Gym Pet Peeves: His & Hers

Gym pet peeves. You know you have ’em. Whether it’s that sweaty dude who left a puddle on the bench press or that old guy oh-so-brazenly breaking a rousing treadmill speed of 1.3 mph. Those things that— ugh, you know as soon as you walk into the gym and you see them happening— make you want to beeline towards the nearest punching bag! But the truth is that what sets us “wimmin folk” off isn’t always the same as what sets those testosterone-laden dudes off! So today, fellow fitness blogger Peter Doesburg and I have collaborated to square off with our list of his and hers gym pet peeves. Keep reading to find out what really gets our gym-going goats!

Author Pic His: the Locker Room

Every workout starts in the locker room. Most of the time it takes me exactly 67 seconds to put on my shoes, stuff my bag in a locker, fill my water bottle and get on with things.

BUT beware, the mens locker room can be a dodgy place where you have to navigate awkward conversations about protein shakes, the inevitable bent-over naked 80 year old man, somebody shaving his pubes, and (perhaps worst of all) the overly-social midlife crisis dad… who is clearly stalling so he doesn’t have to go home yet. And, of course, his best stalling tactic is to take selfies of his 11 inch arm cannons in the mirror with his nike-top, snapback cap and matching headphones. #gunshow

Combine this with a very typical “aroma” that is the same in locker rooms around the world, and you can imagine why the locker room is not my kinda place. It IS fascinating, however.

  Hers: the Locker Room Towel Tango

A magical thing happens in the ladies locker room. No, no, sorry to disappoint you, guys out there, but there are no pillow fights, girl on girl hugs, or romps in lingerie. But these women— they must be pure magicians— they can go from work clothes to workout clothes, sweaty clothes to showering, and showering to clothed again… ALL WITHOUT EVER BEING NAKED! They wrap their towels around their bodies, clench down on it with their chin for dear life, and do the towel tango… all while shimmying a pair of panties up, fastening the hooks on a bra, what-have-you. Seriously ladies, I haven’t deciphered how exactly you do it, but I have narrowed down that you’re either MacGuyver or Harry Potter. I’m just trying to figure out which one still.

Ladies, I got a secret for ya’ll— because clearly your mama never told you about the birds and the bees. The breasts? All women have ’em (some more than others, but, darlings, I’ll leave that for another talk entirely…). The vagina (it’s practically like I can hear you giggling via the internet!)? All women have one of those too. Shocking, I know… but true! So you can spare yourself the towel tango. Honestly it looks like more of a workout than anything you’re doing in the gym— but that kind of body shame just isn’t healthy. No one is there to look at you, judge you… hell, even care about you. Just do what you gotta do, ladies.

Author Pic His: the Facebooker

Obviously, the best time to check up on the latest cat videos, update your status to “killing it at the gym,” and RSVP ‘yes’ to Diana’s awesome pool party this weekend is at the gym while doing 30 kg leg presses to infinity. We all know that a workout didn’t happen unless it was posted on Facebook, but still… really?

I don’t get people that are so involved with their Facebook comments and Instagram likes that they forget they are there to work out. I love leaving my phone at home for those 2 hours I’m in the gym, but I guess I’m not as important as other people think they are 🙂

Taking your phone to the gym for music is semi-acceptable, but keep it in your pocket! Don’t wanna work out, but check your feeds? Please do that at home and stop hogging equipment. And ESPECIALLY don’t get mad at me when I say something about it.

 Hers: “… Let me take a selfie!”

If you’ve ever worked out regularly at a gym, then chances are you’ve been guilty of a gym selfie at least once. The “omg look at my gym outfit in the locker room mirror” selfie. The “yup, I’m using this heavy ass piece of equipment and I just so happened to think—- wow, this is the perfect time for a photo” selfie. The “I’m totally gonna take a picture of the amount of weight I’m squatting, because my Instagram followers definitely want to see that” selfie. It’s cool. I mean, it makes me suddenly have the urge to switch my workout of the day to kickboxing your face… but, I mean, yeah, it’s totally cool… not.

We live in a digital age, and even workouts are digital now. People check in at the gym, monitor their workout apps, snap a pic of their treadmill times, listen to a streaming workout radio station… ummm, anything and everything related to workouts— there’s an app for that. I get it. This is how we connect with people nowadays. But don’t be so busy connecting with others online that you’re being downright rude to others who are… you know, actually standing right there. Awkwardly waiting to walk across the gym floor without accidentally getting snapped in the background of your gym mirror pic. Frustratedly waiting to use that piece of equipment you’re treating like your personal photo op. Dial it down a notch. Is there an app for that? Please, someone tell me there is.

Author Pic His: “It’s in my schedule!”

Sometimes you see people do things with low weight or poor form or do the same routine for months. When asked, more often than not the reply is: “well its in my schedule”. Obviously the next question to ask is; do you see any results or changes by following this schedule? Followed by some awkward standing around and an answer that sort of fades off into some kind of excuse of just getting back into things or something.

No everybody has to lift like an animal or become a powerlifter, but a bit of enthusiasm and self-thinking is the least you can put into it right?!

 Hers: Cardio Queens

What the heck is a schedule, anyway? Whoa— you mean I can do something at the gym OTHER than cardio? Blasphemy! Many women’s idea of workout variation means choosing which piece of cardio equipment to use that day: “hmmm, treadmill, elliptical, or stepper… decisions, decisions!”

Far too many women at the gym are monogamous with cardio, when, in fact, they need to get out there and flirt with all the gym equipment. Women have bought into the idea that cardio ad infinitum alone will get them the firm bodies they want, and they often fear weight lifting out of some misguided notion that they’ll wind up looking like men. Absolutely untrue!

The fact is that any workout schedule is incomplete without a healthy balance of both cardio and strength (and more… but I won’t delve into that here!). Ladies, you won’t get firm bodies from spending hours on the elliptical yet never picking up a single weight at the gym. You’ll just wind up looking like Tara Reid. Or Miley Cyrus. Or worse (is that possible?). Go lift heavy things. Go squat even heavier things. Whatever you do, just pick up some weights. For the love of god!

Author Pic His: Music

My gym is aimed at old people and housewives, which is fine of course. But that means they also play music catering to those groups pretty much exclusively.

I seriously suspect my gym to have only 1 playlist of golden oldies, 60’s swingers and 80’s pop rock which is frankly driving me crazy. Sure it doesn’t have to be all thunder dome epic techno blasting at full force at seven in the morning, but I’m sure there is an acceptable middle ground somewhere.

I struggle to believe that anyone ever had a good workout on Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

 Hers: the Melodious Sounds of Weight Lifters

Slamming weights and grunting weight lifters. You know what I’m talking about! Look, I lift heavy. And if I can lift x amount of weight… guess what? I can reasonably return that weight to the ground without slamming it, throwing it, or clanging it. Sure, accidents happen, and maybe you set something down once in a while with more vigor than you meant to. Totally understandable. But if, after each and every set, you’re slamming your weights down— get a freaking reality check! It’s no accident, it’s no inability to control the weight… it’s just you being a meathead and wanting to draw attention to yourself. STOP.

The grunts? Man, if I closed my eyes and walked into my gym, I swear I might think I mistakenly walked onto the set of an all-guy porno. The grunting is 100% unnecessary. Like I said, I lift heavy. Let me tell you— never once have I had the experience of “oops, better grunt real loud or else I won’t make this lift!” Not.even.once! Again, it’s all about attention, bravado, and just generally being annoying. Knock it off. Lift without grunting or don’t lift at all.

Author Pic His: Un-Racked Weights

It might be just me, but I think it is downright rude to leave your plates on the bar after you are done using them. Why would anyone have to spend his or her time cleaning up after you?

I personally don’t have OCD or anything (or at least I think so) but weights in the incorrect order just piss me off. It is NOT that difficult to put the 10kg plate back on the pin with other 10kg plates!!!!

 Hers: “Here, let me spot you.”

I once hit up the gym post-run still clad in my running gear. I just so happened to be wearing a running skirt… which, in case you don’t know, is basically a skort (skirt+shorts=skort). I was busting out some killer pull ups, when suddenly I noticed a creepy dude loitering underneath me. It dawned on me that Mr. Creepster was attempting to sneak a peak up my skirt while I was on the pull up bar— totally unaware that his molesting eyes didn’t stand a chance due to the shorts underneath. When I copped an attitude with him after I was done, he claimed he was “just trying to spot me.” From what, the 1 foot drop to the ground? Yeah, he was trying to “spot me” alright.

Creepsters aside, this is a common pick up line in gyms. “Here, let me spot you” or “here, let me show you how to do that.” Guess what? It just makes me want to punch you. Guys, first of all, if I need a spot, I have two things— called a mouth and a brain (what, are you not used to women having those and using them properly?!)— that enable me to just ask for one. Fancy that! And, second of all, if I do happen to need a spot, then I’m gonna have to ask someone who can actually lift the same as, if not more, than me. Sorry, guys, but a strong woman needs a strong man… not a crappy spotter!

Guest Author Bio:

Peter has been into sports all his life doing anything from basketball, tennis and field hockey to squash, swimming and of course fitness and weightlifting. After running a social media marketing business for nearly 5 years, he decided it was time to turn things around and focus on his passion for sports and turn that into a business. Peter teaches his clients a no-nonsense approach of hard work, solid nutrition and proper rest. No room for fad diets and food hypes, but back to the basics of fitness and bodybuilding and making this a part of life. Based in Amsterdam with his wife and baby son, Peter is living the fitness lifestyle to the fullest and helping others to achieve their own goals.

Check out Peter’s blog for more information: Professional Gymrats.

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