Jenna Wolfe

Sweaty, chatty, messy exercisers: Your biggest gym pet peeves

Jan. 10, 2012 at 9:20 AM ET

No matter which gym it is or what time you go, one or more of the following stock characters will be there, waiting to annoy you: The dude who GRUNTS! every time he lifts a big weight. The person with a dumbbell in one hand, and a cell phone in the other. The teenager whose music is so loud you can hear it through her earbuds. Or the sloppy, stinky runner who sweats all over the treadmill -- and doesn't clean up after himself. 

We asked you to share your biggest gym gripes, and you had more than a few. Even TODAY's resident fitness fanatic Jenna Wolfe isn't immune to gym pet peeves -- although she stresses that these minor annoyances shouldn't keep you from achieving your fitness goals. She gave us her top three gym pet peeves, with added comments from some of our favorite Facebook fans

1. Don't leave a mess. As a personal trainer with 10 clients, you might call the gym Wolfe's second home -- which is why she implores her fellow gym rats to keep it clean. "I hate a messy gym," she told TODAY Health in an email. "When weights are left mismatched, or on the floor or scattered about, or when dirty towels are left on benches and equipment, it makes it so unappealing to work out. I have enough things to focus on when I'm there; cleanliness shouldn't be one of them." 

Even if you're meticulous about returning weights and other equipment to their proper homes, remember to mop up any germs, sweat or general ickiness you might have left behind, reminds reader Trish Cordara Crisp, whose biggest gym pet peeve is "people who cough all over the equipment and don't wipe it off and same goes for sweat, yuck!"

Reader Michelle Walsh would like to co-sign these pleas for cleanliness, and reminds us with a smiley face: "Only takes a min :-)" 

2. Don't be gross in the locker room.  For Wolfe, this is another area that needs to be neat. "After a hard workout, there's nothing better than a clean, fresh locker room to shower, dress and unwind," she says. "When it's dirty, when there's water around the shower area, when there's hair in the sink, it literally keeps me from returning to the gym."

And while we love that you love your body, reader Jody Berry Hepp wishes women in the locker room would keep the nudity to a minimum: "I will never get used to all the nudity in the locker room! I never thought I was a prude, but these women walk all around completely naked!"

3. Don't walk around like you own the place. Maybe you spend every free moment in your health club -- but that still doesn't give you a free pass for rude behavior, Wolfe urges. "I love when I see a beautiful spectrum of people in a gym... newbies, veterans and everyone in between," she says. "There's nothing more annoying than someone acting like they're entitled to be there more than anyone else. I grew up in a gym, but it doesn't give me any more of a right to use a machine, to get a better spin bike, or to grab the 15lb weights than anyone else."

Not surprisingly, our readers were especially bugged by the impoliteness of people who blab away on a cell phone while at the gym. It's Melissa Brode's number one annoyance: "Nothing is more annoying than someone talking on their cell phone! The machines make the room louder than normal to begin with, so the people feel the need to scream while they are having a conversation! I don't need to hear your life story/ drama while I am trying to relieve stress!" 

And texting isn't any less annoying, Lisa Fenton Rogers says. "I see an unbelievable amount of people texting on their cell phones while sitting on a piece of equipment that I am waiting to use. I wish they would get a clue. I know it's odd but some of us go to the gym to work out."

We hope no one needs this reminder, but we'll add Leslie Miser's comment here for good measure: "If you feel the need to vomit go to the restroom. I know your supposed to push your self but if your stomach starts feeling queasy take a rest and then get back on. Don't just keep on going till you hurl on the equipment or the floor."

She has a point there. 

Readers, have you encountered any of these bad behaviors recently? How do you keep it from distracting you from your workout? Tell us on our Facebook page