The gym can be a place to escape, a haven for ‘me-time’, a sanctuary of self-improvement.
It can also be a sweaty hell-hole filled with awkward grunting, cringey selfies and far too much testosterone.
Our experience of the gym often comes down to the clientele and whether or not they have good gym etiquette. And it turns out – there are loads of things that can seriously annoy us in the gym.
From being ostentatiously naked in the changing rooms to playing music without headphones – our gym pet peeves are really putting us off, and a new study has revealed the things that we hate the most.
According to data analysed by GolfSupport, there are ten things that gym-goers do that will make our blood boil. How many of these have you seen? Or even done yourself?
1) Someone choosing the machine next to you, despite others being free
A whopping 86% of gym-goers say that this is the biggest annoyance at the gym.
We get it – nobody wants someone looking over your shoulder as you adjust your speed. Are they racing you? Are they silently judging your incline level? We don’t need this added stress.
Ever heard of personal space?
2) People who stand and wait for you to finish on a piece of equipment
82% of gym-goers find this extremely irritating.
Talk about pressure. Finishing this set of leg presses isn’t going to be any quicker just because you’re staring. If anything – it might make us go slower. So back off.
3) People who try to ‘reserve’ machines
8 in 10 people are infuriated by this annoying habit.
First of all, this isn’t a beach. You can’t run down before breakfast and bag the best treadmill with your towel.
If you’re not on the machine, then it’s free. Surely?
4) Loud grunters
Unsurprisingly, vocal weightlifters are not welcomed with 77% ranking grunters among their least favoured gym habits.
Because seriously, who are you trying to impress? Unless you’re literally attempting to beat Serena Williams in a grand slam title – you don’t need to be making that much noise.
5) People who come over and ask how many reps you have left
71% hate it when people do this. Presumably because it’s none of their business.
‘How many reps have I got left? Oh a million, Sharon. A million.’
6) Listening to music without headphones
It’s baffling that anyone would do this in a world wear headphone, even wireless headphones, exist – but it is happening and 66% of you hate it.
Your workout playlist can be really important, and really personal. Just because heavy metal helps you smash out your final set of sprints – that doesn’t mean anyone else wants to hear it.
7) Not putting equipment away
In most gyms there are literally signs everywhere telling you to put your equipment away.
It’s not surprising that 60% of people find this the biggest irritant in the gym. Leaving rogue dumbbells strewn on the gym floor is dangerous and really annoying for the next person who wants to use them.
8) People watchers
54% of people say this is the most annoying gym habit. And it is seriously creepy.
People watching is perfect if you’re sat at a table on a busy boulevard in Paris, but it’s not OK to just stare someone out while they’re doing crunches. Obviously.
9) People who take loud phone calls
This is an irritating habit for a number of reasons – and 47% of you agree.
Firstly, there is a time and a place for phone calls – can it really not wait until you leave the gym? Secondly it is often such an obvious attempt to assert some kind of authority – we get it, you’re very busy and important. Now can please hang up?
10) People who spit in the water fountain
Possibly the grossest bad habit on the list – we have all seen someone do this.
44% of people think this is the worst thing you can do in the gym. And we are inclined to agree. This is a public water resource… just no.
‘Humans have come a long way in the last 250 million years. It’s 2019 and we must consider ourselves at the very peak of civilisation. So why is it all these things seem to be forgotten as soon as we walk into the gym?’ says Gary Lockwood, CEO of 24/7 Fitness.
‘Why do some gym members regress to at best small children and at worst a lawless mob?
‘First on the list has to be failure to put weights away. Leaving machines fully loaded with large weights and then watching other smaller members struggle to take them off.
‘Second on the list are the texters. This is a relatively recent offence that appeared around the same time as the mobile phone. Members hogging machines to use as armchairs while they text their friends.
‘My last choice was very difficult to narrow down. Members who drop weights crashing to the floor or the grunters, who scream like silver-back gorillas lifting even the most modest weights.
‘It’s hard to believe, but the gym is a public place just like any other. We all share the space.
‘Most are incredible value for money and offer a great service. They are a wonder of the modern world. So please, be considerate to the people around you and the world you live in and act in a civilised manner when you want to work out.’
The survey also revealed that couples who grope each other between workouts and people who film each other were high up on the list of unappealing gym behaviours.
So how many of these habits are you guilty of? If you’ve done more than a couple, you might be enemy number one at your local gym.