What's #Gymrage — & What Can You Do About It?

ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
Whether you hit the gym five-plus days a week or simply make it to a few group classes whenever your schedule permits, chances are you have experienced #gymrage. Search for the hashtag on Twitter and you’ll find examples of inconsiderateness and obnoxiousness shared by gym-goers everywhere. Fellow exercisers who behave badly are annoying, but the truth is, they'll probably always exist. Here’s how to handle them while keeping your cool.
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ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
#Gymrage 1: The Overly Scented
This person is doused in an overpowering, stop-you-in-your-treadmill-tracks scent. “Clearly they are overly scented for one of three reasons: They want attention, they want to feel sensual and attractive, or they have lost their sense of smell from wearing so much cologne/perfume over the years,” says Maranda Barskey, instructor at Cycle House in Los Angeles.

Solution: Strategically avoid them. “We can all stand to be flexible with our workouts. So, keep it positive; in hopping around to different areas of the gym, perhaps you’ll find yourself doing an exercise you haven’t done in a while and you’ll burn a couple extra calories moving around... Win-win!"
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ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
#Gymrage 2: The Gym Slob
The person who “forgets” to put back his/her weights and other equipment.

Solution: “I pick up the weight, mat, whatever it is and offer a polite ‘Need me to get that for you?’ with a smile,” says Barskey. “It tends to make most people with common sense feel like a bit of an asshole so, hopefully, they’ll do the right thing next time. On the plus side, I've had plenty of people try to play it off like 'Oh, yeah...oops. I forgot,' then grab it themselves, which is ideal." she says. “Remember, a smile goes a long way and you don’t need to go around making enemies in the gym or cycling studio."
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ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
#Gymrage 3: The Treadmill Peeper
The gym is nearly empty, yet this person chose the treadmill right next to yours and proceeds to stare at your monitor the entire time — and race you. “Anyone who has spent any time in a gym knows two rules seemingly always hold true: 1) Of all the lockers in the gym, the locker just above or below you will be [taken], and 2) if there are 20 treadmills open, someone is going to come get on the one right next to you,” says Brandon Mills, instructor at Cycle House. ”Lets admit it — we all love a little competition here and there, but on a treadmill going nowhere, it’s just a little much.”

Solution: “Much like when you encounter a road-rager, gunning to get you to race, you can simply slow down and act like you are finishing your workout,” Mills says. ”Or, even better (and more to the point), stop where you are...and move to another machine. Either way, without confrontation, you will be left alone.”
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ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
#Gymrage 4: The Romancer
“Going to the gym to work on the perfect physique makes most of us feel sexy,” Mills admits. (Plus, the clothing that best suits workouts can be quite revealing.) “But, let’s face it: Just because workout clothing is skin-tight...doesn’t mean you got dolled up to attract Creeper No. 1 in your safe fitness space."

Solution: Bring out those Beats headphones. “Nothing says, ‘I’m in the zone, don’t bother me!’ better than a pair of headphones,” Mill says. If that doesn’t work, simply and assertively state that you’re not interested. If the creep persists, let the gym manager know that this person is making you uncomfortable.
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ILLUSTRATED BY AMMIEL MENDOZA.
#Gymrage 5: The Locker-Room Hog
These are the girls/guys who spread out their clothes, toiletries, and dirty underwear over the locker room bench like it’s their own personal property.

Solution: It’s a tight space and at busy times (morning and night) it’s going to get crowded. If "someone is truly hogging the area, it is perfectly okay to use your voice to ask if you may occupy more room [or take a turn at] the single hairdryer.” says Mills. “It is the polite way to remind someone else you are waiting and that everyone’s time and space is valuable.”
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