The gym should be a happy place. According to science, exercise creates feel-good hormones and helps you live longer. But those warm and fuzzy vibes quickly vanish when you encounter a superchatty treadmill neighbor, grunting weight-hog or another equally annoying fellow gym-goer.
Want to know the fastest way to land on a gym's black list? Find out what top trainers said were their ultimate pet peeves -- then, strategically place a printout of this story where your gym nemesis will see it.
Stop Trying to Talk to People
The gym seems like a great place to meet a potential life partner or new BFF -- after all, you know you have at least one common interest. But trying to strike up a conversation with someone who is working out should be punishable by a half-hour set of burpees. "Do I really need to know how much some dude had to drink the night before?" asks personal trainer Shane McLean.
"Most people hate working out and do so for health reasons, so they're understandably focused on themselves," says celebrity trainer Joey Thurman. "Don't try to strike up a conversation with someone wearing headphones."
Actually, Stop Talking, Period
Meaning: Leave your cell phone in your gym bag. "When I am at the gym I am there to get my sweat on, get pumped up for the day and feel great about myself. Get off the phone and take the time to focus on your workout," says personal trainer Courtney Violet Bentley.
Keep Your Sweat to Yourself
The more the sweat, the better the workout -- that's the general rule. But not for the person who has to enter the swamp-like situation you've created. "My biggest pet peeve is people, men in particular, who sweat profusely and don't wipe their sweat after using a machine or bench," says Bobbi Leder, author of "The Secret Police Dog." "It's unsanitary, disgusting and just plain rude for the next person who wants to use that piece of equipment."
Remember, Grunting Doesn't Make You Stronger
When you take on more weight than you can handle, you're more likely to elicit eye rolls than applause from trainers. "If people are staring, it's not because they think you're cool," Thurman says.
"People will moan, grunt, and even fart a few times before they get a full rep," says Donovan Green, celebrity fitness trainer and author of "No Excuses Fitness." Which turns out, is all for nothing. "They'll either get no benefit or they'll hurt themselves," says Michael Spitzer, author of "Fitness at 40, 50, 60 and Beyond."