People Share Their Weirdest Experiences While Working Out At The Gym
Gyms are filled with all sorts of people. From bodybuilders, to senior citizens, to scrawny teenagers, you can find just about anyone trying to build muscle, and take better care of their health. In addition to the obvious clientele however, gyms also tend to attract some shifty characters.
Humans who look like aliens, folks bringing their pets in with them for a workout, creepy men who get a little too close for comfort, and more- you can come across all sorts of interesting people at your local gym.
And with odd people come odd stories, so if you’re ready to read some strange stuff, people have taken to the Internet to share their tales of the absolute weirdest things they’ve witnessed at the gym. Some of these might surprise you, while others will just leave you shuddering…
Pushing A Little Too Hard
I went to a small-town gym once. The place was completely empty except for a cute, blonde girl working at the reception area. I decided to do some leg squats in billion-dollar-man, slow-mo style. This wasn’t just any conventional squatting machine though, it required you to lay on your back, and push the weights upwards. Anyhow, I got on the machine, and did a couple of motions, got up, loaded more weights on and repeated.
This carried on until I clearly loaded on too much weight, but I couldn’t give up when trying to impress the girl, so I soldiered on. I got to about the third lift, when I started heaving and making muffled groaning noises. But I had to do one more lift. And then it happened: a clear, unmistakable farting sound escaping and echoing in the very empty gym.
I got up, threw my towel over my shoulder, and walked out. That gym never saw me ever again. Reddit user: keyboard_crusader
I swear my gym is actually a gateway to the wild. One time I saw a fit man with impeccable, flowing locks stare himself down in the mirror. He just kept saying, “Yes!”, and growling a bunch. Then, he went over to the stretching area, and did what could only be described as jazzercise while listening to aggressive hip-hop on his headphones, so loudly I could hear it from the squat rack.
Periodically, he’d holler out grunts, hype sounds, and random words from the music, making himself look crazy in the process. It was so ridiculous that I found myself running away to not laugh right in his face- something that was pretty hard. I’m pretty sure he was a lynx in a buff human body. Reddit user: mister_sleepy
Up Close And Personal
This fat guy who looks like Tony Soprano, but twice as hairy, is always in the changing room butt-naked. No matter what time of day I go to the gym, he’s there, and naked. He just sits there, sweaty. The only time he puts a towel on is when he’s in the sauna, or sometimes the steam room, because that’s a rule.
Anyway, one time I came to the gym kinda late. I finished a workout, and went to the steam room, and he was in there chilling. I didn’t recognize him at first because it was so steamed out. After a few minutes, he started a convo with me. He’s Greek, owns a successful restaurant, is semi-retired etc. He was an overall pretty cool guy.
I didn’t even realize he wasn’t clothed until he got up to leave the steam room. He stopped to say one last thing before he left, and his junk was head height at that point (I was sitting down). It really wasn’t chill. Reddit user: PI3M3I
It’s five am and I’m benching. An older lady waddles past me super fast. I see she has a band around her knees, keeping them from opening more than like eight inches. I think, that’s a bit odd, but then she goes to the bench opposite me, maybe three or four feet away, and proceeds to start doing what I can only describe as vigorous crotch thrusts while in a bridge pose…facing me.
That wouldn’t be too bad, because I can just focus on me, except she starts power grunting with a force and volume I’ve only heard in delivery rooms before, and as I get up to grab some water and let the situation die down, we lock eyes. It’s not like we incidentally cross gazes; she had been staring at me.
I’m a bit bigger than average for a guy, so this is a new concept. All of that wouldn’t have been so bad, except now, when I see this lady any time I’m there, she’s always dogging me. Reddit user: juleswp
A Perfect Recovery
At my gym, we get everyone from normal folk to the insane ones who I can only imagine were teleported to this planet. A dude was running at full speed on a treadmill, when he lost his footing, slipped, and the treadmill pretty much shot him right off of there. But where it really gets good is how he recovered.
He was on one of the back treadmills that’s just in front of the mats where people do ab workouts. He landed in such a way that he was pretty much laying perfectly on the mat. So instead of getting up, he just sort of started doing crunches, like nothing even happened. It was such a win that I almost started clapping. Reddit user: [Redacted]
Twins And Toupees
One time, I was on the bench, and I heard two dudes say, “You look so amazing bro. You’re the best looking dude in this gym,” and, “Nah, you really are, bro.” I turned around after a set to get a look at the bros making all the noise in the gym, and they were identical twins. They continued to cheer each other on in the most bizarre and comical way I’ve ever seen.
There was also this old guy who wore a toupee to the gym. It was hideous. I guess he decided when he bought his wig, “I’ll be ginger now!”, but he was like a Mediterranean white dude. When he worked out, the toupee wax that affixed it to his bald scalp melted and ran down the sides of his head. He never seemed to mind. Reddit user: mister_sleepy
I am a woman. One time, I was working out on one of the arm press machines, and this dude in his 60s started standing right in front of me, staring at me. Mind you, this was like the second time or so that I’d been to a gym, so I wasn’t sure what the gym etiquette was yet.
I asked him what he wanted, and he just shrugged and said, “Don’t worry, I’m just waiting for the machine.” I asked him to stop staring at me, and he just continued to stare. I later observed him doing this with other people in the gym, too. Turns out, he’s just a jerk who feels the need to intimidate people into giving up their machines for him.
I was secretly chuckling when a girl wouldn’t have it, and played with her phone between workouts while he was growing angrier by the second. I changed gyms after that, as he was a regular at that one. Reddit user: Breezel123
My friend and I, both guys, were spotting each other, and had just finished our lifting for the day, so we moved on to some sit-ups. There’s a bench with a downward incline that we use for sit-ups. The spotter would hold the other person’s legs so they wouldn’t fall and then count out loud while giving encouragement.
It was my turn to do sit-ups, so I got into position. I was maybe five or six in, when these two beautiful women came strolling by. I wanted to impress them with my intensity and commitment to my workout, so I started doing sit-ups super fast and janky like a spazzing out kid halfway through a temper tantrum. It was bad.
Even my spotter was like, “What the heck.” Then, in the heat of the moment, I let out a loud, primal grunt with no care in the world. Unfortunately, my grunt ended up sounding like a high-pitched, feminine squeal. I didn’t see the women’s reactions, but a friend did. They got weirded out, so they just left while laughing to each other. My friend recreated that story vividly for weeks after that. Reddit user: roasted-caterpie
Here For The Class
When I was a freshman in college, I went to one of my school’s athletic facilities by myself, and had no idea how to get around. I was wandering around the area trying to find cardio machines, when I noticed a room full of free stationary bikes and, although I was seeking a treadmill, decided that a bike would suffice. Within ten minutes, all the bikes in the room were taken.
And then an instructor came in. She asked me if I was part of her class (as I hadn’t been there the last couple of weeks). I panicked, and just said yes. Turns out I was in some advanced spin class. I literally couldn’t walk back to my dorm afterward, I had to sit in the locker room for an hour until I could feel my legs. Reddit user: NEVERISNOTDRUNK
Prayer Time At The Squat Rack
I was on the treadmill waiting for the only squat rack to open up. A guy was holding it up, talking to some other guy, and they talked for like 15 minutes. I was about to ask if I could use it, and then they started praying. The other guy put his head down, and the squat guy put his hands on the other guy’s shoulders and started praying.
They were doing that loud “huh” thing between sentences, like Southern Baptist preachers do. And then another guy walked up to get in on the action. At the loaded squat rack. I didn’t want to be a huge jerk and burst out laughing, but it was just so random. I just went and worked out my legs on the machines instead. Reddit user: herpty_derpty
I was in the cardio room at my local CalFitness, and I looked up and there just happened to be a man in the most colorful, tight-fitting workout outfit I’ve ever seen, with sunglasses, and a parrot chilling on his shoulder. An actual freaking parrot, which was just looking around the gym like what the heck am I doing here.
And the thing is, this guy wasn’t even working out, and I don’t even know if he could with a bird on his shoulder. He was just casually standing in the hallway, chatting up a few gym-goers like it was the most typical Tuesday afternoon. I still can’t believe it to this day, and I haven’t seen him since. Reddit user: heaties
I was minding my own business, doing free-weights, when this huge red-headed Viking came and sat at the bench next to me. He grabbed the biggest weight there, and then looked at himself in the mirror and started screaming, “You’re a warrior!”, as he did his reps. I was so taken aback that I just sat there for a full minute, not knowing what to do or say.
When I truly realized what had happened, I had to run out of the room so that I wouldn’t laugh my butt off at him and get torn in two by his inevitable Viking fury (and his huge, meaty hands). It remains, to this day, the funniest thing I’ve ever seen at the gym, hands down. Reddit user: clrtxf
There was this guy who would come into the gym always wearing the same red sports hoodie. He would hit the treadmill at eight to ten mph, and just go. He could keep this pace for 30 minutes, but never seemed to get exhausted. It was super freaky that his endurance was so amazing, so I would sometimes just watch him work out.
Here’s where it gets weird. He must have had headphones on under the hoodie, because he would air guitar and head bang the entire time. Imagine a guy running at full-tilt, while shredding on an air guitar non-stop for half an hour, not breathing heavily or grunting, before abruptly stopping and walking out of the gym. Reddit user: MrBleach
Time With The Feet
While it didn’t happen at the gym, I started receiving texts from a random number offering me money in exchange for time with my feet. It turns out one of the trainers at the gym had been crushing on me, and one day, he saw my feet in sandals while at the gym (I was going to yoga), and went full-blown stalker. He pulled my number from the front desk computers because he just had to have my feet.
All the numbers he texted me from were fake or something, along with fake names and fake photos he sent trying to entice me, so the gym couldn’t (or should I say, wouldn’t) do anything about it. Needless to say, I don’t work out there anymore. I’d very much prefer to keep my feet to myself, thank you very much. Reddit user:miaomiao1025
Sick At The Gym
I was on the treadmill just getting up to my second mile, which is my warm down from the rest of my routine, and I suddenly knew I was about to be sick. I jumped off the treadmill, leaving my stuff on it. You know how you feel like you’re moving really fast just after coming off a treadmill?
That’s exactly what I felt. I went straight over on my back and projectile vomited right up in the air, and it came back down and landed on my face. Luckily, it was really watery, with no chunks, so it didn’t take long to clean up. Also, there weren’t many people around, but it was a bad day. Reddit user: Spectacularity
Playing It Cool
I was doing inclined dumbbell curls. You know that chair with the tiny seat and the backboard that’s leaned back? I was doing 25-pound curls for reps, doing one arm at a time. I was resting the other arm with the dumbbell sitting on the very tip of the little seat, between my legs. On my second or third set, just as my arms began to get wobbly, I slammed the dumbbell onto the little seat.
It pinched the tip of my…little friend. I looked around, got up, racked my weights, wiped off the seat, turned in my towel, collected my car keys, and made my way out to my car. As soon as I closed the door, I lit up a cigarette, and screamed at the top of my lungs for 30 seconds. Reddit user: boxingdude
Years ago, I was newly signed up at a gym. On my first day of a real workout, I was approached by a woman who proceeded to tell me off about who knows what. I explained that I didn’t know her, nor did I know what she was talking about, and she said, very rudely, “Oh, it must be your twin sister who’s the witch.”
I told her that, yes, everywhere my sister went, she created headaches for me (I have no sister). From that point on, the woman sort of follows me around the gym every time we are there at the same time. So, now we have to keep talking about the witch sister I now have, and how I am nothing like her, thank God. Reddit user: portlandninja
A Little Too Comfortable
I worked at a YMCA gym for about a year, and this happened during my last week there. A young guy, about 16, came in as a guest of a member. Part of my job was to basically do laps around the gym to check on everything, and on one of my laps, I saw this guy had his shirt off. It’s policy to keep shirts on, so I asked him to put it back on. He said okay.
I lapped again, and the shirt was still off. I asked him again to put it on, and he said okay. As I rounded lap three, I saw his pants were off, too. I asked him to please get dressed, and he proceeded to tell me that I couldn’t limit his freedom of expression. The boxers came off, and the man was naked. Reddit user: andsoitis
I saw a very fit and attractive woman finish a set, and then stop to rest. She then grabbed a giant bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup that was on the floor next to the machine, and chugged a ton from it as multiple people looked on in wonder. She went, “Ahhhhhh!”, wiped her mouth, and continued with her workout.
And, much to the amazement of the many slack-jawed onlookers, she didn’t notice everyone looking at her. I find out later, she had cleaned out a giant bottle of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup, and used it as her water bottle in order to get that exact reaction from people. Now that I was onto her secret, it killed me every time she did it. Reddit user: DreadPirateGriswold
Get In My Car, Creepy Stranger
This was turning into the gym parking lot, but it still counts. I was about to turn left into the entrance of the gym parking lot, when I saw a man jogging, about to cross the entrance. I waved him across. The guy ran to my car, opened the back door, and got into my back seat.
I yelled, “What are you doing?!”, and he went, “Sorry, I thought you were giving me a ride!” In what world would I ever do that? I was so baffled that he would take a small wave to mean “Get in my car, you creepy stranger.” Needless to say, I never waved him, or anyone else at that particular gym, ever again. Reddit user: [Redacted]
Looks Can Be Deceiving
A friend and I were working out, when an older man (mid 60s) came up to us to ask us to spot him. He looked kinda lumpy, and maybe a little frail, but when we walked over to his bench, the dude had something like 400 lbs loaded on the press bar. He told us to count for him too, loudly so he could hear us.
We were just focused on not letting this man get crushed, when he pushed up the bar and just started pumping away, growling like a monster. He started yelling at us to count for him because we had completely forgotten from the shock. The dude knocked out like 20 reps. He racked the bar, said thank you, and just walked out of the weight room. We just stood there, shocked, for the longest time. Reddit user: melter0fmetal
The Alien Gym
I’m pretty sure my gym is full of aliens. There’s a dude that looks like a shaved chimp- a straight up pink-hued, jacked, human-sized chimp. If he’s not from another planet, a lab somewhere is missing a specimen. I’m not even sure what it is he’s saying when he lifts, but it’s not a language I’ve heard. It’s just so deeply guttural.
There’s also a cyborg. The guy has to be enhanced. It’s the only way to explain the speeds he hits on the treadmill, or how his otherwise toothpick frame makes that machine make such a noise. Seriously, he makes the ground around him shake when he’s running, and can’t weigh more than 160 lbs, unless his legs are made of steel. Reddit user: tdasnowman
The Pizza Workout
I was working out at the gym in my apartment during the middle of the workday, and it was totally empty. I was using a mat in the yoga area, when an elderly woman came in while Facetiming someone, sat directly next to me, and set up the camera leaning against the wall at an angle, so we were both clearly in the frame.
Mind you, the whole area is about 50 feet long, and she was now within five feet of me. It turns out, she was Facetiming a personal trainer. As soon as she got set up, he told her to stretch, and he would be back in a minute. Well, he came back with two slices of pizza, and ate them while directing her to do exercises such as dribbling a yoga ball like a basketball. Reddit user: NoExplore
I used to work at a gym in Fort McMurray. At this gym, we kept our dumbbells on the ground in little groove latch things, because our rack kept breaking. The problem with this was that you can easily trip on the handles.
Some guy came in, signed the sheet, and left to do some warm-ups. At some point, he started to walk over to me for something. Remember what I said about the dumbbells? He tripped over one, face planted on an exercise ball, and broke his nose when he bounced off of it.
He then promptly left everything behind and ran out. He never came back for his stuff either, and after having it for three months, my boss said I could have his iPod and laptop. Reddit user: [Redacted]
Keep Your Eyes On The Treadmill
I go to the gym at lunch, and my office is somewhat close to a big university, so some of the college students also go there. One day, I was at the gym with a work buddy, and we were alternating sets on the butterfly machine, which was right in front of a row of treadmills.
There were a few folks on the treadmill: an older guy, I’d say in his mid-50s, and two college-aged women two treadmills away from the older guy. The women were running pretty hard, doing some interval work. After a few sets, the woman closest to the old guy lifted her shirt to wipe her forehead sweat off. She wasn’t wearing anything underneath said shirt.
The older guy looked over and noticed this, and promptly stumbled on the treadmill and shot backwards onto the floor about five feet. I was in the middle of my rep when this all happened, and I couldn’t stop laughing. The two women immediately ran to the bathroom, giggling. Reddit user: OldManWickett
Come Party With Us
When I was in high school, I wasn’t much of an athlete, but to graduate, we were required to get an athletic credit. One loophole was to log hours spent working out at the gym of our local college. One day, I was working out there, when I noticed this dude watching me (I’m a guy). I’m not a gym rat by any means, and so I thought maybe my form was wrong or something.
Eventually, he approached me, asked if I had a girlfriend–I didn’t–and invited me to a party. I was a little weirded out. He explained that the point of the party was that he and some dudes would be there making out, “So we can practice for our girlfriends, so we don’t suck at kissing.” Yeah, I didn’t go to that party. Reddit user: LAViking
One time, I worked as an attendant in a gym where we had one room with beds for suntanning. We also had a large, out-in-the-open, stand up spray-tan booth. One woman rented it for 10 minutes, which I clocked in, and she started it. After 15 minutes passed, I noticed she was still in there. I knocked on the door. No answer.
I knocked again, and said that I’d have to come in if she didn’t answer. No answer. I opened the door. She was enjoying some self-stimulation. When she saw me, she peed full-stream, which scared her and me. She jumped, and I fell over. When she tried to leave, she slipped on the pee and knocked herself out on the ground. The paramedics picked her up and carted her off. Reddit user: [Redacted]
The Odd Congregation
Gyms are notoriously where odd people congregate. My brother and I would always try to keep track of the different oddballs at the gym, including the mirror man. No one knows if he actually lifts at all, since he spends nearly all observable time flexing and checking himself out in the mirror, like he doesn’t have one at his house.
There’s also the old book lady. She literally came to the gym, changed, sat on the end of a bench press bench, read from a book, changed, and left. She never talked to anyone, or exercised at all. Then there’s the flipper. This guy hung around the free weights. He never lifted anything, but really liked his music. Every 10-15 minutes, he would randomly do a backflip. That was his workout. Reddit user: [Redacted]
A Crappy Situation
I once saw a guy come out of the locker room with a long piece of crap-stained toilet paper hanging from the waistband of his shorts. Apparently, he went number two in the gym, wiped himself, and got the tissue stuck to himself. And since it was hanging from the back of his shorts, he didn’t notice it for the hour he was there.
He was one of those people who had just started working out recently, and mistook the glances from others as looks of admiration. Interestingly enough, he stopped to flex in front of the mirror in between every set. Poor guy. Reddit user: spacewhale
I was climbing on a treadmill, and started walking to warm up. I usually do intervals where I walk quickly for some time, then jog, then go back to walking. I was the only one on a treadmill in a row of eight, in a pretty empty cardio section, until this guy walked up, and set up right next to me, instead of any other treadmill.
Then he proceeded to try to race me. I had my headphones in, but I turned it off because I had to listen to this man start to grunt, and then holler and curse. He was going full-sprint–sweat streaming off of him, splashing the treadmill, splashing me. But he couldn’t let me win. Reddit user: Ingrownsnail
My class was at the gym, and a lot of my classmates weren’t even trying to do anything. So I just got out my iPod, and went on a treadmill by myself. I was running at a fairly high speed, and then, all of a sudden, I flew forward, slammed my body on the controls, and smashed my head into a wall.
I got all woozy for a minute, and then my head started spinning. Then I realized what had happened. Turns out, one of the guys had been talking to some girls on the exercise bikes behind me while picking up a medicine ball. He put the medicine ball down on the ground and it got sucked under my treadmill, firing me forward. Thanks a lot. Reddit user: Sir_Roddrick
An Aggressive Routine
This dude who looks and dresses hilariously was hovering around the stationary bicycle I was riding on. I saw his reflection, and was kind of annoyed. So here I was, minding my own business, listening to some awesome Nine Inch Nails in my earphones, when suddenly, I saw him coming at me threateningly, shaking his head, and doing some sort of circular motion with his hands.
I immediately got off the cycle in a state of alarm, and stepped back. He suddenly took a U-turn and walked off. I was just standing there wondering what the heck just happened. I then removed my earphones to realize he was dancing to a really catchy Gaga tune as a part of his aerobic workout. I couldn’t help but laugh. Reddit user: [Redacted]
Not My Best Day
My mother forced me to do spinning with her one night at the gym. The bike was one with the pedals that you slip and lock your feet into. One part of spinning is when you’re forced to stand and pedal, enjoying the firey burn in your buttocks. Because I’m so light, the sheer force of me pedaling in the standing position caused me to rocket upwards.
On a normal bike, I would have just fallen off, relatively unharmed. However, the fact that I had my feet buckled in meant that I was violently jerked back down, smashing my thigh and genitals onto the bike base. Obviously, out of control of the situation, my legs kept pedaling, meaning that I continued on to forcibly knee myself in the face. Reddit user: tessssss
Like A Horror Movie
There’s a kid at the gym that always shows up with his mom. He’s maybe 11-13 years old. The mom is fine, but the kid is very weird. He always walks on the treadmill next to his mom, but never walks forward. He walks sideways or backwards, and that’s all he ever does when he comes to the gym. But that’s not the weird thing.
He will lock eyes with anyone who looks at him, and just stare. This goes on the entire time. He’ll stare at women or men, so I don’t think it’s a puberty thing. It feels like a horror movie in there, and I seriously hope he grows out of it before he becomes known as the gym weirdo. Reddit user: buckwheat1
No “Dad” At the Gym
I used to go to the gym with my dad, and I called him “dad” while we were talking in there, because…he’s my dad. So this random woman comes to me in a very nasty and demeaning tone and says, “Why do you keep calling that man ‘dad?'” I was like, “Um, because he’s my dad.”
She says, “Yeah, but you don’t have to call him that at the gym. It’s weird.” I say, “Why is it weird? He is literally my father.” She’s like, “Oh, okay,” and leaves. I was the most confused I’ve ever been in my life. I would steer clear of her every time I went to the gym after that. Reddit user: Jupiter_theplanet
The Sharing Game
We only have one elliptical at my small gym, and me and three men are pretty good at sharing it. We do 20-40 minutes at a time. A new guy recently came in. He got on the elliptical, all the way to level 20, and skipped on it for an hour. He liked to stop, look around the gym, then skip for two seconds, take one foot off the elliptical, and look around the gym. He did this for an hour.
The first time I saw him, he got off the elliptical and sat down on the ground, so I went there and asked if he was done. He said no, he wanted to go for 20 more minutes. He continued sitting on the ground for five minutes, and then repeated. I finished my work out on a bike, and he was still sitting down when I left. I don’t understand his training regime. Reddit user: Pakuchi
Too Much Information, Dad
The most embarrassing moment of my life happened at a gym. I used to go work out with my dad all the time, especially in high school. There was this hot guy that I had the biggest crush on. One day, he asked to work out with my dad and me, which I was thrilled about. We were working out and talking, and the guy asked me if I wanted to get in the hot tub.
I was like, “Yeah, I’d love to!”, but my dad interrupted and said, “She has to be really careful in the hot tub because she can get a yeast infection.” I died. Right then and there. I got my car keys, hauled my butt home, and cried to my mom. I never ever went back to that gym. Reddit user: Ashley12773
A Big Baby
I am a female. I catch dudes sneaking glances at me every once in a while, which can be kinda creepy at times, but mostly seems harmless. One gym session, I noticed a guy staring at me. I looked at him, and he smiled at me. It wasn’t a good smile. It was weird. There was too much teeth.
I went about my workout, and this guy always seemed to be like two or three machines away from me. I went to the mats to finish up with a stretch. He followed me, and put a mat maybe 15 feet away. Midway through, I felt him staring at me. I looked over, and he was laying flat on his back, with his head turned to me, sucking his thumb like a baby. Reddit user: throwthisaway1994125
The Call Center
I’m on the elliptical machine with five other women next to me. This guy stands in front and asks, “How many of you speak English?” (this is in a Central American country). Four of us proceed to raise our hands. Then he asks, “How many of you want to make $2,000 in a month?”, and we all raise our hands.
He then says, “I run a call business. You can make this much money by whispering a few phrases in an American’s ear over the phone, and you can even work from home. Come with me, and I will explain it in more detail.” Two of the girls take off with him. I stay back to laugh my butt off. Reddit user: Cronopia3
Pussycat Doll Dancer
So, I go to the gym in my housing complex. We get a mix of all–people who will hog the cardio machines for longer than they should, meatheads who bang weights on the floor without mats, and some who even meditate in the open floor section. For the most part, we all work around it. But this one 50-something-year-old lady takes the cake.
She’ll rip out the aux cable in the gym, and start a Pussycat Dolls playlist, and then start burlesque dancing in the middle of the gym like she’s the only one there. Everyone is always confused, but no one says anything. Reddit user: chhibb_n_dale