The Most Annoying Things People Do at the Gym and on the Trail (According to Us)

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If you’re a fitness fanatic like Health's editors are, then you probably have at least one pet peeve—something your fellow gym bunnies or trail mates do that drives you bananas.

In a recent article in The New York Times, Jen A. Miller lamented the use of smartphones in races, noting that the devices have become “social media spouts for runners to take selfies, FaceTime a family member on a crowded course, or chat on the phone in the middle of a race, oblivious to the people behind and around them.” She pointed out that in her 10-year career as a runner (her new memoir is Running: A Love Story), there have always been racers who did inconsiderate things. "But with the advent of smartphones, such incidents have blossomed."

Miller's piece got us talking (okay, ranting) about the some of our biggest workout woes, below. We are sure you can relate.


“Guys (sorry, but for some reason it's always guys) in hot yoga class who leave big puddles on the floor and don't bother to wipe them up when they leave. There are few things grosser than stepping barefoot into a pool of someone else's sweat.”

Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor

RELATED: 9 Things You Should Never Do in Yoga Class

Irresponsible spitting

“My big pet peeve? Runners who don't practice spitting etiquette. I get it, it's really annoying to have that phlegmy feeling in the back of your throat. But please watch before you hock a loogie to make sure there's no poor innocent jogger in the landing zone.”

Jacqueline Andriakos, associate editor 

Getting too close for comfort

"It seems whenever I'm in the gym, someone stands right next to me. I've been in big empty rooms and someone starts working out on top of me. It drives me mad! To calm myself down I just tell myself they are right next to me because they see me as competition and want to keep up. But in reality I think they just don't have my personal space issues."

Dwyer Frame, contributing editor

“Mat placement in yoga class gets me really riled up. If class is basically empty, for example, it annoys me if someone comes in and puts their mat down super close to me. (Give a girl a little space for sun salutations, please.) Then I start wondering if it would seem rude if I moved my mat away from them, and I'm stuck with this internal struggle when I really should be feeling zen.”

Kathleen Mulpeter, senior editor

Abrupt stops

“I cannot stand when I'm running in a race, and the person in front of me comes to a halting stop or transitions to a walk without moving to the right. It messes up my rhythm and pulls me out of my zone. No one would do that while driving, so they shouldn't do it during a race either!”

Alison Mango, assistant editor

RELATED: How to Fall Asleep Fast, According to 6 Health Editors

Wet surfaces

“In the gym, I hate when people don't wipe off the equipment after they use it. The last thing I want to do is sit on a soaking bench, or grab some piece of equipment that is dripping. It only takes a second to wipe things down—I should know, I do it myself!”

Rozalynn Frazier, senior fitness editor

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2 minutes ago, TehJackal said:

I like my piece and quite, whenever I sit somewhere I try to have my back to the wall, and face the entrance so I can see everything going on

That is a safety thing. Being able to see the whole room gives a feeling of security. 

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I suppose your right.  I had this discussion with someone yesterday,  where I don't like flying, or being in elevators because even though I have my CHL and I can carry, I don't anymore since VA doesn't accept my Tx license.  I don't like not being able to control a potential situation if possible.  

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arrrgh i hate mums with their stupid pushchairs walking side by side. its tolerable if you can go on the grass to get by but i used to love running by the lake, where theres no space, and am basically expected to dive in the water to get past them. very irritating. 

gym wise, people not putting weights back and me having to wander all over to find them again, or not putting them back in the right place. the amount of times i had to take half the weights off the rack to put them right was incredible. and they dont even put the right ones opposite each other either.

i hate it when the kids walk in too and decide to have a chat on the weights, play on phones and just sit around on the equipment. 

the worst actually is when people put stuff in lockers and dont lock them. that winds me up so bad when theres no lockers left that i actually started taking their stuff out and dumping it on the side, they might as well put it there in the first place if theyre not gonna lock the damn thing.

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I get annoyed when I'm hiking fast and someone tries to go way faster than they have been moving so I don't pass them when there's no space to get around.

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