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We’ve all experienced the dreaded gym ‘douche-bag’ and we often let it fly and don’t not say anything (Let’s face it – it’s easier to be nice and let things slide than to cause a scene).

How can you recognize one? What if you ARE one and don’t realise it? Here is a list of things that you can measure yourself against to see if you’re one of the culprits.

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#10 Wearing thongs(flip-flops) or jeans

There is no excuse for wearing either of these two items to the gym. You are there to train hard, not to look like you don’t give a rats. The whole ‘I’m just casually in the gym, with my casual attire lifting a lazy 300lbs on the bench’ makes you look like a ‘Grade-A Douchebag™’, not like the super-hero you’re making out to be. Please dress appropriately.

#9 Selfish personal trainers

Ok, I get that you’re with a client and they have paid mega-bux to be in the gym with you right now. That DOESN’T give you an excuse to tie-up three stations at once, or push-in without asking when someone else is using the chin-up bar.
Ask nicely like everyone else does. Just because you have Personal Trainer written on your shirt in size 300pt Helvetica doesn’t mean you are any more important than the rest of us.

#8 Bicep curls in the power rack

There are dozens of ezy-curl bars, straights bars and dumbbells already setup with increment after tiny increment of poundages so you don’t even have to add more to the bar. Why then, would someone stand in the power rack doing curls with a 44lb bar and a couple of 5lb weights ‘clipped’ tightly to either side? These racks are for SQUATS and DEADLIFTS. Using equipment for exercises other than there intended purposes sets you up for the ‘King of Douche™’ award.

#7 Using multiple stations (but not sharing)

No I don’t mean using 2 stations at once– That is fine. You just need to SHARE with your fellow gym members. When someone asks you ‘do you mind if I work in’ – LET THEM, they won’t bite, they want to be out of the gym and on their way to that nightclub full of hot-chicks just as much as you do.

A towel is a gym-goers best friend.

#6 Trying to lift too much weight

Who isn’t impressed when Joe Blow loads up the squat-rack with 6 plates a side and busts out 6 reps of testosterone inducing fury – we aren’t so impressed, however, when Joe has legs akin to a stick creature and proceeds to move the weight about an inch lower than where it started on each stroke-inducing repetition. If you can’t lift it, don’t act like you can – It’ll set you up for an ‘Olympic Gold medal in Douchery’ and perhaps a trip to the hospital if we’re lucky.

#5 Unnecessary grunting

We get it. Weights are heavy, and you have to lift them from point A to point B. Let’s not make the distance between those two points equal the decibel level of a Vuvuzela blown straight into your ear canal at point-blank range. Acting like an animal by grunting as if you’re lifting the gym itself is only acceptable when you are actually LIFTING THE GYM ITSELF. Being a show-pony gets you a featured article in the ‘Book of douche-ness™’.

#4 Not using a towel

Nothing grinds ones gears more than having to wipe down someone else’s sweat before starting an exercise. Bike machines, ellipticals and benches – it seems nowhere is safe from the dreaded sweat-monster. Unless your sweat is made of gold or it turns to diamonds when coming into contact with a piece of gym equipment, please use a towel.

#3 Not wearing deodorant

Who hasn’t been subjected to armpit-fumes-from-hell as they sprint the ¼ mile towards ‘6-pack abdomination’ before? Hey buddy, I get it – you’ve had garlic the night before and probably a shower a few months ago, but wouldn’t a couple of applications of BO-basher upgrade you from Neanderthal to human being? Douche those pits, douchebag.

#2 Wearing ‘fashion’ t-shirts

A lot of us wear our training tees pretty fitted, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like a condom full of almonds in Giorgio Armani. Gyms are for training tees and the like. Leave your designer Hugo Boss vest at home. I can see your nipples. Like, seriously.

#1 Staring at yourself in the mirror

There is nothing wrong with checking your form in a nearby mirror. This is key to a strong mind-muscle connection. But when you’re about to crush your mate’s face due to the fact your double-bicep-pose was more important than spotting him, you need to re-asses your ‘Level of Douchery™’.

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Editors Note: Are you a culprit and disagree with the above? Or do you have an addition or the list? Have your say in the comments below.

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • Cassie says:

    Nice way of using your blog to vent :)
    Totally agree with #4!
    I fight back so much rage when I see the culprits use mats to cool down after a high impact class with no towel and then casually put the mat covered in their gross sweat back in the box only for some poor girl about to do yoga have to get out the filthy mat and disinfect it so they don’t get some form or hepatitis! GRRRR.

  • WE55IDE says:

    Great post!
    Another piece of douchebag couture are those singlets with those really thin straps that are designed to JUST cover the nipple… Honestly, that’s closer to a string-bikini than a singlet!

  • Harlet says:

    HAHA remembering when we trained in the city and that little bloke filled the legpress with as many 20kg plates as he could find? And everyone stood around to watch the crushing …. good times

  • Stefan says:

    this is BRILLIANT…. I always laugh when I see guys wearing jeans at the gym… or even worse, there is one guy who comes in wearing a suit, and just takes the shirt off, so he trains in smart trousers, smart shoes and a singlet… then after lunch he goes back to work…


  • Alykhan says:


    This is hilarious! A lot of these are reasons why I workout at home now. No more dealing with gym douchebags.


  • Clint Nielsen says:

    The ‘sneakiness’ of hiding their sweat-pool in the box just multiplies the ‘Level of Douchiness’ even further. I’m not sure I’d be able to contain myself – something would have to be said.

    Skimpy tops are the most hilarious on the ‘roid-boys’ who clearly have a massive physique. I know the policy for most gyms is ‘no working out topless’, but if nipples can be seen at all times, that puts you back on top of the ‘Douche-Ladder™’

    Wearing a suit is a new one! I’m guessing they arent ‘client facing’ ;)

    It’s definitely an argument in your favour! – especially considering this list could quite easily double in the coming weeks :)

  • Yavor says:

    Killler article man .Stumbled and twitterd!

  • Dave says:

    Hilarious post. Like Alykhan, I workout at home…that way I can act like a db without anyone bothering me!

  • Janelle says:

    As a personal trainer, I hate seeing others giving us a bad name! To add to #2, it annoys me when I see Personal Trainers texting/talking on their mobile WHILE WITH A CLIENT!

    And I just love it when I see girls walk into the gym with their make-up, hair nicely combed and wearing the latest gym outfit, and walk out an hour later looking exactly the same!

    • Laura says:

      This article is HILARIOUS! I think douchettes are just as bad. At my gym there is a girl who turns up for a 7am pilates class in more make-up than I have ever worn in my life. At first I thought it was because she wanted to save time getting ready after class – I mean it’s not like you work up a sweat doing 45 mins of stretching. But no, she showers and does the whole process all over again. WTF?! And don’t even get me started on change room etiquette.

  • Darrin says:

    Dude, your site looks stellar and you have some rockin’ content to go along with it.

    I’m with Alykhan in that I have waved goodbye to the gym (at least for the time being) to focus on bodyweight training, kettlebells, sprinting, jumping rope, plyometrics, etc. Definitely not missing the DBs!

  • Clint Nielsen says:

    Thanks a bunch for spreading the word mate :)

    Honesty to ones self is the first step towards inter-galactic-spiritual-oneness! I like it.

    Mobile phone with a client and leaving the gym looking like you’ve just stepped in. I knew we would reach a top 20 before the week was out. Nice work.

    ‘Douchettes’? I had no idea it was gender specific. I think I need to spend more time on afterall

    Thanks for the positive feedback mate. Looking forward to posting new articles such as these in the future. Very, interested in your body-weight training results also.

  • Jade says:

    What those guys that pile on the weights and then have crap form??? Surely that could make it onto the douchebag levels.

  • Jonny Youngblood says:

    When my personal trainer trys to spot my 110.5kg arm curls, per arm, she grunts uncontrollably bro. How do we help her?

  • Harlet says:

    there is a PT at FF Mona Vale who eats while training clients – he is the most unathletic looking trainer you have ever seen

  • phon says:

    Wanna add #Gymtweeps to that list? I have been guilty of accessing twitter and facebook at the gym on occasion…

  • Hey Clint, I think your blog is well written man. Often I will go to a fitness blog, laugh at the first couple post titles, and close the window. Your blog makes me want to read on though. Great job!

  • It’s clear that the author of this article is either a pipsqueak or a 90 lb weakling or both. All of the items listed above are ways that total uber-studs demonstrate the pecking order to other bro’s n babez in the gym.

    When The Chad works out, it’s not just to make my awesome rock-hard body even hotter. It’s also a work of art. Bitchez and A-holes may get uppity but they cannot deny the combined rush of attraction and inadequacy they feel when they see The Chad grunting away lifting a 500 lb barbell with one arm while giving an over the shoulder pout-kiss combo flirt at the hot broad in the leotard.

    Y’all can get angry. Y’all can flame me. But y’all know that deep down inside the following is true:

    Bro’s – wanna be The Chad
    Babez – wanna be slain by The Chad

    Awww yeah


  • Politeness costs nothing and gains everything.

  • Haha funny article. I went through a gym douchebag phase for a few years

  • Jason Hansen says:

    Good article, I was worried I may fit into one of the categories but was relieved when I didn’t. I think you could add Presses to the acceptable rack uses though. :)

  • Will says:

    I love this and have to admit I’ve been guilty of wearing flops a couple times but I wanted to add:

    Don’t throw down the 50 lb dumb bells like they weigh 300 lbs to attract attention. Or even the 100s for that matter. There’s just no need to do it. I am a regular user of the 100+ DBs but SOMEHOW I don’t HAVE to cause a scene by exaggerating the release. Anyways, awesome blog, and wanted to throw that pet peave out there.

    • Clint says:

      Thanks for the kudos :)

      I will now forgive you for wearing flip-flops at one point.

    • Marc Hugo says:

      For sure – the 50s as if they’re 150s. But it’s about ‘recognising’ them upfront – as well as those nitwits that think they’re marvelous – the bigger their ego, the slower they walk….Then they wear a cap. More of a douche? Wear it backwards!! Then fiddle with your phone looking for that perfect song. Those are the ultimate pratts – fooling around with their personals when they shouldn’t even ‘hear’ the music. Man, when I am into it, they could be playing ABBA or Bach, or…nothing. I wouldn’t notice.

  • This blog post was brought to you by Planet Fitness.

  • Sandy Ellis says:

    they wont let you wear flip flops in most gyms :)

  • Sandy Ellis says:

    Oh, and I agree with every single one of em :)

  • SlayerofBodom says:

    To be completely fair, I am guilty of one half of #10. (I often roll up to the gym in jeans, as I rarely sweat, and rarely give a damn about fashion in any form, even for the gym)

    Nevertheless, a good, funny list.

  • Jerry Freese says:

    #11 Texting while tying up machines #12 Dropping weights because you somehow think you’re intimidating anybody. If you have to grunt loud with every rep,I suggest taking some breathing lessons. You sound like you are giving birth. If you are trying to impress some chicks and they see you carrying on like this they will shudder to imagine how you would carry on during sex.

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