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12 Annoying Habits You Have at the Gym, According to Fitness Center Workers

Don't be that guy.

1 / 12

You put equipment back in the wrong spots

When you leave a disorganized mess behind you, fitness center employees are the ones left with cleaning up your mess. Plus, you’re ruining the experience for other gym-goers in the meantime, says personal trainer Alfa Yau. “They will have to run around looking for a particular piece of equipment in the middle of a workout, dropping their heart rate and disrupting their rhythm,” he says. (These gym hacks make workouts less of a chore.)

2 / 12

You sit on equipment without using it

Taking a breather between reps is one thing, but give someone else the chance to use the machine if your idea of a break is scrolling through Instagram for ten minutes. “I understand that you need to take rests, but it doesn’t take 20 minutes to do three intervals of leg curls,” says a former Planet Fitness worker. (Find out how to get over a weight-loss plateau.)

3 / 12

You drop your weights loudly

No matter how exhausted your muscles feel after a set, take the time to put your weights down gently. Letting them crash to the ground puts others at risk for injury. “It can startle people and may lead to accidents since people are generally focused while performing an exercise,” says Yau. “A thunderous noise from a sudden barbell drop can ruin the concentration of the person and have them fail to perform the exercise correctly and safely.”

4 / 12

You don’t wipe down your machine

You want to build a sweat during your workout, but that also means you could leave an icky puddle after using a machine. “It is disgusting and unsanitary to leave your sweat on a piece of equipment,” says Yau. “Who wants skin rashes, right?” Wipe down your equipment after you’re done so no one else has to sit in your sweat.

5 / 12

You socialize more than you work out

Snagging a treadmill next to your friend so you can talk could help make physical activity more fun. But chatting without touching the equipment makes it seem like you’re loitering. “A gym is a gym, and you should treat it as a gym—not a hangout,” says a former Planet Fitness worker. “They’re just floating around. It’s a gym. Do something.” (Here are tips to start exercising when you’re overweight.)

6 / 12

You can’t stay off your cell phone

Something about a loud phone call is more irksome than hearing a two-way conversation. “Talking on the phone while working out is a general no-no at the gym,” says Yau. “Who wants to hear your phone conversations while working out?” Go outside if you have to take a call. (Find out if you’re a phone addict here.)

7 / 12

You’re an equipment hog

Even if you want to alternate between machines, you can’t physically use more than one at a time. “Telling people you’re using multiple equipment drives people nuts,” says a former Planet Fitness worker. No calling dibs on one machine while you’re busy with another. Don’t be greedy—give other people the chance to use any equipment you don’t need at the moment. (Here’s how to tell if it’s time to switch up your workout.)

8 / 12

You’re a no-show at an appointment

If you can’t make an appointment with your trainer, cancel it beforehand instead of ghosting the person. “People often don’t understand that trainers at the gym are only there for an appointment,” says Yau. “If the appointment doesn’t show up for their appointment or cancel ahead of time, the trainer arrived at the gym for naught—no pay or compensation for time wasted to commute.” As soon as you know you won’t make it, let your trainer know so he or she can plan around it. Read these other secrets personal trainers won’t tell you.

9 / 12

You wear equipment you don’t need

There’s no need to pull on weight-lifting gloves or belts for leg day. “You’re wearing stuff you don’t need to just to look like you know what you’re doing,” says a former Planet Fitness worker. Instead of trying to prove yourself, wear only what you need to have an effective workout. (Here’s why exercise is so important if you have diabetes.)

10 / 12

You haven’t washed your clothes since your last workout (or five)

Sure you’re just going to sweat some more, but don’t pull on a stinky shirt that’s already seen a few workouts since laundry day. “Advice to everyone who works out every day: Either do your laundry consistently or change your workout clothes,” says Yau. “Sweat tends to leave a big stink.” (Don’t miss these mind-blowing facts about laundry.)

11 / 12

You chow down in the workout area

Wait until you leave the exercise are before digging in to your post-workout meal. “Nobody wants to see crumbs or marinara sauce on the bench or in the whirlpool,” says Yau. “Most gyms have lounges or shake shops for that.” And stop making these post-gym mistakes that could ruin a workout.

12 / 12

You come once a month and expect results

Leaving weeks between gym sessions could frustrate your personal trainer. “Consistency is important,” says Yau. “After you come out of the dentist for a cleaning, your teeth look great, correct? Now what happens if you don’t brush your teeth for two weeks following that?” Use these secrets of women who manage to work out every day if you’re serious about seeing results.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.