The Worst People You Meet at the Gym

People You Meet at the Gym
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

If you've spent any time at the gym, chances are it confirmed your suspicions about humanity: People are the worst. Whoever thought it was a good idea to cram sweaty people into a confined space where they're purposely engaged in painful activities that stimulate the release of testosterone must have been insane.

And yet, gyms continue to exist, and people continue to use them. Especially terrible people. Like these true winners.

The Extreme Grunter

It may sound like Drowning Pool is holding an audition for new bandmembers in the vicinity of the squat racks, but those are really just the meatheads who somehow missed the memo that grunting, yelling, and throwing weights isn't necessary.

It's one thing to let out a few low-level grunts toward the end of a set -- you're exerting yourself, after all -- but it's another thing entirely to heave and bellow with each repetition as a way to draw attention to yourself. No one cares how much you're lifting, but if you need to make that much damn noise, it's definitely too much.

The Staring Creep

This guy’s been coming to the gym for five years, and yet somehow he treats ever glimpse of yoga pants like an adolescent boy who just found his dad's Playboy stash (you know, back when dads had those).

Somehow he thinks no one ever notices, which is almost as delusional as thinking his thousand-yard stare is an effective mating technique.

The Groper

At least the Staring Creep keeps his distance. This card-carrying member of the Donald Trump School of Seduction is always offering to "spot you," which to him translates as "grab anything that isn't the bar."

The "Expert"

Mansplainers, womansplainers, they're all out in full force at the gym. Sometimes they're offering unsolicited advice as an excuse to cozy up to the opposite sex. Sometimes they're just self-absorbed assholes. ALL of the time they're the worst. If you don't work there, keep it to yourself.

Perfect Couple

The Perfect Couple

It's great that you and your bae are swolemates. It's not great that you're weirding everyone out with slobbery yoga mat kisses and who-knows-what in the hot tub. How about letting that tension build and saving the theatrics for home? Or at least the ride home?

The Equipment Hog

You have one body. Therefore, you should only take up one piece of equipment at any given time. "Claiming" multiple machines or benches in the name of your superset is fine if you're the only person at the gym, but it's straight-up unacceptable if other people are waiting.

Same thing goes for hoarding equipment -- rounding up three sets of dumbbells, two medicine balls, a BOSU ball, a bench, a barbell, and a squat rack all at the same time is both rude and a slippery slope on the path to one day owning 1,000 cats.

The Narcissist

I'm sure your Instagram followers appreciate your constant stream of workout selfies, but the other people at the gym? You know, the real-life people you're surrounded by? They just want to use that bench you're hogging while watching the likes roll in for your most recent #gains post.

The Bro Brigade

One bro by himself at the gym is (usually) relatively harmless. As they multiply, so do loud conversations about protein, mirror flexes, and oddly sexually charged high-fives. And somehow, without fail, their next exercise is ALWAYS the one you wanted to do.

The Clueless Parent

No, it's not cool if your 10-year-old runs on the treadmill while you lift weights. No, it's not cool if you set up your preschooler to color on the bench next to you while you do a chest press. No, it's not cool for your tween to sit on a random machine to bide time while you exercise. While bars and gyms are drastically different places, their patrons feel remarkably similar about the presence of your child in there.

The Super Soaker

Gyms are one of the only socially acceptable places to sweat up a storm -- no one's hating on you for that. Some people can't help but sweat a LOT -- no one's hating on you for that either. But sweating a lot and failing to take advantage of the wipes, sprays, and paper towels that are literally everywhere? Yes, people are very much hating on you for that. Especially if it's butt sweat. Gross.


The Roid-Rager

Telltale signs: an empty milk jug and a fire in his eyes that says "I just might snap at any moment -- both physically and emotionally."

The Conversationalist

Occasionally fits in a set in between an endless stream of catch-up conversations with his/her gym "friends." God help everyone if they just finished a triathlon. Avoid eye contact if you want to make it out in less than two hours.

The Weirdly Aggressive Stretcher

Look, stretching is definitely important, but it's 100% possible to prepare yourself for a workout without that much time with your ass in the air. Don't you know there are staring creepers around? When was the last time you actually strained a hip flexor?

The Overprepared Single

There's nothing wrong with meeting someone at the gym if it happens organically. There's something kindof wrong with women working out in full makeup and guys spending as much time gelling their hair as they do on the floor. Haven't you seen romantic comedies? It'll happen when you least expect it!

The Locker Room Thief

Somehow never gets caught? Theory: Big Smartphone is out there raiding gym locker rooms to drum up more business. IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE, YOU GUYS. HOW DEEP DOES THIS GO?!?!

The Overexcited TV Viewer

You've 100% seen this episode of The Big Bang Theory already, calm down.

The Super-Good-Looking in-Shape Person Who Just Seems to Have It Together

Fuck you.

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Laura Williams is an exercise physiologist, fitness writer, and former gym manager who has done battle with all of these terrible people. They really are as awful as they seem. Connect on Twitter @girlsgonesporty.