The nine most annoying gym habits, according to a public poll
The summer season may well be in full swing, but it still isn't stopping Brits from flocking to the gym
Whether you're looking to lose some last-minute weight before your holiday or burn off a couple of cocktails, gyms are still packed to the rafters. With that, of course, comes the worst in gym habits.
Online golf store GolfSupport.com analysed thousands of tweets using hashtags relating to common gym pet peeves. This was then followed up with a survey of 1,250 gym goers.
The result is an extensive list of more than 50 of the most annoying gym habits. For the sake of brevity, we've narrowed it down to 9.
From loud, grunting lifters to inconsiderate people who don't put their weights away, the list contains some well-known faux pas, and some pretty surprising inclusions. Although couples all over each other in the gym didn't make the top 9, it wasn't far behind.
Here's a breakdown of the top 9 most annoying gym habits, alongside the percentage of people who see them as a pain.
1. Someone choosing the machine next to you, despite all the others being free (86%)
It's surprising to see this come out on top, as there are arguably far worse gym habits. Context is also an issue. In most gyms, there may only be one machine working a particular muscle group. You might have to move right next to someone.
There's a big difference between that, and having someone breathing down your neck when curling dumbbells in an empty free weights area.
2. People that stand and wait for you to finish on a piece of equipment or machine (82%)
Granted, the gym might be busy, but you at least need people to keep a safe distance. The only time you need someone invading your personal space in this way is when you're going for a one rep max.
3. People that try to 'reserve' machines or equipment (80%)
Your favourite bodybuilder might incorporate tri-sets and giant sets into their training routine, but remember their job is to go to the gym. They can train when it's empty and have free reign over kit.
If you're training at rush hour when the gym is particularly busy, realise that machines may be difficult to get on. Share with others. Don't hog equipment or act like you've reserved it when someone else could use it.
4. Loud grunters (77%)
Making loud, grunting noises when you're setting a new deadlift PB is ok. When you're performing a few light sets of cable tricep extensions? Get out.
Aside from the obvious noise annoyance, you don't want to put off new gym users. Newbies could be fooled into thinking everyone in the free weights section acts like this.
5. People that come over and ask how many reps you have left (71%)
You can only assume that people meant sets, not reps. Otherwise, that would mean people are trying to interrupt you mid-set. And there literally couldn't be anything more disturbing when you're working out.
When you're resting, it probably can be mildly annoying when someone asks how many sets you have left. But, again, it's worth putting this one in context of how busy the gym is. No one wants to spend an age training, particularly if you've got a busy day ahead. If that means letting someone know you need the equipment they're using, it's not the worst gym habit to have.
6. Listening to music without headphones (66%)
Music tastes are highly subjective, so the person bench pressing next to you may not want to hear what you're spinning. Stick some headphones in. Even if your phone is on low battery, headphones in can be a good move for blocking out background noise.
7. Not putting equipment away (60%)
This should measure much higher. No one wants to get embroiled in a Takeshi's Castle / Total Wipeout-style assault course on their way to the next machine, so don't leave dumbbells lying around.
8. People watchers (54%)
This can be quite off-putting, but you never know what someone's motivation is when they stare. Are they trying to psyche you out, get in your good books or copy your technique? Who knows.
9. Taking loud phone calls (47%)
This is what locker rooms are for.