all have those things that people do at the gym that drive us a little nuts. So, to make sure you aren’t guilty, here are some of the most annoying gym habits.
The most irritating habits
Golfposer carried out a study to see what the most irritating gym habits and there were some clear top contenders – and we’ve all experienced them. Top of the list of the most infuriating gym habits is when someone chooses a machine right next to you where there are loads of others free. Over 85% of people said this was the thing that irritated them the most – why couldn’t the person just move along a couple of machines!
Next on the list with over 80% of participants quoting it was that habit of standing there next to the machine while you use it. Staring at their watch or the clock, tapping their feet. The whole passive-aggressive ‘hurry up and finish’ routine. Third place was the people who try to reserve machines or equipment so that they could get to it when they wanted, instead of taking a chance like everyone else. Closely following this was the loud grunter – that person who makes way more noise while using a machine or carrying out an exercise than is needed.
Other pet peeves
But that’s not all. In fact, the list of bad behaviors we may be guilty of at the gym is an embarrassingly long one and shows that people in workout mode may also leave sociable mode behind! Others that were mentioned in the survey included:
- People asking how many reps you have left
- People listening to music without headphones on
- People who don’t put equipment away
- Taking loud phone calls in the middle of the gym or walking around on their phone (this can actually be dangerous with all that equipment around!)
- People that sit and watch others working out
- People spitting in the water fountain
- People who show off – there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your physique or what you can do but others don’t want to know right now
We can all agree that these are common problems at every gym and ones we have doubtless complained to friends about or even muttered about while working out. But there were also a few less common ones. Strangers trying to compete with you during your workout is a slightly creepy one that some people mentioned. The selfie or selfie video fan constantly recording themselves while working out is another that isn’t popular. And the overly amorous couples who are groping each other between workouts is one that really irritates people!
How to be a good gym member
Some things that appear on a list of annoyances are a good way to check our own habits and make sure we are being a good gym member. One example is to shower without flip flops. No-one wants to share in any athlete’s foot you may have, even though it is just an irritation. By ensuring you wear something on your feet when showering, you can avoid glares from fellow gym members. Giving unsolicited advice on someone’s form might seem like being a good gym member but can actually be viewed as the opposite. It drives people nuts! But not only that, unless you are a trained gym instructor or have worked extensively with one, you may not be giving them the best advice. So, keep well-meaning tips to yourself.
Do you carry a cloth that lets you mop up gym equipment after you use it? Because to be a good gym member, you should. This doesn’t mean cleaning the whole thing but areas, where sweaty hands or other body parts have been resting, should get a quick wipe over before you leave. No-one wants to start exercising with someone else’s cold sweat all over them. Finally, don’t be tempted to just sit on the edge of that weight bench for ten minutes and have a quick IM chat with your friend. Being on a piece of equipment means you should be using it so don’t drive everyone crazy by doing something other than exercising while taking up a piece of equipment. That’s what the locker room or the café next door is for.
Patience at the gym
All this shows that we need to have patience at the gym, not just to get through our workout but to put up with the other people using the place! Of course, the other option is to cover your garage and make your own home gym, so you don’t have to deal with them all. Maybe an option for the to-do list…