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The Most Annoying People at the Gym

Class in Session: Things That Annoy Your Fitness Instructor

There's a certain type of etiquette that we all learned early on for school, but there were still kids who irritated the teacher: the gum chewer, the Chatty Cathy, and the slacker, to name a few. In a fitness class, it's not too different; there are a set of rules with similar expectations — and, of course, those who just won't comply. What's worse than detention? Not getting the right attention in fitness class. Find out who these offenders are so that you don't become one of them.


  • The Fashionably Late: Instructors at small studios will often wait for everyone to arrive before they begin class. If you know you can't make it to class but don't want to go through the trouble of canceling online, simply call the studio; it will be appreciated by everyone. Remember: if you can always be late, then you can always be early.
  • The Groomer: Don't focus more on your appearance than on the exercise. By constantly fixing your bun in class, you're not only taking your mind off of your form, but you're also shifting your classmates attention away from the instructor. If you absolutely have to do a touch-up, try to make it quick!
  • The Disappearing Act: Teachers understand when you have to use the restroom, but timing is key. If you leave in the middle of an exercise, then they might assume one of two things: either you are having an emergency or you are quitting. To earn the respect of your instructor, go during a natural break (i.e. after the exercise is over).
  • The Sleepyhead: Whether you're working out early in the a.m. or after work, you are likely tired. Teachers understand, because it happens to them, too! But yawning right in the middle of class can convey to your teacher that you're bored or not challenging yourself. Try yawning with your mouth shut instead. Your eyes might water, but it is subtle enough to disguise from your instructor. Another trick: just cover your mouth with your shirt.
  • The Clean Freak: This might be the one and only time somebody objects to you cleaning. Although your instructor may appreciate that you sanitize your space, the last thing your neighbor wants is to hear during Savasana is you spraying your mat or smell the strong odor of cleaning wipes. Pick the right time to clean your area, move to another room, or wait until class if officially over.
  • The Rebel: It's perfectly fine to leave class early if you have a commitment. Just let your teacher know ahead of time. This way you won't be disrupting the class or irritating your instructor. They will gladly send you on your way and share with you the best time to exit if you just communicate with them.
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