Don’t Be THAT Guy at the Gym

by Matt Weik

Everyone needs to start somewhere with their fitness journey. The first step is generally to sign up for a gym membership. The gym, however, can be a frightening place to those who have never been in one before. Hopefully this article sheds some light on things NOT to do. If you’re a veteran lifter and avid gym-goer and find yourself doing any of these things… Please stop immediately. Don’t be THAT guy. The below is totally unfiltered and raw. I’m telling it like it is, so be prepared.

1. You don’t wipe down your machines

When you work out, you should work up a sweat. Therefore, when you’re using equipment, there’s a good probability that you’re going to get that piece drenched from your fat crying. If your gym provides towels, take one. If they don’t, bring your own. I highly doubt you want to get on a piece of equipment that has sweat all over it, likewise, no one wants to get on a piece of equipment with YOUR sweat all over it. Wipe it down and make sure it’s clean! Some gyms have spray bottles sitting around to disinfect the equipment, use it.

2. You arrive late to classes on a regular basis

So you’re one of those people who will probably be late to your own funeral? Well, keep coming to classes late and interrupting everyone by your tardy entrance and that funeral might come sooner rather than later. If you can’t show up on time, don’t sign up for the class. You’re ruining everyone else’s experience by constantly showing up after the class has begun. Show up on time, or plan on doing your own workout. There are even some instructors who will not allow people to come into class late, which totally makes sense. Learn to read a clock please.

3. You offer unsolicited advice as if you were an expert

Some people like to share their knowledge, even if it’s lacking. Don’t walk around the gym like a know-it-all telling people what they should or shouldn’t be doing. So you read a magazine and now you’re a fitness expert and guru? Cool story bro. But no one is buying it. If you’re not a certified trainer, strength coach, or nutritionist, keep your advice to yourself—no one cares what you think.

4. You grunt like you’re lifting the world (but you’re not)

Hey hero, when you’re done screaming like you’re lifting a car, I need those dumbbells to do a warm-up set. We’ve all seen this guy. The dude who grunts and yells like he’s lifting the world, then you look over and wonder if mentally there are some imbalances. Nope, he’s just a tool. No one likes the scrawny guy trying to act strong by grunting like an idiot. It’s not impressing anyone, in fact, the chicks are laughing at you because they lift more than you. Lift and breathe like a normal human-being. This isn’t Lamaze class and you aren’t giving birth. Relax buddy.

5. You snap selfies like you’re Kim Kardashian

Listen here you narcissistic buffoon. Kim Kardashian looks like someone with a personality disorder, and it’s not a good look—on anyone. Multiple selfie posts on social media every day? You feel like you need to show the world you’re actually in a gym? People should be able to tell you work out just by looking at you, you shouldn’t need to take a picture as proof or you’re doing something wrong. No one cares what you look like on social media, you’re no Casanova. The fact that you’re standing in front of a mirror snapping selfies while surrounded by people who aren’t even paying attention to you should say something. Your own mom would even be shaking her head in disbelief. Don’t be that guy. Don’t bring your phone out onto the gym floor, and if you do in order to listen to music, don’t ever touch the app that says “camera”.

6. You talk on the phone while working out

This goes along with #5. If you use your phone, make sure it’s only to listen to music. Put your phone on silent so it doesn’t ring if someone calls or dings every time you get an email or text. No one needs to listen to your conversation that can wait until after your workout. If it’s an emergency or necessary to take a call, then go outside so you don’t bother everyone else in the gym who is being considerate and not talking on their phones during your workout.

7. You don’t put the equipment back where you got it

Remember when you were little and your mom made you clean up your toys after you’re done playing with them? The same thing applies here. If you use a pair of dumbbells, put them back on the rack when you’re done. Load up the leg press with every 45 in the gym? Make sure you put all of those back on the weight tree where you got them from rather than leaving them on the machine after your set. Did you get out jump ropes or another piece of equipment? Put it back. It’s not a difficult concept, it’s about consideration. Someone else put it back so that you could find what you wanted to use. Do the same for the next person by putting each piece of equipment back in the correct place when you are finished with it.

8. You take up multiple machines when the gym is busy

If the gym isn’t busy and you wanted to superset with multiple machines, then go ahead. But if the gym is busy, don’t hog up all the machines just because you want to get in a quicker workout. Even if it’s not busy and someone wants to use a piece of equipment you are using, you can easily let them work in with you so both of you can take turns using the piece. And don’t be “that guy” who tells someone “I’m using that” if they want to use the piece of equipment if you have multiple pieces tied up.

9. You don’t wear deodorant when you clearly should

This should seem pretty obvious, but personal hygiene is important. No one wants to smell your body odor because you didn’t feel like applying deodorant before your workout. I’m not saying come to the gym in your Sunday best, smelling like a Calvin Klein model, but have some consideration. If you’ve ever been working out next to someone who “forgot” deodorant, you know exactly what that smells like. Keep your stench in check and make sure your hygiene is up to par before entering the gym. If you resemble Pig-Pen and everywhere you walk in the gym there’s a trail of dirt, gunk, and funk following you, you probably should have considered hitting a quick shower to freshen up a little bit.

10. You walk around the locker room butt naked

If you’ve ever spent time in a gym you know to watch out for “that guy” in the locker room. You know who I’m talking about, the old overweight guy with the saggy balls that seems to just walk around the locker room for hours naked as if he was in a nudist colony. DO NOT be like this guy. More than likely, he’s also the guy who wants to stand next to you naked and strike up a conversation. NOT COOL! Use a towel to cover yourself up if you are going to get a shower or hit the sauna/steam room. Just because you might be comfortable walking around in your birthday suit doesn’t mean that everyone else wants to see it.

11. You are a serious creeper

So you think you have game? Cool, leave it at the door, playa. Trying to hit on chicks at the gym is pathetic. They are there to get in a workout, not to help you pitch a tent on the bench. And the fact that you are making women feel uncomfortable by staring at them will surely kill any chance you ever had with talking with them. Oh, you’re already talking to them and using every pick up line you can think of? Good job buddy, now they are going to tell everyone in the gym that you’re a creeper and to stay away from you. Use your terrible pick-up lines at the bar where an inebriated female might actually find it cute. Use them on the wrong chick in the gym and she may twist you into a pretzel.