Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crazy Food Dude Absurd Rant: Gym People

I know I said that I'd try to keep most of the content here food focused, but in this case, I've got a bit of a rant.  In this case though, the topic is health related, so it somehow relates to the mission of the blog, as indirect as it may be.

Today's rant is about how people behave at the gym.  I've lost 150+ pounds over the last six years and one of the reasons for that is that I spend an absurd amount of hours at the gym (I work out seven days a week for on average 2.25 hours per day), so I've had plenty of time to observe these behaviors.  Now, I know I'm a picky person and most of these complaints may be out of line, but I'm curious to see what you think and to see if I am way out of line or am actually on to something with these.  So, without further delay, here are my nitpicks:

  1. The close exerciser.  This one consists of people that come up right next to you and pick the machine directly next to you when other machines are available instead of picking a machine that leaves at least a one machine buffer between you.  Gyms can be small and machines tightly packed, so sometimes people setting up next to you can get quite cozy.  Given the option, I don't want to listen to you breath and I don't want your sweat potentially dripping all over me.  My own sweat dripping all over me is bad enough...I don't need someone else's. 
  2. The gym singer.  I understand that working out can be boring.  Personally, I read books/magazines and/or listen to music when I'm working out to pass the time and I've got no problems with people that do that.  What I do have a problem with is the people that listen to music that sing out loud to the music that they are listening to.  I mean, c'mon, I'm not at the gym to hear your American Idol audition.  Stop being so selfish and making other people listen to your horrible interpretation of the latest Katy Perry song or your gospel choir audition. 
  3. The heavy breather.  Okay, this one is out of line on my part, but nothing bothers me more than people that huff and puff (or do rhythmic breathing) when they are on the machine next to you.  I realize it is a function of exercising, but it still bothers me.  Being bothered by this makes me a total prima donna, I get that. 
  4. The nose sniffer.  This one is a direct cousin of the heavy breather.  This is the person that somehow thinks that breathing out of their nose is going to make them get a better work out, so they continually try and get as much air as possible through constant sniffling the entire workout.  Breath through your mouth!  Trust me, it is okay and you'll get more air into your lungs which will increase your stamina.
  5. The loud grunter (sometimes a screamer).  Part of the heavy breather/nose sniffer extended family, but only a second cousin.  This one applies to people that work out on the cardio machines and also on the weights.  Working out can be strenuous and I get that, so I don't begrudge someone for letting out the occasional grunt at a tough part of their workout.  I do it too when lifting, but I mostly keep it to myself.  What bothers me is when people grunt or scream across the gym just so that everyone else knows they are working hard.  Get over yourself.  Nobody thinks you are more hardcore just because you grunt. 
  6. The elk runner.  This one requires a little explanation and applies specifically to the treadmill.  Some people don't know this apparently, but you should never run on a treadmill when the incline is set to 0.0.  A minimum setting of 1.0 simulates running on flat ground.  Also, it is better on your knees/body as well because it allows the treadmill to have a little give (that's what they are designed to do!).  Nothing bothers me more than when I am at the gym and I have to listen to some giant oaf stomp their feet like an oversized elk on the treadmill for thirty consecutive minutes because they are too much of a goof to either figure out that you are supposed to give the treadmill a bit of incline.  I want to go up and give them a tip, but I know how much I hate it when people give me unsolicited tips, so I keep quiet and let myself stew (it makes me work out harder; LOL). 
  7. The water buffalo.  People get thirsty when they workout.  It's the way the human body works...fluid goes out via perspiration and it needs to be replaced.  What bugs me is when people walk into the gym with their half gallon sized water bottles and slam the entire thing during their twenty minute workout (there is a woman at one of my gyms that drinks from hers every 45 seconds; yes, I've counted).  I'm sorry, no one can be that thirsty.  Plus, geniuses, if you drink that much water during your workout, it makes it tougher for you to get a high impact and/or good workout because you are weighing yourself down and constantly having to slow down to drink from your jug.  Also, perhaps you haven't noticed this, but the condensation from your gallon jugs gets in the key/phone holders and ruins phones (never happened to me, but I could see it). 
  8. The litterers.  I'll be the first to admit that I've left a gum wrapper in a tray on occasion and when I realize I've done it later, it infuriates me.  There are some people though that do it ALL THE TIME.  For example, at one of my gyms (I go around the same time each day, so I know it is the same person), I see the same flavor of gum wrapped up in a wrapper in the elliptical machine nearly every single day.  In addition to gum wrappers, nothing is more gross than when people leave their sweaty paper towels in the machines.  I realize accidents happen and stuff gets left behind, but please people, try and make an effort to clean up after yourself. 
  9. The naked wanderer.  One of my gyms that I visit is in an office park and when I go at lunch, I encounter a lot of people like myself that are trying to squeeze in a workout during their lunch hour.  Since you are working out at lunch, you are going to take a shower after your workout unless you are a disgusting human being.  Now, there's bound to be nudity in a locker room and I'm fine with that.  I don't necessarily like seeing other naked men, but when you are in a locker room, it comes with the territory.  What bothers me is the people that prance around naked and make no effort to cover themselves up.  It's freaking disgusting.  When I am changing clothes or heading to the shower, I have a towel around my waist (or clothes put on) within fifteen seconds of disrobing.  What bothers me are the people that make no effort to cover up.  Sick.  What bothers me even more are the people that while heading to the shower (keep in mind they have a towel) don't bother to cover up either and just throw their towel over their shoulder and refuse to cover up.  I mean, c'mon, have some respect for others.  I don't want to see your junk (since it is an office park, there's a lot of middle to older aged junk) flopping around all over the place.  Ugh.  The one might be my biggest pet peeve at the moment.
  10. The cell phone addict.  I understand that cell phones are a way of life now and some people get too attached to them.  That is fine.  What is not fine is the people that bring their cell phones into the gym and proceed to have conversations on them for many, many minutes as if they were just sitting at home.  I'm okay with a conversation that is two minutes or less, but once the conversation stretches into the stories of little Tommy not being able to stop wetting the bed, or Bill not showing up for his construction job or the plans for Jenny's bachelorette party, I start to get annoyed.  Just because cell phones can be used just about anywhere does not mean that you can air your laundry out anywhere and everywhere.  I don't want to hear your private conversations any more than you want to hear mine.  The fact the cell phone addict is willing to do that proves that they are selfish and think that they are more important that others and drives me nuts.  True story:  I was once at the gym and there was a married couple walking around they gym with each of them having their Bluetooth headseats in their ear.  Seriously?!  Step away from the phone for a few minutes, losers.  No one is that important.
Okay, I just realized looking back at this that I've just written a ridiculously long post about basically nothing.  I guess that's what happens when a person with a few screws loose runs a blog.  Oh well.

Anyway, let me know if you think I'm crazy, bitter, commiserate with me on some of these issues or have certain issues of your own.  On your own issues, let me know what they are because I'm sure I've seen people that do those things (maybe I do them myself!).

Who know, this could end up being fun or I could end up alienating a lot of readers.  Regardless, let's see how it turns out!

As a postmortem to this, I find the plethora of yoga people that invaded the gym to be quite humorous as well.  Unbeknownst to me, there's even a site out there at  Amazing.


  1. I work at the campus gym, where exercise is less about health and more about vanity. I get all of these as well but the majority are
    -frat bro with the obnoxiously cut shirt (showing your nipples is status, and having a decent physique is optional for this). Workouts start with cable curls, screaming is mandatory, and weights must be thrown when sets are finished.
    -desperate broad, make up and next to no clothing doing frivolous exercises near the frat bro's to try and get attention.

  2. @Rodzilla: LOL. I'm 10+ years out of college, so I'm speaking more of the people in the adult gym, but in my few visits to the campus gym in college (college is the reason I had 150+ that I needed to lose), I definitely remember how it was a meat market and or ego stroker center. Such a joke.

  3. Enjoy:

  4. I'll have to agree with most of your rants about the gym! I'll have to add to the list: the people who walk around in groups while doing nothing, and people who stand around talking to each other in front of machines while not using them. Nice post!

  5. @Juliana: That's a great one and I can't believe it wasn't on my list because I see that regularly. There's a group of 4-5 guys that show up at my gym every Saturday morning and just follow each other around from station to station telling each other jokes and stories for an hour. Funny thing is, I don't think any of them actually do any exercise unless you count the amount that theirs jaws are moving from talking or the times their diaphragms are convulsing from laughing. Goof balls.

  6. @Show: Great video! I especially loved the sign where it said no jeans. I've got a guy at my corporate gym that works out in jean shorts and I've got another guy in my regular gym that runs in jean shorts. They look like morons.

    But, as we all know, guys that wear jeans can be kick ass basketball players.

  7. I see your list, and I raise you the guy who made a bicep curl with his cell phone in the crook of his arm. Why? To take a picture of his "guns" in the mirror. I was half tempted to ask if he wanted me to take the picture for him, but I refrained, knowing it would only boost his ego. The other persona I see missing here is the Ego Inflating Conversationalist. I once overheard a man with cankles say, "if I didn't work out, I'd probably kill someone." Those were big words coming from a guy with cankles who spent more time chatting near machines than actually using them. I'd be content never to step foot in a gym again. This is part of why I do yoga! Your snark is greatly appreciated. Rant away!

  8. Wow I agree with SO MANY of these. I go to a rather large gym, and theres ALL those machines empty and someone ALWAYS comes next to me. I am guilty of this only a few times, because there are only 2 of a certain type/brand of elliptical I like, so if someone is on 1 of the 2 and I want the other one, I usually take it. Sorry. But I can guarantee I always smell fresh ;)

    I also get the people who sit on the machines and watch the tv for like 10 minutes, then do a set, then watch more tv. like MOVE!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. I actually didn't know that about the treadmill incline... oops.

  10. Hi! I'm also agree with you.In gym we find some people who have no work but they just around here & there without any reason. Really you pick the most irrigating part of the gym like a ken observer.Good job... :-)


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