Three new gym characters who annoy the crap out of me


Every now and then, I use this space to air my gym grievances. You can read a past installment here.

Well, folks, now it’s that time again. There have been a few characters of late that have earned my ire.

Let’s just begin…

The gang of talkers. These are the buddies who lift together at the gym, which on paper is a good thing. If you get the right training partner, you can push each other and hold each other accountable. But it goes bad when these folks tag-team a station for their own personal gabfest. If it happened on some military press machine or ab crunch contraption, no biggie. Do it at the squat rack? That’s where I draw the line. High-demand stations are not meant for conversation. If you and your buddy wanna yuck it up, go to a freakin’ coffee shop. When you’re at the gym, do your work, cut the chit-chat and get a move-on because some of us might be waiting to get under a bar on the rack.

The pungently self-unaware. For a couple of weeks straight, some poor sap has walked into the gym and lingered for awhile with a stench that can only be described as that of a wet dog. My guess is he lives in a home with a lot of unbathed dogs and pet dander. If that’s your thing, fine. But do us a favor and head to the gym clean. This goes for any potential stink. If you think you might have an air of funk, you probably have funk. Do something about it and spare us your eu de sleeping-bag-mank.

The lifter with “passion.” Not long ago, a fella was in the gym doing lightweight deadlifts, but he was giving it his all. And to hear his grunts, it seemed like he was loving every minute of it. Let me just get to the point: His verbalized exertions sounded more like throes of passion, and I’m not down with that. Lift, and lift hard. If a grunt comes out, fine. But it ain’t rut season, folks. I don’t want to hear your mating call mid-rep. Don’t make me tell you and your barbell to get a room.

There. I feel better. But I’m sure something will happen in the future that will drive me to follow up on this post of annoying gym behaviors.

Bob Doucette

24 thoughts on “Three new gym characters who annoy the crap out of me

  1. Ha! I am also a gym attendee – well in the winter anyway. Things that drive me crazy – obvious – people who don’t wipe off the machines after using, and people who continue to use squeaky machines. Hellooo . . the treadmill, elyptical whatever, is emitting a sound that’s making people across the room cringe, but the user remains oblivious. Also agree with please shower rule. If there is an ominous empty space around you, take the hint.

  2. I used to attend Boot Camp at my local gym. There was a guy who consistently made such lustful noises that I’d have to stop exercising and hide my face while I laughed.

  3. A personal pet peeve and variation on the Gang of Talkers: The Cell-Phone Yakker. This is the person who hops on an aerobic machine (elliptical, stair-master, stationary bike, treadmill), sets it on a low might-as-well-not-exercise-at-all speed, and then takes that time to catch up on all his telephone calls. (“Yeah, hi! I’m at the gym! Hahahahaha!! Yeah. Seriously. Well, anyway, blah, blah, yuk, yuk!! Hahahahah!! Really?!! No way!! That’s unbelievable!!”)

  4. Yeah, the roving band of talkers is incredibly annoying, and they always seem to hog up a machine midway through my circuit.

    But for me, the worst was at my old gym. We had a group of people who seemed to be allergic to the locker room, because they’d just drop their bag, protein shake, and so forth behind a pull up bar and do their workout. It’s one thing to take a water bottle around, but gym bags belong in lockers, not on the floor of the gym.

  5. How about these peeves, which you may or may not have: 1) About the time school lets out, the gym fills with teenage boys who lift in large groups and gab. Four guys rotating through sets is bad enough, then they lose track of who’s up. 2) Old men who just kind of wander around and talk like it’s their social hour. On a machine? They’ll talk to ya. Between sets? They’ll talk to ya. Then they leave without doing a thing. 3) The guy in the torn-to-shreds tank top. Might as well just go topless. I don’t want to see your nips, dude. 4) my favorite – the flexer. He is in a constant flex in between sets, usually his lats. That makes him look a lot bigger than his normal 5’5″ self. Relax big fella, you’re supposed to rest between sets.

    I enjoyed reading your post. Made me laugh.

  6. the WORST are the IDIOTS that are wearing a weight belt (which is for pussies unless you are a powerlifter), using chalk when there are no platforms, wearing weight gloves, wearing a wife beater, drinking a colored “energy’ drink from a shakable container, and of course they have to have their gym bag with all the extra stupid stuff that only gym pussies need in it!!! I look at these guys and laugh, as they see me laugh at them too b/c what are they going to do about it?

  7. It seems like you’ve just described the usual climbing gym experience. I will borrow, with your permission, your expression “eau de sleeping-bag-mank”.

  8. And let’s not forget the Gym Samaritan who is usually an older male found roving the gym making what he feels to be helpful suggestions, (almost always unsolicited), and corrections to perceived to be bad lifting form. The GS typically exhibits some remnants of having been in shape at some point but usually sports a beer gut. He likes to make vague statements about his athletic glory days though when pressed for specifics will quickly change the subject. While waiting for someone to help, (almost always a woman), he can usually be found working with very light weights while wincing as if he is still in rehab from “that ole injury” that kept him from winning the Heisman. While generally harmless, he occasionally crosses the line by unexpectedly touching people, (again, usually women), under the guise of being helpful – “Hey I was just massaging your hamstring so it won’t cramp up later. Its okay, I took some classes in physiology”. He leverages the fact that most people mistakenly believe him to be a gym employee.

  9. Pingback: Eight awesome people at the gym – proactiveoutside

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