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10 things NOT to do at the gym (and 10 ways to deal with the jerks who do)

You can tell a lot about a person just by how they carry themselves at the gym, don’t you think? How people operate in a throng of sweaty (and probably cranky) people vying for limited equipment with limited time can be indicative of how they carry themselves in the real world. And it’s been my experience that people who are rude at the gym are usually rude outside of the gym.

Not that I have to worry about any of my Cool Broads…we don’t check our cool at the door. That’s why after each rule, I include a suggestion as to how to deal with the a-hole who’s violating that rule.

At the gym, Cool Broads…

1.      Don’t cut in line.

    This rule is for people who either a) didn’t graduate from preschool or b) are so worried that they won’t get their favorite spot, that their manners just fly right out of their ears. If you don’t get your favorite spot or all of the equipment is gone by the time you get to the front of the line, c’est la vie. Get to the gym earlier next time. If you disregard the line and bully your way ahead of others, you might get your favorite spot, but you’ll end up looking like an asshole.
    If someone cuts in line: roll your eyes and make a mental note never to invite him/her to a party.

2.      Respect people’s space.

    Whether you’re in a class or the free weight room, don’t crowd those you’re sharing space with. When you put down your yoga mat, make sure that the person next to you has enough room to execute a perfect downward-facing dog. Despite what some may think, most people don’t go to the gym to get closer to others. They’re there to exercise in peace and would rather people not crawl up their bunghole.

    If someone is crowding you: accidentally drop a dumbbell on his/her foot and then apologize by saying that you get nervous and twitchy when people get so close, but you and your shrink are working on that.

3.      Don’t talk loudly on your cell phone.

    If you’re waiting for an important call, put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself before beginning the conversation.

    If someone on the treadmill next to yours is carrying on a loud conversation: act like you’re listening and laugh hysterically when they say something only moderately funny.

4.      Clean up after yourself.

    I love sitting in a puddle of someone else’s bodily fluids (not). It’s gross and with staph infections making their rounds in gyms…it’s also potentially dangerous.

    If someone didn’t wipe down the machine you’re waiting to use: wipe it down yourself, but as you pass by the offender, accidentally spray him/her with the sanitizer and then apologize by saying that you’re a little flustered because you just had to clean up some fat pig’s sweat.

5.      Follow gym rules and use machines for allotted amount of
        time (unless there are several similar machines free).

    Rules are rules. Don’t be a putz.
    If someone is taking up more of their fair share of time: Tell them that if you don’t get on the machine fast, your ass will get big and your pimp will beat you for it.

6.      Put your weights back properly.

    Apparently some people can’t read. The weight stand is marked 10 lbs. because they want you to put the 10 lb. weight there.

    If someone can’t seem to put their weights back where they belong: accidentally drop one of the weights on his/her foot and then apologize by saying that after rearranging the weight stand, due to some idiot’s inability to put the weights back in the right place, your arms are like Jell-O.

7.      Don’t smell up the place (excessive body odor, smelling of
        garlic from last night’s dinner, flatulence, and too much

    Oy…this is never a Cool Broad offense.

    If someone next to you stinks to high heaven: wave your hand in front of your nose and exclaim, “Jesus, do you smell that?”

8.      Don’t camp.

    If you need to take breaks between each set on the weight machines, step off so others can work in. Never sit idly on your machine and carry on a conversation with someone if others are waiting…this is so rude it makes me want to hurt myself.
    If someone camps: Tell her that her ass won’t get any smaller just by sitting there…if it’s a man, tell him that you heard that men who sit on machines for too long without using them will begin to lose their hair.

9.      Don’t stalk:

    Breathing down someone’s neck while they’re using a machine is worthy of a restraining order. Respect their space and stand back until they’re done (don’t worry, they can see you).
    If someone is stalking you: do an extra set (or three) or reps just to piss them off (you’ll pay for it later but, oh well).

10.     Don’t be noisy:

    If someone grunts loudly enough after every lift to startle you: run up to them and ask if they’re ok and whether you need to call the medic.

    If there are some chatty cathies yukking it up loudly enough for everyone else to hear: turn up your iPod and rock to some Cool Tunes from


p.s. though it may seem so, I’m not advocating violence toward anyone…or more specifically, anyone who will sue.

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Tags: attitude · the rules

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Frankie // Jun 3, 2008 at 9:18 am

    I’ll add a pet peeve of mine at the gym.. saving a bike for your friend for a spinning class that fills up quick. You are there in plenty of time, yet can’t take the class because all bikes are reserved (some by people who are not there yet).

  • 2 thatcoolbroad // Jun 3, 2008 at 9:24 am


    I totally agree! It’s not very Cool Broad to prevent someone from taking a class because you’re saving a spot (and to be honest I’m surprised that’s not against the rules).

    If a friend asks you to save her a spot, just tell her that you’re uncomfortable turning away people who get there first. She should understand…if not, have her call me:)


  • 3 Fitarella // Jun 20, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    LOOOOOVE this list!!

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