5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Fitness Class. Like Ever.

I’ve been spending some quality time at the gym lately.  And when I say quality, I mean sweat pouring down the face, heart rate thumping, Quality Time. Running and I haven’t broken up. We’re just seeing other people.

In fact, we’ve been “dating.” And for now, we’re getting along brilliantly. We see each other 3 or so times a week- for breakfast, coffee and an early supper. The rest of the week I have been flirting with Group Classes at my gym- Spin, Group Ride, Body Pump and Group Centergy (or Spin, Spin, Full Body Weight Training and Yoga for the non-Les Mills familiar folk). I’m loving it. I’ll admit it. It’s been a nice balance lately. I feel stronger. I’m sore. I’m peppy. I look forward to Running. All good—with one teeny tiny exception.What NOT to do.

Exercise in a group setting is incredibly motivating. Follow along like a nice little worker bee, and you’ll get something out of it- a boost in energy, a feeling of “We’re all in this sweat lodge together, Kids!”, and a great workout. It’s kind of mindless. But, it’s a Group. As in: A Bunch of Strangers. With Group Fitness comes great responsibility, a Code of Etiquette.  Sometimes, people forget they’re in a PUBLIC space, and not in their clothing strewn bedroom in front of their mirror, semi-clad in side crow, taking selfies, and tweeting them. So, with Group Fitness in mind, here are a few gentle reminders of what NOT to do when you’re working out with 40 of your new Gym BFFs.

  1. Wear Clothes. As in, wear actual shorts, not virtual shorts. It’s fantastic that you can rock a pair of booty shorts and subsequently bounce a quarter off of your ass. I say, BRAVO!  Butt, as you’re bending over flat backed, and grabbing a swig of your coconut water, be considerate of the people behind you who can see every square inch of you. INSIDE AND OUT. And listen, we all haven’t had enough coffee for that. Or vodka for that matter. Clothes. Wear them. And please be sure they cover your bits.cardio exercise
  2. Check Yourself Out. Of course, if you’re checking your form out while lifting a ton of weights, that’s perfectly acceptable. That’s what the 400 mirrors lining the room are there for. Here’s what they’re not there for: They are not there for you to bust out your lipstick and re-line your lips before re-applying MAC Viva Glam V to your perfect pout before class is even finished. It’s distracting. It’s also not hawt. It’s ridiculous. You’re in the middle of class which is still going on. Stop, Vanity Smurf. Stop.I am pumped
  3. Social Media. Stop posting in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YikYak, Tinder, Plenty of Fish or whatever the hell the app of the moment is. PUT THE PHONE DOWN. It’s only a goddamn hour. Sixty stinking minutes. Unplug. While you’re following along on the floor doing planks, they’re standing there in the middle of class, dumbbell in one hand, iPhone in the other totally oblivious. I’m sure they’re getting in one hell of a workout {insert audible eye roll}. Again, it’s distracting. And rude. Stop wasting everyone’s time. OURS especially.Gym Meme
  4. Spread out. Weights. Plates. Mat. Risers. Phone. Keys. Hoodie. Water. Supplements. A Ziploc baggie of grilled chicken. All things EVERYWHERE. I mean really. Keep it together. Class is tight. You’re making it tighter. I’m waging a campaign against gymspreading. Be considerate people. I’m next to you. If you’d stop instagramming pics of how much weight you’re squatting, look up, and actually squat the damn weight, you’d know you weren’t alone. #stopthespreadmanspreading
  5. Do your own thing. You might be able to get away with this to a degree in spin, but in a class where you’re laying on a bench doing tricep extensions, and they’re standing doing clean and presses right over your head? Um. NOT GOOD. The same goes for group instruction that’s choreographed, albeit with a slight exception. If I do my own thing in Zumba, it’s because I have no goddamn idea what the steps are, I’m just pretending I’m Jenny from the Block. That’s why I’m in the back. They’re being rude, distracting and dangerous. I’m clueless with minimal rhythm. We know you’re an individual. Do your thang, Girl. Do your thang. Just don’t do it over my head with that wobbly plate dangling off the bar.  Don’t be THAT person. No one likes them. do your thing mindy project

I wish I could tell you that I just sat here, making this shit up. But alas, all this is true. Sweet Jesus. I’ve seen it all the past few weeks. Consider this post a Gym PSA. 🙂

What’s the worst behavior you’ve ever seen in class? Ready? GO!


46 thoughts on “5 Things You Shouldn’t Do in a Fitness Class. Like Ever.

  1. I am getting hives just reading this. Thank you for reminding me why I do not go to the gym. I would have a breakdown.
    And I’m particularly annoyed at the mishandling of Viva Glam V. LOVE Viva Glam V (but don’t wear it to the gym that I don’t go to).

    • Did it take out the back row or what?!?! I’m dying reading this. Look gas happens. Christ, everyone toots. But in BIKRAM?!?! That must have hung in that million degree room like a mushroom cloud.

      I am so sorry.

  2. Hilarious!

    Okay, so I’ll be mean and say the worst behavior I’ve seen in class is having horrifically pungent body odor. I went to a co-ed bootcamp up until just recently and there was this very nice man there but he had VERY bad BO. Everyone avoided him. It was sad, but his own fault. Nobody should be “that guy.”

  3. Holy crap I cannot stop laughing!!! My gym has no mirrors, treadmills or clocks. It definitely eliminates issues and the offenders you encounter. If I stopped during trap bar sets to take a selfie, slap on some gloss or show the world the stack of plates I would end up pushing one of the sleds til I puked.

    • You totally would! Other than crossfit boxes which have zero mirrors, I haven’t been in a gym/fitness club in YEARS. Like before everyone was tethered to their smart phones which really isn’t THAT long ago. 2 years maybe?!?!

  4. Ha, this made me kind of glad I can’t find any classes to go to! But the worst gym offenders were the 3 who rolled in straight from the party the night before and proceeded to walk and scream at each other on the treadmills. It was 5am… maybe that’s part of the reason I don’t exercise in the morning anymore. 🙂

    • That is EPIC. I will admit that after a night of hanging with Mr. Patron, I dragged my hungover ass to a spin class. By the time I was done the chick next to me was drink off fumes. I actually apologized. #sweatitout

  5. haha oh girl, I have a whole list! As a trainer and group ex instructor I’ve seen it all! I always encourage people to have fun and to remember to arrive on time! It’s tough to get a new member set up after I’ve gotten everyone else started. Can’t wait to hear more fun gym stories!

  6. Dont wear a full face of makeup…or bronzer. We are at the gym…we all look like shit. I was in spin class and there was a woman in front of me whose towel looked like she had wiped her butt with it…her face melted off and she wiped it up.

    • About 78 years ago, I took a class called Slide, Hoop and Jump. If that doesn’t scream 1990s fitness I don’t know what does. It was Reebok Slide, Hula Hoop and Jump Rope. It was a total SHIT SHOW. But, I did manage to get a kick ass workout in! 🙂

  7. I agree with 4/5 of your points. People on the phone text-ing/facebook-ing/farmersonly-ing drives me nuts. One pet peeve of mine that you missed is people working out in scrubs. Either they’re bringing ebola to the gym, or they’re bringing it back to the hospital. Come on man!

    The one I disagree with is #1. I for one don’t mind if the ladies aren’t leaving much to the imagination, but that’s just me. In fact, I think this video demonstrates the perfect group workout class (watch the whole thing, I think you’ll get a giggle):

    • You. Are. A. Mess. Now that’s a trend that went away thankfully—-the leotard thong look. There were a few chicks at my really old gym who rocked that look. In the words of the almighty Tim Gunn, That’s a Whole Lotta Look.

      Ahhhh the Scrub Worker Outers. That is something I have NEVER understood. Leave that Lhasa Fever Frock at the hospital for god’s sake. Ick.

  8. I have been a Spinning Instructor for more years than I would care to admit, but I have come up with a few rules:
    1. No Talking! OK, during warm-up or cool-down I really don’t give a crap, but if you are chatting about your deadbeat ex-spouse or about an “interesting” accounting problem, you are clearly not working hard enough. Guess what chatterbox, the class is about to get a whole heck -of-a-lot harder.
    2. No scents! No perfume, cologne, body odor, gas. Particularly gas—look when you show up ten minutes early and let one fly, bringing tears to my eyes I know it was you genius.
    3. Show up with enough time to set up your bike properly before class and if you have no idea how to do that, ask! When your saddle suddenly drops all the way to the bottom with a large bang, people are going to think you are the biggest fool. Avoid that.
    4. Keep your singing under control. Look, I get it, I play some kick-ass tunes and I also like to lip synch along, but there is a reason why you are listening to them and not vice-versa—keep it under control Pavorotti.
    5. Put some resistance on your bike. Even my grandmother can keep that 40 pound flywheel moving without any resistance on it. And she is dead.
    6. Don’t race. If you have not noticed Mr. Armstrong, we are not moving—you will finish the class in the exact same spot you started it. Unless of course you ignored Rule #3 and managed to fall of your bike.

    • LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS! Words of wisdom from THE Drunken Cyclist!!! I’m laughing. And I can’t agree with you more!!!! I was hoping you would read this little ditty and chime in. Talking during spin is THE WORST and while I am sorry for your Gram, you’re right. 100%. I have never let one fly in spin (or yoga), I have spun post-Tequila haze and I stunk so badly I had to apologize to the women around me. I smelled like a sweaty bachelor party. So not cute. Great stuff I tell ya.

      Blue Agave

  9. Omg gym spreaders are THE.WORST. Today in yoga, a guy came and put his mat not even an arm’s length away from mine. The class was not that crowded. There was plenty of room for him to go elsewhere. But I found myself shying away from him anytime I needed to move my arms – total mojo breaker.

  10. I’m dying here. I totally agree with all of these. You took me right back to a similar “wear clothes” experience when there was a guy in loose shorts in front of me in a yoga class. I’m sure you can guess where I’m going with this.

    Also…a woman in another yoga class who I guess had the sniffles, but rather than move off her mat and grab a tissue opted to blow her nose on her PANT LEG.

    • BLEW HER NOSE ON HER PANT LEG?! That’s beyond gross. Although I will have to say that right now I am so tight and sore, that the odds of my nose getting anywhere near my pant leg is about zero to none. Lookit her go. Pigpen that she is. Lose shorts in a yoga class? That is just wrong. Plain old wrong. Eek!

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