5 most annoying people in your gym; do you recognize them?

By Melanie Verbueken

Published 25 September 2019

Building a community is more important than ever. But this is difficult, because more and more people can be found online. So, how do you as a gym owner, engage with these people?

If something is annoying your gym members, it’ll get around to annoying you too. In the worst case scenario they’re going to share this on social media with their friends. Of course, you want to prevent current members from talking badly about you (online).

Being a gym owner, you may have lots of pet peeves like: people behaving badly with poor hygiene, who abuse equipment, steal pins and dumbbells, harass other members, and otherwise insult your business… these things are not just irritating to gymgoers, they’re costly and lead to a public complaint.

So, in this blog I will tell you the top 5 things that annoy gym owners the most and what can be done to avoid it.

Spoiler alert: Have you already thought about gym community software?


The top 5 most annoying gym members… and what to do about it:


1. The stinker

No one expects anyone to smell like marshmallows and flowers at the gym, but making sure your sweaty stench doesn’t get out of control is major. Some people seem to not really care about this issue. It usually comes from bad hygiene: not wearing fresh clothes, re-wearing the same gym clothes from yesterday, or not taking showers daily/washing your body properly.

No matter how good your ventilation system is, once that particular gym member enters and gets to work, their stench can be detected from a mile. Stinking up the gym is a serious annoyance that has to be addressed. It’s a distraction to those who need to train, and it falls on the gym owner to have that awkward conversation with “the stinker”.

One way to avoid this scenario is to spritz light air fresheners daily in the gym, possibly after every 30 minutes. This will cancel out/lessen any rancid smells if there are any. You could also put up a strict policy on personal hygiene if you do not wish to target specific people out. Encourage people to shower before and after their workouts and to use body sprays and deodorants.


2. The weight collector

gym software

This particular gym member prefers setting up their station right in front of all the weights/dumbells they can find in the gym. After they’ve managed to build dumbell fortress around themselves, they don’t even clean up after themselves. Leaving the dumbells scattered around daily becomes a nuisance.

So, what can you do to let these people know they’re making it inconvenient for you and other gym members? Keeping tabs on them and watching out for when they make a mess might be obnoxious and seem like babysitting, but with enough stern reminders from gym owners, they’ll be bound to break the habit.


3. The marker

Markers are another type of people who become nuisances for gym members, as well as gym owners. These people leave any sort of belongings such as dirty towels, sweaty shirts, water bottles, their gym bag, etc. at a certain machine to “reserve” their spot when they’re busy doing some kind of circuit. Being a gym owner, you may get tons of complaints about such behaviour and justifiably so. It is extremely irritating when a gym member wishes to use a completely vacant machine but isn’t able to do so, because someone has decided to “reserve” it for themselves.

A simple way to solve such issues is to let all members know that “first come, first serve” is the rule that they should be abiding by. Whoever gets to the machine first, uses it first – regardless of any “markings”. So, even if they have marked “their territory”, other gym members would go ahead to using the machine, marked or not.


4. The grunter

Every gym and fitness studio has this one type of person who finds it extremely necessary to express his physical stress while exercising vocally. You may find them in your gym as well: they load up an insane amount of weight, or use all the chains, or hang plates on weight stacks with extra pins they “borrowed” from the stacks next door. They make all kinds of noise and accomplish very close to nothing. Possibly, they could be doing this to massage their egos or to achieve a little applause. Whatever it is, it’s annoying.

A way to battle this disturbance is to amp up your gym music. Make sure you have a fresh and updated playlist with all the genres, not just hardcore EDM. This will ultimately drown out any human noises that can disturb you or your gym members while they complete their reps and exercises in the gym.


5. The sweat puddler

gym members software

Sweat in the gym is normal and common. It sure doesn’t smell too nice but for gym members and owners, you pretty much get used to the musty odour. As unhygienic and gross as it may seem, some people prefer to leave their “sweat puddles” on the benches or machines they’ve just used. It is one’s responsibility to carry with them towels or rags to mop up their sweat because no one wants to sit on a stinky wet bench or use sweaty machines.

Putting up notices and signs to “wipe the bench before you leave” can serve as a reminder to these clueless people who don’t understand how big of a problem this becomes. Leaving a sweat towel or a rag beside each machine could help remind the user to clean up after they’re done. If the problem persists, fining the particular member could be a good way for them to completely stop. If they end up leaving, think about it, is it really a loss for your gym?

Making sure your gym has a strict policy on personal hygiene, rules and regulations about usage of the equipment/machines and overall general etiquette in the gym could help to avoid any foreseeable problems in the future.


Expand your gym community online

Communication doesn’t just mean communicating with your clients in the gym, it also means engaging with them, and allowing your clients to engage with you and each other. But don’t rely on visits only for your communication. An online community will help you build relationships with your clients 24/7, and increase retention. Compare your online community with a Facebook page/group. The community is accessible via your web portal or custom mobile app. Virtuagym offers an extensive online Club Community Portal, this software allows you to communicate with your members in various ways: mass communication, targeted communication, or one-on-one messaging.

gym community software


In the end…

Everyone wants to come to the gym and have a good experience, so battling these certain nuisances is definitely a priority. If you feel like some of the mentioned personalities come to your studio frequently enough to cause disturbances, then hopefully, this helps you to battle/avoid it. So it’s very important to invest enough time in your members. Did you know that Virtuagym can help your fitness to boost efficiency, save hours of your time, and make your members happier?

Melanie Verbueken

Marketing Localisation Specialist. Wide range of martial art skills. Strength and core group instructor.

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