01/21/2014 01:54 pm ET Updated Mar 23, 2014

My Top 10 Pet Peeves at the Gym

If you spend any amount of time in the gym, over time you notice that certain things get mighty annoying. Here is my top ten list:

  1. My personal trainer invents wacko, extremely challenging, and perhaps dangerous workouts that I'll never be able to replicate on my own.
  2. The only machines without bodies on them have "out-of-order" signs.
  3. The staff vacuums around me while I'm trying to work out.
  4. I go to take a shower only to be barraged by litter covered floors, hair clogged drains, colorful mold, dirty towels strewn everywhere, and overflowing toilets.
  5. The music volume is so loud even my earbuds can't block it out.
  6. My fellow gym goers assume their mothers will come by to remove their used tissue, gum, nutrition wrappers and caked-on, stinky sweat.
  7. Arnold Schwarzenegger-types make their presence known with loud grunting and forcefully throwing weights on the floor.
  8. People reserve "their" machines by putting all their junk on them and then go and do other things for half an hour.
  9. Someone acts as if she has her own personal treadmill, by monopolizing it for two hours while the rest of us cool our heels.
  10. Your fellow gym goers use weight machine benches as chairs, where they park themselves for extended periods of time, chatting with their friends, reading, or staring off into space.
Can you add to the list? Here are some tips for selecting a gym that you will like in the long run:

• Find a gym that is close to your home or your office so you won't have any excuse not to stop by.

• Check out the class schedule and instructors before you join.

• Visit the gym at the times you intend to use it to see how crowded it is.

• Take a shower in the locker room before you sign up.

• Ask if the gym limits the number of members.

• Ask about past fee increases.

• Do a walk-around and see how many machines are out of order.

• Ask about locker thefts.

• Talk to long-time members and see if they're still happy with the gym.

• Make sure the temperature is to your liking and that you won't be freezing or burning up while working out.