Making it to the gym after a long day can be hard enough, especially if there is someone constantly there with annoying gym habits. While gym etiquette isn't taught in school, we should all still be respectful of one another when working out in a public facility. After eight hours in the office, my body craves nothing more than a peaceful workout to strengthen my muscles, calm my mind and stretch my legs at the end of the day. And even if my local gym is packed, nothing stops me from fitting in a successful workout more than a fellow member with annoying gym habits. Here are 7 annoying gym habits and how you can avoid them.
1. Too Much Chatter
While the gym is certainly a social place, your workout time is just that: yours. There is nothing like an old friend, coworker or stranger striking up a 30 minute conversation right in the middle of your workout. One of the most annoying gym habits that comes to mind is when someone tries to carry on a conversation with you while you're trying to workout. As a social girl myself, I love a good conversation at almost anytime of the day, however, not when my earbuds are in, and I'm trying to keep my heart rate up. Not only that, but for me, the time I spend in the gym is the time that I use to unwind, clear my mind and let go of the stresses of the day. Nothing can kill a good workout like an unexpected conversation about a work related issue, friend drama, family problem and so on. So how can you avoid this annoying gym habit? Simply tell the person, in a very kind tone, of course, that you only have a limited amount of time to squeeze in a workout but that you
would love to continue the conversation later. "Call me!"
2. Cell Phones
Speaking of calling, that leads to the next annoying gym habit: poor cell phone etiquette. Have you ever wanted to use a machine but someone is sitting on it texting or talking on their phone? What about the person that is talking so loudly on their phone that you are a part of the conversation just as the person on the other end? Cell phone etiquette doesn't stop in a restaurant; it extends into the gym too. How can we avoid this annoying gym habit? We have a few choices. Depending on the situation, we can use a different machine, we can kindly ask the person if we can use the machine while they are using their phone, or we can turn our music up so that we can't hear the distracting conversation. Either way, it's important that we remember how annoying this habit is, so that we don't accidentally find ourselves guilty of it.
3. Dirty Equipment
There are few things worse than going to use a particular machine or bench only to find a pool of sweat in the seat. Not only is it gross, but it's unsanitary too. This one seems self explanatory, but unfortunately it's not. Regardless of the gym's rules, out of common courtesy and respect for our fellow gym members, we should always clean our equipment after use. By doing so, we are showing and teaching others that they should do it too. If you find yourself the victim of this annoying gym habit, you can either clean the equipment yourself of pick a different machine or spot to workout.
4. Hogging the Weights
Whether you're reaching for the ten pound dumbbells or are holding the sixty pound dumbbells, the three feet located directly in front of the dumbbell rack isn't the best place for anyone to do their sets. While it might be convenient to grab your weights and rep out your curls right there, it isn't convenient for the other person simply trying to pick up or return their own weights. And that brings me to annoying gym habit number four: don't perform your sets right in front of the dumbbell rack. How can we avoid this annoying gym habit? First, we shouldn't do it ourselves. We should pick up the weights that we need and find a place out of the way to perform our reps. And second, we can kindly say "excuse me," hoping that the person will back up and (fingers crossed!) stay back while completing their sets.
5. Re-racking Equipment
Have you ever gone to use a particular weight and it isn't there? You look around only to find that no one else is using it either. Where could it be? Oh wait, there it is, across the room with no owner, simply left there by the last person using it. Or what about this? Although I consider myself strong, regardless of that, I will never be able to squat or bench press the same weight of a guy three times my size. I get so frustrated when I get to the squat rack to find that the last muscle man failed to re-rack his weights, leaving me barely able to take his weight off. Not only is it annoying, but it is unsafe too. Since most gym goers are usually old enough to know that no one is responsible for cleaning up after them, we would expect that everyone would return their equipment and weights to the proper racks. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. So what can you do? Make sure that you always return your weights and equipment to the proper place. This will set a positive example for other gym members and hopefully they will follow suit. If you find yourself in a situation like I was, it's always better to ask for help in removing and returning the equipment rather than risk hurting yourself or someone around you.
6. Loud Groans and Grunting
"Uhhhhhhh." Please tell me that I'm not the only one that finds these noises in a gym distracting. It's hard to concentrate on your own workout when the guy across the room is grunting so loudly that you're worried that something is wrong. Okay, okay, I get it: some research suggests that grunting or groaning can improve your weight lifting efforts, but it's just not necessary in a public gym. So how can we avoid this habit? Unfortunately, without being rude ourselves, there is not much we can do right in the moment. Usually, it's only one or two members that will make these loud noises regularly, so if you notice when they workout, schedule your workouts at a different time. If it gets too bad, you can also talk to the manager to see if the gym has a policy on "grunting and groaning." You might be surprised to find that many gyms actually do. In that case, ask the manager to kindly tell the other member that his/her behaviors are distracting other members.
7. Dropping or Slamming the Weights
If you're lifting so much weight that on the last rep you have to drop the weights entirely, maybe you're lifting too much weight. While this might help you reach your goals, you are not only putting yourself in danger but those around you too. I've seen it happen and trust me, whether its 25 pounds or 125 pounds, it doesn't feel good when it slams down on your foot. So how can we avoid this dangerous habit? First, just like groaning and grunting, find out your gym's policy regarding dropping and slamming weights. Again, you might be surprised that many gyms have a policy against this behavior. If your gym doesn't have a policy, kindly express your concern to the gym member carrying out this behavior. They might not even realize that what they are doing could be not only annoying but dangerous too.
Whether it be failing to clean up after ourselves, poor cell phone etiquette, loud groans or grunting, we all have our own annoying gym habits, and not only that, but we all have other habits that drive us crazy too. During your time at the gym, focus on the positive and know that really only you have the power to ruin your own workout. Don't let other's annoying gym habits keep you from an all-star workout. As shown above, there are things we can do to avoid these behaviors, and if nothing else, we usually have the ability to find another gym where we can feel more comfortable. We should all do our best to be respectful in the gym, keeping our own personal annoying gym habits to a minimum. Do you notice these annoying gym habits too? If not, what other annoying gym habits drive you crazy and what do you do to avoid them?