Do you recognize these characters from your gym?

7 People You’ll Meet (And Hate) At The Gym

Written by Russ Howe PTI, and most recently updated 1 day ago.

8 min read

Gyms are filled with wonderful characters, and today I want to pay tribute to them.

From the guy who sweats more than a glassblower’s ass crack, to the lad who snorts pre-workout while telling everyone on the front desk that he doesn’t have a problem.

They may be annoying sometimes, but without them, gyms just wouldn’t be the same.

So here’s my top seven. Let’s see if any of these popular characters also exist in your gym.

Table of Contents

annoying people at the gym

When the person on the next treadmill offers you more than the obligatory “Hi”, they have about 5-seconds to confirm which side of the stranger/danger scale you’ve landed on.

In an ideal world, they’ll be a really nice person and you’ll give eachother friendly nods of approval every time your paths cross in the gym for the rest of your life.

But we don’t live in an ideal world, do we?

No. We live in a world where ass-hats like Gwyneth Paltrow sells expensive diamond rocks which are supposed to be shoved up your hoo-haa in order to, apparently, enhance your feeling of calm.

It turns out your new pal is a Herbalife rep, and the 15-minute conversation you couldn’t escape from was actually a screening process. By the time you finish your workout, you’ll hear all about how Jill is living her #dreamlife by scamming money from people who are too polite to tell her to fuck off, and you’ll have a pouch of free detox tea samples in your right hand. If you’re anything like me, then your social awkwardness causes you to spend the next few weeks exercising at obscure times of day so you don’t get ambushed again.

Well fucking done.



annoying characters at the gym

With a selfie-to-sets ratio of 5:1, the model has one goal in mind… fame.

In order to achieve this, they will do anything it takes to convince their social media followers that they are training hard (without actually doing it).

Oh, and despite the photograph I used here, this character is usually a guy.

Honestly, I once watched three grown-ass men spend 30-minutes taking pictures of themselves using (but not using) the Pec Deck machine, looking for the best angle to make themselves look muscular. Ironically, if they had spent that time working instead of posing they wouldn’t need to try to find magical angles to look more muscular, because they would simply be it.

It’s not always guys, of course.

A friend of mine recently started dating a girl at his local gym and explained that she looked nothing like the images which she was using on social media. One day during a leg workout he dropped the immortal line:

“Mate, if she ever goes missing the milk carton people will be fucked.”



people at the gym

This character will think nothing of interrupting you mid-set, earphones and all, to ask some bullshit about how many sets you do for biceps each week.

And to make matters worse, they’ll disregard your answer and carry on doing whatever the fuck they were doing anyway!

That’s classic Askhole behaviour. He’ll go around the entire gym, questioning anybody who he deems “in shape” to discover what they’re doing that he’s not, and then, you know, ignore everything they say.

The Askhole is a distant relative to another cool gym character, The Teacher. This chump stalks the gym floor like a lion, looking for weak antelope to lecture on how they’re “doing everything wrong” and need to train how he trains “otherwise you’ll get nowhere, buddy” (despite looking no fucking different to any of the people he’s lecturing).



funny people at the gym

I don’t mean lifer as in long-term gym member, but rather those guys who insist they are “training for life!”

If you can’t see him when you enter the gym, just look up.

His workout resemble the scene from Spider-Man 2 where Peter Parker stops the train. Because why perform push ups when you can do a wall-mounted zero gravity press? With a Swiss ball between your ankles. While drinking a whey protein shake with your free hand. That’s on fire.

Fuck, even his shoelaces are mini resistance bands.

I’ve developed a somewhat love/hate relationship with this character over the years, because I truly enjoy watching what they will do next, but in equal measure I dislike how they have bastardized the term functional fitness as an excuse to over-complicate every-fucking-thing.

Whether an exercise is functional or not depends entirely on your goal, so a set of straightforward biceps curls will be every bit as functional to a bodybuilder who wants bigger arms as a periodized program involving heavy hang cleans would be to an aspiring basketball player looking to boost their vertical leap. It’s all relative, and it’s not about how complex the exercise is.



people you meet at the gym

This character carries a giant bag around the gym while he trains.

It’s rammed with pre, post, and intra-workout BCAAs, and so many pills he rattles when he walks.

Unfortunately, The Supp Guy has fallen victim to the money-suck that is the supplement industry. This is where some fitness magazine convinces a guy that in order to build muscle he needs to buy all of the exact same supplements the current Mr. Olympia uses (while not mentioning the main one, of course).

He’s usually close pals with another great gym character; The App-rentice. This dude is to the tech industry what Supp Guy is to the supplement industry, entering the gym wearing so many gadget and tracking devices he looks like he spent the morning battling Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van-fucking-Damme on the set of Universal Soldier.



characters from the gym

The red face… the crazy eyes… and then you hear it…

“SSSSSSSSSSSSSssssssssssssssssss!”

I first encountered this character when I was a newbie lifter. I was geeing myself up for my next set of 2.5kg lateral raises (shut up) and the lad on the bench next door let out a hiss so deafening I felt my eardrums melt. For a split-second I genuinely thought the number 12 bus has pulled up inside the fucking gym.

Nobody knows the true origin of this sound, but it most likely came from “the school of life”, which is what this character always lists in the education field of Facebook.

The Bus often trains alongside The Screamer, a character who classes his ego as a muscle group which must be trained every day. For these two, it’s not really about lifting heavy weights, but more so about you knowing they’re doing it.



a list of funny people you meet at the gym

Awesome work, you have visible abs.

I know the sacrifice involved, and I tip my hat to you sir.

However, you either suffer from a rare condition which forces you to lift your shirt and wipe your brow every time a female walks by, or you’re a complete bellend.

And my money’s on the latter.


That’s my list of 7 people you’ll meet (and hate) in every gym.

However, before finishing this article I need to re-iterate that I secretly love all these characters. Without them, gyms just wouldn’t be the same.

So go sell your detox diets, and go shout your head off, more power to you.

Next time you get bored during morning cardio, I highly recommend ditching Netflix on your phone for some good old fashioned people watching (which is where I came up with this whole article!). But perhaps the strangest/greatest thing about this whole thing is that these characters can be found in almost every gym around the world. That’s nuts, isn’t it?!

Maybe my Grandad was right when he told me:

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I’m Russ. I’ve been a personal trainer since 2002, and I own russhowepti.com.

My job is to simplify fitness for my readers.

I send out free fitness tips to over 100,000 men and women every week, all in the same no-nonsense style as the article you’ve just read, so if you enjoyed reading it be sure to jump on my email list below.

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