Nipples on Display: 6 Gym Etiquette Mistakes

The other day I posted a question on Twitter about gym etiquette.

Based on the responses, it seems many people are still not “getting it” when it comes to gym etiquette. So here are my top 6 etiquette pet peeves.

1. The Grunter. This one is so cliche I considered leaving it off the list, but it really deserves to be here. We have all heard that one guy who grunts and groans as loudly as he possibly can as he lifts weights. He makes a simple bicep curl sounds as painful as getting your foot caught in a meat grinder. Not only is he annoying, but he also scares me. I’m legitimately concerned that he will push so hard that his eyeballs pop out of their sockets. I don’t want to be there when that happens.

Doesn't that hurt?

2. The Professional. This guy doesn’t work at the gym. However, he does feel the need to advise you. If I’m not paying you to show me what to do, I don’t want you pointing out my improper form. In any other situation, you wouldn’t approach a stranger to tell them how badly they are screwing up or that they should be doing better. So, why is it okay to do this in a gym setting?

3. The Stinkbomb. Sweaty, foul, body odor. Treadmill farts. Belching. Once again, we have people who think the rules of common courtesy do not apply at the gym. It is not okay to fart on the treadmill next to me repeatedly. You are not being sly about anything. It smells. Really bad. And just because you are at a gym, getting sweaty, doesn’t mean you should abandon personal hygiene. Double up on that deodorant, bro.

Apparently this guy is a member at my gym.

4. The Dirty Harry. Those spray bottles of sanitizer and paper towel dispenser are there for a reason. That sweaty buttprint you left on the bench is not attractive. Spray, wipe, repeat.

5. The Sidler. Ever heard of a buffer? If there is a row of ten stairclimbers, and I’m the only one using one, it is not proper etiquette to choose the machine directly next to mine. You do not need to be all up in my grill unless the gym is crowded and other machines are taken.

You're getting sweat on me.

6. The Skins. If you are running on the beach, mowing your lawn or playing street basketball, being shirtless is totally appropriate. If you are at Gold’s Gym, indoors, among other patrons, please put your shirt on. There are a couple of reasons for this. First and foremost, clothing provides a barrier (even if only a psychological one) between your sweaty, germy skin and the machines you’re sitting or laying on. I feel more comfortable knowing I’m not sitting in someone else’s back sweat. Secondly, I’d rather not see you shirtless.

To be quite frank, ma’am, your boob job is distracting. I can tell you probably went for the discount job. Your nipples are facing different directions. It’s just not a good look. I know you think it looks sexy, but we are not staring because we find them attractive. We are staring with the same curiosity with which one watches a dog humping its favorite chew toy. It’s an oddity.

And sir, I know you think your tribal tattoo makes you unique, but it only makes you look like every other gym Grunter out there.

If you enjoyed this post, read more about my misadventures at Gold’s Gym


    • David, I couldn’t agree more! There is a repeat offender at my gym who gets into shouting matches with her kids or her husband (hard to tell) while she is walking. I’m embarrassed FOR her.

  1. Oh, forgot about The Professional! There is a 60-something guy at my gym who has decided he needs to advise me on my performance. You are right – if I am not paying you to be my coach, butt out!

  2. 😀 “The Sidler” happened to me today. No on was in Cardio Theater today and some woman picks the eliptical right next to my treadmill! There are four rows of elipticals, why can’t she find a different one?!!!

  3. I had a two-for-one the other day. With eight other empty treadmills in a row, this man gets on the one right by me. I almost fell off mine at his smell. I had to eventually move because I thought I was fall unconscious and hit my head. Some people just don’t get it! Funny, but very true blog, Ms. Annie!

  4. What would you call the person who talks on her cell phone for 15 minutes while standing on the treadmill…not moving. This person was in the cardio theater, again on the treadmill right next to mine…oh and that’s not the best part…she finally starts to walk about 1.5mph and her boyfriend then came in and stood on the treadmill behind her kissing her neck and groping her…REALLY?!

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