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Top Nine Gym Pet Peeves

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Getting in shape is near the top of almost everyone's list of New Year's resolutions.  That's why the ranks of gym memberships swell by an average of 12 percent every January, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).

Unfortunately, with such a crowd comes a lot of bad behavior.  When ABC News asked readers on social media what bugged them about their fellow gym goers, ABC got an earful.

Here are the nine most common complaints:

DNA Puddles

"I can't describe the disgust I feel when I go on a machine or bench following another person and they don't have the courtesy to wipe it down," said blogger Jeff Gordon.  Gordon and many others said it shouldn't be too much to ask everyone to carry a towel and wipe off equipment after each use.

Space Hogs

In the gym, weight equipment is considered communal property, so don't sit on a machine while you rest between sets.  It's common courtesy to stand up and let a fellow gym member "work in" with you -- that's gym-speak for share nicely.

Machine Bullies

If Space Hogs had an equally evil twin, it would be the pests who hover nearby, ready to pounce the instant you go over the 30 minute time limit on the elliptical machine or who practically snatch the weights out of your hands before you've finished your last rep.  Karen Davis Athanassiadis, a student, said she despises "those who with much bravado demand you get off the treadmill!"

Onerous Odors

Extreme body odor, coffee breath, stinky feet, flatulence and overpowering perfumes -- enough said.

Noisy Neighbors

Save your conversations for elsewhere.  In the gym, no one wants to hear it, especially if you're yakking on a cellphone at a high decibel level about what's for dinner.  Chit-chatting seems to be especially prevalent in group fitness classes, forcing some gyms to institute a "no cellphone use while taking class" policy.

Exercise Faux Pas

The gym police are watching and they don't like what they see.  So if you're lifting more weight than you can handle, walking on the treadmill at 1 mile per hour while flipping through a magazine, or inventing a pointless exercise, please stop.  Nothing infuriates nutritionist Tony Ricci more than watching some guy use a massive squat rack for lightweight arm curls.  "Curling an Olympic bar with 5-pound plates on each side is a borderline useless movement that can be done anywhere in the gym.  It need not be done on a structure meant for real moves like squats, power cleans and deadlifts," he said.

Locker Room Exhibitionists

When you strut around the locker room, construction coordinator Dave Lukas asked, "Is it so hard to put a towel around you waist?!"  While everyone understands you must be nude for some period of time while you change, few have any tolerance for the guy or gal they perceive as remaining on display for too long.  It's an even bigger locker room pet peeve than the towel hoarder or the sink slob.


Think twice before you offer unsolicited advice.  Not everyone appreciates it.  Ashley Nesby, an administrative coordinator, put it best: "I don't like when men think it is part of their civic, intrinsic duty to help us less fortunate, weaker and hopeless women with our weights, form or our well-thought-out routines in the gym.  It's almost as if their goal, besides haphazardly leaving monstrous weights strewn about the gym, is to teach us pretty little ladies how things should be done."

Unfit Fashion

More people than you realize are offended when you show up for a workout wearing jeans, especially if they're super short cutoffs that display your naughty bits every time you bend over to stretch your hamstrings.  But wearing shades and a Bluetooth headset -- that's the worst offense of all.

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