Be considerate to others at the gym

Sheri Kotzum/The Destin Log

If you’re a regular at the gym, you know that the beginning of a new year brings an influx of new people to your local gym. Losing weight is one of the most common kinds of New Year resolutions. I am all for people trying to get healthy and I fully support the idea that a gym should be a judgment-free zone. But we all know that there are certain types of gym-goers who you just can’t help but judge.

Let’s talk about them.

The weight-dropper: You know exactly what I’m talking about. Without fail, there is always that one person who refuses to set down their weights like a normal person, no matter how many “do not drop weights” signs there are. I can only assume that they do this because either their muscles are so large, they cannot physically set them down, or because the weight has suddenly become too much for them. Regardless, I half expect to hear them yell “Hulk smash” whenever this happens. Not only does this make you look like stupid, it also compromises the integrity of the weights. So please, stop.

The machine-hog: Do you ever go in to the gym with a plan in your head that has to be completely re-thought because that person is hogging that one machine that you need? While this doesn’t happen as often as some of these other things, it is still one of the more frustrating occurrences. Before you say it, yes, I know I am not the only person in the gym and I have to accommodate other people but some people never learned how to share and it shows. Most of the time, there are other exercises I can do in lieu of the machine or bench I needed but sometimes, it just doesn’t work as well. So for the sake of everyone else wanting to use the squat rack, please share.

The noise-maker: If you sound like you’re giving birth every time you lift the weight, chances are you might not be ready for that weight. I know that omitting a groan or two while pushing your physical limits is normal and understandable but when you’re loud enough that the whole gym is staring, you might want to consider toning it down just a bit.

The ogler: Men, while a lot of you are respectful enough to keep your eyes on your own bodies, there are those few who just can’t keep their eyes from wandering. A lot of the women already feel self-conscious while they’re there, please stop making it worse.

There are a few other types of gym-goers that I could mention but we could be here all day. The bottom line is just be considerate and respectful of others around you. Everyone is there with the same goal, let's help each other out.

Sheri Kotzum is a reporter for The Destin Log. She can be reached at or 315-4353.