Gym Etiquette: Five Common Violators

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to train for over twenty years in several different gyms. Most of the time I develop friendly acquaintances at the gym, and there’s often a sense of camaraderie with the other trainees.

But there are exceptions to this rule, and most public gyms have at least one or two of the following violators of basic gym etiquette. These are the guys you want to avoid, and if you fit this description, take my advice and consider practicing better manners:

Mr Big Mouth:
As the name implies, this guy spends most of his time running his mouth. The problem is he often does just enough lifting to justify sitting on the bench press (or another piece of equipment) for an inordinate amount of time while someone else waits.

The Scream Machine:
Most of us let out an occasional grunt as we squeeze through that last rep. We may even get loud and rowdy while attempting a new personal max with our buddies. But this guy makes noise before, during, and after every set of every exercise—as if annoying fellow gym patrons was on his “hard core training” checklist.

The Melting Man:
I’ll admit it—I perspire profusely when I train. But I do my best to bring a towel and wipe up after myself. I also dress appropriately to the climate (shorts in the summer or in tropical climates). Some seem to make it their personal mission to drench everything in sight with complete disregard for the next guy/girl.

The Squat Rack Curler:
I don’t mind waiting my turn on the squat rack—if the patron before me is doing . . . well . . . squats. Overhead/military press is also OK if there’s no other suitable place in the gym to do them. But please don’t monopolize the most hallowed place in the gym with your curls.

The Toxic Avenger:
This is, in my humble opinion, the worst of all possible violators. None of us smell 100% fresh at the end of a hard workout. But you’ll occasionally encounter folks to come to the gym smelling like they’ve been dumpster diving. The smell only gets worse as the toxic avenger starts training, and rest of the gym patrons are thus forced to endure chemical warfare. Fortunately I haven’t had too many close encounters with this character, but I know it happens.

How’s your gym etiquette? Train hard, but don’t forget the golden rule.

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