Stop Doing That… At the Gym!


Today, I joined my local gym for the summer, seeing as I’m a big fan of the gym when I’m at uni and it would give me something to do and another way to be healthier, in addition to my saturday morning 5km runs, as part of the Parkrun scheme. For more details about Parkrun and to find your nearest run see here.

I love being in the gym and always leave feeling great, if a little tired from the session. Now seeing as the gym is a public place, it always tends to have a number of other people in there which is mostly fine – I’m not that antisocial. The problem is that there is usually a “That Guy” or “That Girl” (if I’m being honest, 9 out of 10 times it’s a guy) in the gym at the same time I’m in there. You’ll easily recognise them as they stick out like an elephant in a crocodile enclosure and can normally be heard, if not seen, making a nuisance of themselves. What follows is a list of things that you, if you are that guy or there is any chance that you might become that guy, need to stop doing at the gym.

Don’t be this guy…

STOP: Wearing non-gym clothes
This is quite possibly one of my biggest pet hates about the gym. There is ALWAYS someone in there wearing jeans. JEANS I tell you! The thought of all that chafing makes me cringe for the sake of privates! And it’s not just jeans that you need to stop wearing to the gym. Anything that isn’t standard gym wear (sports shorts, t-shirt, vest, trainers etc.) shouldn’t be worn in the gym. The worst offender that I’ve ever seen was someone wearing both jeans and espadrilles at the same time and trying to acieve a pretty intense workout at the same time. Espadrilles should never be worn in ANY social situation, but it goes doubly for the gym. Just don’t.

STOP: Flexing
Yes, that is a mirror. Very well observed of you. No, that isn’t an excuse for you to stand there admiring yourself in it for half an hour. You cannot be so vain that you physically cannot resist the need to flex and stare at yourself the entire time you’re in the gym. Do what the rest of us do and use the mirrors to check that you’re keeping a good form with your exercises, alright Narcissus?

STOP: Grunting
It’s not needed in womens tennis and it’s not needed in the gym. A little noise or small grunt every now and then is fine, we all do it, but if you’re screaming and making noises that could sound vaguely questionable in their origin then you’re doing too much.

STOP: Talking during a set
I get that some people like to socialise during their time at the gym, really I do. I don’t particularly want to, no, but if you catch me off guard whilst im filling my bottle or taking a rest in between sets, then by all means I will happily have a chat with you. Just don’t talk to someone when they’re in the middle of a set. That is quite possibly one of the most distracting things that you can do to someone who is mid lift, or mid sprint! Just let them finish their set in peace and be respectful of others personal space. Oh and stop asking me if i’m “nearly done with that”. If I’ve finished my set, you’ll see and then you can ask if you can jump in for a set. The majority of the time, I’ll be happy to take a rest and let you do your thing.

STOP: Offering advice to everyone
You’re not the gym police, you don’t need to inform us if we’re doing something differently to the way that you do it, that you learnt from a professional exerciser during your gap year in Siberia. Just leave us be, and if you think someone is doing something in a particularly dangerous way then just relax and go tell a member of the staff. They’re paid to police us, not you.

There may be more and I’m sure I’ll think of them in due course, after my next couple of visits to the gym with “That Guy” floating about the place, so look forward to the inevitable second part!

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