It is the highly anticipated time of the year where people swear to abide to their new year’s resolutions, and stick to their new dieting and fitness regimes. After a prolonged period of boozing, eating leftover turkey that has been transformed into at least 15 different recipes, it is the perfect time to make a comeback into the gym. However, will you be able to survive not falling into one of the categories of gym stereotypes included into this list, read on to find out.

Whether you are a newcomer to the world of fitness, or a hardened veteran who has years of experience with a history of gym memberships, you can never fully predict which gym stereotypes you may come across during peak hour at your local gym.  So for this article, we have compiled a list of some of the most common you might find in your fitness journey going into 2019.

From the super setting maniac who will scowl at you if you so much as stare at the multiple pairs of dumbbells laid across the floor, to the self-proclaimed Instagram models. This is the most comprehensive article on all the documented gym behaviors that you are sure to find at your local gym, with tips and advice for gym those that may think they have grown into gym stereotypes themselves.

But before we jump in, are you looking to turn your passion for fitness into a rewarding career? You can train all kinds of gym goers with our Personal Trainer Diploma. Find out more today by downloading our course prospectus here.

Funny Gym Stereotypes: List + Guide

The biggest misconception by many fitness hopefuls looking to achieve the body goals they have been promising themselves for the last decade, is the idea that there is no point in going to the gym during the month of December. This is apparently because scientifically, the body doesn’t register any breakdown of muscle cells, nor is the body able to decrease in body fat until the more convenient month of January.

After a 2 week period of excessive drinking and over indulgence in high calorific foods, a great amount of courage is found during the late hours of December 31st. Millions of people globally vow to change the health choices they have been making for multiple years, over a single night. This creates a fluctuation of new memberships around gyms across the country, with people by the masses crowding treadmills and cross trainers. As far as gym stereotypes go, this is by far the most common of them all.

As time passes by, there is a sudden realisation that it takes visiting the gym more than once to make an impact soon settles in. One by one, day by day the gym gets emptier and the crowds grow smaller. But not everyone quits in their first month, and if you are one of the few dedicated ones that see it through to the month of February, congratulations, you are probably going to grow into one of the proud gym stereotypes on the remainder of the list.

  • Even the greatest Olympian began their journey towards success at the very bottom of the food chain. To accomplish new goals and conquer new territories, you have to be willing to do things differently, and a spark a change. Waiting for the most convenient time to start going to the gym will only set you up for failure, because you’re consciously allowing external influences to dictate when you will accomplish your goals. Learn to run against the wind and to hurdle life’s unexpected obstacles, only then will you truly master the ability to make a change with your life.

None of the gym stereotypes included in this list are as vocal as the screamer, you hear them much sooner than you see them. For this reason, you start believe you’re hallucinating or just delusional from that snazzy new dieting regime you’ve taken on. So you put your headphones on full blast and carry on training. Seconds later, you hear a loud bang and a “roaarrrr yeah buddy” coming from the deadlifting platform.In his natural habitat, you find the screaming machine who is seeking to let everyone know that a PR has been broken. The sad part unfortunately is that screamers aren’t necessarily limited to lifting heavy weights. Screamers can also be found on treadmills and spin bikes shouting at themselves to stay motivated. For innocent bystanders, this scene can really be intimidating, resulting in many casual gym members leaving the premises and finding peace and tranquility via private yoga classes.

  • Sometimes it is necessary to let out a cry of pain or frustration whilst pursuing our fitness goals, it is a natural human emotion. Those who push themselves the furthest at the gym will naturally see the most improvement and for that we respect the logic behind the screams. As much as it is admirable to see someone push a heavy load of weights, it is much more respectable to see someone do so, without causing a ruckus and intimidating other gym members.

Social media has brought the world closer together in a way that was never imagined possible before. Technology seemingly far too complex and advanced two decades ago, is now accessible to the average 10 year old. Unfortunately for some, this rapid advancement in technology has done nothing but bring the most obsessive behaviors out of people, especially those at the gym. The instagram models find that going the gym for a workout is pointless unless everyone on their social media accounts is made aware. ( ‘if you didn’t take a selfie at the gym did you even go)

From selfies, vlogging and long posts about their gym workouts to making sure everyone notices them in their new gym shark leggings. The instagram models take no prisoners in being an inconvenience to everyone else at the gym who simply come to train. Amongst all gym stereotypes, none are better prepared for a photo shoot like the Instagram model who feeds on the energy of studio lightning and camera lenses.

  • Working towards goals and sharing your journey with the world is actually quite enlightening. A lot of people today who decide to make a change in their lives find inspiration on different social platforms, especially Instagram. Sadly enough, there are a lot of these so called “social influencers” who do not care about creating a positive message towards their followers, instead focus on cashing in on other peoples insecurities.
  • As well as creating a positive message and a journey which is honest and relatable, take into consideration your surrounding when making videos at the gym. People find it very uncomfortable having to exercise around someone who is constantly videoing them, so we recommend limiting your Instagram stories to empty sections of the gym.

Aesthetics is the primary focus here, how much they lift or how long they can run for on a treadmill is not something a bodybuilder is much concerned about. As long as their biceps are well rounded like a tennis ball, and their abdominal muscles have more bumps than a privately owned English country road.

If they are wearing Gold’s gym tank top, carrying with them a tub or rice and chicken with a side of veggies, approach with caution. Bodybuilders only love one thing more than getting a good pump at the gym, and that is consuming enough macronutrients in a day so that they can maintain size and keep body fat percentage as low as possible.

  • The stigma associated with bodybuilders mainly derives from people who have never stepped foot into a gym. Instead of applauding and encouraging those who are dedicated, and go on to do the things that the majority of people are incapable of doing, we are quick to judge and slow to understand. Bodybuilders are both the sculptor and the subject simultaneously, and go through lengths to attain perfection. For this reason alone, the casual gym goer should seek inspiration and motivation from those disciplined enough to eat clean, and train hard for long periods of time.

In contrast to a bodybuilder, a power lifter doesn’t care much for aesthetics. The main aim here is to weigh in as heavy as possible, compound lift as much as possible, with every intention of making everyone else around them feel incredibly weak.

Amongst the many gym stereotypes associated with a power lifter, the elliptical trainers are as much of a myth to them to unicorns to the average person. To power lifters, bumper plates are like bumper cars, no matter how many times they seem to slam them, they never seem to want to stop. At first, it will feel like you are experiencing an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 being generated right there and then across the gym floor. However, as you draw closer and closer towards the deadlift platforms to investigate the ruckus, there before your eyes you see it, an over grown grizzly bear? A silverback gorilla? No, the answer is much simpler, an excess amount of testosterone being put to use.

  • Power lifters are known to be some of the strongest and biggest people in the world, it’s in their DNA. Focusing mainly on compound lifts such as bench press, deadlift and squats, the aim is to put as much weight on the bar and to lift it with exceptional form. Understandably, what goes up must come down, hence the very loud bang that we sometimes hear when 250kg is brought down by gravity. So we all understand the concept now, but it would be highly appreciated if those bumper plates came down in a controlled manner, yours truly, everyone in the gym.

These two love birds can’t seem to get enough of one another, and it just makes everyone else feel a pinch bit sick inside. A lot of people go the gym consistently 365 days a year because, well, to put it nicely, they are yet to find their other half. So they go out to the gym and train like the Tinder Olympics is a month away, sculpting their bodies in preparation for the love of their lives. Whilst training and fully in your element, two people have partnered together to create the most annoying of all gym stereotypes. At the least expected moment, you’ll see the couple completely head over heels with each other (literally), doing a really weird upside down exercise involving an excessive amount of intimacy, and quite frankly it’s upsetting. We come to the gym to get away from all the soppy social media posts and inappropriate displays of public affection, only to find ourselves witnessing a re-enactment of “Love Actually” right before our eyes at the cable cross-overs. Urgh get a room you two.

  • As the saying goes, a couple that trains together, stays together. Although this may not be entirely true, it is quite an admirable thing to see two people proactively working together to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I am no expert on relationships, but I think it has something to do with sharing life experiences as a pair, just no kissing in the gym please.

Most people prepare for the gym accordingly by consuming high energy foods and by keeping well hydrated, but not the pre-workout before every workout guy. Pre-workout is a supplement that consists mainly of creatine and caffeine and other proprietary blends that are typically consumed to aid for longer lasting energy during very intense visits at the gym.

In contrast, some people seem rely on pre workout for just about anything and everything. The pre-workout guy is the most edgy of all the gym stereotypes and will take pre-workout before the drive to the gym, during the drive to the gym, and pretty much every single minute in between sets at the gym. With such a reliance on pre-workout, they become addicted to the good stuff and start carrying it around in strange clear plastic bags, causing absolute chaos for security personnel’s.

  • There is nothing wrong with taking supplements, most people find it quite difficult to consume the necessary vitamins via food consumption, therefore find supplements to be quite rewarding. In contrast, too much of anything can actually cause serious harm to the body and therefore need to be taken in moderation. Focusing on having a balance between natural food sources and supplements is actually the best way to achieve sustainable body goals. So, try eating a good meal a few hours before the gym, it tastes better and doesn’t send your heart racing.

It is globally accepted in the fitness community that Monday is for two things, starting a new gym regime, and starting the week with a good chest pump. Unfortunately for some, Monday is chest day, Tuesday is back, Wednesday is chest day again, and so the cycle begins of never ever stepping up to the squat rack to ever do a single squat.

Johnny Bravo should be the ambassador of all gym stereotypes, and if he existed, we guarantee that he would probably be that guy who always skips leg day. The disproportion of the upper half and lower half of this particular person’s body is quite remarkable. So much so that all their Instagram pictures are cropped at the waistline and go no further below. Maybe these people believe that their legs will naturally grow themselves once their upper bodies have reached optimum shape, or maybe the fear of doing compound leg exercises is too daunting for them because it actually counts as exercising.  No one will ever truly know, but one code they do honor, is doing curls to get the girls.

  • As appealing as it may be to have a well rounded chest, boulder shoulders and arms like Dwayne the rock Johnson, legs are the foundation of a solid frame. Every guy wants to look good on the beach, but don’t aspire to looking like an inverted pyramid. Doing compound lifts beyond the chest press is actually the quickest and most efficient way to increase size and strength. This is because compound lifts incorporate several muscles simultaneously in contrast to bicep curls which are an isolation exercise that only focus on one area of your body.

It’s the month of September, and all the sudden there is an influx of university students that are barely over the age limit, to be accepted to the screening of any DC comic’s movie. When these guys turn up at the gym, they don’t just come in single numbers or pairs, they come in as a whole football team. The university bro’s don’t necessarily care if they are making progress at the gym, they are there for recreational purposes and to talk about all the “fit birds” they would love to (clears throat) date in their respective courses.

It is very hard not to spot them, matter of fact it is almost impossible to miss them as week by week they grow in numbers, with a different cycle of faces each week.  Gradually as we edge towards the new year, one by one they eventually become a dying breed, the last two of the bro’s try to fight the inevitable fate of partying and drinking an excess amount of alcohol. By the month of January, they are all completely extinct and replaced by the “new year new me” university bro’s, who are later replaced by the “summer is coming, let’s get a six pack” bro’s, these are the largest group of all gym stereotypes.

  • Similar to the fit couple, coming to the gym with a group of friends is a good way to make your visits to the gym more comical, and it is actually good to see people working towards a common goal. Keep in mind though, this is the gym and not a Saturday night out to your favorite nightclub, where chasing girls is the primary objective. In a large group, you have the advantage of having the support from the people you know best, so use it. Bench press slightly heavier, squat slightly lower and get your bro to spot you, but for the love of the world stop talking about your inappropriate encounters with the opposite sex.

Now, having someone to help you push your body to its limits can be something quite beneficial. This sense of encouragement and positive energy can be found in gym partners or more professionally in personal trainers. However, a line must be drawn when someone gives you a hard slap across the butt cheeks whilst screaming at you all kinds of profanity.

Right up there on the decibel scale, the scream and irrational methods used by the motivator is the most alarming of all gym stereotypes. To identify the overly keen spotter and overly exposed to sports quotes on internet, listen out for these two phrases frequently used by the motivation which include “it’s all you”, and “just one more rep”.

First off, it’s never all you when a motivator is lurking around, secondly, it’s never ever just one more rep. Prepare to do at least 15 more reps of bad form as you begin to feel a mild case of vertigo settling in. A few moments later you regain consciousness after having passed out from your last set, and standing right over you with their crotch perfectly aligned to your shoulders is the motivator with more recycled words of wisdom from the internet, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

  • Motivating other people to reach their full potential is a quality that many people do not have, but for the very few that hold this ability; there is a saying by a very famous guy which goes. “With great power comes great responsibility”, so be responsible. Try to avoid butt slapping, actually just avoid slapping entirely. There are other methods that can be used to motivate your gym buddy to achieve his or her goals, including but not limited to;

But in the case where none of the actions above have the desired effect, then by all means revert back to screaming at your partner, you have our permission.

The naked old guys are the only people on this list whom are never actually found on the gym floor at any given moment. It would appear as if from the moment they are greeted at the reception area of the gym, they head straight into the changing rooms to meet up with old friends. Inside the changing rooms, they discuss various topics whilst being completely naked and without a care for anyone sharing the limited amount of room space available.

These men have the confidence that most young men can only dream of, honestly it is actually quite impressive. Most people after showering in the gym wrap their towels around their waist and head straight to their locker rooms, hoping to cause as little of an inconvenience whilst they dry up and get changed. In contrast, the naked old guys like to air dry, they go into the gym showers without a towel in sight and come out exactly as intended. They then proceed to hold up conversations with other fully clothed members who had wished they had did just one set to avoid having to share the very uncomfortable encounter.

  • To be over the age of 50 and to still find the motivation to attend the gym is something that many gym enthusiasts will fail to achieve in their later years. After long periods of going to the gym, many people lose interest and revert back to unhealthy habits such as binge watching TV. It is quite refreshing to see older people still participating in physical activity and not letting age slow them down. So as to not create a weird vibe, we do ask that you make better use of the towels if you are going to lurk around the locker rooms naked.

Whether they’re a boxing champion, a black belt karate master, or just simply an MMA fan boy, nobody questions why there is a person doing round house kicks in the middle of the weights section. The fighter always looks like they are training for a deadly tournament being hosted in Japan, with the main issue being the fact that they are not actually invited.

From the strangest routines to some of the most questionable striking methods that could easily be mistaken as moves from your favorite dancing show, the fighters training regime is by far the most complex and most confusing of any other gym member. If you walk into the gym and see a very well chiseled gym member taking uncontested blows to the abdominals area, whilst screaming “come on”, you’ve probably found your fighter and should therefore give them a whole lot of room, it’s more for their own good than yours.

  • It takes a lot of courage and discipline to perfect the various forms of martial arts that exist. One of the main disciplines of being a fighter is to never actually fight beyond the confines of a cage or a boxing ring. As intimidating as it may be to see someone shadow boxing, it is a way for a fighter to warm up, hone their fighting techniques and condition their muscles. So don’t feel too intimidated, but we do advise we stay clear and continue watching from a distance.

This type of individual can actually be found in all types of sporting settings, not just at the gym. Whether it is the newest pair of overpriced gym leggings, or the latest in wireless apple headphones, this individual cares much more about their appearance than they do about actually exercising and making progress at the gym.

The biggest downfall about the freshest looking guy or girl at the gym is that, whilst their gym apparel ranks in top amongst all other gym members, their performance falls short, very short. Not to mention, these types of individuals are always accrediting their absence to the gym to several inexcusable reasons such as; my trainers are in the wash, i can’t find my headphones, I can’t go the gym with different branded clothing…. and the list goes on and on.

  • It is undeniable that having quality gym equipment is necessary for enhancing performance and creating comfort. From a supportive pair of trainers, to attire that allows your body to sweat and breath accordingly, investing in good sportswear is essential. Away from this, a lot of technologies being promoted aren’t as useful as they seem, so being able to keep a focus on getting to the gym and getting the workout done should always remain as a priority.

There is always that one guy that no matter where you go on the gym floor, they are constantly fixating their eyes on you. At first it would seem like they are trying to establish a relationship or even spark up a conversation, but no. They continue to stare at not only you, but everyone else on the gym floor without ever so much as flinching.

The starer has the incredible ability of being able to do a full gym workout whilst not losing any sort of concentration on their person of study. Could it be that they are interested in gaining some gym advice from the people they are continuously making uncomfortable, or could it be that they themselves are conducting some kind of scientific study on human behavior in the gym, the answers are very unclear, and the results are very discomforting.

Most people will take a quick glance at someone they find attractive in the gym, and then turn their attention away to other matters, but not the starer. If competitions could be held for the longest and most awkward stares ever known to mankind, these people would take first prize and gold every single time.

  • Stop, please just stop.

Hoarding objects around the house that you have paid for that rightfully belong to you is one thing, but going to a public gym and taking all the free weights, benches and machines with the motive of restricting others from using them is another. Hoarders want to hog as much space and equipment in the gym as their words of reasoning can manage. No machine or dumbbell is safe or too far away from a hoarders inclusion during their super set.

No matter how long you could have already been waiting to use a certain machine, a hoarder always seems to answer you with the same answer given 15 minutes ago, “I’ve only got 3 more sets left, and you’re next”. To everyone’s surprise, once a hoarder is finally finished doing their long and overcomplicated superset, they don’t return the equipment to their rightful place, sending the whole gym on a hunt for the missing 10kg dumbbells.

  • Supersets are a great way to develop muscularity and have higher total energy expenditure than doing normal sets. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to have different exercises prepared in advance so that you can jump from one exercise to another in a short space of time. However, hoarding all the weights is not gym friendly and will create animosity amongst other gym members, so remember that sharing is caring.

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About the Author: Luke Hughes

luke hughes origym authour
Luke is the Co-Founder of OriGym. Holding a first-class degree in Sport and Exercise and an MSc in Sport and Nutrition, he is also qualified as a Level 4 Personal Trainer with various specialist credentials covering the entire spectrum of health, fitness and business. Luke has contributed to a variety of major industry publications, including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Metro, Cosmopolitan, The Mirror, The Sun, The Standard and more.

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