Pet Peeves: The Gym Edition

28 Jan

Now that I’m back to being a regular at my gym, I’m starting to feel like part of the community. On M/W/F the same girl shows up about 8pm and does some funky exercises on the treadmill. On Sunday afternoons at 4pm, a group of 20 high school boys flood the basketball court for a semi-impromptu pick-up game of “hoops.” Thursday evening is buff dudes in the weight area. It’s nice to see friendly faces, know the receptionist and just kind of feel like I belong.

However, considering 75% of the TVs at the gym feature CNN, Fox News, MSN-NBC and an insane amount of ESPN, I’m usually left to people watch and rock out to my personal supply of music. (Unless, of course, bull riding is on ESPN. I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. Literally.) This also means that certain gym behaviors start to get to me…

* Cell phones in the gym. There’s one guy who walks around with his bluetooth glued to his ear. Half the time I don’t see the bluetooth device and think he’s talking to me. Let’s not get me started on the girls who use the treadmills and talk about last night’s adventures loudly. I suppose I understand if you’re a doctor on call, a mom with a sick kid, or have a family member undergoing surgery but if that’s the case, what in the world are you doing at the gym? If I bring mine in (it’s rare I do), I put it on silent and only take/make calls outside the gym.

* Towel-less people. There’s a very clear gym rule: You MUST bring in your own towel when you work out. It’s polite to put said towel on the seat of the weight machines, ab machines, and to dab at your sweat as you workout. It’s also required to wipe down the machines you use when you’re done. See those towels & disinfectant spray? Yup, that’s what it’s for. Sadly, one man in particular, an avid bicyclist, dripping in sweat, walks away from the bike without so much as wiping off the seat or handlebars. It’s gross.

* Commentary. I know it’s a public place but I get super annoyed when the dude next to me on the treadmill is listening to political shows while working out and each time he agrees or disagrees he loudly grunts or gives thumbs-up to the TV.

* Machine Hogs. During peak time, I follow the rules. Sign-up for a machine, use it for 30 minutes and move on. There are some people, however, who like to incorporate cardio machines into their weight-lifting, which I totally understand but I don’t see why they need to get visibly aggravated if the machine they *were* using isn’t free when they get back from their reps in the weight area. I’ve seen a confrontation on more than one occasion and really, it just seems so unncessary.

* Creepers/Ooglers. There are a few older guys , you know in really short short short running shorts and hairy legs, who insist on randomly talking to women on the stair climber/elliptical/bike. If one girl won’t talk to them, they go on to the next. I get they want to make friends or score a date but for a lot of us, time at the gym is sacred. It’s our downtime. Talk to us when we’re stretching.  Or take the hint we aren’t interested and don’t talk to us at all. And the ooglers? The guys who literally stop what they are doing to watch women go by, high-fiving and giggling like school children? While perhaps it’s flattering it’s a little  lot awkward (if you’re the girl).

(And if you want to read about other pet peeves, check out Nilsa’s post. A total coincidence that we each posted about pet peeves today!)

What are your gym/public pool/public place pet peeves?


25 Responses to “Pet Peeves: The Gym Edition”

  1. SoMi's Nilsa January 28, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    Hahaha – I couldn’t agree with you more on all of these gym peeves. When I worked in a gym, I constantly hounded management about enforcing a no cell phone rule. It not only was disruptive, but people who chatted away on cell phones were often machine hogs, too.

    My current gym not only has a cell phone policy, but strictly enforces it. I’ve seen them ask people to leave when talking on cell phones. It’s kind of nice that the people working at the gym enforce it. Otherwise, why bother having that kind of rule.

    This isn’t really a peeve of mine, because it’s more funny than anything. But, we have a guy at our gym. He always runs the track. And sings out loud to whatever music is playing on his headphones. He’s not a native English speaker. And he’s not young either. So, well, it’s just humorous. Even if it is disruptive.

  2. Kyla Roma January 28, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    Confrontation over machines?? Oh wow, that’s brutal! Thankfully Ash always cleans up after he uses our treadmill, otherwise we would have words.

    Should I get him his own towel? ;)

  3. mandy January 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Ha, I had no idea you were a fan of bull riding. The brazilians are my favorite. =)

  4. Mandy January 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm #

    Those are huge peeves of mine too. I sweat (I’ll admit it) but I ALWAYS wipe down every single part of the equipment I so much as brushed. It’s just common courtesy.

    The gym by my house is full of ripped guys and very few girls. So whenever a girl walks by they start showing off like crazy. And offer to show you how to use the equipment. I went to that gym once and haven’t returned – I like to be left alone.

  5. runsinheels January 28, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    i hear you on the gym peeves!

    and i also hear you’re doing a race coming up soon! that’s wonderful! nilsa is a great mentor!


  6. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 28, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    Hahaha loved this post. I see A LOT of this at my gym too! I will admit I’m one of those “towel-less” people but my gym has wet wipes all over the place.

    My biggest pet peeve is actually in the change room. I go to the gym in the morning so I get ready there all the time and the girl who plugs her straightener in to the ONLY plug-in and then showers, blowdrys her hair, gets dressed etc. before even using it PISSES ME OFF! Once I actually unplugged it, plugged mine in, straightened my hair, and plugged hers back in before she was even ready to use it! Haha

  7. Ally January 28, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    These are some of the exact reasons I once had a gym membership and no longer do. The cell phone talking is bad, and so is the grunting. And the disgusting sweat people leave all over the machines? NASTY! I think seeing people actually drip sweat and then walk away was one of the last straws for me — I just couldn’t bring myself to be a part of it anymore. Now I work out at home and my apartment complex has machines if I really want that.

    Here is one for you: heavy smokers. When they work out? They put off the most god awful stench in the world. It is one part sweat plus four parts just-bathed-in-an-ashtray. The more they sweat, the stronger it gets.

  8. Margarita January 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    This should be posted on the walls of all gyms across the world. DO IT!

  9. Liz January 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    I can’t believe the guy that takes photos of your butt on the stair stepper didn’t make the list!

  10. CLo January 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    But sis, what do you expect? You’re out in public, which means you’re predisposing yourself to the random gene pool. At the rec here, it’s kind of expected that you’ll a) check out the beautiful people and b) get checked out.

    Then again, there are way more hormones here in Columbia than Chesterfield. And I know it must be annoying to have people stare, but you should also be flattered. Think of all the men and women in the world who would kill for that attention.

    Not wiping stuff down is gross, yet I’m not at all surprised that it doesn’t happen.

  11. katelin January 28, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    tow-less and gawkers at the gym always freaked me out. i think that was one of the reasons i stopped going. eck.

  12. Suburban Sweetheart January 28, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    People who don’t put the free weights back in the right place. THE WORST.

    I used to work at a gym… I have a TON of gym pet peeves!

  13. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns January 28, 2010 at 9:30 pm #

    Oh, I could totally do a post like this. I have so many things that annoy me, but it’s mostly stuff that happens in the locker room. Like, do you need to blow dry your hair wearing nothing but a thong. And then lean over while blow drying your hair. It’s great that you are so comfortable with yourself and can do that in public but when I glance over and see that view, it scares the bejesus out of me.

    I do have one annoying habit of my own. When I used to leave work early enough to watch Jeopardy while running on the treadmill, I woudl answer the questions outloud. I would say the answers pretty quietly, but still. There very well could be some person out there writing a blog about the annoying girl that answers Jeopardy questions out loud!!

  14. Jessica January 28, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Cell phones at the gym are a big pet peeve. I had a guy once talk on his iPhone on speaker while on a machine. WTF? I don’t want to hear anything you have to say.

  15. Jennifer January 29, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    My pet peeve is smelly people, like smokers. I can’t run and breathe in their gross smell.

    I am very embarassed to admit that I haven’t yet gotten into the habit of bringing my own towel to the gym. The last 2 gyms I went to provided towels, but my new one doesn’t. It only has towels with spray bottles to wipe down machines. So I wipe down the machines but I don’t have my own towel for my sweat. Of course I am not sweating very much lately and I mostly just use the cardio machines. Maybe your post will help me remember! :)

  16. kilax January 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    I am always surprised when people bring their phone to talk in the gym. Or anywhere in public, really.

    My pet peeve is people who meander from one machine to another, or sit at one machine for a long time, not using it. Or people who come to the gym to socialize!

  17. Mel January 29, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    I’m all about being comfortable with your body. But I do not and CAN not tolerate people who frolic around completely naked in the locker room. No I do not want to see your lady parts, thank you very much!

  18. E.P. January 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    As someone who isn’t a member of a gym (yet!), I can’t say if these would bother me, but reading your reasoning behind all of them makes me think they would majorly annoy me, too.

    Keep rocking it, lady! I’m going to try to join a gym so I can be as awesome as you!

  19. imerika January 29, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    i HATE the phone thing!! absolutely hate it. i always assume ppl are talking to me and then im all “excuse me?” and they look at me like i’m the idiot trying to break a sweat while holding a conversation with a tiny earpiece.

  20. Jessica January 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    I haven’t been to the gym in awhile (slacker) but I hated when people used the machines for longer than 30 minutes, like you mentioned. It’s very obnoxious!

  21. Her January 30, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    I haven’t been a gym member in a while, since my old apartment had a brand new facility, but when I did go, I couldn’t stand the smelly people. I get that it is a gym, and people start stinking after a bit, but some of them just smelled like they were wearing dirty gym clothes day after day, hoping that the dash of perfume or cologne would hide that. Vom.

  22. Erin January 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Well, since I don’t ever go to the gym, I can’t really say I have any pet peeves there. But, one of my biggest pet peeves is that I hate when people say pet peeves…even though there’s really no other good way to say it!

  23. steph anne February 1, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    I hate it when people don’t clean after themselves on the machines. So gross! Sometimes I’ll clean my machine BEFORE I use it.

    The other day I was annoyed when a guy tried changing the channel on one of the TVs to a sport game that was already on the other TV. He just wanted it on close to where he was going to be on the treadmill. I was already on the treadmill and yelled at him because HGTV was the only non-sport show on and I was watching it! ;)

  24. Emily Jane February 1, 2010 at 9:26 am #

    I have VERY little real gym experience – I’m always terrified BECAUSE OF THINGS LIKE THIS!! lol I did go twice last year though – and my first trip included having to ask a large naked person the way to the swimming pool. NOT FUN :)

  25. ria February 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    i get super freaked out when people don’t have towels or they don’t wipe down the machine. EW!

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