An Honest List of Gym Faux Pas – “Your Makeup is Running As Fast As You Are (Actually, Probably Faster)”

 This post is all in good fun, so try not to get too butthurt if you realize that you’re a part of any of the following faux pas on this list. Just know that I was thinking about you!


I’ve been going to the gym since I was a mere 11 year old (which realistically feels like an eternity and a half ago), and in the time that I’ve been going, I’ve almost always seen a chick or even several (sometimes they go to the gym in groups) with makeup just plastered on their faces. *sigh* I don’t like to judge people, but if you really want to get the most out of your workout, you need to prioritize the actual workout. It probably took you at least 10-15 minutes to get it all perfect, and for what? I’d like to say this headline is true but in all actuality, you’re probably just gonna walk on snail speed on the treadmill until someone stands there, tapping their foot, waiting for you to get off. In light of today’s gym experience, I would now like to present to you my personal list of gym faux pas. Let’s get weird.


1. Making loud, grunting noises while you’re on a machine does not make you lift heavier, nor do they make you look like the big, strong man you want to be by the end of this week (because realistically, gym newcomers have this belief that after a week, they’ll look like something out of GQ). It’s like a howler monkey mating call. Who can project their “maleness” (and I say this with the least bit of seriousness) the loudest? Who can make all the other guys cower at their feet, pleading, yearning for their awesomeness to rub off upon them? Who can look like the roughest, toughest guy in the Salty Spitoon? (Brownie points will fall from the sky on the individual who gets that reference)


2. The gym is not and will never be the next eHarmony (but if it were, WHICH IT TOTALLY ISN’T AND PLEASE DON’T MISTAKE THIS, but if it were, the headline would totally be something like, “Finding love so dumbbells aren’t the only weights lifted off your shoulders” or “Love Weights (get it, “waits“?!): lower your resistance and find your swolemate today”). Are you seriously gonna pick up the sweaty meathead sitting on the machine next to you? Think about all the dirty machines he’s handled in the past 30 minutes just on the weight floor and I promise you, you’ll want him sanitized (and I don’t say “sterilized” here, because obviously he’s the one true love of your life and you are destined for eternal devotion at first glimpse and even more so at the first exchange of actual words) first.


3. You know the saying, “less is more”? That isn’t about clothing, and no, I’m not talking about when girls wear just sports bras. I don’t want to see your neon pink, Victoria’s Secret thong (See?! I already know too much!) through your “accidentally-transparent-“oops-I-didn’t-know-these-were-see-through-but-I’m-gonna-bend-over-in-front-of-your-face-so-you-can-get-a-good-look-whether-you-want-to-or-not”” tights, nor do I want to cringe at the thought of how much it must hurt to be running on the treadmill with your breasts spilling over your sports bra like a tsunami.


4. You can be on that machine for 20 freakin’ years continually and see absolutely no results if you don’t add at least some resistance to the machine. I get it, I totally get it (I don’t get it). You don’t want to look stupid in front of your cute gym partner who’s already preoccupied himself with an intimidating new trainer, and you haven’t worked out in way too long because the new season of Doctor Who started recently and it’s consumed all of your time, and you don’t want to have a “manly body” with all those bulky muscles you’re going to build by doing only that one strong set on the machine. Blah, blah, blah. At that point, you’re just hogging the machine from someone who wants to feel like their muscles are legitimately on fire. FEEL THE BURN. FEEL IT.


5. Fad exercises are as bad as 70s aerobics videos. Do you know how crazy you look when you’re prancercising around the gym vicinity? Or when you decide that the exercise ball would be a perfect spot to try that new headstand trick that everyone says burns a ton of calories (and brain cells)? Or when you start juggling the hand weights?

What have you seen at your local gym that you’d consider as something you’d “never be able to unsee”?

Share it below! 


3 responses to “An Honest List of Gym Faux Pas – “Your Makeup is Running As Fast As You Are (Actually, Probably Faster)”

  1. Hi there! Very funny post. I’m going to borrow “prancercizing” today because that word is just priceless. 🙂
    I was a trainer about 7 years ago (on the side – just did it for about 1 1/2 years and determined it wasn’t for me, mainly due to how gyms push quotas). Anyway, I worked at a women’s gym, so there was far less of the grunting issue and not as much facepainting-in-preparaption-for-date-with-my-boyfriend-the-Elliptical. 😉 I think a lot of the time, women are putting on make up because of the men (sad…maybe not even out of a desire to be picked up on but more as mortification over being seen au naturel…very frustrating what we have allowed ourselves to believe about something that silly). But I definitely still saw my share of fully made up women out on those cardio machines. In fact, and this just occurred to me, a woman tried to sell me Mary Kay while on the stepper next to mine one day! Anyway, a funny thing I noticed after becoming a trainer was that about 90% of our members sidestepped the weights area sort of like they were scaling the ledge of a skyscraper. Probably 50% of members hopped on machines now and then (many swinging through reps ineffectively like you mentioned above),but barely any utilized the actual dumbbells, barbells, and other free weight items. I always brought my (shocked, horrified) clients over there. I was surprised to learn that those were perceived to be “for working out like men do,” an idea that terrified them inti thinking, “if I use these, I will look like a man!” (So I will just do another 30 minutes on this cross trainer, thank you!) So I felt, personally (on a more serious note) better at a co-ed gym. More women used free weights and this seemed to motivate others to give it a go without fear of a sudden Hulk(arella?) transformation out there on the floor. The other thing I wanted to mention which was funny (but actually I was disdained by at the time) was that the non-trainer staff ate full platters of crappy food right there at the desk while checking members in. Burgers, fries and shakes. What?! You’ve got all these people coming in, taking some time out of their day to work out, and they’re confronted with this & told (muffled due to mouthful of fries, donut, etc.), “Have a great workout!” Not that everyone should be saintly. But it is a gym, sheesh…Oh, I just remembered another funny women’s gym thing. We had a pool and many women used it for water aerobics classes or just as a place to float on their noodles and talk. This may have been a demographics thing (many were older). But you barely
    had a prayer of swimming laps for actual exercise unless you appealed to this dominant group in some granddaughterly fashion. It was like The Floating Mafiosas. You *would* be crowded out if they didn’t like you. And trying to talk to them about the situation (as an employee) was useless. Then you were “being disrespectful.” Yikes!


    • You had me laughing until I had tears in my eyes! ACTUAL TEARS! You must’ve seen all kinds of hilarious antics out on the floor as a trainer. I can only imagine how hard it must’ve been to keep your cool. We have the same situation in our gym pool, as it is a group of older women who are very “clique-y” who frequently go there together, but I rarely see anyone actually utilize the pool for working out. Do they even have classes in the pool?


  2. Oh, I am glad you liked the comment! My phone was acting up when I typed the reply – sorry for all the typos – and when I checked later, it looked like it didn’t save my comment. But I think it was just the app! (Now that I am on my laptop.) At my gym, we offered water aerobics classes in the pool. So mainly it was older women, but there were also women with more intense joint issues as well as morbid obesity. So they were getting their heart rates up a bit and, depending what they used to work out with (there are actually all these different water aerobic toys trainers and group exercise instructors can use, like special water dumbbells), they were getting some resistance in, too. But I think most of those ladies were there to float on their noodles. They would spend half the day alternating between the pool, the sauna and the steamroom! It was actually pretty humorous because the (dreaded) weight area was adjacent to the pool area, There were huge mirrors stuck up everywhere so you could check your form, but some of it wasn’t mirrored, so if I had a client there doing reps, looking in the mirror, if she looked to the side a little, she would see all these old ladies with their noodles. And the funny part is sometimes they laughed, pointed and waved as they bobbed along.


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