Don’t Be THAT Guy!

5 Sep

As I was reading through some health blogs, I came across Bob Doucette’s post titled, Don’t Be That Guy.  He made some good points about guys (and girls) who practice what Bob calls “douchebaggery” (ill manners in the gym) and I immediately recalled an incident that had aggravated me recently at my health club.


I told Bob I was going to steal his title because I liked it. I’m also going to steal his style of telling the story because it is a good one. I’m not going to steal his term douchebaggery because he coined it and fair is fair. I prefer the term dolt.


I’ve made it to the gym two Fridays in a row and I don’t usually go on Friday. Last Friday as I was working my biceps on the fitness machine, an old coot walked over and stood very close to me so that I felt uncomfortable operating the machine. Guys: don’t ask me if I have beer in my water bottle. I don’t find it charming especially coming from you with your over-sized beer gut at my eye level. I told this dolt that I don’t drink much in case he was screwing up the courage to ask me out for a brew. He made another comment about how he only drinks one…and then another one, and then another one. I put my head down as if to say I’m going back to working out now, goodbye! He left. Don’t be THAT guy.

Are You This Guy?


When I work out, I get very focused. I’m busy counting my repetitions and I don’t have much time for chat. I’m working with machines and I don’t want to be hurt while using them by not paying attention to what I’m doing and making small talk or whatever. I was working (this was the same Friday) at the machine for my adductors, or my inner thigh muscles. Ladies, this machine puts you in an uncompromising position similar to the one at your OB-GYN doctor’s office except that you’re sitting down. A friend of the old coot had placed the bottle of cleaning solution near me. He bent down to take a look at a part of me (that I’m not going to describe here), pretending to pick up the bottle. I ignored him but I heard a woman’s voice from behind me yell, “WATCH IT!!” as a warning to him. He was sufficiently embarrassed because she had caught him in the act. He sheepishly asked me if I wanted the bottle and I said no. That was dolt number 2. Don’t be THAT clown!

Don’t Be a Clown!


When I walk on the track, especially after I’ve worked out and am sweaty and exhausted, don’t pretend that you don’t see me on the track and cut across in front of me making me stop short. I can’t tell you how many men (and a few women too) have done this. I’d hate to see them driving in traffic! I got so ticked off at people doing this that one day, I saw a guy walking towards the track and I could see from the speed he was walking that he wasn’t going to stop. He looked directly at me and I looked directly at him; glared is more like it. If he dared to cross in front of me that day I was going to give him a piece of my mind that the entire floor would have heard! In other words, if looks could kill, he’d be dead. He saved his life by stopping until I walked on. Don’t be THAT guy or THAT girl!


I like facing the big picture windows when I use the elliptical trainer machine. I go for 45 minutes which is what I normally do. Just because I did 45 minutes this past Friday, it doesn’t mean I was waiting patiently for you to take the machine next to mine when there are 25 other *$#! elliptical machines on the floor. I’m not interested. Read my body language: I’m not looking at you, I’m not smiling at you, I’m not talking to you. What does that tell you? Don’t be THAT guy!

I’m working out at the gym.


I tried to find a good video from YouTube to insert into this blog since Bob had one on his blog, but they were all pathetic. There was one video about meeting women at the gym that almost made it into this blog until one of the guys in it made the comment, “But she had makeup on.” Just because I comb my hair and wear lipstick to the gym doesn’t mean I’m there to pick up men. It’s hard to believe I have to defend that. Really, aren’t you grasping at straws here fellas? Women go to the gym for most of the same reasons as you: to get in shape and be healthy. Don’t demean us by thinking otherwise.


Here’s a clue: be extra diligent cleaning the machine that you’re on when you see me waiting for it. I dig your message of respect. Be THAT guy. It’s OK for you to look silly stopping short and nearly falling when you’re exhausted from working out and about to crash into me when I’m on the track. I appreciate YOU making every effort to avoid a collision. Be THAT guy. Finally, it’s OK to tell me that I don’t have to wipe down the machine after I’ve finished using it because you’re just going to put your towel on the machine anyway. Be THAT guy. I’d go out with THAT guy.


There may be a follow up to this post because there is no shortage of dolts at my health club. I just picked the ones from recent memory.


Ladies, what ticks you off at your health club?



9 Responses to “Don’t Be THAT Guy!”

  1. nature789 September 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Marcella glad you cut the beer gut guy off before he asked you out. This may be some of the regular Friday crowd at your gym. I wish all the guys would read your article! How about the guys who get behind the girls on the machines so they can stare at their butts?

    Well guess that is not as bad as the adductor machines?


    • Marcella Rousseau September 7, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      This same guy was there Wednesday while I was on the elliptical machine in front of the picture window. A storm was brewing outside and he was hanging out at the window talking to his cronies. I avoided him. Finally, he asked me if I was scared (of the oncoming storm.) I said no. He said he was scared and laughed. I didn’t laugh and ignored him. He seemed to get the message that time and walked away. It looked like his buddy was consoling him minutes later. If he tries to make small talk again I’m going to be direct and tell him that he’s annoying me and to stop.There is a woman who makes chit-chat with him and his buddy. She is ALWAYS there in her miniscule shorts no matter what time or day I go. I have the feeling they must hang out together in a bar somewhere too. TJ, you are not alone in feeling that the guys stare at women’s butts at the gym. I’ve been hearing that from women a lot! There is one very attractive young woman at my gym who always ties a nylon jacket around her waist when she runs on the track or treadmill. She’s the only woman I see doing that. I don’t see her there very much. I’m sure she has more than her share of unwanted attention.You know, you never know what they’re going to do next to annoy you. I could write plenty of posts about those experiences! I’ll be damned if I’m going to let their cave-man attitude prevent me from working out. It’s my belief that the offending guys don’t want women there in what they still consider “their domain.” They haven’t caught up with the times. Fortunately, they aren’t all like that.


  2. claudiagiulia September 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    You tell them sister. I remember, in my young and wild days, I thought every showing of interest was flattering, whether I welcomed it or not. It took me a while to become THAT girl, the one who works out for herself and not for a picture perfect ideal


    • Marcella Rousseau September 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

      LOL! Sometimes it’s flattering; most of the time it’s annoying! A lot of people do use health clubs to meet people. There’s an LA Fitness club nearby and it’s just a meat market. I tried it out on a free week pass. The place I go to is a family place with several pools and slides for the kiddies. I’m glad you’re working out. Don’t let these clowns deter you. Thank you for commenting.


  3. P. C. Zick September 5, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    I go to an all-women’s gym now. I like it much better than when I went to a co-ed gym and had to watch the guys showing off on the machines. Note to THOSE GUYS: I’m not watching you because I’m impressed; I’m waiting for you to finish so I can use the machine.


    • Marcella Rousseau September 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      I used to have a great all-women’s gym close to my house but a new owner took over and he was there everyday harassing the women and yelling at the staff. Rumors about his past were very colorful! Cop cars began showing up at the front doors. I never did learn what that was about. When my renewal was up, I left. I received a letter from him stating not to believe the rumors! I was never sure if that was a form letter or if it was just addressed to me. Ick, is all I can say. This is a common problem for women in gyms unfortunately.


      • P. C. Zick September 5, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

        Wow! Great fodder for a novel, Marcella. Fortunately, mine is pretty normal. But then again since I write fiction. . .


  4. proactiveoutside1 September 5, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Man, some of those dudes took it to a whole new level (adductor machine)!

    Though I’m not a lady, I can relate. I was on an elliptical one fine day, cranking out some minutes for some additional burn. All the other machines (identical on that row) were wide open. This gal, all primped out, plants down on the machine right next to me. It was weird.

    Personal space is valuable; go inside it ONLY if invited. And when at a gym, that’s pretty much never. Thanks for the post and the mention!


    • Marcella Rousseau September 5, 2012 at 1:01 am #

      Yes, I’ve had to complain to the management about the Staff harassing me a few times. Other than the jerks there, it’s a very nice place to work out. I was pretty upset about the staff person but (it was worse than anything I said in my post) I continued to go to this gym. It sounds like the gal who planted herself next to you was at least interested in conversation shall we say? It is weird when someone does that. Sure, you’re welcome. Your timing was perfect for your post and my experiences the past 2 Fridays. So thanks to you for your post! ; – )


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