Top 18 Most Epic Gym Fails


You’ve seen them. You’ve laughed at them. You’ve probably even taken videos or pictures of them and sent them to friends. Here are the biggest gym fails we’ve ever seen!

People from almost all walks of life get a gym membership. According to the IHRSA Consumer Report, approximately 52.9 million Americans have one. Of course, another study says about 67% of people with a gym membership don’t use it. So who ends up at the gym? For the most part, it’s people who don’t know what they’re doing.

There are a lot of athletes, former athletes, people with personal trainers and people just in there to lose weight on treadmills and in Zumba class. But, every once and awhile you’ll spot someone who clearly woke up that morning and decided to finally use that membership they’ve been paying for, but have no idea what to do once they walk through the doors. Those people tend the make the rookie mistakes.

Here are the top epic gym fails!

#1 Using Too Many Pieces Of Equipment At Once

Doing biceps curls on the treadmill is not your new wave workout. There’s no real benefit in forcing your body to do two workouts simultaneously. You won’t receive the full benefit of either exercise by doing so. If you want some variety and high intensity, try a circuit instead.

#2 Not Following A Set/Reps Routine

This is for all the girls who waltz in because they want to get fit, but they have no idea how and don’t care to push themselves. You’ll be sitting at a machine taking a break between sets and there’s a girl prancing from one machine to the next right in front of you. She sits down at a machine and guesses how it works. Then she does about three or four reps.

That’s it!

She’s then on to the next machine, never to return to this one.

Don’t be that girl. If you’re a beginning gym-goer, just stick with 10 to 12 reps and three sets of those reps with a one to two-minute break in between.

#3 Going For Broke

Shout out to all those people trying to lift more than they actually can. When the bar falls to the side or on top of your chest – it’s time to lighten up. This is especially the case for anyone trying to lift more than he or she normally would do without a spotter!

Don’t do that!

And having someone recording a video of your lifting doesn’t count as having a spotter.

#4 Wearing Improper Clothes Or Shoes

Why anyone would actually want to workout in business clothes is an unsolved mystery, but they’re out there. They’re climbing on machines in their dress shoes trying not to rip a seam in their polyester pants.

And then there are those lazy beach bums walking around the gym in their flip-flops.

Are you trying to slip and break your neck?

If Nike and Lorna Jane are too expensive, Walmart sells workout gear these days. Fortunately for everyone, being healthy and fit is popular and popular means you can definitely find it on a budget!

#5 Not Eating Anything

This goes for before and after the workout. You shouldn’t eat a ton before you workout or you might be running to the bathroom to spit it back up. But you should eat something.

Not eating anything before exercise will certainly cause you to become lightheaded, dizzy, and unable to lift and work as hard as you really can. Your body needs the energy derived from food to get a good workout. Think of the food you consume as fuel.

After your workout, you should definitely eat protein. This is the best time to build those muscles.

You’ve just torn them down exercising and now they’re beginning to grow. The best thing to feed them while they grow is protein!

#6 Talking Too Much

Good exercise relies heavily on proper breathing. So for one, if you’re talking too much while you’re trying to lift weights, you are cutting your body off from some O2 love.

Second, other people are trying to focus. If they can hear you yammering while they’re focusing, they are going to have trouble with their workout. Obviously, it’s okay to chat a little bit, but try to keep it low so that others can’t hear you over their headphones.

#7 Not Paying Attention

Some of the best gym fails videos are of guys on treadmills who see a hot girl and stop paying attention to their running until they fall face first and slide off the machine. Golden. Unless you want to be that guy, pay attention to what you’re doing.

Also, not paying attention can be that you’re looking all around the room while you’re using a machine. This is not helping your workout. And, if you don’t pay attention, you could end up slamming the weights down and then everyone will be looking at you. That’s not the kind of attention anyone wants.

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#8 Too Much Pre-Workout

Don’t burn yourself out before you even get started. If you don’t have incredible stamina, don’t do an hour of cardio before an hour of strength training. Your strength training will not be nearly as beneficial because your body will already be exhausted. Pre-workouts should just get you hyped up and your adrenaline going so that you’re pumped and ready to work.

#9 Using Machines Wrong

There are absolutely hilarious videos on YouTube of people using machines totally wrong. A lot of them are filled with people failing at weightlifting, which isn’t as much of a fail because it’s a matter of choosing the wrong weight. But there are also an incredible number of people who just clearly have no idea how to use the equipment.

For example, there’s the guy that uses the leg press and stretches out his legs, leaves them out and then starts doing sit-ups. Completely useless! There are also tons of videos of people choosing the absolute wrong weights for themselves and they modify their position on the machine to make it work. Or they choose a weight that’s too light so they lift at super speed and they clearly think it means they’re super strong.

Then there’s the guy who lies on his back, lifts his legs straight up, and then tries to do crunches. Instead, he just works out his neck. Or the guy sitting with his knees bent at the rowing machine and yanking it as fast as he can. Or the guy laying all the way down on the seat and pulling the lat bar to his chest. It all makes you think there should be a tutorial requirement for anyone who signs up at a gym!

#10 Not Enough Or No Stretching

Ideally, you should stretch before and after your workout. At the very least, you should do a quick stretch before any physical activity, such as playing a sport and especially before a workout.

If you start using the leg press and feel a sharp pain or stiffness causing you to take a break earlier than you planned – get to stretching! Machines isolate the muscles and not stretching muscles before working on them can cause you suffering and even injury.

#11 Bad Hygiene

Working out next to someone with bad B.O. is gross and de-motivating. Would you want to be distracted by somebody’s smell while you work the rowing machine? Wear deodorant when you hit the gym! And take regular showers when you exercise on a regular basis.

Physical activity causes you to perspire and more bacteria forms on your body. An actual body odor comes from literal bacteria, typically in your armpits or anywhere that your sweat can sit and may not be wiped off right away. So scrub away all those smelly bacteria after your workout and don’t bring it in the gym!

Learn How to Lose Water Weight

#12 Not Wiping Off Your Sweat

Speaking of sweat, don’t leave it on the machines!

Some people just naturally perspire a lot when they exercise and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s certainly an inconsiderate attitude happening when they don’t wipe their sweat off the machines.

Who wants to sit down on a bench covered in somebody else’s sweat?

That’s disgusting. Bring a towel!

#13 Bad Grips

If you don’t have a good grip on a machine or weight, you’re that much more likely to drop it. Before you cause a ruckus in the gym or break something, make sure your hands aren’t sweaty and that you’re gripping the weight in the right place.

Besides noise and damaging machines, you could also cause yourself an injury. When you start to slip, you’ll naturally attempt to compensate by twisting your arm or quickly moving in a different direction and this could end up causing an accident injuring you or somebody else.

#14 Not Putting Weights Back

Whether you’re a big guy who can lift some serious weight or just a fit person who can lift a good amount – think about the people who can’t!

When they walk up to the bar and your weights are still there, how are they going to use it?

Not everyone can lift the same amount as you. Don’t be the cause of somebody else getting hurt trying to pick up after you.

Also, don’t leave free weights lying around because not only could somebody trip on them, whoever wants to use them next may not be able to find them. Don’t treat the gym like you’re the only person in it. Put the weights back where they belong!

#15 Texting

This is especially annoying when someone is taking his or her quick break between sets on a weight machine. Even if another person isn’t literally standing there making a line and waiting on the machine, there are still other people eyeing it and waiting to use it.

So if you’re texting on your break, people feel like you aren’t really working out and you don’t care to be there. If you need to text someone, go off to the very side of the gym by the water fountain to send it.

#16 Lying On The Mats Just Chillin’

People actually use those mats for stretching and working out. It’s annoying to walk up and see the mats full of people lying around on their phones or chatting with their friend sitting next to them. Don’t use the mats as a park bench!

#17 Staring

Staring at other people is awkward, rude and a little creepy. People come to the gym to focus on themselves and their bodies. Many of them are trying to work hard and achieve a new result. So the last thing they need is somebody staring them down.

Even if that person is fit and looks great, they aren’t filming a TV show so stop staring!

#18 Overdoing It In a Class

Sometimes being in a class creates a pressure to keep up. But if you can’t hold an advanced warrior pose in yoga class, do the beginner version! Just because the people around you are cycling faster on the bikes, doesn’t mean you need to.

On the other hand, don’t hide behind everyone and do so little that you’re barely working out. That’s not beneficial either. Treat a class like the instructor is watching you the whole time, even if they only watch you for a total of 30 seconds. Pretend like they’re going to whip their head around and evaluate your workout at any minute.

However, remember that classes aren’t a competition.


While gym fails are sometimes hilarious to other people, you probably don’t want to be the person doing them. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, watch some videos online showing you how to use the machines at the gym. And actually read the instructions posted on the machine – they even come with pictures!

Wear proper workout attire, don’t talk too much or too loud, know your limits, follow a routine and pay attention.

By Alyssa Bright

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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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