Five Fitness Pros Share Their Gym Pet Peeves

Are you making these mistakes when you work out?

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In January, fitness instructor Eliza Shirazi told us why it’s a problem when your phone addiction carries over to the gym. And that got us thinking: What other behaviors make our favorite trainers fume?

Instead of guessing, we went straight to the source. Below, five local fitness professionals reveal their gym pet peeves, and how to fix them.

Ashley Romero, instructor at Xtend Barre

The complaint: Giving your vocal chords a workout during class.

These days, fitness is a social activity. But hit pause on your conversation as soon as your teacher hits play. “Others get distracted and miss important cues that could prevent injury [if you’re talking,]” Romero says. “Also people pay a lot of money, and if you’re giggling and distracting everyone you’re losing the essence of a workout class.”

The fix: Do your gossiping and giggling at the coffee shop after class.

Jennifer Phelan, Pilates instructor at North End Yoga and Equinox

The complaint: The lights are dim, the music is soft, things are winding down…and half the class is rushing out the door early.

“A quiet moment ruined by a few inconsiderate people is not fair for everyone else,” Phelan says.

Plus, students who constantly skip the cool down are cheating themselves. “They just don’t see the benefit of resting their minds and stretching their bodies,” Phelan says. “And I can almost bet it’s exactly what these students need more of in their lives.”

The fix: If you absolutely must leave early, “choose a spot in the back of the room and tell your instructor you have to leave a few minutes early,” Phelan says. “Or just stay. What’s three or four more minutes in your day?”

Parker Cote, personal trainer at Parker Cote Elite Fitness

The complaint: The guy (or girl) turning heads with constant grunts.

“Grunting, yelling, or otherwise drawing attention to yourself while lifting makes you look desperate,” Cote says.

The fix: Zip your lips—or, better yet, reduce your weight. “If the weight is so difficult to lift that you’re yelling, lighten the load and work on doing the exercise with proper form,” he suggests. “You’ll be less likely to get injured and will actually feel the muscle working.”

Cate Brinch, owner of Recycle Studio

The complaint: Like Shirazi, Brinch can’t stand students who are glued to their phones.

“It is so important to take time for yourself and leave your outside distractions outside the studio walls during the ride,” she says. “Plus, your fellow riders don’t want to see your cell phone, either.”

The fix: This one’s pretty simple: Leave your phone in your bag or locker, and just forget about it. You can live without it for an hour.

Andrea Szabo, instructor at Xtend Barre

The complaint: Students who take every single advancement—even when they’re not ready.

“I think my biggest pet peeve is sacrificing form to take advancements,” she says. “You aren’t supposed to take every advancement I give in your first class.”

The fix: Check your ego and do what you can—no more, no less. “Listen to cues and make sure you truly understand and can properly do the exercise before trying an advancement,” Szabo recommends.