Stop Being The Gym Snob Who Complains About New People At The Gym After New Year’s » VSB

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Stop Being The Gym Snob Who Complains About New People At The Gym After New Year’s



Despite the pending apocalypse’s greatest efforts to wipe out the human population in one fell swoop, the bulk of us have managed to make it out of 2016. The stroke of midnight came, folks drank their champagne – or if your name rhymes with Pariah Larry, threw out your earpiece and decided to defer New Year, New Me to 2018 – and welcomed in another set of 365 days.

With the New Year, of course, comes resolutions – the ambitions you speak out into the universe in hopes of becoming the best version of yourself. They, of course, can be anything from the qualitative (I resolve to aim to eat chicken wings of the highest quality and give them the love and respect I deserve) or quantitative (I will no longer eat more than a dozen wings in one sitting). The world is your oyster – or chicken wing, as one may have it.

Of course, many resolutions revolve around weight loss – mainlining ribs and sweet potato pie from Thanksgiving to Christmas is bound to take a toll on anyone’s waistline, for one. Or perhaps you’ve still got a little baby weight hanging on, or too much of your life has revolved around chicken wings. Regardless, come the New Year, a litany of newly motivated people take that first step towards their summer body goals and sign up to sweat it all out – which is inevitably followed by the litany of grumpy Tweets or Facebook statuses whining and groaning about how upset they are that so many people are at the gym now.

If you’re one of those people, I have a message for you: grow up.

No, seriously. What kind of showboat-y snobbery do you think you’re accomplishing by complaining about the fact that you can’t get on a cardio machine immediately after work? Do some burpees. Jump some rope. Rework your workout routine or your workout schedule. But spare all of us the “omg all these fatties are cramping my vibe when will they go away” missives.  It’s tacky and entitled.

Do you think you’re somehow better than someone because you chose to start working out at the gym on a day other than January 1-15th? Is there some special cookie you get because you realized that you needed to start pushing your heart rate sometime in July? In what world does someone else attempting a step in becoming healthier and more active cause you distress? Honestly, of all the gripes I have in the world, my workout taking two minutes longer because a newcomer needed a second to properly learn how to use the leg extension machine ranks pretty damn low. I am more vexed that Serge didn’t DM me after officially becoming a single man again.

I’ve been active in some form or fashion almost my entire life – whether it was organized sports, or dance, or that terrible time I decided to run a half marathon – and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that prioritizing physical fitness as an adult is easier said than done. Yes, you make time for things that matter, but between work and life and whats in the new crispy chicken wrap, for many people staying active is something that can and does fall by the wayside. I work out four times a week and still have to regularly convince myself to get my ass out of bed and in gear. A seasonal increase of people trying to renew that effort is completely understandable.

Yeah, we know that many of the newcomers will not be there in six weeks, but guess what? That is the overwhelming trend of most gym members. Gyms bank on a large chunk of people year-round signing up and not regularly attending – and honestly, who can blame the new folks if they’re being sneered at for the sheer audacity of trying to do something?

If you’re one of those insufferable douchebags that has gone out of their way to grumble about having to wait 20 minutes for a treadmill in January, please just humble yourself and remember that at one point in time you were a new gym member trying to turn physical activity into a habit, whether that day was in high school or two years ago. Get off this imaginary pedestal of your own making and let folks attempt to counteract the consequences of WingTopia 2016 in peace. It won’t kill you to extend the teeniest bit of respect. Treadmills are bad for your knees anyway; find something else to do besides showing the world that you are such a miserable human that attempts of self-improvement around you are upsetting.

Shamira Ibrahim

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam'ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog,

  • 1. I don’t care if you new or old- I will donkey kick anyone who curls in the squat rack so hard their ancestors will disappear from the timeline.

    2. If you are new to the gym, skip the machines and master these basic lifts- bench press, squats, deadlifts, overhead press, barbell row, incline press. Use machines after you can bench body weight, overhead press half your body weight, squat double body weight, and deadlift two and a half times your body weight. A year of training three times a week will do this and you will lose weight if you also manage your diet right.

    3. If you cannot squat, address the issues (barring a permanent injury) that prevents you from squatting and begin squatting. No weight lifting movement transforms the body more or indicates general health better than the squat.

    4. Unless you’re training for a running event, no one needs more than 20 minutes of cardio.

    • Stop all that darned grunting!

      • TheCollinB

        our gym has a guy that moans…

        • There’s a dude that barks in mine.

          • Dude, you share a gym with DMX?

            • Completely different bark, man. This dude could eat Earl like big alligators eat little ones.

        • IAmMikeBrown

          ¿Qué la fuq?

          • MsSula

            LMAO. Stealing this ASAP!

        • PDL – Cape Girl Shero


        • Blackberry02

          Like, chexual moans…

      • I’ll have you know my grunting is called the Valsalva Maneuver and only the truly strong use it.

        • The Valsalva Maneuver sounds like something Rommel would have used.

          • Cheech

            The Valsalva Maneuver is that strain you do on the throne when you need more fiber and water in your intake.

      • Sigma_Since 93


        grunting is not breathing

    • My only gripe is the spread of bros at my gym. They all look like surfers with man-buns or have Hitler Youth haircuts.

      • IAmMikeBrown

        Ha! Flex on them Edlemans! You’re bigger than them, anyway!

      • Blackberry02

        Yo, some of these man-buns are getting OC.

    • Asiyah

      I don’t know how to squat and I’m embarrassed to ask for assistance :/

      • Is it a form issue or a flexibility issue?

        • Asiyah

          Form. I don’t know what to do with my back, and I’m afraid that if I do it wrong I’ll hurt myself. Suggestions are appreciated.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            Mortal is about that squat life.

          • Your back- keep it tight. You basically want to try to touch your shoulder blades together and to hold the tightness of that contraction. That stabilizes the weight as you lift the weight and descend. If you have a hard time keeping your should blades tight light that, deadlifts and rows will teach you how to do so.

            When you are descending, you either want to stay upright or to slightly arch your back. Keep upright if you squat with a high bar position (the barbell rests above your traps). Arch slightly if you squat with a low bar position (the barbell rests directly on your traps).

            The pic below shows the back position when it comes to front squatting, high bar back squats, and low bar back squats:


            • Asiyah

              omg thank you! I have to try this. ok ok I can do this

  • HouseOfBonnets

    This is at least 50 percent of the reason I have anxiety with going to the gym but I’m not gonna reach my ideal gucci glow up by sitting on my behind so…..

    • Darkchloe144

      Same, same, same. Haven’t exercised at a gym before, you telling me it’ll be this hard (and that much of a bother for somebody) to get a treadmill for 30 minutes, then leave?

      • God Shammgod

        The only way to find out is to go :-) and dont limit yourself to just the treadmills, explore!

    • I feel this. Me and my beachbody/youtube/nike training club workouts be thriving in the living room. Cause forget allat.

      • Blackberry02

        Girl, let them know that the steps in or outside of your house be doing whatcha need!

    • God Shammgod

      I hear this a lot from my girlfriends who didn’t grow up in an active world like I did, and it’s really unfortunate.

      In another lifetime, I would get capital to build a women’s only gym for women who like lifting and want a safe space. No shade to curves and lucille roberts or whatever, but they tend to appeal to a style of exercise thats not for me.

      • MsSula

        I have heard of female-only crossfit gyms… and I really like the idea. Deciding to go to the gym is hard enough without some entitled bro all up in your face making you feel like you don’t belong.

        • God Shammgod

          Crossfit has really prohibitive price points for a barebones box which i find utterly infuriating.

          You stripped out all the expensive machines and TVs and knickknacks and want folks to pay $200 a month? In american dollars? Abeg, please go that way lmao.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        I thought this is what Curves was.

        • God Shammgod

          Curves has like 2 elipiticalls and no weights over 20 lbs. lol.

          • Sigma_Since 93

            Do the have resistance bands in lieu of weights? A TRX station? Help me Sham.

            • The receptionist at my office goes to Curves. She thinks they are pure d trash.

              • miss t-lee

                Listen to her.

      • The main chain (Goodlife) here in Toronto has women-only locations with daycare attached. It was just too much. I joined a closer location that is 1/4 the cost and co-ed. I haven’t worked out in a co-ed environment..since…ever. So this should be interesting.

        • God Shammgod

          im rooting for you!

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      As a long time gym rat, a woman who is seriously trying to work out with free weights is always supported. Don’t let meatheads get in the way of your greatness.

  • A- f***ing-men, Shamgod!

    If you are that worried about “new” people at the gym or what they are doing then you probably aren’t going hard enough. Drink your pre-work out and mind your business.

    • OSHH

      I do notice poor form and people bs’ing but I am not one to offer advice/tips unless asked, while still going hard.

      • There are two other Raiders’ fans that I’ll talk too (because generally they are the only ones I get to talk too that doesn’t involve my littleless big sisters or prison.) other than that I’m kind of zoned out.

  • Mary Burrell

    People being judgmental in physical fitness spaces and being jerks lots to be said about that.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    Back when I had a gym membership, I never had a problem with a newbie. My problem with folk were:

    Doing curls in the squat rack
    Not having a towel and leaving your essence on the equipment…like I want to sit / lay on that ish

    These things would cause me to do this to you

    • OSHH

      agreed with all and doing chest press with the smith machine, get a spotter nucca.

      • Depends. If you’re trying for hypertrophy, chest press with the smith machine is the way to go; it helps you find the range of motion and position that keeps your pecs under constant tension.

        The average joe, though, doesn’t know what he’s doing when he uses the chest press.

        • Jennifer

          Dang. They got Pinterest pages and Youtube videos to explain everything now. There’s no need to be ignorant.

          • I mean, we all start from somewhere. I experimented with exercise for three years until I finally found and committed to a program and it’s been gravy ever since. The problem is that people a) don’t ask more experienced people for help, and b) don’t know credible sources of information for training. Men’s Health and most of the muscle magazines are CRAPPY sources of fitness and nutritional advice.

        • OSHH

          I thought it was just cause they needed help. Good to know.

          • CT Fletcher almost exclusively uses the smith for chest press for this reason. Jay Cutler is another bodybuilder who swears by the smith machine chest press.

      • DM.

        The Smith isn’t that bad, it gets such a bad rep bc whoever wrote the bro bible decided it was trash and everyone followed (blindly).
        Its great for those low-energy days when you’re demotivated but still have to push out those last 8 reps.

    • There’s the donkey kick I was talking about.

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      My gym provides towels and a bunch of receptacles to put your dirty towels in. Yet, people insist on leaving them on whatrver the last piece of equipment they used. Don’t get me started on reracking dumbbells.

  • OSHH

    LOL usually those that ain’t serious gone by March.

    • Cleojonz


    • Keeping it a buck when the weather gets better I rather be outdoors too. In the meantime we all in this together.

  • As a point of safety don’t listen to Cinema Bun or The Bodega Boys while you have heavy things about your head.

    • Cleojonz

      The Bodega Boys are Desus and Mero on Viceland right? I can’t get into podcasts as much as I’d like to, too much media and just not enough time. Maybe I can try to do some during workouts.

      • Yes. I didn’t know of them until they came on Viceland and the NY ish aside I find them amusing as heII.

        • Val

          Viceland is a pretty good channel. I like their docs on people who live in different cities.

        • Cleojonz

          I was catching up on the last two episodes of the season and I was cackling so hard! They are so funny. I can see how the NY stuff would annoy you but I live NY adjacent so I get all of that stuff.

          • There are only so many Knick references I can take but other than that I like them.

      • Red October

        Started watching their TV show last month and a week later their Bodega Boys podcast. They’re hilarious! Can’t lift weights with them on.

    • I can’t do podcasts at the gym unless I’m doing like light cardio

      • Unless it’s leg day I generally can listen to other things besides music. If I go after work I usually end up listening to Bomani for a while then music.

      • Lea Thrace

        only one I can do at the gym is The Read. But even that one I might have to stop. Cause I cant laugh when im already out of breath.

    • I stick with Soca because its guaranteed to stay up beat. I messed around and almost died on the treadmill yesterday. lol

  • Cleojonz

    I used to be that gym snob that complained about the new people at the gym beginning of the year. I even have a name for this. I call them the “Resolutioners”. Now I don’t care because I don’t pay for gym membership anymore I just use my building gym. I hadn’t been in some time and it was pretty packed last evening so I guess I’m now one of the “Resolutioners”.

  • Jennifer

    In the cold months — when I refuse to run outside — I supplement my cardio with some Zumba. I’ve never seen daggers like the ones the SAHM and old biddies give to the resolution crew who take up space or impede on “their spot” in the group classroom. I would have less feelings about it if the veterans were staying in their lane and actually merengue-ing in the right direction all of the time. Ma’am, people who dance off-beat in glass houses should not cast the first stone.

    • NonyaB?
      • Jennifer

        Imagine if Elaine was dancing in a pair of jean shorts and you would be watching the embodiment of the meanest lady at my gym.

      • PDL – Cape Girl Shero

        This is always funny

    • Lol! I got to my dance fitness class yesterday and it was SO crowded…I was late too, which didn’t help, but even though I’m a regular, I still asked and was polite about finding a spot to stand in. No need to be territorial in a dance studio that’s open to the public. Lol. You can’t complain when it’s a place for everyone.

    • cdj

      This is so true and so weird! I’ve been doing Zumba for a while, and you’re right, they are so territorial! One time I went back to a class I hadn’t been to in a while, and damn near had to body check a h*e to keep her from dancing in my personal space. As it turns out, I was in “her spot”.

    • My mother in law and her sisters are retired and work out 2-3 hours a day. We’ve started calling them the Zumba gang because they terrorize newcomers, ignore the choreography if it’s not exciting enough, and have run off an instructor or two. It’s crazy! But hilarious!

      • Jennifer

        Umm…where is this class?! I wanna see the mafiose in action, lol

  • God Shammgod

    One other thing I should have mentioned. Most Gym Rats are wayyyyy more obnoxious than newbies ever could be.

    “OMG ALL THE NEWBIES ARE CROWDING UP MY GYM TIME” – the one bum who does 10X10 with 90 second breaks at the squat racks followed by hogging up all the kettlebells for supersets during the afterwork rush.

    Bottom line. Get over it. It’s a communal space. Figure it out, adjust your time, or work out outside/at home.

    • NonyaB?

      Sounds almost as bad as those who don’t stay within their spots and surreptitiously fart in pilates yoga/cardio classes.

      • Blackberry02

        Girl, hot yoga be the worst sometimes!

    • I remember I almost had to shoot a fair one over a locker…like n*gga you DO realize youre just a member here too, right?

    • MsSula

      See them commenting upthread!! The Gym Bros irritate the eff out of me.

      • They aren’t going to do anything but glare though.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast


      • God Shammgod

        GymBros violate etiquette every other day. They can stop lying just to stunt.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        I don’t miss the late afternoon crowd.

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