Going to the gym is one of the best things you can ever do for yourself. But there are some people at the gym who will inevitably put you off or generally annoy you. Some will make you throw your hands in the air and wonder, “Why, God, why are such stupid people allowed to live?” In order to keep these people from ruining your day, they must be overcome or ignored.
Every gym has its share of gym douchebags. For newcomers to the gym lifestyle, I’m here to help you spot and deal with these douchebags. To those of you who have been in the game for a long time, read on anyway. Pay attention to the signs I’m about to outline, as some of these may apply to you.
1. The Pseudo-Trainer
This guy really wishes he worked for the gym, but he doesn’t. Maybe he’s hoping that his invasive endeavors will get noticed by a possible employer who’s just hanging in the weight room.
This is the guy who, without being asked, will come to correct you on your form in excruciating detail.
“You’re doing it all wrong,” he says. “You should be bringing your arms further back. Further. Further. Further!”
Next thing you know you’ve got some jerk breathing down your neck, critiquing every single step of your workout routine.
“What’s that exercise you’re doing? That’s totally useless, and you’re not doing it right anyway. Put down that barbell. Let me show you how it works. See how I’m doing it? That’s the way you do it. Just like this. But let me show you some workouts that would be good for you.”
Don’t be one of those ass-hats who sit around the gym looking for people to correct, going from one unfortunate and unwelcoming soul to another to force upon your unsolicited advice. You are not a personal trainer. You are a gym douchebag.
2. The Creeper
I’m sorrym dudes, but the creeper is almost exclusively male. I’ve personally never seen it play out the other way, but maybe it happens in places like Australia where hamburgers eat people and hot snow falls up.
Look, gym girls are hot. I get that. Few things are sexier than a fit woman in yoga pants. Be that as it may, do your best to keep your eyes unglued from her ass. The gym is like the beach or pool. It’s one of those few places where someone should be able to wear almost anything without getting stared at.
If you’re one of those guys who go to the gym to look at girls, you’re so obvious. You’re not even working out most of the time. You’re just setting camp at a machine where you can get a clear view. Stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.
What’s even more embarrassing is when the creeper doubles as a pseudo-trainer in a cringeworthy attempt to feel up a member of the opposite sex.
“You’re not doing those squats right. Stick your ass out more. Here, try to touch my hand with your ass. Lower. Lower. Lower!”
Gross, man. There’s an acceptable way to try and pick up a girl at the gym, but unsolicited stare-downs and feel-ups aren’t the way. Do you go up to your cute coworker at the office and say, “Hey, I notice you’re having trouble writing those memos. Can I help? Here, I’ll hold your hand and guide you along. Your posture is awful! Why don’t you sit on my lap so I can correct it?”
I certainly hope not.
3. The Hoarder
The hoarder is the bane of free-weight lifters everywhere.
You approach the weight racks to find nearly all of the dumbbells gone. Weird. The gym isn’t super-busy today. Oh well, how about a few barbell exercises? Nope, these are all too light or too heavy. Where the hell are all the good weights?
Oh, there they are, lying in a neat little pile by that guy’s feet. That guy standing beside that bench he’s not using but won’t allow anyone else to use anyway.
This guy’s workout is apparently so intense he needs half the gym’s stock of weights for his routine. He’s doing curls, flies, deadlifts, cleans, shoulder shrugs, presses, and more all at the same time. Taking three seconds to replace weights is simply out of the question. After all, he’s some kind of cross-fit superstar, and everyone else is a lazy shit-pump. No, he can’t use his precious recovery time to do it. He needs that time to flex and stare at the mirror.
Do you like being a courteous and decent human being? Then put your damn weights back when you’re done with them. Take one, maybe two sets of weights at a time. And don’t hog the bench, dude. What, you don’t want someone else sweating up your bench? Too bad. It’s a public gym. This is what showers are for. We have to deal with your stink, too.
4. The Yeller
Whether he’s lifting weights or talking to some guy standing only four feet away from him, the yeller has his volume setting broken at “loud as fuck.”
During his sets, he grunts and yells his way through each rep like he’s Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to shit a baby through his dick hole.
Between sets, he’s talking to his gym bro about his weekend, his workout, his protein shakes, and a girl he banged at a volume which treats the entire gym to the conversation.
Man, shut up. Sure, we’re all guilty of a little grunting here and there. It happens. Not everyone is capable of suffering in silence. But do your best. Stop with the war cries.
5. Track Turds
If your gym has a track, it’s inevitable you’re going to deal with these turds on every run you ever do.
People, all tracks follow a set of basic rules. Perhaps they vary from location to location, but for every track I’ve been on, the rules are the same:
Inside lanes are for walking and slow runners.
Outside lanes are for passing and fast runners.
Run or walk in the same direction that everyone else is going.
Pretty simple. Right? It’s a little unbelievable how many people either don’t get it or don’t care. Every morning I go for a run there are always a handful of idiots who are barely walking or standing in the fast lanes of the track. And there’s almost always that one moron who’s running the wrong way. We’re ALL running counter-clockwise, man. The big sign by the track even courteously asks you run counter-clockwise. Why are you going clockwise? Because fuck the rules, you have cardio? Are you a unique and special snowflake?
No. You’re a sweaty track turd, and someday I won’t fight the temptation to clothesline you. But then I’ll lose my gym membership.
I don’t think I’m overly critical. There may have been times I’ve been a gym douchebag myself. Maybe it’s happened to you. It’s fine. The important thing is to have enough consideration and self-awareness to realize when you’re doing it, and when to stop. However, if you do these things and don’t see the harm or don’t care, than you, good sir, are a gym douchebag.