Top 10 Biggest Gym Pet Peeves
Like every social situation in life, there will always be people at the gym who annoy the hell out of us. It is, after all, its own little society. No longer a place filled only with “fat jacked” meat heads and cardio bunnies, the weight room has fast become a go-to sanctuary for everyone from the diehard competitive bodybuilder to our own delicate mothers.
On average, I probably want to strangle one person per week at my gym. And during competition prep, that number probably increases to one per day. But at the same time, I wouldn’t change it for the world because the various actions and traits of random gym-goers sure do make for some good entertainment (and blogging.) And I have no doubt that they wish to strangle me just as much (being the full-fledged gym d-bag that I am.)
So let’s have fun on the blog today and do one of my signature Sam Shorkey top 10 lists, shall we? This time: my biggest pet peeves and gym losers.
Yeah yeah, taking gym selfies, curling in the squat rack and the loud neanderthal throwing down weights, grunting like an idiot… We ALL hate that guy. No surprises there. Surely we can do better on this list though so here goes:
My Top 10 Biggest Gym Pet Peeves
10) Machine Lurkers
Seriously what is with the people who stand right in front you while you’re doing your set, waiting to talk, correct your form or ask how much longer you’re going to be? I get that you want on this machine. It’s pretty obvious given the fact that you keep looking over here. But do you really need to lurk right in front of me the whole time I’m using it?! Go get some frigging water or stretch or something. You’re not only invading my personal space but you’re distracting me from lifting like the beast I think I am!
9) The “Can I Jump In” Guy
While we’re on the topic of machine lurkers, the “can I jump in” guy is equally as irritating because instead of simply asking how long you’re going to be, he’s putting you in a situation where you either have to be kind and polite or a complete asshole. You want to say no. But proper gym etiquette advises you to say yes. And his use of “jumping in” entails he will be quick even though we both know he’s full of shit and will be lurking like the above d-bag for the remainder of your sets. Nevertheless, most of us mutter a “yeah, sure,” all the while wanting to strangle him as we have to re-adjust the machine’s settings every frigging time it’s our “turn” and feel the warmth of his annoying, sweaty body against OUR machine. Ugh. Truth be told, I often just flat out tell them “no.” And it’s quite humorous to watch their surprised and confused reaction. Another reason why I’m the first to admit I too, am a gym douchebag.
8) Toques at the Gym
Beanies, toques–whatever they’re called in your country–it doesn’t matter. Winter hats are not an acceptable piece of clothing for the gym no matter where you live. And yet, it’s INSANE how many people are wearing them during workouts. I just don’t understand the logic. I sweat like a mofo even if I’m wearing a baseball cap. So why would anyone want to wear a toque?! Bad hair day, giant zit on your forehead–fine–I get it. But again, there are a million other more acceptable hats for the gym. Then again, I did see a dude working out in a full snowsuit last week and I gotta say, THAT was awesome. Snow pants, ski jacket and mittens whilst performing lat-pulldowns was truly a glorious sight. That guy deserves a medal. But shorts and a toque? No dice!
7) Guys in Skin Tight, Spandex Pants
While we’re on the topic of proper gym attire, let us address this new trend of dudes wearing ridiculously tight pants while working out. I now completely understand why men get distracted by girls working out in spandex pants. The thing is, our asses are a thing of beauty when adorning glued-on pants. Male genitalia, however, IS NOT. And it makes me wonder why they’re so okay with everyone seeing the outline of their junk at the gym. I’ve heard there’s some serious shrinkage that goes on when dudes are working out so it’s not like we’re going to be impressed. In fact, elephant trunk or not, it’s still a horrifying sight to see. And yet, much like a train wreck, it’s one I cannot look away from–once again, distracting me from lifting like the beast I think I am!
6) Shirts that say “Get Big or Die Trying”
Man, there are soooo many stupid workout messages written on shirts and stringers nowadays. “Bro, Do You Even Lift?” Bro, if you lift, your muscles should be proof enough without the need for your cheesy, lame shirt to say it. “Get Big Or Die Trying…” Oh wait, that’s my boyfriend. Yeah he’s still a loser for wearing it. Then again, perhaps my “I Squat for Peanut Butter” isn’t much better…
What?! Who says I can’t be on my own pet peeve list? I would probably hate me too.
5) Dude Who Never Removes his Lifting Belt
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for safety in the gym. And I see how heavy some dudes lift. But there is no way that anyone needs to wear a lifting belt all day for every single exercise. Who are they trying to kid? Yes, we see you in your lifting belt. You clearly are SUCH a beast to require this piece of equipment. Newsflash buddy: I’m the size of a fart and I wear one too. But you’d only know that on my back or leg day! Fine, maybe you have a bad back and your belt offers spinal protection. But is it really necessary throughout your ENTIRE workout? Or are you just playing a smoke & mirrors game with us, thinking that it cinches your waist in just the right place to make you appear 20 lbs. thinner? I’m a woman. We know all the tricks, Mr. Power Lifter. And that belt ain’t fooling anybody.
4) Chick with Perma-Lordosis Stance
Speaking of back problems, I regularly want to give postural alignment lessons to the many young women at my gym who are forever parading around with their asses sticking out. Since I don’t actually have the “cajones” to speak my mind to them directly, I will instead complain here and talk about them behind their lordotic backs. **Clears throat** Ladies! When you are standing and performing exercises with your ass sticking out, you are wrecking your spine. This position has no ability to transfer force effectively and makes your back that much more vulnerable to injury.
It also means there is a lack of tension in your core and additional strain placed on your hip girdle. This stance might make your ass look bigger or “sexier” in your mind but trust me, there is nothing attractive about straining your spine in unnatural ways and putting yourself at risk for serious injury.
And PS after your workout is over and you’ve left the gym, your curved spine and collapsed hips are now healing in this shortened muscular state, slowly solidifying these new, awful postural connections your body is making. Stand tall and keep that core tight, damn it!
3) Perma Angry-Faced Creeper
Apparently I’m guilty of this one too. I blast death metal at the gym, I’m focused, I’m sweaty and apparently all of these factors combined turns me into a mean-looking, unapproachable beeyotch. And I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is the dude who keeps staring at me, staring into my soul and yet, can’t crack a smile if his life depended on it. Look buddy, I get that we both share a permanent turd-under-our-nose face. And perhaps you’re hoping that I’ll realize our mean mugs make us the perfect gym douchebag couple and come talk to you. But if you want me to know that you want me, frigging say “hi” or at least give me a head nod, bro! And if you’re incapable of doing anything but angry face at the gym, that’s cool too. But eff off and stop staring at me!
As an aside, what’s equally as uncomfortable as perma angry face creeper is the incessant mirror creeper who also never actually attempts conversation. You too need to grow some cajones and make a move, weirdo! Because guess what? My mirror creeping skills are just as good as yours and I can see you creeping through the damn mirror!
2) Dumbbell Dumb Asses
I know you’re all thinking I’m going to talk about the lazy, disrespectful arseholes who don’t put their dumbbells away and leave them scattered on the floor. Believe me, I hate them too. BUT that one’s too obvious. Instead, I’d like to address the people who hammer dumbbells right in front of the dumbbell rack and in doing so, block the rest of us from accessing them! This drives me insane. Is it really so hard to step back a foot with your dumbbells before you start shrugging them? Fine, you’re sooooo big and strong that you have to grab the heaviest 100+ lb. set you can find and it’s far more convenient (and safe) to just shrug them right then and there. Fine, do your meat head thang. But don’t get annoyed at me when I’m walking past and trying to maneuver around you in order to grab the 60s that you’re blocking!
Honourable d-bag mention to the people who occupy five sets of dumbbells at once and look like they’re building a go-kart with them. Oh wait, that’s me again. In fact, I’m totally KNOWN for being a dumbbell hog. Why? Because I’m a BEAST obviously! And I move fast like cheetah! And do I really need to say it again? I AM THE ULTIMATE GYM DOUCHEBAG.
1) Water Jug Carriers
Alright, I’m totally laughing maniacally as I type this last one because I have sooooo many friends and teammates who always workout with their 4L water jugs. You know I love you guys and have major respect for you but seriously, is that mammoth-sized water jug REALLY necessary? Is it so hard to carry around say, a 2L water bottle and fill it up once or twice if need be? Perhaps they like the additional exercise that comes along with carrying four frigging liters of water and like to do shrugs or bicep curls with it between sets. I know, I know– competitors like to keep track of their water consumption during prep yada yada yada but let’s all admit the REAL reason you’re carrying around that 4L jug. It’s a status symbol reflecting your top tier level of bodybuilding professionalism (or douchebaggery depending who you ask.) Bonus points if the liquid in said 4L water jug is bright blue or orange, giving you that sweet dose of intra-workout BCAAs.
Can’t wait to hear all the comments on this juicy post! And now, time to hit the gym and get in a good hour of mirror effing myself.
– Sam Shorkey, Team Douchebag Captain