18 Types Of Social Awkwardness You Experience At The Gym (In GIFs!)

The gym is its own little microcosm of social norms and awkward moments. You’re not the only one who occasionally feels like a weirdo! If you’ve ever spent even a second on an elliptical, you’ve probably experienced a few of these cringey predicaments…

1. When you get on a deserted treadmill that still has a water bottle and pricey magazine in the cupholder but no human to be found, and spending your entire workout with an inner monologue about how every person who walks toward you might awkwardly confront you about taking “their” treadmill.


2. When people hover over your treadmill to talk to or simply stare at the person on the other side of you, but when you acknowledge them in any way they ignore you.


3 When a guy yells as he THROWS down a loaded barbell from a press. Why the yelling and the throwing?


4. When you don’t really want to work out, so you start and stop a lot on the treadmill or elliptical, and then get nervous that people near you are judging you, so you come back, but then you get tired, and continue this back and forth shuffle for the rest of your time at the gym.


5. When you’re getting ready in the locker room and your locker is wide open, so you move the door or your big to accommodate the stranger who’s getting ready next to you, and spend several minutes straddling the line between awkwardly overpolite and passive-aggressive.

Polite Cats

6. When the dude next to you on the elliptical is muttering offensive things under his breath to keep himself motivated, such as, “These bitches think they run me?” Even weirder is when this person catches you giving them an odd look and proclaims something along the lines of. “Yeah, I’m talking to myself! I’m not crazy for talking to myself!” So. Uncomfortable.


7. When a dude (or lady) chest-puffs all snobby-like but then overestimates what they’re capable of, bench presses like a million pounds once, probably tears something, then spend 15 minutes walking around the gym red-faced and sweating and panting before being like “man that was a good workout!” and leaving.


8. Asking how to use equipment that, to your virgin eyes, looks really confusing, and then finding out it’s the simplest thing in the world.


9. When you’re stretching post-workout on a yoga mat and then the yoga teacher walks in and sets down her mat and is like “Welcome to class!” and you’re like “Nooooooooo…….. I will be gone in two minutes… I’m so sorry…”


10. When you get really emotionally involved in whatever you’re watching on the gym TV and involuntarily gasp or laugh really loudly in an otherwise-quiet corner of the gym.

Elliptical Dance

12 When your leg starts to feel weird so you have to pause your run for a second but don’t want to fully stop the treadmill so instead you hop to the side rims and to passersby you look like you’re so lazy that you’re just watching the treadmill run on its own for sport.

Treadmill Cat

13. When you’re listening to music on your phone while doing cardio and the headphones get caught on the machine, making the phone fly out of your hands and through the air past people’s heads.


14. When you own roughly 2.5 articles of workout clothing and thus realize you’ve worn the same outfit to the gym for the last three days, and suddenly notice that everyone else you’ve seen at the gym this week has been doing the exact same thing.


15. When Crossfitters show up to a not-Crossfit, regular-people gym to do complicated Crossfit activities with the equipment and all you can do is just kind of stare, amazed and perplexed.

Playing Catch

16. When you load one side of a barbell with more weight than the other, take it off the rack, and then notice the mistake and mutter “WHOOPS” to yourself.


17. When you trip and fall or do something otherwise silly and want to turn to a friend and giggle about it, but then suddenly remember that you’re at the gym all alone, so you just settle for laughing aloud all by yourself.


18. When you do something to embarrass yourself in front of your fellow gymgoers but you could care less because you don’t know those people anyway and you just got a fabulous workout.