A Plea for Manners from the Top Eight Gym Jerks

Original Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Debra Roby

Original Image via Flikr Creative Commons, courtesy of Debra Roby

As a writer, I do a lot of sitting on my butt, so it’s pretty critical I make time to get OFF my butt and get a workout. We’ve made it a family routine to go to the gym at the end of each workday, and it’s simply amazing how people act. Were they raised by wolves? Did they just clamber from beneath a rock and only recently joined the human experience known as “social interaction”?

I have no idea how to confront these unsavory characters. Gyms don’t seem to care and apparently it’s poor taste to use a taser at LA Fitness. But maybe we can come up with some creative solutions or at least offer some gym etiquette guidelines for any unwitting offenders.


Sweating is good for us. It means we’re getting a REAL workout. Sweating removes toxins and is a good sign we aren’t suffering from Sjogren’s Syndrome. Yet, to be blunt, some people sweat more than others…A LOT more. In fact, I’ve been trapped next to Human Waterfalls at every Stair Climber since 1992. Most of us are sensitive that some people sweat profusely, and we know it isn’t possible to cover one’s body in Secret Clinical Strength Anti-Perspirant or overuse deodorant unless we want to DIE.

Here’s the thing. We really don’t want sweaty people to die…well, that is until the sweaty person leaves a nasty sweaty mess for US to clean up. There’s this really COOL invention known as a PAPER TOWEL and SPRAY DISINFECTANT (often provided by the gym). Use them.


Again, some things can’t be controlled and we are a sympathetic bunch. Body odor? Might want to consider a bath, deodorant, clean gym clothes, or a change in diet…or at the least, a machine far away from others. We’re grateful for this kind of consideration.


We get that many women are probably trapped at home with a toddler all day and starving for adult conversation (I know I am). Just please don’t do this at prime gym time while sitting on machines. That line standing behind the Gal Pal Coffee Klatsche? There is a limit on how long we’ll wait before plotting how to drown said offenders in the Olympic pool.

Juice bars are for talking with the gal pals. Nautical machines are for, oh I don’t know, WORKING OUT.


Those of us who lift weights know it’s likely we will need more than one weight to work with. This’s fine. Just PLEASE don’t hoard every weight from 5-55 pounds in a corner leaving us nothing to work out with (aside from the leftover medicine balls that the Barbell Hog failed to HOARD that we can toss at his/her head for being an @$$clown).


We’re super impressed when anyone can curl a 100 pound barbell. We’re equally impressed with those who can leg press 5,000 pounds. Just a small thing here. YOUR MOTHER MAY PICK UP AFTER YOU AT HOME, BUT SHE ISN’T WORKING AT THE GYM. I know this might sound insane, but having to unload twenty 45 pound plates just to use a leg press kind of pisses us off. Falling over a pile of barbells that weigh almost as much as we do? NOT a way to make friends. GREAT way to have us make small pe#!$ jokes behind your back.


This might be okay in Sweden or France, but if we’re at a gym in the US? Americans are Puritanical prudes and we have a super hard time maintaining eye-contact when someone is talking to us while stark naked and using the gym’s courtesy blowdryer to fluff their nether-regions.

In fact, it really just makes us want to burn the blow dryer after the offender leaves.


Few things can be more lovely to behold than marvelously sculpted human bodies. We know that those who compete in fitness events have to train, a lot more than those of us just trying to keep it down to ONE @$$. But, could you spread out a little? Taking over six machines with ten closest fitness pals doing 900 sets of 15, while amazing, is seriously annoying. Want to stage a gym coup? Please do so at non prime-time hours.


Want to text? Check e-mail? Update Facebook? AWESOME. We love that stuff, too. What we don’t like is when someone takes up one of the few benches or machines available to play Candy Crush or chat with a new girlfriend.

Exercise is vital and gyms can be a real blessing, but we need to be mindful of others…because 99% of all gym fatalities are actually just murders committed by writers who work out…and research…and know how to make it “look like an accident.”

Kristen Lamb is the author of the #1 best-selling books We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media and Are You There, Blog? It’s Me, Writer. She’s just released her newest best-selling book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital WorldShe’s the founder of the WANA Movement, CEO of WANA International and creator of WANATribe, the social network for creative professionals. Kristen is also a regular columnist for Author Magazine and blogs for Huffington Post.

Follow Kristen on Twitter @KristenLambTX or on Facebook or on her author blog.


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