41 Things You Should Never Do At A Commercial Gym

Steve Shaw
Written By: Steve Shaw
October 31st, 2013
Updated: June 13th, 2020
137.1K Reads
41 Things You Should Never Do At A Commercial Gym
Yo, bro! It's time to clean up your act in the gym. These 41 tips might not help you become a better lifter, but they will help you gain respect and maybe even make a few friends.

Gym GoofballWant to make friends (or not make enemies) and keep your gym membership? The follow is a list of 41 things you should never do at a commercial gym.

1. You should never... put 20 plates on the leg press and leave them there when you are done.

2. You should never... hock a giant yellow or green lugie into the water fountain and leave it there, stuck in the drain, gagging other members.

3. You should never... go to the gym in unwashed workout clothes, smelling like a cross between a post-game NFL locker room and a sewage plant.

4. You should never... sit on a piece of equipment and talk on the phone or text. You are there to lift, not to post social updates or text your epic workout sessions.

5. You should never... walk close to someone deadlifting, squatting, overhead pressing, power cleaning, etc. They are moving heavy weight. Don't distract or disrupt them.

6. You should never... hop in and use someone else's dumbbells or piece of equipment without asking if they are done.

7. You should never... sweat all over a bench or piece of equipment and not wipe it off. No one wants to swim in your salty discharge.

8. You should never... go into stalker mode and stare at girls working out or doing cardio. They notice, bro. They notice. Don't be a creeper.

9. You should never... load up the bench press beyond your one rep max and force a random stranger to spot you - correction, perform heavy barbell rows for you - while you stroke your ego by pretending you were actually moving the bar.

10. You should never... use chewing tobacco in the gym, and walk around spitting into a can.

11. You should never... curl in the squat rack. The squat rack is sacred. That is all you need to know. Save it for people that actually squat.

12. You should never... leave your dumbbells lying around after you're done. Re-rack your weights, amigo.

13. You should never... shadow box in between sets while standing right next to someone in the middle of a set.

14. You should never... assume a bigger lifter isn't natural, and ask them "what they take."

15. You should never... walk around the gym with your lats flared. This is ILS - Imaginary Lat Syndrome, and it is not allowed.

16. You should never... adjust your junk while everyone is watching.

Gym Texting

17. You should never... perform 1/8th inch range of motion leg presses with 2,000 pounds while screaming bloody murder.

18. You should never... randomly go spot another lifter and start screaming IT'S ALL YOU BROOOOOOOOOOO!

19. You should never... correct someone's squat or deadlift form when you don't perform the lifts yourself.

20. You should never... sing loudly while wearing headphones. No one wants to hear you sing bro. No one.

21. You should never... walk up to a random stranger and tell them how to "tweak their workout" for better results.

22. You should never... wear a lifting belt while doing dumbbell tricep kickbacks or teacup laterals.

23. You should never... tell someone that deep squats are bad for their knees.

24. You should never... check your abs in the mirror between every set.

25. You should never... lift your shirt to wipe your face in between every set, so you can show everyone your abs.

26. You should never... ask a girl if she needs a spot on squats. She will let you know if she needs help, bro. She will let you know.

27. You should never... squat or deadlift on a Smith machine. It's wrong. All KINDS of wrong.

Creeper is Watching You28. You should never... try to talk to someone while they are in the middle of a set.

29. You should never... try to talk to someone that has headphones in. If they wanted to talk to you, they would take the headphones out and talk to you.

30. You should never... play the game of "1 up" and tell someone that your high school buddies squatted 700 pounds and bench pressed 400 pounds. Quarter squats and bouncing bench press reps don't count.

31. You should never... do circuit training and hog up 5 stations during peak gym times.

32. You should never... unload someone else's barbell without knowing for certain they are done.

33. You should never... put your "boys" in someone's face when spotting on the bench press.

34. You should never... scream "light weight baby" during every set.

35. You should never... do anything on a bosu ball. They do not make exercises better, they make exercises dangerous.

36. You should never... work chest, biceps and abs 6 days a week.

37. You should never... bring a bag of McDonald's into the gym and eat it on a bench before your workout.

38. You should never... perform 1,000 crunches a day, hoping that six pack abs magically appear.

39. You should never... park your bench station for an exercise right in front of the dumbbell rack so other people can't pass by and find the dumbbells they need.

40. You should never... wear clothing that makes you look like a clown.

41. You should never... wear clothing that makes you look like 10 pounds of Jello in a 5 pound bag.

Anything you would add to this list?

Posted on: Thu, 11/08/2018 - 00:42

what about taking sneaky pictures of women???

Posted on: Sun, 01/31/2016 - 15:26

I understand how smith machine squats might not be the best but the constant bashing gets old. I have a neurological issue that causes me me to have awful balance and I can't squat without a smith machine or I would seriously injure myself.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 02/01/2016 - 09:39

I would encourage you to use whatever equipment allows you to get a good workout. The smith machine is just another tool in the tool box, use it when needed and keep the options diverse whenever possible.

Remember, everyone on the internet has an opinion. However, that doesn't mean they're necessarily right or they understand the context surrounding your situation.

Keep working hard my friend, smith machine or not.

Posted on: Tue, 06/23/2015 - 09:22

Wish someone would do a girls version of this...

Posted on: Mon, 05/25/2015 - 11:27

I agree with all the above, but that's why I have a home gym, so I can if I want to.

Posted on: Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:38

You should NEVER take selfie's of ANY KIND following any work out! Not only is it disruptive, rude and inappropriate, storking your ego in a busy gym with a tasteless selfie makes you look like a tool!

Matt Franklin
Posted on: Fri, 12/12/2014 - 09:52

You should never and I mean never bring an iPad/tablet to the gym so you can watch your favorite TV show sitting on a bench in between sets.

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2014 - 14:43

Don't get a boy band hair cut like texting boy in the photo. Jeff Seid's hair cut is terrible also may I add. Truly horrendous!

Posted on: Mon, 05/25/2015 - 07:58

LOL agree with you on that. Rob Riches has some funky hair going on too

Posted on: Thu, 06/12/2014 - 01:48

Turn off the shower when you're done. I've seen you lift hundreds of pounds out on the gym floor, so I know you're strong enough to give that little valve a decent enough twist to shut it off without breaking your delicate widdle fingers.

Posted on: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 23:24

#2 is wrong wherever you are. Always, always, always wrong. Under every circumstance. It has nothing to do with being at a gym.

Simply Irritated
Posted on: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 20:56

I am a LA Fitness member. This should say it all I work out everyday and am in descent condition or above intermediate level. These are annoying things I observe or have experienced personally that irritate the SH%# out of me.
1.Crowded peak time on a bench, get off your cell phone!!
2.Soccer mom talks on cell while on treadmill.
3.Old timers run to the urinals whip it out before arriving in front of urinal and pull it out from the side of shorts? WTH?
4.Knuckle head in sauna blasting music from cell phone speaker stretching, yes inside the sauna!
5.Old timer wipes jock itch facing you while you are onin route to take leak. Turn please, about face please.
6.College kid passes gas standing next to me on pull down machine. This is a true story he let one rip and it stunk.I called him out on it his buddy was egging me on to knock him out.

Posted on: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 20:20

#8 I cannot help. It's motivation, bro!

Posted on: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 20:16

39 is on point. Nothing more annoying when people walk strait up to the dumbbell rack and start doing shrugs or curls or ANYTHING right over the rack...get the d-bells and step back!

Posted on: Wed, 06/11/2014 - 20:14

Never wear sunglasses inside the gym. It's not that bright.

Posted on: Wed, 07/29/2015 - 05:19

I actually had to grab mine once. Our gym put in new lights right above the bench

Posted on: Wed, 12/11/2013 - 14:20

I was one of those "fat people", and to some, I still am. I hate the looks of derision. I have a serious thyroid condition that I fight every day of my life. I have a trainer, I eat a healthy diet, I do serious lifting to keep me as healthy as possible. Just because my muscels aren't always visible doesn't mean I am not an athlete.

Posted on: Wed, 11/13/2013 - 01:55

Should never go to the gym when you are sick and get other sick. Plain selfish.

Posted on: Mon, 11/11/2013 - 09:48

PLEASE REMOVE ALL THE 'BRO' WORDS, its annoying, bro!

David Meyerson
Posted on: Sun, 11/10/2013 - 23:18

this is so great. funny also. I love the light weight baby!!! big ron!

Charles brite
Posted on: Sun, 11/10/2013 - 17:59

Who goin stop me who goin stop me

Posted on: Wed, 11/06/2013 - 04:56

You must be coming to my gym, I see all most everything you mentioned on the list, the young muscle heads come in the afternoons and walk around posting on face book and looking like someone shoved an air hose up their ass, wish there was another gym close by, get away from thr pretty people

Posted on: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 20:42

Totally agree with number 4 and number 12. This is rampant in my gym and it annoys the heck out of me.

Glenn Buterol
Posted on: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 20:05

Somebody should probably tell Jay Cutler to stop squatting in the smith. That guy must not have a fucking clue!

Posted on: Mon, 05/25/2015 - 13:42

I agree, the smith machine squat bashing is kinda annoying

Trevor Champagne
Posted on: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 09:44

#42 never... Stand around a machine w/ all your buds,talk for 15mins, and bearly use that machine at all!

Courtney L. Townsel
Posted on: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 18:32

How about "Don't cry about lifting chalk on your gloves!" Or "Don't complain when a "REAL" lifter is moving heavy weight and making noise on the heavier reps of a set."

Posted on: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 13:50

Jeez, never would have thought M&S was frequented by almost as many trolls as YouTube...

Why does everyone feel like the internet is the ultimate outlet to show the world how considerate you are? Go out and do something if it matters to you.

Posted on: Wed, 07/29/2015 - 18:54

Isn't that what you're doing... In this very comment? The irony should not escape you.

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 22:22

Lot of good points and comments, but the bosu ball is dangerous? Don`t agree, it allows me to work in my basement without a bench, and prefer this to a bench, to each his own.

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 01:20

Don't go into the hot sauna with all your sweaty workout clothes on. Older guys? Don't use the community hair dryer to dry your balls.

Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 22:33

so someone with spinal arthritis should free weight squat and not use a Smith machine because the writer knows whats best for the trainee better than the sports medicine doc....

Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 07:39

Don't drop your guts (fart) for everyone to smell, even in an empty gym.

Jennifer Zingalie
Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 06:26

I do not understand what is wrong with squatting on a smith machine. If you do not have a spotter this a safe way to squat heavy. ALSO-- for beginners it provides good muscle memory on your form. MANY people use a smith machine for squats so this is new to me.

Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 02:19

Don't be that guy(or girl) with TONS OF F*&^%ING COLOGNE ON!!!! It's annoying

Posted on: Sat, 11/02/2013 - 00:32

I thought I agreed with #4 until I started using my cell phone to count my rests. Might as well get a little solitaire in while waiting 60 seconds...

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 22:47

If i need a spot in the gym and you have headphones in, you better believe im going to at least ask.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 22:46

Men should never wear tight spandex that molds around their junk. I dont want to see your package.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 22:09

About headphones. I don't use them. I don't like the distraction. When I'm lifting my mind is on the weights and my body NOT the music. Also a gym is not a gym unless I hear grunting and the sound of dumbells dropping etc
. I don't think its impolite to talk to someone on headphones as long as it doesn't take too long. I introduce myself and they willingly take off their headphones. Ive seen them take it off four or five times until our introductions or conversations have a good stopping point and we both know we have to get back to weights.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 21:01

Do not use the EZ Curl bar for anything but curls. No front squats and no deadlifts

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 20:30

Don't do a single bicep curl until you can do 4x12 pullups.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 20:04

Today I was on a treadmill next to a guy who was wearing so much cologne I could hardly breathe. It's annoying, distracting, and made me move elsewhere.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 19:43

I think you covered it. These are like unwritten rules in the gym I use. Staff gives em the boot when they start this. This needs to be posted every gym and fitness center!! Great job.

john delashmit
Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 19:32

27 is absurd. Rack pulls and smith squats are fine. Shake my Head

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 16:42

"Shake my head" ----- LOL

Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 17:06

Only absurd if you have a mangina and are clueless.

john delashmit
Posted on: Sun, 11/03/2013 - 17:20

Rack pulls in a smith machine will improve dead lift strength. Using smith squats to change leg positioning and work different muscles in the thigh hamstring area. Yea I'm clueless internet tough guy.

ryan G
Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 19:00

Adrian Peterson only only does SMITH Machine squats.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 18:38

I bet no one would tell ronnie coleman s@#t if he was breaking these rules. good list though.

Posted on: Fri, 11/01/2013 - 18:37

you should never ... assume just cuz yer bigger that no one else can call themselves a 'bodybuilder'.