11 Things You Should Never Do at the Gym

lazy gym selfie

So much rage.

We started talking a couple of days ago, and we got onto the behaviour of people in gym. Voices started to rise.

From the casual gym-goer, the CrossFitter and our resident expert, we have a fair few different viewpoints in our office. But between us, we managed to whittle down to eleven, the most infuriating, most angering, most “WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?” things that people do at the gym.

Let’s start with sex pests.


To stare in a lecherous manner.

It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, transgender, straight, gay or anything else we might have missed; just don’t ogle.

If someone has gone to the gym, it is doubtful that they want to live out a real version of Tinder. So that means spreading your legs out wide, sticking your tongue out or marking woofing noises are all out.

Invite others to ogle then complain about it

We have all seen the memes or internet sketches where a lady comes in dressed in nothing but a tea bag and a g-string then complains when a man looks at her. While we’re not in any way dismissing the responsibility of the perpetrateur, there is a simple message.

When dressing, and this is for all sexes, ask yourself the following questions.

1) Will this outfit bring attention to myself?
2) Do I want attention?
3) Will I complain about it?

If you answer yes to all three of those, then you need to ask yourself one more question.

4) Am I complaining about it because society is full of people who can’t see a slightly scantily clad human without a lecherous glare, or is it because I want a bit of drama in my life?

If you want the drama, go away.

Look in the mirror for anything other than form

You think you look good yeah? NO ONE CARES!

You are taking up space and probably adding to the general aroma of rank that swims around the gym, for no reason at all.

Go to the changing room and look at yourself there.

Be on the phone while occupying a machine or bench


Image source: Huppie Mama

You are probably reading this on the phone. There is a strong chance that you use your phone for music, and from time to time you might browse our wonderful site, for an array of discount supplements.

But if you sit there playing Candy Crush on the end of a bench, then you are up there with the worst of the worst.

Using your phone when not using equipment is borderline acceptable. Just know when not to.

Needlessly drop weights

If you are competing in a strongman competition, and you’re lifting something the size of a bus, then dropping the weight is probably quite common. However, if you are simply doing a warm-up set on your deadlift, then there is no need to drop it as if it weighs more than the core of the earth itself.

If you are a non-goliath-weight-dropper, other gym goers will assume you are doing it for attention, the gym owner might get worried about their floor, and you risk damaging equipment for no good reason.

We’re not saying don’t ever drop weights, as you might fail half way through a rep, but don’t do it unless you have to.

Not put weights away

Like that house mate who leaves a half eaten bowl of cereal out for 4 weeks before you end up getting rid of it yourself, the messy gym goer is someone you should always avoid. How hard is it to do a bicep curl, and then put the dumbbell away? Unless you seriously injure yourself, tidy up!

Put weights away badly

Not quite as annoying at the one who abandons weights entirely, but still pretty enraging. Putting a dumbbell back so it’s hanging off the edge, or in the wrong place is just lazy. The gym is about everything but laziness.

Interrupt people

If someone is having a chat in the gym, that’s arguably fine. As long as they aren’t using equipment, aren’t getting in the way, aren’t talking too loudly and aren’t expressing their love for the Third Reich. You wouldn’t go an interrupt them mid chat, so why interrupt someone mid set, or even worse, mid rep?

It’s not only rude, but you could cause an injury if someone is focusing on a movement, only for you to come over and ask them about Game of Thrones.

Over psyche

Angry Fighter in a cage

Just getting revved up for 5 mins on the treadmill

Shouting, pumping your chest, and grinding your teeth, only to lift something that weighs the same as a knob of butter is just not necessary.

It’s a great idea to motivate yourself, especially if you are reaching for a new PB. If your new PB is quite low in weight, that is fine, but if you are shouting and screaming for a warm up weight…be quiet.

Half arsedly use machines

Machines are fantastic for isolation exercises. But only if you use them correctly. So stop taking up a machine with your half reps, your inept level of effort, and let others use them; those that want to do it properly.

Focus on selfies (and belfies)

You are meant to go the gym to exercise. It’s wonderful stuff this sharing your enjoyment of physical activity, but you also need to exercise to be able to do that in the first place.

A selfie for every rep is a waste of time, literally. The longer you spend on a machine or at a station, the more time someone else has to wait. We’ll accept one selfie, but doing it on every station, nope.

Belfies (arse based selfies) are just as infuriating. Jen Selter might have made a career out of it, but do you really need to wiggle your derriere in the middle of the gym? You might knock someone off a treadmill.

If you are on a photoshoot, we will excuse you.

Anything we’ve missed?

Yes this article is all a bit self righteous, but people really do have the propensity to piss each other off. If we’ve missed anything that makes your blood boil, just let us know.

3 thoughts on “11 Things You Should Never Do at the Gym

  1. Paul

    The worst is definitely interrupt someone between their sets especially when you can see they are sitting there trying to get focused

  2. david willis

    people who after a few reps , stop and gawp at themselves in the mirror as though after 5 seconds of lifting they’ve miraculously built pounds of muscle , you know who you are , and teenage boys and girls , whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  3. David

    perhaps a couple more on the list of – don’t do’s

    use a towel on the machines and benches if you sweat up or at least wipe the sweat off … though to be honest sweat depends on effort and lack of it makes me wonder why some people bother taking up space in a gym, but think of the next persons head mopping up your sweat or you theirs

    the gym is no place for bare feet or flip flops so wear something sensible as the sight of your in-growing toenails may offend some.


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