10 Behaviors That Make You A Gym Douchebag.

Via Heather Dawn
on Mar 17, 2012
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Photo: Photobucket

From N.Y to L.A., I have been in and around gyms, either as a member, or an instructor for the last few decades.

I truly do love a great gym atmosphere. Sadly, there are a few “douchebags” whose unenlightened, self-absorbed behaviors make it a little more difficult for the rest of us to enjoy our gym experience.

These are the Gym Douchebags to watch out for:

1. The “I-Don’t-Mind-Marking-My-Territory-And-Not-Cleaning-It-Up Douchebag.” Clean up your sweat-laden cardiovascular equipment when you are done using it!  Everyone sweats, no big deal. Sweat contains salt, chloride, potassium and urea. It’s a natural response by your body to help you cool down.  What is a big deal is the moisture from your sweat helps germs to grow. (Besides, you ever place your clean dry hand on a recently drenched Precor elliptical machine? Blech!)

 When you’re done sweating out that fight you had with your boss, grab one of those sanitary wipes or your towel and wipe that sh*t clean! (FYI: if you used a tissue to blow your nose or spit in, please remember to take that with you too!).

2. The “Gym-Bully Douchebag.”  Nothing is worse than a case of self-entitlement. Hundreds of people belong to the same gym you do and they all pay exactly what you pay, so chill out. No one thinks it’s impressive when you yell and shout like a two-year-old at a gym staff member. Whether it’s someone from the front desk or the cleaning crew, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to talk respectfully to someone else.

Also, pressuring people to finish their workout by hovering over them like a hungry patron at a restaurant is a totally douchey move. I know you’ve come to the realization that your workout is more important than theirs, but it’s not.

Gym bullies can also be found jumping rope in the middle of a walk-way preventing other members from passing out of fear!  No one wants to risk getting head-whipped by their lethal lariat!

Like my father always said, ” When you want or need something, ask nicely. If that doesn’t work, that person is a douchebag.”

Mylene was so happy when she found the last open treadmill, until...

3. The “All-Singing-All-Dancing-While-Working-Out-Or-In-The-Shower Douchebag.” When I was little this nutty women with an enormous toothy grin used to walk up and down Washington Blvd wearing headphones and singing at the top of her lungs. She would throw her arms in the air like a drag queen trying to get noticed in the chorus. The rest of us would roll up the windows of our cars to shut out the noise.

It is quite feasible that not everyone around you thinks you can dance and sing as well as you think you can. Remember, you’re in a gym. Find your inner “Drag-Queen-Diva-Douchebag” self in a place we all don’t have to watch and listen to you! 

4. The “Sorry, But-I-Dance-To-The-Beat-Of-My-Own-Drummer-In-A-Group-Fitness-Class Douchebag.” If you want to take a spin class and read your paper or listen to your headphones while taking a yoga class, don’t.  It is not only rude to the instructor, but you are also distracting everyone else in the class who came there to enjoy themselves.

I am a big fan of people rebelling and bucking an unfair system but the group fitness class you chose to attend is not exactly one of them. You’re not James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause.” You’re more like the “Rebel-Without-A Clue-Douchebag.” Go do your own thing on your own time.

5. The “I’m-Going-To-Blow-Dry-My-Junk-For-Your-Viewing-Pleasure Douchebag. “ I’m still traumatized after walking into the locker and seeing a woman squatting, spread eagle over a hair dryer she aimed a few millimeters from her va-jay-jay.  I also learned that men did the same thing with their little buddies below!  Now, I can appreciate saving a few gallons of water instead of using too many towels but I doubt highly that you are even considering this as you blow-dry those love spuds!

Most of us use those hair dryers for our heads. We place that same nozzle you just aimed way too close to your private parts in our hands and scalps. What’s next, my “Genital-Hair-Styling-Douchebag” friend?  You doing a handstand under the automatic hand dryer?

6. The, “Exhibitionist-In-The-Locker-Room Douchebag.” Reminder: The gym locker room is a shared bathroom and changing space. Therefore, we are subjected to everything you say, like that chick who rocked your world last night, or do, like standing naked in front of the mirror as you pluck hairs off your nipples.

Even though you love admiring your douchey self for long periods of time in front of the mirrors, the rest of us are really suffering. 

7. The “Jacuzzi’s-And-Steams-And-Showers, Oh-My! Douchebag.”  A) Jacuzzi’s are not extra large toilet bowls.  So please don’t be a “Warm-Water-Stimulates-My-Need-To-Go-Potty-Douchebag.” Take the five second walk to the bathroom stall. B) Steam rooms are not for shaving, unless you’d like to risk a Staph infection.

Also, when steaming, sit on a towel. Even though there are signs all over the gym spa saying “Please shower before you use the spa”(which helps reduce the risk of spreading disease ), no one ever does.

Please remember “My-Pores-Feel-So-Open-Steam-Junkie-Douchebag,” that your dirty rear-end has to sit on the tile a 100 other people will use that day.

C) The “I-need-enough-towels-to-clean-a-brontosaurus-and-left-them-in-a-pile-on-the-floor-for-someone-else-to-clean-up Douchebag,”  really deserves it’s own number on the list. (This douchebag was a repetitive offender to many gym members during my interviews). There is a fine balance between using a towel or two and being wasteful. Also, why can’t the uber fit take the moments walk to the towel bin and put them inside bin?  As my mother would say, “You don’t live in a barn, Douchebag!”

D) Gym showers are not toilets and sinks. Therefore, spitting, masturbating and singing at the top of your lungs because you dig the acoustics is not okay.  Oh, if you decide to shave your pubic area…do make sure your “cluster of curlies” are completely washed down the drain.

Please, please, please remember there are other gym members who may have to shower next to you or worse yet, use your shower when you’re finished! Keep it clean and friendly my ” Shower-Without-Boundaries-Douchebag”! 

8.The, “I’m-A-Male Trainer-And-I-Only-Talk-To-Hot-Chicks-So-Don’t-Bother-Me-With-Your-Workout Douchebag.”  Here is what one male gym member I interviewed said about many (not all) male trainers:  “You could be pinned under 200 lbs on a weight bench and certain male trainers won’t even notice because they’re having some dumb conversation with a chick about her crazy Vegas weekend.”

Hey guys, I’m also entertained by some of those “Hoochie-Mama-Douchebag-Outfits” some women wear at the gym that would be better suited for a porn shoot, but fair is fair.  Guys need love and attention too! Besides, another male gym member is probably paying for the girl you’re flirting with to be there and motivate his workout too!

9. The “I-Pay-A-Fortune-To-Be-A-Member-So-How-About-Some-Free-Perks Douchebag.”  I know you’re thinking it’s just a hanger, a fitness ball or yoga block.  I also know you’re thinking, “I helped pay for this item, so it’s okay.”  News flash: It’s not.  Stealing is a crime.

Imagine I came to your home for a fundraising party.  I fell in love with your antique silver frame.  I decide to take it with me on the way out.  After all, I did pay to attend this fundraiser, right?  My hard-earned money is going to the charity you’re sponsoring, so why not grab myself a thank you gift on the way out!

Good news, “Five-Finger-Discount-Douchebag!”  The gym hasn’t caught you yet. Bad news is when they do (all gyms have video cameras), they’ll most likely call you a douchebag and cancel your memberhship.

Mylene Dane, of TRAIN west hollywood, tries to get her work out on.

10. The ” My-Hormones-Are-Raging-So-Give-Me-Your-Number Douchebag.” If you’re a gym regular, it’s best to think of your gym as an extended family or going to your favorite restaurant. In order to keep this a stress free environment for yourself and everyone involved, think twice before you ask another member (or a staff member) on a date.

 Just in case your conquests don’t lead to “happily ever after,” remember that gyms are a breeding ground for gossip and douchebags. If something goes wrong, guaranteed you will be the douchebag talk of the town.



Editor: Kate Bartolotta.


About Heather Dawn

Heather Dawn is a life coach, meditation and yoga therapist. She specializes in self-empowerment and personal transformation with her clients and students. She is the co-host of a weekly sex, love and relationship show and podcast called, “Getting it On with James and Heather.”


29 Responses to “10 Behaviors That Make You A Gym Douchebag.”

  1. David Garber says:

    An addendum to #4 would be the douche bag who consistently comes to class late and crowds everyone else. Also, douche bags who walk through the yoga room with shoes on even though signs say to remove them, as well as, douche bags who talk on the phone while working out, or in the locker room, while signs say not to. Lastly, #5, I can’t understand how dudes can’t just use a towel to dry off but I am crushed to hear that women use blow dryers. Nothing upsets me more that the thought of a dry va-jay-jay. Can I get a what what?wh

  2. heather says:


  3. Dr. Dennis says:

    You forgot the “I don’t get paid to break down my own weights” douche-nozzle.

    This is the guy that loads up the free weights and then just leaves them there for someone else to put away.

    [Honorable mention:]

    The “Finger grips in” douche-nozzle (I like douche-nozzle better – maybe I should have my OWN ‘douche-nozzle’ listing??)

    This is the guy that puts all the plates on the rack with the finger grips in and against the other weights, thus requiring the next guy to bend over and use two hands to pull the plate off the rack.

  4. heather says:


  5. Andy Cink says:

    Okay and seriously, there's nothing wrong with the human body and being naked, but seriously, isn't naked supposed to be kind of a transition state between outfits, or to/from the shower? What's up with the guys just rocking out with their cock out? When I change it's like superman in the phone booth. Woah look, it's a bird it's a plane, no it's gym man! At least put some underwear on…

  6. Roger Wolsey says:

    My pet peeve is when fellow dudes are wearing ear buds in the free weight area. It makes it really hard to ask someone to spot you. We're all in this together and I'm willing to spot others whenever asked. But one can only go so far with weight training without someone doing their part to spot you. It's called common courtesy and relationality. Good place to practice being civil.

  7. heather says:

    I originally wrote this article with the phrase EMPATHY in mind. Yes indeed we are all in this together and it is common courtesy one would think!! YES! cheers

  8. EFMOM says:

    These douchebags are rude and full of themselves in a restaurant to waiters, sales people as well as in the Gym..They have been like that forever and unfortunately will never change. Need to get a dose of their own medicine!!!

  9. OdyPoly says:

    Agree entirely with Dr. Dennis re: putting away one's weights. Makes me wonder what these people's homes look like.

    Additionally, don't stand six inches in front of the weight rack to do your curls or whatever. You're blocking access to the weights on the rack and, likely, a walkway in front of the weight rack.

    Just be aware of your surroundings. This applies in the gym, on the road, in life in general!

  10. heather says:

    yes, yes and yes…common courtesy. or aka " it's not all about you."

  11. AndyF says:

    OK, so a few months back I walked into the mens locker room at Equinox SM and some dude had his leg up on the bathroom counter and was shaving his balls. No Joke. WTF?

  12. ManifestYogaJen says:

    no. noooooooo. omg haaaaaa

  13. heather says:

    I caught a chick doing that once….for real….ugh

  14. NicoleM says:

    What kills me are the judgemental women who sit back and give you the “You’re not thin enough, fast enought, or wearing the right brand of clothes, so clearly I’m better than you- get out of my class” look. Seriously, I’ve been a certified athletic trainer for almost 16 years. A few years ago I had a pretty bad wreck on my bicycle followed by 4 spine surgeries to correct the damage. When I finally got back to the gym, I explained the situation to the spin teacher and asked if she would be offended if I couldn’t keep up or needed to leave class early for the first few weeks. You know, baby steps. She was great, but many of the other women just glared it me with a smirk. One said “Yeah, not everyone can handle this.”. At first I wanted to defend my self and tell her about my surgeries, but then I decided I don’t owe her anything, but still, thanks for the encouragement bitches! Like I wasn’t dealing with enough already. Grr!

  15. heather says:

    World is filled with mean people. The, "you're-not-good-enough-gym-groupie-Douchebag's" are really an insecure breed. Glad you chose to say nothing. that says more about YOU than them. You know who you were. They didn't. And they were no one in your life, as you said, who needed explaining to. Hope you are on your way back to health!

    be well

  16. Sarah says:

    I just threw up in my mouth a little.

  17. […] you’re not the gym type, the yoga type, the outdoor type or the any-kind-of-fitness type, here’s the perfect exercise […]

  18. […] And with that stupid dot on her forehead. You want to take your thumb and rub it off. And could her yoga outfit be any smaller? You think she could at least put a real shirt on. It is so distracting to wonder if her tits are going to fall out when she demonstrates handstand. And come on, does she really think anyone is going to jump up onto their hands in the middle of the room like tha… […]

  19. This is hilarious and oh so true. I've been an instructor/trainer for many years and in the past year became the general manager of a fitness center. I'll add the "my monthly dues payment always get denied by the bank yet I'll stand at the front desk every month and scream to get the service charges waived."

  20. Lauramay says:

    Always need a good laugh and some prompting to get back to the gym…I will be the one mindful of any personal douchey moves. Nice breakdown of basic human behaviors that can connect us or not…Thanks!

  21. NSNY says:

    I belonged to a gym where gear seemed to slowly be disappearing and management wasn't quickly resolving it. Nonetheless, if you weren't there 10 minutes before the start of class – SOL, because some women would actually have two or three sets of weights, which meant that you – had none. Instead you had to try to use one of those weights that you add onto a bar. Those weights/plates didn't work for most exercises. I even walked-up to one of the women one day and asked her if she would be using all of the weights that were sitting next to her mat, and she unflinchingly responded "yes". After class I told management that I shouldn't be put in that kind of position as a member. A month later they still hasn't purchased more weights, and I canceled my membership.

  22. Lindsey says:

    Thanks for a good laugh and a great reminder of why I never utilize a gym to get my exercise. I have always felt uncomfortable there. Biking outside; yoga in a dedicated, non-gym studio; or even running the flights of stairs at my house are all preferable to the judgmental stares and douchebaggy entitlement so frequently encountered at the gym. Oh, and I wouldn't touch the genital driers with an 8-foot pole.

  23. Maresy says:

    Ick, I'd rather be out of shape than exposed to all of that. It makes me sick.

  24. Zap says:

    GODS as a guy i HATE number 8.
    Nearly every "trainer" ASSHOLE just runs off to the girls and drops the goddamn weights on top of my neck while i struggle.
    Fucking hell i once had to REPORT him to the owner ( who's a friend ) because so many members complained.

  25. anomson says:

    I agree with most of them but spitting in the shower is perfectly normal. There are a lot worse things going down the plug hole than mucus. Small amounts of urine and faeces as well as general build up of day and night sweat, grease from your hair, pollutants from a general day out and about in a major city. Which leads to my next point, NOT SPITTING IN THE SHOWER IS PROBABLY BAD FOR YOU, Considering all the smoke and smog you inhale over a day. If you work in a trade of any sort even worse with dust from plaster etc. In fact that is the biological purpose of MUCUS (to collect pollutants to avoid infection and illness through expulsion) And if you go swimming you would have to be a bit silly to not clear the chlorine from your throat. So even spitting in a gym shower is accepted by most athletes. I personally don't spit in the swimming pool but I know plenty of people who do and understand why so I generally keep my mouth shut, in more ways than one 😛

  26. Warren says:

    I can see your point on this, sure. But in the spirit of empathizing with others, I wonder if perhaps these people aren’t all actual douchebags. Maybe no one ever explained gym etiquette to them or maybe they grew up without a lot of parental influence/positive role models who would teach them about courtesy to others.

    I think about these things, true. But I will concede that in the case of some people, they are douchebags.

    But I gotta know, how exactly does it harm anyone to have a person enjoy music next to them? If they’re full on belting it out, fine. But is singing quietly along a problem?

    And what about those people who go to the gym and judge/label those around them without taking the time to learn their story? Are they douchebags, too? I just wonder about these things. Where is the line drawn between pretentiousness and helping someone see that they are making others uncomfortable?

    It’s a lot to think on and I appreciate your bringing it up. You may be right.

  27. sickofconcietedgymtards says:

    the music is a huge problem. i cant stand hearing some shitty rap or hip hop song sung by some fucker. society has terrible taste in music and i shouldn’t have to put up with it. if you feel the need to sing loud ill feel the need to tell you to shut up. if you dont lll make an example of you. havnt been allowed at my local gym in years because i got angry and violent, i regret nothing. gyms are full of worthless concieted douchebags. i wound up buying my own equipment to avoid you fucks rather than sign up for a different gym and get arrested again