Personal hygiene aside, fitness pros have some pretty strong feelings about your attitude, training methods, and overall bad gym habits we all need to quit

By Editors of
Updated May 30, 2019

We thank you for wiping down your equipment when you're finished, and yes, we appreciate you saving those mirror selfies for when you get home. But when it comes to proper gym etiquette, it turns out we're still doing it wrong. Here, the bad gym habits we *all* have to quit straight from trainers and fitness professionals themselves.

1. Chewing Gum During a Workout

"If you're chewing gum, it means you're not breathing properly, which is the whole way real yoga works. I go around and have people spit their gum out if I see it!" —Lauren Imparato, founder of I.AM.YOU yoga studio in New York City

2. Wearing Smelly Clothes

"We all have those days, I get it, but the best instructors are hands on. There is nothing worse than going in for an assist on someone in stinky clothes." —Imparato (Related: 7 All-Natural Deodorants That Actually Work)

3. Getting Competitive for No Reason at All

"I hate it when people get competitive with you during class, and not in a friendly way. You never know if it's someone's first class, if they are injured, or just having a bad week. Whatever the case, everyone is at a different level and that's completely fine." —Aly Teich, founder of The Sweat Life

4. Stalking Gym Machines

"While I understand that there are one-hour limitations on machines during rush hour for a reason, and those should be respected, it's rude to stand and give death eyes at someone if they are dominating a machine. Kindly remind them their time is up, or be creative and get your cardio in another way!" —Teich (Related: 10 Exercises You Should Never Do Again, According to Trainers)

5. Saving Spots for People

"People take their spot in class very seriously. There are a lot of factors like mirror space and fan placement which help people decide where to be in the room. Sometimes your friend doesn't even show up and you are left looking like a fool." —Allie Cohen, trainer at Barry's Bootcamp in Los Angeles

6. Wearing Questionable Footwear

"Converse and skater shoes are not okay to workout in. It isn't safe for you to train if you aren't wearing proper shoes, so invest in a great pair of workout sneakers." —Cohen

7. Doing Your Own Thing in Class

"If you want to do your own workout you should go to the gym on your own, not to boot camp. It's very distracting and throws the energy off when one person isn't practicing." —Cohen

8. Dropping Your Weights

"People will be so fatigued after a set that they just throw their weights down, but this is a big safety hazard. Although you just pushed it to the limit, carefully place your weights down." —Cohen

9. Lighting up the Room with Your Apple Watch

"Unless you're rocking a sweet Apple Watch on your wrist, your phone with your Shazam app should stay in your bag. Wait until after class to ask the instructor about any and every song you like." —Sarah Shelton, instructor at Cycle House LA

10. Storing Your Stuff All Over the Gym Floor

"Don't put your gym bag, purse, or any luggage next to the bike or on the handle bars. Just like in planes, buses and trains, please keep the aisle free." —Vladimir Bermudez, Ph.D., Group Fitness Instructor at Crunch Fitness in New York City

11. Leaving in the Middle of a Class

"If you're going to take a spot in the middle of the class, don't leave halfway through. Is that a version of the 'exit of the diva'?" —Bermudez

12. Taking Other People's Equipment

"If there's equipment out, that usually means someone's using it. There's enough for everyone, so to take it out from the rack...yourself." —Bermudez

13. Not Looking Up from Your Device

"When we're training, especially if we're traversing space, people with headphones that aren't paying attention will put a mat down and start doing a floor-based exercise in the same line. Which isn't just annoying, it's flat out rude." -Lauren Gary Rice, owner of Chicago-based Right Angle Fitness Company.

14. Being Greedy with Weights

"Some people have a bad habit of taking several pairs of dumbbells to one area far away from the dumbbell rack, during prime-time hours. They'll take a 5, 10, 12, 15 and a 20, like hoarders!" —Rice

15. Taking 40-Minute Showers

Come on, ladies! You know that line goes on for days. (Plus, a too-long shower is just one showering mistake you could be making.)


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