Sometimes it’s tough to go to the gym.. Your energy and time starts to drain and the excuses can really pile up. As it turns out, there’s actually some merit to it — some realities of gym life are just downright awful. Here is a list of 18 things you should watch out for in the gym, and how you can avoid them.
18: Lunk Alarms
Yes, Planet Fitness., we’re talking to you. Every gym has “lunks,” meatheads who slam the weight, grunt, and make themselves look silly.
It can be extremely intimidating to be in close proximity with a lunk — it’s also really distracting and annoying to hear an alarm go off..
17: Getting Hit On
It’s funny to watch awkward gym pickup attempts…until it happens to you. This is a more of a problem for women, but men beware, it goes both ways.
This is an interesting one. Klebsiella is a bacteria that’s usually found in human intestines and stool — but can quickly spread in gyms. It results in a variety of infections such as urinary tract infections and pneumonia.
The only thing you can do is take precautionary measures such as wiping down machines and washing your hands.
15: Crowds, Crowds, Crowds
On a Monday night, the chest area of the gym can look like a scene out of Black Friday.
The one thing that I dread more than anything else is working out when the gym is at its busiest. Aside from it being a total liability risk, you just cant seem to get the proper workout done.
I have seen people hit each other with barbells and dumbbells, walk into people using cables and even fight over machines. If your schedule allows it, try to train during off-peak hours.
If you have no choice but to train with the crowds, then I would recommend getting a good pair of headphones and trying to zone out while still being aware of what’s going on around you.
14: Cardio Bangers
Fear (or fear for) the “cardio bangers,” the people that insist on running and pounding on the treadmill as fast and as hard as possible.
These people can be heard from across the gym, usually with headphones on singing and pounding away on the treadmill The “cardio banger’s” distant cousin, the “weight banger,” won’t be too far behind. The “weight bangers” are the people who just slam every piece of machine, dumbbell, or barbell around them. From warm up sets to max effort sets, these guys and girls just slam everything.
While it may sound like a joke, these people can cause a huge distraction for you and can cause you to get hurt. I have been startled many times by people who slam everything down around them.
13: Pricey Concessions
Are you buying protein shakes at your gym? We fear for your wallet.
You’re looking at almost $2 per scoop of protein, not including anything else you may want in your shake!
Let’s not even talk about Gatorade; buy that after every session and you’ll need a small loan. Trust us, there are plenty of effective ways you can train on the cheap.
12: Too Many Stretchers
You know exactly who I’m talking about: those people who insist on stretching directly in front of the mirror where you happen to be.
The stretchers always want more and more room, too. They act as if the gym is all theirs and they take up as much space as they can.
Fear the stretching crowd because they can and will either bump, trip, or generally get in your way — every time
11: Sweaty Equipment
I happen to think this is the most disgusting thing in the gym.
Walking over to a machine. or bench you’re about to use and noticing a huge sweat stain is absolutely gross. These stains can be found on any gym apparatus and the scary thing is that you may leave them around as well.
Please take the time out to wipe down each machine or bench after use.
10: Fitness Clans
It seems that nowadays everyone is part of some strange fitness clan. After every one of their social media posts, you’ll see a weird hashtag #somethingsomethingfitness.
Camaraderie in bodybuilding began with Arnold’s crew in the 70s. The difference was those guys helped each other out. Now it seems that everyone is comparing themselves to each other and conforming to the same rigid training principles.
The gym should be a place where you can experiment and find out what works for you.
Ringworm is a fungal infection that can lead to athlete’s foot, jock itch in men, and yeast infections in women.
Ringworm love warm moist areas like locker rooms, saunas and swimming pools.
Always take extreme precaution in the gym locker room., wear protective footwear, and always wash your hands.
8: The Underground Pharmacy
Be on the lookout for the gym’s snake oil salesman. You know this guy, the one who either owns a supplement store or pretends he does.
This salesman goes around and tries to sell you every product under the sun. “Hey man you need to try Product X? Product X will help you gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.”
Usually this salesman will spit out big scientific words to sound smart and to get you to buy, but don’t be fooled. You don’t need supplements to achieve the body of your dreams. Usually if someone is pedaling product its because they’re trying to make money.
You’re in the gym for results, not for nonsense.
7: Dumbbell/Kettlebell Abyss
The dumbbell abyss, that area of the gym where there is one dumbbell on the rack and the rest are scattered all over the floor. People must forget that the dumbbells belong on the racks and usually in pairs.
There’s nothing worse then having to walk down the whole dumbbell rack to find your 65-pound dumbbell in the area where the 10-pound dumbbells belong. The dumbbell abyss can be extremely dangerous to walk through. Proceed with caution around this area.
If you would like to earn gym cred, try to clean up and organize the dumbbell abyss. Your fellow gym peeps would approve.
6: Sell, Sell, Sell
“Get our one dollar down, $19 a month gym membership sale, three-month personal training packages; buy four shakes get one free…blah blah”
Everywhere you turn in the gym they’re trying to sell you something. Gone are the days of just a plain old gym membership.
Every gym has a new service they want to upgrade you on whether its towel service, tanning, and, heck, some gyms even do your laundry!
It’s nice to have those options available to you but its another thing to be pitched these amenities every time you come in.
5: Misplaced Weights
Hey, we get it, you’re tired at the end of a set, but you need to put the weights back.
People just love to leave plates on the machines and on the ground, trips and rolled ankles be damned.
The worst area is by the leg press — the spot is a mine field. It can’t be said too much: rerack your weights.
4: Not-So-Certified Trainers
The guru personal trainer—every gym has at least one. You know, the guy who tells his clients not to eat his bread only after 12 p.m. and has most of his clients jumping rope and using a Bosu ball.
3: Body Odor
Body odor complaints rank high up on the gym complaint lists. Exercising near someone with body odor can be disgusting and leave you feeling nauseous.
If you come across someone who has a very strong body odor on more than one occasion, alert the staff because more than likely others have noticed it as well. Dealing with people who have body odor can be a tricky thing and it’s best not to make fun or ridicule anyone who has it.
You can help prevent the problem by taking care of your own hygiene. Make sure to keep gym clothes clean and wear deodorant. Avoid using excess cologne. That can be extremely irritating to others and can be more of a distraction.
2: Janky Machines
Malfunctioning machines are a big danger zone to any gym-goer. When a machine. is malfunctioning, it can break during the middle of a set and cause an injury.
I have seen cables snap and machine arms to break off in the middle of people’s set. These injuries can range from minor to severe. In addition, outdated machines can place uneven pressure on your body.
This can hurt your joints, ligaments, and tendons and take focus away from the target muscle. Always check the machines or cables thoroughly before use.
Check all cables before use and avoid using any machines where the cable looks ripped. Report the machine to the gym staff immediately.
1: Staph Infections
The gym is a breeding ground for bacteria. One of the most common infections caught from the gym are staph infections. Staph infections are rashes, pimples, and/or boils on your skin.
If left untreated, the bacteria spreads and can result in pneumonia, sepsis, or meningitis.
Staph infections can be spread through contact by touching or using exercise equipment surfaces, dumbbell and barbell grips or skin-to-skin contact.
BY ANTHONY BEVILACQUA, CPT