Gym Pet Peeves

First, let me show you my dinner from last night, because I am a ridiculously talented chef.

Honestly, restaurants, stop calling. I know you want to hire me because I'm a culinary whiz. But I already have a job. I'm sorry.

That’s right. While some of you were whipping up chickens or pastas or chia seeded oatmeals, I made English Muffin Pizzas, side of Brussels sprouts. Oh, you want the recipe? Sure.

  • Brussels Sprouts: Cut up sprouts. Wash them first if you want. That’s a good idea. Toss with salt, pepper and olive oil. Put on aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Spread them out a little bit. Bake at 425 degrees for a bunch of minutes. Remove from oven when you are starving. Do not concern yourself with whether or not they are actually done. It’s time to eat.
  • English Muffin Pizzas: Cut English muffins in half. Don’t use jarred tomato sauce. It won’t agree with your Crohn’s. Instead, cut up a tomato. Toss tomato slices with salt, pepper and olive oil. Be extra fancy by adding the basil that comes in those little shakers. Don’t bother with fresh basil. That seems like a lot of work. Put tomato slices on muffin halves. Top with parmesan cheese. Put halves on a piece of aluminum foil so you don’t have to do any more dishes. Put in oven next to Brussels sprouts. Remove when cheese is melted. Devour.

Feel free to use my recipe. It’s creative and original, I know. Foodbuzz, why are you not advertising here?

Onto another topic: gym pet peeves!

Last night I went to the gym for a spin class and my heart broke a little when Matt, my favorite instructor, wasn’t there. The sub walked in the room and I felt sad. I had taken her class before and kind of hated it. So the class started on a somewhat sour note for me. Tragedy!

Turns out, though, the class wasn’t that bad. Her music was decent and the teacher had a cute little accent from somewhere like perhaps Germany? I liked it. I was entertained.

I kept myself further entertained by thinking about other gym pet peeves.

When I go to the gym, it’s usually to take a group fitness class — either spinning, Chisel (a strength training-ish class), yoga or the occasional TRX or kickboxing class. I love being in a room filled with motivated people, sweating up a messy storm.

I don’t use the cardio machines at the gym, nor do I use many of the weight machines. I use the mat/stretching area to foam roll and do planks, and I use the benches to do tricep dips and incline bicep curls. Beyond that, the machines are all yours.

I still find plenty of things to be annoyed about, though, and I’d like to tell you about them today.

  • People who sit around in the locker room texting. Bonus points if you’re sitting on one of the precious benches where I’d like to put my bag while I get changed. Also, hi, here at my boobs as I try to wiggle myself into a sports bra. Please leave the locker room, texting lady. Do that outside. I’d like to be temporarily naked in peace. This is awkward enough. Don’t make it worse.
  • When the sub sucks. Usually great teachers find themselves great subs if they can’t make a class. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. A lackluster instructor — when you’re used to such a good one — makes for a disappointing class.
  • When someone shows up to class five minutes late and then puts her stuff right on top of mine. Look, it’s crowded. I get that. I’m all about sharing the floor space so we can get our step on. But spread out, or someone (probably you) is going to get crushed during a reverse lunge.
  • Weight hogs in group classes. So I take this Chisel class at Crunch, and the instructor always says at the beginning of class, “You’ll need a heavy set of dumbbells and a light set of dumbbells.” Then I see chicks coming out of the weight closet with 2-pound weights, 3-pound weights, 5-pound weights, 7.5-pound weights and 10-pound weights. Mind you, the class is always over-crowded anyway, and there simply aren’t enough weights to go around. So ask yourself, do you really need five sets of weights? Here’s the answer: No. You don’t. See that 90-pound girl behind you trying to do bicep curls with a rolled up yoga mat? Help her out and let her have a set of your weights. You won’t need them all. Promise.
  • When the instructor doesn’t introduce him or herself upon entering the room. It makes me sad. Let’s be friends. Tell me who you are.
  • When classes start late. I have a little OCD. Did you not know that yet?
  • Trainers who will not leave me alone. I’ve been a Crunch member for almost four years now. No, I still do not want to take you up on your free personal training session. Thank you for telling me “there’s a more effective exercise than planks” as I’m huffing and puffing down on the mat, and I believe you, but I’m all set. Seriously, every week.
  • People who show up late to yoga. I get that there are subway delays and sometimes people have to work late but still want to get a workout in. I totally respect that, and in any other class it doesn’t really bother me when you get there. It’s your workout, not mine. But yoga is a different story. How can I fall asleep on my mat if you’re taking off your high heels and powering down your iPhone right next to me?
  • Instructors that don’t correct people. There are times that I feel like I’m doing something wrong, or that I look around and can tell other people are doing something wrong. (You know, because I’m a super expert, with all my knowledge.) It drives me a little crazy when teachers can’t be bothered to make adjustments.
  • People who talk while the instructor is talking. Shut it.

But of course, there are great things about the gym, too — things that don’t bother me at all. I think the gym is a wonderful place. Here are some examples of things I don’t mind at the gym:

  • Dudes doing pull-ups. Carry on, boys. I don’t want to date you or even have any sort of conversation with you, but I don’t mind what you’re doing. Brian, can you join my gym? There are lots of places for you to do pull-ups…I’ll watch…and probably smile a lot.
  • Hyper-enthusiastic classes. I love it when a teacher yells out, “How’s everyone feeling?!” and the room goes nuts. Cheer, shout, yell, clap, do whatever you have to do to let me know you feel awesome. I’m completely on board.

Finally, I ran six miles this morning. They were not special because my stomach hurt and I had to make an emergency run for the bathroom. They were slow miles, which was the plan, so yay Ali, good job not trying to go fast.

TELL ME YOUR PEEVES: I know you have some. Share your gym pet peeves! What gets you really pissed at the gym? People who don’t wipe down their machines? People who try to “race you” on the treadmill? People who chill in the locker room totally naked for hours? Are there people that do that?



99 Responses

  1. 1) If you have the time and energy to observe others in the gym then you aren’t working out hard enough. Some of the biggest complainers seem to be those with the most time on their hands. Dunno about you – but in between sets I’m recuperating and gearing up for the next one.

    2) If what others are doing in the gym is bothering you then you can always work out at home , which is viable unless maybe you are a power lifter.

    3) Go when the gym isn’t crowded. Fewer people, better equipment access, and , if you go in the morning, usually cleaner.

    4) Join a hardcore gym but understand that you will be scrutinized at a level equal to and probably much more intense than that which you are currently applying to people at your current gym.

  2. Ali, I love your receipe! Do you have any other receipes like that? I need easy fast meals for one person. Living in New York it’s so hard to cook for yourself but I love the English muffin pizza, it’s great and healthy and fast. If you have any other ones I would love them. Currently buying groceries so I can make this next week. Thank you! -Kristine (aka @kymarie13)

  3. It drives me crazy when people get on a treadmill next to mine and eye over to see how fast I’m going and try to start out at that pace when they just get on. It also bothers me when I see people consistently talking to others and doing no working out at all for the entire time I’m at the gym. It also bothers me when people talk during spin class or when people leave their phones out on the water bottle stand or next to them with the face looking up so that it lights up every time someone texts or calls. I don’t get it. I swear one time I think a girl was in a fight with her boyfriend, because the same person called, then texted, then called, then texted…at least 5 times.

    And thank you for letting me vent. I didn’t realize I needed that so much.

  4. People who come in late to a class, especially yoga. There was a woman who came in 10 minutes late last weekend in full winter garb and carrying a takeout coffee. Finally finished shuffling around throughout the opening meditation and asked me to move over to make room. Sorry, what should I be “learning” from this person, how to be more inconsiderate and self-absorbed?

  5. omg your posts always make me laugh! My gym pet peeve: The NEW YEARS RESOLUTION gym goers- STOP clogging up my yoga and spin class when you never come to the gym the other 11 months of the year…it’s annoying…im training for a full and half marathon and I dont need to waste my time getting to class early just to get a bike because you are going to decide to be “healthy” for one month. UGh Im done now 🙂

  6. Yes, the naked people freak me out. Put some clothes on, ok? (On the other hand, it might be nice to have so much confidence. Maybe. I’m the one trying to figure out the absolute fastest way to get through my wardrobe changes without anyone seeing!)

  7. Love this post. Everything you stated is correct.
    I am also a Crunch member. I was asked by a trainer if I wanted to “use the computer” to “look at my bank statement” when I told him I “don’t have money to pay for a personal trainer.”

  8. 1. People who hock back loogies while in the gym shower. In the stall next to me. It makes me want to yell out “OH COME ON!!!”

    2. Same people who clearly pee in the shower stall. Next to me. OH COME ON!!!!

    3. Cologne / perfume + sweat = insta-headache and nausea.

    4. People who wear obviously inappropriate clothing to the gym. I’m not saying everyone should be decked out in Lululemon or Nike, but an off the shoulder top with clearly no sports bra? Or jeans? Or combat boots? Or HIGH HEELED sneakers?

    Then there’s the “Bootylicious” sweatpants, which is a whole other subject in and of itself.

  9. Good list! I am a fitness instructor–so it sure sounds like I would LOVE to have you in any of my classes!! I love people who love being a room full of sweatys–getting their fitness on 😉

    I try hard to always be on time and to find a good sub–so yes, most of the time it is NOT our fault if we can’t find a good sub!

    My pet peeves: I teach at gym (see above, and am a PT) and STILL the trainers ask me if I want a free session. Um, hell no. I’ve got it 😉

    Other ones: horrible music –i once took a spin class and legit, HATED every second b/c of the music. Ugh!!

  10. Gym things I don’t dig – naked women who put their lady bits on display as they lube themselves up with lotion. Treadmill racers. Overly pushy trainers who try to chat me up (aka drum up business) when I’m trying to get my workout on. Wah.

    Things I dig – running with you in CP in the morning. I might even be tempted to come in early sometime next week. Yes, seriously. Let’s discuss.

  11. Stop being funny and making me laugh in class. It’s inappropriate.
    Oh, wait. What? It’s my fault that I’m reading blogs in class? My bad.

    ANYWAYS. Biggest blog pet peeve: people who sit at a weight machine/bench, texting/talking the phone/checking themselves out in the mirror/doing anything other than working out. Do your three freaking sets and move. It’s rush hour, and I need to be done with my workout already.

    And techno music during spin classes. It makes me want to die.

  12. Oh man, Ali, I usually love your blog, but I have to say I’m a little uncomfortable with this post. I think you’re a fantastic writer and you do a great job of portraying the “every woman” in your successes and frustrations with fitness and health, which is one of the reasons that I really like reading. It gives me hope that, even though I run 9 minute miles today, doesn’t mean I can’t someday run 7:30 minute miles. You’ve given me that hope through your blog, and I sincerely appreciate it.

    But this post just seems counterintuitive to what you always try to promote: which is that fitness and health is inclusive. Through your blog, you create a community around people who are trying to better themselves physically, emotionally, mentally. We are all succeeding and failing together, which is great motivation and a great learning experience. But this post alienates a large portion of your readership, and I know that’s not what you intended to do.

    I have to say that one of my biggest pet peeves at the gym is just the opposite of what you say: when someone comes into a group fitness class, particularly yoga, and the people who are already set up huff and puff about having to move their mat over so that one more person can squeeze in or that they are late. Isn’t that what yoga is about? Sure, cleansing our bodies and detox and strength and all that, but also learning from each other, taking a break from all of the worries in our brains, and even giggling a little bit when someone kicks you during ardha chandrasana (half moon).

    That trainer? Might really, genuinely want to help you. One of the most rewarding things about being an instructor is helping my students overcome personal hurdles. It makes me geekily giddy for hours when someone in my class FINALLY figures out Bakasana (crow pose). So maybe take them up on their offer to show a better way of doing ab work. Who knows? They might know what they are talking about.

    We’re all in this big struggle against weight gain and wellness together. I think we should be trying to lift each other up instead of calling each other out.

    As a yoga instructor myself, I know how intensely difficult it is to not only REMEMBER your 60-90 minute fitness sequence, articulate it loudly and clearly in a way that makes sense, and read each individual’s body language to see whether or not they want to be corrected. I correct as much as I can, but in a class of 15 people, I simply can’t get to everyone all the time. Maybe to a fault, I (and a lot of instructors) tend to focus on newbies because we want to break bad habits before they start. We (incorrectly, I admit) assume that “gym experts” know where their flaws are, and will self correct. One of the BEST ways to combat this is to go to the instructor before class and say “Hi, what’s your name? I’d like to let you know that I often forget to engage my core, so if you see that happening or if you see any other part of my form failing, please correct me. I’d really appreciate it.” If one of my students said that to me, I’d be in heaven. All I’d give them would be pointers!

    Fitness, body image, and health is a hugely controversial subject, for women especially. I know there are lots of women out there who read your blog, even if they don’t comment, because you inspire them to get up at 6am and run a few miles, even if they’re slow and heavy ones. You inspire them to try new classes and give brussel sprouts a chance in the name of wellness. But I would hate for those same women to log on today and see that you are bashing them for being “fitness newbies.” Not everyone knows the treadmill time limit, some people grew up in more households that are comfortable with same-gender nudity (as a former dancer, I just remember having so many quick costume changes that there was never time to be ashamed of nudity, and so I never developed that sense of modesty until well into college), and some people are just desperately trying the hardest that they can to spend 45 minutes away from their responsibilities.

    So with that (entirely too long-winded) musing, I’d just like to kindly suggest we all take a look at ourselves and note a few things that we do that aren’t perfect (whether at the gym, on the subway, or in line for our morning coffee) and then cut everyone else a big piece of slack. We can’t even pretend to know how the other person is feeling. We’re all in this together and the first thing that we can do to make the negativity and the stigma of “snobby yoga” or “snobby gyms” is to help out our fellow “every woman” by letting her know that she is welcome to put her yoga mat next to my yoga mat anytime.

    1. Lauren! I really really really appreciate your comment — and totally respect where you’re coming from. You’re right, I definitely didn’t intend to offend or alienate anyone with this post. As I mentioned, I give credit and power to the people who want to fit in a workout, and if that means they’re late to a class then hey, at least they still got there. Yes, it irritates me a bit when it affects my “practice” (See? I’m learning the yoga lingo!) but it’s just a pet peeve. It doesn’t ruin my day or my class.

      I don’t use treadmills myself, so I don’t agree with many of the pet peeves that others have shared in the comments, but I can’t control those. Locker room nudity? Bring it on! I grew up dancing and doing backstage quick changes in front of dozens of people, so I’m cool with that. I just don’t love people hanging around and texting while I’m changing. I also secretly fear that they have camera phones. Legitimate fear, right?

      As for instructors, I know it’s not an easy job, whether you’re guiding a packed room through yoga moves or leading a spin class. I have tons of respect for what you people do! I’m critical of some of the teachers I take with because I pay a hefty monthly gym fee and yes, I expect great instruction. Most of the things I shared as pet peeves aren’t things that make the instructors bad people, or even bad teachers, they’re just my preferences.

      Again, I’m sorry if I offended you or anyone else reading this post. My intention was just to give a little light-hearted laugh at the tiny things that seem to drive us all crazy.

      That all (long-winded reply, sorry!) behind said, you know I’m all for everyone getting good and sweaty, and if that means me moving my mat over just a tad, I’m not going to refuse. Thanks again for your reply!

  13. #1 pet peeve, while I’m patiently waiting to get on a treadmill and there’s 2-3 in a row walking at a 2.5 pace. pick it up girls, or get off and talk somewhere else!

  14. I agree with all of yours! I also get annoyed when the instructor doesn’t participate in the class–not because they’re going around helping, but when they just kind of stand there and watch you. Naked bending over, conversations and lotioning. Oooohh and this one time in the weight room, this man and I approached the bench at the same time and he was like “Oh sorry” like he thought because he was the man in the weight room he should have precedence or something! It made me sooooo mad!

  15. 1. Throwing/dropping weights. Hey dude, if you’re lifting so heavy you can’t put your weights back on the rack/gently set them down on the floor, maybe you need to go a couple of pounds lighter, eh? Also, I really just hate sudden loud noises.

    2. The guy at my gym who checks himself out in the mirror and smiles and compliments himself after every weight set. Skeeves me out.

    3. People who disobey the 30-minute limit, because dammit, I’m a rule-follower, and if I’m too nice and law-abiding to swim for 45 minutes instead of 30, I don’t want anyone else to, either.

    4. Excessive nudity. Like everyone else said.

  16. I’ll never understand the folks that hold onto the treadmill with a death grip as they blast the speed up 110x faster than they can actually run. I’m not sure if they think they’re exercising just because the machine is on, but I’m pretty certain that’s not how it works.

  17. My most recent pet peeve is definitely the weird creepers…last week I had a very nice guy yell at a creeper who was trying to use the mirror in front of us to look up my shorts…The last thing I’d like to worry about when I am bench pressing heavy things is if someone’s trying to look up my shorts. Ugh. Now of course I’m super paranoid and won’t go to the gym without a pair of compression shorts under my shorts.
    I’ve also just decided that sometimes it’s easier to just drive home sweaty than have to deal with the nakedness in the locker room.

  18. Pizza bagels are the BEST, so I might need to try some egg muffin pizzas! I also think I hate brussel sprouts but I really don’t think I’ve ever had them, so maybe it’s time to take the plunge, after seeing your tweet last night I was thinking about that. Maybe it’s just all about cooking them right?

  19. I’ve had two this week alone:
    – A woman camped out on the couch in the locker room playing on her ipad with…..her 9-year-old son. i don’t care if you have to bring your son in to use the restroom, but don’t let him hang out in there!
    – As annoyed as I get with people talking on their phones on machines, the guy on the treadmill next to me kept getting text messages. Every minute I’d hear the ping of him getting another one. Not to mention he was walking verrrryyyy slowly. I would have rather him talked on the phone!

    – The regular after-work weight lifters at my gym are used to seeing me and are always respectful, but I hate when meatheads come in that aren’t regular after-work exercisers and treat me like I’m in their way cause I’m a girl. I’m not using the same weights as you, so just leave me alone on this bench guys!

  20. In my opinion, even worse than texting is the person who talks on their cell phone while “working out” on a treadmill. I see people doing this a lot and sometimes they are not even walking – just standing on the little area on the side of the machine as the treadmill keeps on running. Also bad is the person who brings big gulp drinks from the gas station or fast food to drink or eat while working out. So gross!!

  21. This is fun! I don’t belong to a gym, but I use the small gym in my office building. My pet peeves:
    1. The girl who flirts with her trainer. She is LOUD and last time I turned my headphones all the way up and could still hear her squeal.
    2. The dudes that lift heavy weights and then slam them to the ground causing my treadmill to shake.
    3. The guy who runs on the treadmill with clothes on that have clearly been sitting in his gym bag from the day before and have not yet been washed. Smells like funk!
    4. Nudity in the locker room. Double negative to the girl who started a conversation with me while inserting her tampon. Umm hello? There ARE stalls for that – use them!

  22. These are great! I have to echo those who commented on people who smell — especially those who seem not to notice their overwhelming odor and proceed to get way too close. I admit that I sweat a lot and don’t necessarily smell like roses after a workout, but for some people it is less sweat and more not showering enough. Yuck!
    Also, thanks so much for the brussels sprouts guidance — I’ve been dying to try making them but scared I will screw them up, and your technique sounds super easy!

  23. hahah i totally agree with all of these pet peeves! some of mine are:
    -people that do more standing around than actually working out. they’ll do 10 reps and then stand around for 10 minutes (mostly looking at themselves in the mirror)
    -people that race you on the elliptical. it’s not a race haha
    -people that act like they aren’t looking at your machine stats but totally are

    and i guys can do all the pull ups they want 😉

  24. At the gym I’m completely anti-social. I hate when the gym is crowded and all I want to do is have my own personal space to go through my circuit. Resting between workouts isn’t of interest to me, so I like to move from one thing to another and when the gym is busy you can’t really do that. It makes me mad & that’s when i start to get angry at the dumb people doing everything already listed. 🙂

  25. There’s a girl in my Body Pump class who does everything off beat. Instead of doing it at the pace the teacher says, she just does really fast repeats. It’s SO annoying if she’s in your mirror space because she messes up your timing!!

  26. Perfect timing on this post… last night while on the treadmill, a guy running next to me had the WORST BO I’ve ever smelled. I almost had to stop running because I couldn’t breath! So please, if you’re in a public place working out, for the love of god, use deodorant or wear clean clothes.

    And I agree with your other gym pet peeves! good post 🙂

  27. 1. People talking on the phone at the gym. I will admit that I have texted/taken a call at the gym, but that was while waiting for a ride or waiting for someone to get there. If you are on a cardio machine and can carry on a full conversation then you are not working hard enough. Take it outside.

    2. The girls that are just there to watch there bfs lift heavy things. Chew your gum, twirl your hair, and pick your tiny shorts out of your buttcrack somewhere else. I’m trying to train here.

  28. Some of my pet peeve:

    – If you already need to make phone calls in the dressing room, keep them short. You don`t have to call your sister, and your best friend, and the other best friend, and the mother of the other best friend, and…
    – If there are 10, 15, 20 treadmills, and none of them are used, besides the one I am on (one at the very end) you don`t have to get the one right next to me
    – When you are swimming laps and you have to share the space with two other people and they keep on swimming next to each other because they got to really talk right now right there.
    – When the instructors completely ignore you but definitely have some favorite people in the group that they will talk to the whole time.
    – Those who do strength training and first collect all kind of different weights and then don`t even bring them back.

    And I could probably go on and on and on…

  29. when i go to my local ymca, i’m pretty much either running on the indoor track, in a class (usually, spin) or doing a circuit around the weight machines. most of my pet peeves are centered around the use of the indoor track, since that’s where i spend most of my time (in the dead of winter/height of summer heat) – people taking up multiple lanes, not looking before they enter/exit the track, standing in the middle of a lane watching kids play basketball in the gym below, etc. i actually wrote an entire post about them –

  30. How abou tthe ‘Roid Boys who slam their weights down? If you can’t place it down, it’s probably too heavy for you 🙂

  31. When the person next to me on the treadmill is leaning over to see how fast I’m going. DUDE, I CAN SEE YOU! Pay attention to your own run. If you can lean, you’re not running hard enough. Get out of my personal space!

  32. Oh goodness I definitely have a few pet peeves.
    The guy who thinks it’s okay to ask you on a date while you are trying to swim laps after you’ve made small talk for about 0.2 seconds. Seriously? I know no one looks that attractive in a swim cap and goggles. And if I move 2 more lanes away from you, it probably means I don’t want to talk to you anymore, just sayin’.
    Woman in the sauna who is laying there naked and only barely covered by a towel doing sit-ups and hip raises. And then proceeds to do leg stretches. Um really I don’t want to see anymore of your naked body.
    Both of those things happened to me this week, in the same night!

  33. ha! I wrote a whole post on this last year around the same time- I just went back and looked- it’s pretty funny.

    But I agree with you on everything! Bad instructors are the worst though. I’ve actually walked out on a class before. My time is limited so if I’m not getting a good workout, I get the hell out of there!

    And thats how I roast all my veggies- no special recipe… I do it the exact same way. I add red pepper flakes too, makes it extra spicy. You should try it with Kale!

  34. There was a NYT article recently and this quote was my fav: there are two types of people in this world, people who wipe down the equipment and people who don’t. Ok, ok, I don’t know if that was the exact wording, but you get the point. WIPE DOWN YOUR FREAKING EQUIPMENT PEOPLE! GROSS!

  35. Many things annoy me at the gym, people who hold onto weights when they aren’t using them, people who don’t put the wights back in the right spot. But I’m totally one of those people who if ever I need to use a treadmill..will try to race those next to me.

  36. I was taking an awesome core class the other day and there was this group of women who seemed to think it was actually social hour, so they were very chatty. Some of them also would say “I can’t!” when the instructor would make us do a new (hard) move. Um, hello? You’re at the gym? To WORK out? It’s supposed to be work, remember??? The “can’t” is in your head, get over it.

    Also the bad instructor. Yes. My gym used to have an awesome spin class with this super high energy instructor, and then they switched instructors. The new instructor is great for some classes, but spin is not one of them. It’s such a major bummer.

  37. 1. Cell phone calls when you’re on a machine. So boring! Don’t talk unless your conversation is going to be something juicy we can all enjoy!
    2. OK, I don’t mind if people walk on the treadmill, even in peak hours, because they are entitled. BUT not for an hour!
    3. Men (and I have only noticed this with men at my gym, I suppose women can do it too) who wear too much cologne. If I can smell it from a machine away, it’s too much.
    4. People in group classes who have “their” spot and are rude to new people. I was taking a strength class once and it was packed, and the woman in front of me (who had plenty of room) turned around and was like “I’m not going to have enough space.” She didn’t ask me to move, just… expected me to? Rude. And she was wearing a Team in Training shirt, while not being a very good representative of what that great organization does (in my opinion).
    5. Men (again, have only noticed this with men at my gym, women could do it too) who drop weights. Perhaps there is an exercise reason for this, but it is lost on me.

    1. Ugh, the “spot” in class! I was taking a step class for a while and always got stuck in the back corner which is definitely the optimal place to be for learning new choreography. Oh wait, it isn’t. Finally, one week I got there earlier enough to be front in center. However, this crazy woman glared at me through the entire class and even made comments about how I was in such a good spot. Someone told me later that I was in her spot. It was also the only class I was able to do completely through because I could see what was going on. I only went a couple more times after that.

  38. I don’t take classes at a gym so I cant really complain there. My biggest pet peeve is people who camp out on a treadmill. I don’t mind if you use, i.e., run on, a treadmill for hours; that’s ok. What I do mind is people who put a towel and iPod down on one, walk away, get a drink, pick out a magazine, come back. Then, they stretch out — on the treadmill — using it to balance. After the stretch they fiddle with their headphones, iPod, shoelaces, etc. All of this when the number of empty treadmills is remarkably small. Get that done beforehand. Get on treadmill, run, wipe down treadmill. It isn’t like a workout homebase — it is a machine to run on.

    Or, how about the trainers walking on a treadmill next to a client while the client warms up? You can chit chat with the client from the front of the mill. Don’t hog an extra treadmill, when you aren’t working out.

    And in the weight room — people who don’t unpack and re-rack their weights. That is just basic gym etiquette.

  39. I don’t belong to a gym anymore, but do a programme called British Military Fitness. I’m always asking the instructor their names at the end if they don’t tell us (or if didn’t catch it…they usually say it!). I’m sure I’ve freaked several of them out by asking, making them think I was going to report them or something 😉

  40. I had a “hoverer” this morning at the hotel gym – drove me NUTS! He clearly wanted a treadmill but they were all taken so he just walked around hovering near the treadmills, watching everyone run, trying to decide who was going to finish first. was so annoying having his eyes on me from the back of my head, I wanted to punch him. So I purposefully added on another mile to my interval run just to spite him. Shows him!! LOL

  41. My pet peeve? Showing up at a class with a different instructor and thus not the workout I was expecting-totaly fail and now I have to get another workout in today. Thanks. (sarcasm)

  42. The trainers at LA Fitness, where I go, are like hawks. If you make eye contact with them, they ask you about the free training session which yes, I’ve done already like 8 years ago.

    I hate it when I’m on the treadmill and someone is invading my space by standing in between my treadmill and the one next to me talking to the person next to me. I hate that more than anything.

  43. Maybe the trainers think you are cute??? (just saying)

    I have LOTS of pet peeves! However, I currently do not belong to a gym.

    So how about the guy on the train who ALWAYS knows everything and talks while you are in the middle of talking..grr..

  44. Ok, there are old Naked Dudes, who I think live at the Y. They are ALWAYS there just scratching their junk! 5am to 11pm Old Naked Dude just sitting in the locker room watching Fox News, bitching about Obama, and scratching away.

    People who talk on the cell phone while walking on the treadmill. They are always right in front of the sign that says “No Cell Phone” and their conversation’s are always stupid and unimportant, yet I am the a-hole if I slap the phone out of their hand.

    People who re-wear workout clothes without washing them. Repugnant.

    People who don’t get that I am wearing an I-pod because I want to be left alone. We are working out not having coffee — Back off . . . It is 5am, there is nothing in this world that I am happy about. Personally, I am a magnet for the mentally ill. I am 6’1″ go 270, have a shaved head most of the time, and wear an i-pod, and purposely look pissed off (unless I am talking to my wife). Most people look at me as a person to avoid. Crazy people . . . wonder why no one is talking to me! You don’t know how many crazy wacked out conspiracy theories Ive had people explain to me at length while I am trying to workout or change.

    And lastly . . . people who randomly shout out “Feel the Burn” or “Woot!” No words and explain the hate I feel for these people.

    1. Totally with you on people who talk on cell phones while on equipment. If I can hear you over my headphones, the gym’s sound system, and the noise of the machines, you and your friend must be deaf, and probably shouldn’t be attempting to talk on the phone anyway.

  45. first, hooray for Brussels sprouts! My favorite. Yours look delicious.

    Yoga studio pet peeve: so much locker room nakedness. I get it, some is necessary. But when you blow dry your hair buck naked in the middle of the locker room, it’s a bit much.

    Gym/Yoga peeve: when people leave class early – it’s so rude and disrespectful (unless they have a committment and tell the instructor ahead of time)

    I also hate when people do things “wrong” and no one corrects them! drives me bonkers.

  46. oh this is a fun list. I’m with you on the trainer creeping thing, too. Though I do actually want one, I’ve found that the ones that have to seek you out are not the ones you want. Enter Mr. “let me show you how to do this wrong so the machine falls on your leg and you’re bruised for 2 months….” the good ones are too busy being good trainers. wah.

    my other gym pet peeve: smelly people. not the smelly bc they’re working out really really hard and its natural for sweat to smell type, but the smelly bc they didnt even apply deoderant kind. gross. wear deoderant. and dont stand so close to me. thank you.

  47. There is one instructor who does morning spin at my gym and her music stinks. I hate her songs, but she is the only morning teacher so I go anyways.

  48. People who fart during spin class. You’re trapped in a room, and probably breathing heavily. There’s no escape!

  49. Two things…

    1) My wife sent me the link to this entry because we had brussels sprouts last night too.
    2) When she sent me the link, I totally read it as “a lion the run blog .com” instead of what it really is. Carry on.

  50. ohhh i love this post!!!! here are mine:
    1. people who use those stationary bikes with backs on them and the pedals in front of you that read novels and/or play with their phones – are you really reading/texting/twittering while hogging a bike that someone else could be using for a real workout?
    2. people who use the pool that, even though they see people waiting, will not share a lane line…which is why i usually just get into their lane anyway.
    3. this one particular guy at my gym who pretty much is breaking any treadmill he is on. his feet POUND so loudly. i’m talking about huge elephant running clomping on the treadmill. the whole gym can hear him. then he lifts up his shirt to wipe away his sweat and he is a bit large and very hair. and he doesnt wipe down his machine. gross.

    rant over 😉

  51. I just laughed at all your peeves because I know exactly what you mean! I hate when the person next to me on the treadmill keeps looking at my screen and tries to match everything that I’m doing….hello this is not a competition and it’s now officially awkward. Also so annoyed when there is a group of 4+ frat brothers try to workout and share a single machine together. It just makes their workout so slow and while 1 person is working out, the other 3 are just talking among each other and awkwardly staring at everyone else….keep moving! 🙂

  52. Most certainly the texting in the locker room… Directly beside the sign that says “turn cells phones off” But ontop of that I enjoy the people texting on the treadmills also… And the loud grunters

  53. I have a bunch of gym pet peeves. I’ll just talk about a few of them (in no particular order):
    1) People who hog up space in the locker room. This includes people who put their stuff all over the bench while they go blow dry their hair and do their make-up. Seriously? Put your crap back in the locker.
    2) Naked people trying to start a conversation with you while you’re changing. At least put on a bra before you address me.
    3) People who have full blown and loud conversations in crowded gym locker rooms I’m glad you have friends at the gym. Why don’t you change and go grab a coffee or a drink.
    4) Oh and the same as your pet peeve – people who talk in classes and don’t listen to the instructor. Why the heck are they taking the class. I had to stop taking my beloved MMA class for a while because I wanted to deck this woman who always conducted conversations with any number of people. She was a regular, too. She has since disappeared.

    I try not to let too many things at the gym get to me. It’s the one place in the world where I can just devote time to me.

  54. I’m usually pretty relaxed about my fellow gym-goers’ habits. Even the bigger crowds this time of year don’t really bother me. But the one thing I cannot chill out about are folks who don’t know how to share lanes in the pool. Either they swim with their arms out to the sides and whack me when I swim by (only happened once this morning! Win!), or they are suuupppperrr sloooowwwww (which is fine!) but never let me pass them at the wall, so I am swimming as slow as I can with their feet in my face. It drives me crazy!

  55. I was going to mention people who race me on treadmills but you beat me to it!

    One of my big pet peeves is that the ladies that are naked in the changeroom are NEVER ladies you’d ever want to see naked. I’m not saying there are many ladies I DO want to see naked, but if I had to choose between say a Victoria Secret model or someone’s grandma, you know who I’m going to choose.

    Also, the universal peeve that everyone seems to have forgotten: creepers. Are we so used to weird sweaty guys watching us do squats that we don’t notice it any more? Sad sad world.

  56. I also hate when classes start late!! Drives me nuts. I hate smelly people. I’m sorry, but if you smell like FOOD from the night before, or that day (if it’s night at the gym), shower first or something. Gag. So gross (clearly this happened to me last week! Fried Indian food smells. gag gag!)

  57. can you re-name this “Whiny Wedsnesday!”… can be the evil-twin of “Thankful Things Thursday” and you still get the alliteration!

  58. My top pet peeve is also the unnecessary prolonged nudity. Especially while blow-drying your hair. There is no reason to blow-dry your hair naked in a public place, I’m sorry. Put on some underwear.

  59. My biggest gym pet peeve is when people text on their phones during spin class! It is so distracting and if they’re that important, they should just leave. Also high on my list is when people don’t wipe down the equipment after they drip sweat on it.

  60. After 9 yrs at one gym, I jumped ship to another because I was tired of paying to swim At a different pool, I did join In January but I will be sticking around. I am an outsider for sure but people can smile at me at least.

    Bad Instructors, classes that start late AND end early, hello 38 minute spin class

    At this new gym you need to reserve a spot for spinning 24 hours in advance….so I wanted to sign up for a 715am class…it was 7:08 and the gal said it was too early, I go and get my coat and come back out to sign up and 3 people are already on the list…so annoying.

    I love your blog Ali, it was my favorite find of 2011. I wear my i love sweat shirt all the time…maybe that’s why I don’t have new friends at the gym yet!?! 🙂

  61. I just joined a new gym and have been taking spin classes pretty regularly, what peeves me is people who leave before the cool down is done or do completely different stretches than what the instructor is telling us to do. Not only is it distracting, but these early leavers rarely wipe down their bikes. I never saw this happen at my old spin studio.

    1. People do that in my Body Pump class too! They either leave during abs or completely skip the stretching portion of it. I don’t understand why you would do that because stretching is important right? Plus usually the lights are dimmed for that portion and it is distracting for sure.

      1. I forgot about this pet peeve!! I too hate when people leave spin class early and don’t stretch. I don’t know why their lack of stretching bothers me so much, but it does. PLEASE GET WITH THE PROGRAM.

  62. I love English muffin pizzas!! Definitely on of my favorite childhood dinners. I think I make them about once a week for my husband who also can’t get enough of them. Two gym pet peeves of mine are 1) when people lay on the ENTIRE mat. Hello, you’re 100lbs and seriously don’t take up that much room. How can I not fit next to you so I can stretch? And 2) people who don’t wipe off their sweat from mats/machines/etc. Totally grosses me out that I want to throw up.

  63. First, “hi, here at my boobs as I try to wiggle myself into a sports bra.” Yes. I hate it. Most awkward 30 seconds of my day. I’m glad, girl with the teeny boobs, you can do this in .2 seconds. Me…not so much. Go away.

    I HATE when trainers bother me. I do not want to pay a shitload of money to a trainer, so stop talking to me, asking me about my exercise routine, that I could tone this and that…want me to show you? No! Go away! I hate you!

  64. OMG, I can read your blog at work and comment!!! Yay!

    I cannot stand the naked people…you know like the girl who has to blow dry her hair, do her makeup, check her blackberry, file her nails all without a single piece of clothing. I mean really?

    1. This is my ultimate pet peeve. I loathe walking into the locker room only to be confronted by 20 naked women. It’s almost like a game or something to see how long they can stay naked.

  65. Great list of pet peeves – just reading them made the hair on my neck raise! I have never been a member of a large gym, or one that offers classes, so my pet peeves are a little different. My major pet peeve is when people don’t put weights back. HALLO! I’m not your mother, and I’m not going to pick up after you. Another pet peeve are people who use the “good treadmill” to slowly walk and text on the phone. If you’re going to get your workout on, you can stroll like you’re my grandmother going to BINGO. And finally, this applies to all gyms everywhere: people who don’t wipe down machines when they’re done. GA-ROSS!

  66. My apartment complex’s gym has signs everywhere about wiping down the machines…but they don’t keep any rags or paper towels or anything out! Not even in the bathroom! So there’s that…

    Regular pet peeves: when someone makes me late for a movie. I don’t care so much about missing previews, but I HATE missing the beginning of a movie I paid more than $10 to see.

    Also: People who leave their grocery shopping carts in the middle of parking spots and there’s nowhere else to park. I will stop my car, move said cart and take said spot.

  67. Did someone really tell you there is a more effective exercise than planks?! I’d love to know what he or she *thinks* that is. My biggest gym pet peeve is when there are lots of empty machines but the person who comes in takes the one right next to me. Come on!

    1. I was actually doing a side plank when he came over. I just sort of looked at him blankly. Interestingly enough, there was a guy on the mat right next to me doing crunches but he didn’t say a word to that guy. And here people keep saying crunches are ineffective and planks are the way to go!

    2. Wow – my pet peeve within two comments! I seriously am annoyed when that happens. It happened yesterday and I almost said something to the person. There was an empty treadmill – they could have moved over. Respect the space!

    3. THIS WAS MINE TOO!!! The other day i took the treadmill to the far left. There were five other treadmills to the right. A woman came in and parked herself right next to me and THEN decided to try to spark up a chat (that is my second pet peeve: if I am sweaty and breathing loudly, it is not a good time for us to become friends.)

  68. AMEN to sub-instructor disappointment. Especially when you go out of your way or plan your workouts around attending your favorite instructor’s class. One of my resolutions this year was to stick with a spin class once I’m there, no matter how bad the instructor or the music – it’s up to me to challenge myself.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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