My Big Mouth: People seriously need to start respecting gym etiquette

Comment by John McDougall 

It seems being healthy is so rammed down our throats these days that we should feel guilty for not leading a good lifestyle or, heaven forbid, not have a gym membership draining our ever-dwindling bank balances. 

As a gym member who frequents two or maybe even three times a week if I can, I’ll admit I’m not the most in-shape chap in the world, but I certainly like to keep fit.    

In January I noticed an influx of new faces as those with a keep fit New Year’s resolution kept their promise to themselves and joined a gym.

Somewhat predictably though, the usual good intentions of some saw them drop off after a few weeks and fall by the wayside.

That is no surprise as there is the huge financial commitment involved, with some gyms charging as much as £90 per month, while others ultimately decide it is not their cup of tea.    

For those that stay though, they find a whole new world of irritations and annoyances that only a gym-goer can understand.

First of all, there’s the real hardcore membership, these meatheads seem to live off protein shakes, bench-press the weight of three newborn baby elephants and can make a rookie gym-goer quiver with fear.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried a protein shake, but they tend to be fairly revolting and bear no relation to the flavour they are supposed to be.   

But if you really want to struggle to get through your front door thanks to ridiculously wide shoulders and have arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger be my guest.

Then there are the people who have the temerity to look down on – or even make fun of, as I unfortunately once witnessed – overweight people in the gym.  

As someone who used to carry extra weight in my younger days I wouldn’t dream of laughing at the expense of these people, in fact I applaud them.

It’s better that people realise there is something wrong in their lives and do something about it, than wallow in self-pity on the sofa eating pies.

Without question though, the most annoying thing by a mile are those who take an absolute eternity on a machine, hogging it to the frustration of almost every single other person in the building.

They either take an age to finish some repetitions or, worst of all, treat the gym like their living room and just sit around texting people.

This problem might be solved by going up to said person and enquiring what is taking them so long, but of course we’re British and far too polite to do that.  

Of course this is the tip of an iceberg and there are undoubtedly more gripes and issues people may have with the never-ending struggle to keep fit and healthy. 

But if everyone just takes a moment, we can all make the sweaty and exhausting journey that little bit easier. 

Picture courtesy of ivywoodavenue via Flickr, with thanks

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