Things That Irritate Me In The Gym

by Chris on August 15, 2011

Today while I was doing my last set of Pendlay Rows in the gym I couldn’t help but notice an older lady giving me dirty looks when the sound of the bar touching the floor between reps made a noise (Noise? In a gym?!). After my set, while I was explaining the benefits of the new EFS Swiss bar we just got to another lifter, I saw her circling us waiting for the chance to say something. Once she saw the opportunity to butt in she let me know that I probably didn’t really how irritating the noise I was making was and that maybe the weight was too heavy. I politely apologized for making noise, let her know that I did in fact try my best to be as quiet as possible and and resisted the urge to start doing heavy rack pulls right afterwards.

I want to thank this woman for giving me the inspiration to write this post. So without further adieu, I’d like to give a list of some of the things I find irritating when I’m in the gym:

People who get upset when anyone makes any kind of noise – Okay so this one was kind of a cheat but it just needs to be said. If you come into the gym, you should be well prepared for the sound of weights hitting the floor. It’s a gym, not a library. I do my best to be as quiet as possible because nobody wants to be the guy grunting and screaming, but in all honesty there are just some things that cannot be done quietly. Deadlifts and pretty much all the variations thereof and anything else where the bar must touch the floor between reps being at the top of the list. In fact, trying to lower the bar under too much control for these movements can be dangerous. It’s a well known fact that the eccentric portion of a lift is where the most damage to the muscle tissue occurs, so purposely elongating the eccentric is asking for trouble with some movements. I’m not going to risk getting hurt to save your sensitive ears. Get headphones.

People who drive to the gym to walk/run on the treadmill – I love this one because it just doesn’t make any logical sense. I won’t even get into the fact that the treadmill weakens the posterior chain by literally pulling you feet backward for you (i.e. your glutes & hamstrings don’t have to do the work). Here’s an idea: next time you want to get into the car to walk on the treadmill get up and walk or run somewhere instead. You’ll save gas. And another thing since this all started with noise: a single treadmill (in my experience and opinion) yields a lot more noise than a barbell hitting the floor.

People who are more concerned with what’s on the TVs at the gym than moving their ass – I get this all the time. People who as soon as they walk in need to have XYZ channel on the TV. 9 times out of 10 the people who are most worried about what’s on the TV are the ones who are the most out of shape. Start focusing more on why you’re in the gym in the first place and stop worrying about missing this week’s Dancing With The Stars.


There is no excuse.

Curls in the squat rack – I bet many people were wondering if this was going to show up. Here’s why this annoys me so much: there are 25 places you can do curls in the gym including machines, benches, standing, cables and more. There is only one place I can squat. So when I have to wait for you to finish up your curls with 5lbs on each side of the bar, it is incredibly annoying, not to mention just plain obnoxious.

Not paying attention to where you’re going – This is as dangerous as it is inconsiderate and irritating. I’ve had instances where I was deadlifting or doing cleans or had clients doing burpees and someone walked right in the path of the bar or the clients legs. When you are lifting or performing an exercise it should not be your responsibility to keep an eye for people walking into you. Yes, you are the one responsible for making sure you’re clear before lifting, but once you get rolling other people should be smart enough to not walk into you. In my opinion, if they do that they deserve to get struck by the weight.

These are just a few things that get on my nerves in the gym. I realize that my lifting style is not for everyone and I know I’m not perfect and I probably do plenty of things that annoy other people while I’m working out. But I do my best not to be obnoxious or inconsiderate of others while doing so. I lift to get better and I train my clients to do the same.

What are some things that bother you at the gym? Leave a comment below.


Seka August 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I think women have a whole set of other “pet peeves”…like camera phones, oglers, guys who say things like, “wow, you really kick your own ass” (well, yes, this is a gym – it’s what I’m here to do). Outside of that, I think talking on a cell phone should absolutely be forbidden. Primarily because if you can talk and work out at the same time, you don’t belong in a gym, you belong on the couch with a bag of Doritos. It perhaps also falls into your “pay attention” category – which, btw, I loved. You can’t imagine how many times people have nearly split their head open while I’m doing reverse lunges, et al. Ohhhh, and my NUMBER ONE peeve, when people scoff if you want to work in while they sit idly for 5 minutes between sets. I fn hate that. And now i’m starting to realize that I can come up with five more but…goodbye for now.

steve November 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm

I don’t do cleans or the clean and press because it seems everybody but me thinks they are either 1.idiotic 2.showing off 3.not really an exercise like bicep curls 4.draw too many stares/smirks/head shaking.Just not worth the trouble but I would really like to try and incorporate them in my programs.
It just amazes me how much the treadmill and bicep curl people know than me.

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