For many of us, the gym is a casual experience. We're not trying to set any records. We really only want to be a little healthier and perhaps look better without our clothes on. (We didn't say good, just better.) And making it to the gym regularly isn't always possible. People are busy with jobs and families, and often there's just not enough time in the day.
So when it's already so difficult to just get there, it helps when the gym itself isn't full of annoying pet peeves that make us never want to come back. Pet peeves like these.
1. Unleashing sweaty hell on a machine and not cleaning up afterward.
Very simple. It's not the end of the world if you quickly jump on a machine and fail to clean up a few drops of sweat you leave behind. But no one wants to get on a machine and feel like someone just did all of their sweating directly onto your body. Clean up your human marinade.
2. Grunting excessively, and sometimes in ways that make the rest of us uncomfortable.
See, there are two different kinds of grunts. There are "power-through" grunts, where people are trying to reach past their limits and their whole bodies -- vocal cords included -- want in on the action. Those moments can be great: A little grunt here and there is totally fine, and sometimes necessary.
But then there's the "sex" grunt, which, as you probably guessed, sounds like, well, you know. It's not quite backed by the force of the "power-through" grunt. It's low, slow and... awkward. Just... no.
3. Talking, talking, talking and forgetting that people here are sort of in the middle of something.
Seriously, go away. You seem nice, but we don't go to the gym to exercise our ears or to witness you exercising your mouth. We can talk about all these very important topics you absolutely need to discuss afterward, outside in the parking lot, while we're rushing to our cars and avoiding eye contact.
4. Drowning out the music in everyone else's headphones by singing to the music in yours.
We get it: You love singing, and you're so jazzed about what you're listening to. You and your friends are probably great at singing, and you probably try to prove this to everyone at your local bar regularly. But no one at the gym cares. We're trying to focus here, and your singing voice is throwing off our concentration. Are you trying to get discovered at the gym? We're not sure your singing voice is something you want to have discovered.
5. Lording over the TV like you're the only one watching.
We've all been there. You've got a good sweat going, and you could go for another half hour if you wanted, because you're totally distracted by something on TV. You're in the zone. And then someone -- the self-appointed Lord of the Gym -- feels he or she has the authority to change the channel without asking. Yes, going to the gym isn't solely about watching TV, but it can make for what feels like a quicker workout. It's a community atmosphere, so have the decency to consider the other people there.
6. Being far too comfortable with your naked body in the locker room.
Come oooooooon. Listen, you're comfortable with your body, and we think that's great. But for almost everyone else on the planet? Not so much. The naked body can be a beautiful thing, but this is not one of those times. True, unless you are a never nude, you will have to disrobe at some point, and that is all well and good. But most people don't go to the gym expecting to be exposed to prolonged states of nudity, especially in central locations where you can't not see it.
7. Hovering over people while waiting for a machine.
If you need to wait for a machine, don't do it while hovering over people finishing up their last sets. Also, don't stare in general. It's really hard to concentrate on anything when someone is gawking. Besides, it's pretty creepy. Here, try to do something with this guy staring at you.
How productive were you? Exactly. So, you know, back off a little.
8. Choosing the machine right next to someone when there are dozens of machines available.
There are certain unspoken rules of personal space. When you go to the movies and the theater is nearly empty, you don't just plop down right next to someone. So if you go to the gym, and it's empty except for a few people, it's safe to assume those people want their space. And enjoy the space you have as well.
9. Blabbing on your cell phone for way too long.
If you can talk on your phone, especially for a long stretch, you're probably not winded enough to actually be getting any aerobic benefit from what you're doing. And that means you're just taking up a machine that someone else could use.
10. Getting photographic evidence of being in the gym instead of just being at the gym.
What is with the gym selfies? Are you working out for you or for your social media following? Do you not believe you're in a gym, and perhaps seeing it on a phone will convince you? Unless your phone weighs 20 pounds, it's not adding to your workout.
11. Providing workout advice to anyone and everyone who never asked for it.
Fitness advice isn't always bad, but if you're not a trainer, and you're only giving advice to hear yourself talk about working out, then thanks, but no thanks. Everyone's body is different, so the way you do things is not necessarily the way everyone does things.
12. Also, not knowing proper workout technique and risking serious injury.
Learn how to do your exercises properly and safely. Yes, it's true that most of us would like to be spared the unsolicited workout advice. But still, if someone's bad form could lead to a nauseatingly gruesome gym injury, it's a good idea to speak up. We don't want to have to resuscitate anyone.
13. Leaving weights and equipment all over the floor, despite the fact that they're made to be picked up.