Here come the New Years gym noobs in NYC!


It’s already starting. The influx of New Years resolution noobs are starting to trickle into the gyms across the nation. Well, at least they are here in my gym in NYC. Even though it was a dreary Sunday afternoon and not many people were in there today working out there were more than enough newbies to keep me entertained. It just amazes me what I see, and after all these years going to the gym I am still shocked at some of the stupidity I observe. I know that after the holiday abuse we put our bodies through with all the bad eating and drinking that many look to the long cold doldrum days of winter to try and get back in shape for the Spring and Summer. The problem is many of these gym novices have no clue what they are doing, and get in the regular gym members’ way. That, and they also endanger themselves! Stay away from me noob!


So many people join health clubs and gyms across the nation with the whole intent on trying to get fit and in-shape. Yet, many will quit never to return after a few months. Those I feel sad for because they are just wasting their money. Then there are those who will stick it out and keep pushing on even though they don’t know what they are doing. These people befuddle me as they refuse to ask anyone for advice or help with a fitness plan or how to use the equipment. They never make any real gains or changes to their physiques. I have seen some strange things going on in my gym lately.


One thing that bothers me at my health club is that the personal trainers will see these members doing exercises totally wrong, or not properly using the equipment and weights, but will not offer any assistance. It drives me nuts. I think they feel that they will only help if that person is paying to train them. In my past life I was a personal trainer, and also a gym manager for a short time, and I always went out of my way to offer advice. In fact, in my old gym that was expected from our employees. Seems like many today won’t bother unless that person signs up for personal training sessions. There is nothing wrong with offering some quick advice on form or equipment, and I have been known to do it myself. Hey, we all know some people will listen and some won’t, but at least I feel good making an effort. I’d rather also not see anyone get injured. Including me as I am currently in training for a Tough Mudder on April 19th and running it for the Wounded Warrior Project! Read about it in this recent post –

Here, in jest, are some of my gym noob pet peeves. I ain’t mad bro! Just kind of annoyed, and humored at the same time. Also, you’re blocking my view in the mirror. Move along!




This has to be one that drives me crazy. Who are you? Stop talking to me while I am squatting!






Why are you yelling, screaming, and grunting? You are chest pressing with 25 pound dumbells! My 94 year old grandma lifts more!



Annoying Guy On The Phone At A Gym


Cell phone conversations while working out and I am waiting for that bench? Don’t be that guy known as the gym douche.






Um, let me guess, you were reading some lame BS magazine article on exercise? What the eff? NOOBS!








Hey dude, you know there are squat racks and leg workout equipment here too, right?








What is up with the old dudes that are always walking around naked in the men’s locker room! Cover up that nastiness already!



I guess it will never change as each year it’s all the same. It’s a vicious cycle when it comes to this country and New Year’s resolutions. I think many start out with noble thoughts but most just go back to their old vices. Hopefully, some will do well, and not get in our way!


67 thoughts on “Here come the New Years gym noobs in NYC!”

    1. Hey Kristy!

      You and me both! It would be so much better if they were all assigned a trainer for three free sessions to at least learn how to not get themselves killed!

      1. Hello Phil…

        Awesome, yes you are right above with the tips you gave to Kristy… !!! Gym … Hmmm not for me .
        I have a pretty good boody, which doesn´t mean I shouldn´t try to keep it up even stronger …
        But I am to lazy to work out.
        I just walk and also do so some step workout in a stepping machine I have a home, but 15 minutes daily no more…
        Hope you are doing great !!! ; cheers, Aquileana 🙂

  1. I agree that trainers who are walking around the gym should definitely give advice to these folks. Even if they just make a special effort during the month of January!

  2. I stay away from the gym for the entire month of January and do stuff at home instead. I can’t stand the New Year’s Resolutions people. More power to you, but unless you stick around until February – I won’t see you. Happy Super Bowl week!

    1. Hi Steph!

      I wish I could stay away but I need a full gym to train in, as a small NYC apartment has no room for weights and machines. Guess I’ll have to deal with Noob-ville for a few months!

  3. Hey Phil,

    I remember you talking about these guys last year, are there some old faces back again with one month enthusiasm? I can appreciate your frustration with this but it must be a great business model for gym owners?

    Great selection of pictures by the way. I’m amazed that people actually bring their phones to the gym. What next, water proof phones so they can use them in the swimming pool?

    1. Hey Guy!

      Every year it’s the same deal. Sure, they gyms love it as these people pay then disappear after a few months. I’m sure all the pics are a goof but some people really do these crazy things!

  4. The one and only time I actually joined a gym, they wouldn’t give me my card until I went through a really comprehensive orientation with the gym manager. He showed me how to use every single piece of equipment, and was always available later when I had questions. I don’t understand why all gyms don’t do this?

    The important thing is that I can now use my new favorite word, noobs. Thanks for that one!!

    1. Hey Jill!

      That sounds like a great gym! All gyms should do that but most don’t.

      Use the word Noob in every sentence possible. Along with douchenozzle. Also a great word!

  5. My son belongs to a gym and it always frustrates him, at the beginning of a year, to not be able to use the equipment he wants because someone’s who’s never been there before and will never go back is trying to figure it out.

    And I completely agree with you in terms of staff helping newbies. If you can help someone, why would you not?

    1. Hey Karen!

      Yup – I know exactly how he feels! Makes me want to scream when that happens. I just go and find another exercise to do. Mixing it up is good anyway.

  6. All I know is I want to belong to the gym from the last meme: Open the first two weeks and then turns into a bar! Genius.
    I love the one of the guy squatting on a balance ball. HOLY SH*T! That’s awful.

  7. Oh this SO gets under my skin! I can barely move in my hot yoga class due to all of the ‘resolutioners’. While I know they have they best of intentions, I can’t wait ’til the end of February when they give up. Isn’t that mean of me? But I can’t wait, so I have more room, as I know I’m sticking with my exercise routine!

    1. Hey Cowboys!

      I think I would pass out or vomit doing hot yoga. Good job sticking with it but how does your margarita stay frozen during the class?

  8. That’s so funny!Naked old men can be really scary! In Denmark, a lot of the large fitness chains offer a couple of free lessons in how to use the equipment and set up a basic exercise plan, which I think is really good.

    1. Hey Mitzie!

      That is the way all gyms should operate! At least teach the basics without charging extra for it.

      Yes, the old naked dudes in the locker room are scary!

  9. Well I PROMISE not to muck up any gym, probably EVER. I have joined and actually gone (a little) and the last time I did, the personal trainers were disguised as normal people who kept chatting people up, for like EVER, and you’re hinting that you don’t want to talk, and it’s not until you go to LEAVE (or at least find a new place away from them) that they reveal, “By the way, I’m a personal trainer and I could really help you…”
    UGH. Then they have part-time dudes that are only in a couple times a month, so they weren’t there for the past 87 dudes I ALREADY ruded myself out at, saying “If you’re a personal trainer, let me save you 10 minutes of chatting: I am not interested!” at the top of my lungs, not even taking my earbuds out.

    1. Hey Joy!

      Hmmm…..that is a sneaky way for a trainer to try and get a client. A bit creepy too. Why not just walk up and be all professional and introduce yourself as a trainer?

      Love how you put them on blast!

  10. Well, remind me to stay away from your gym. I am a “noob” several times a year. Not because I’m lazy, well I’m sort of lazy, I just plain don’t like to work out. Especially at a gym. I don’t like to work out in a gym because of all the old guys, buff grunting guys, rude people who hog the machines and nobody who will help me figure out how to use those awesome weight machines. I mean with all those pulleys and cables and chains and stuff, who in their right mind can figure it all out.

    I have managed to figure out the exercise bikes, the treadmill, and those stair-climbing devices, but why must all of the t.v.s be turned to the food channel? And that annoying pop music that’s about 100 decibels too loud – no thank you.

    Now get me to a zumba class and I’ll kick some butt. And I actually work up a sweat in my tap dance class. No grunting or cell phone abuse going on there.

    I know what you mean about those first few weeks of the year, though. It’s amazing how quickly the gym attendance falls. I’m guilty.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    1. Hey Patricia!

      Sounds like you know what you are doing. Ha! The food channel is on our tv’s too. I think it’s a gym conspiracy to keep us fat and working out!

      Just stick with it a few days a week and don’t give up!

  11. This post is brilliant and so true. The gym at my school was so loaded the first week back, and it’s slowly dying out. And you have these people just chilling and texting on machines, lol. Your use of the pictures are hilarious.

    1. Hey Mel!

      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting!

      I see the texting thing at gyms all the time. I’ll admit I am guilty of that a bit too, but only between sets when I am resting and not hogging a machine. Glad you liked my post!

  12. Agree with you I can’t stand to see the trainers walk around. I always go out of my way to help someone. I don’t want to see someone hurt themselves because of no common sense. The whole talking thing I had to tell one guy dude wait one second so I could finish my last set of squats. They are hard enough to do without having to count let alone Love your last picture.

  13. Yeah… I remember you posting something similar around this time of year last season. People are nuts.

    As to the “personal trainers,” I suspect these days that there’s a strong chance they’re just people who work out a lot with no formal training or knowledge. It may explain why they rarely, if ever, jump in to correct form.

    1. Hey Kitt!

      Yes, I did. This is a new variation but it’s oh so familiar!

      I do believe some trainers are uncertified but most gyms are under a lot of pressure to have their staff certified nowadays. I think many are just lazy, or maybe blind to what is going on!

  14. I don’t know what to say because I’m still laughing at the “Everyday is upper body day” image. Last night I was introduced to a noob in my cross fit class. He is old, out of shape and the poster child for “I’ve been on the couch for years.” Well, he loaded up a bar with some insane weight for our workout and the trainer came over and said “Matt, you’ll need to unload that bar and make it look less impressive.” hahaha! Matt is a very nice guy, just a little anxious to be a super hero….it all takes time. Great post with great advice.

    1. Hey Lisa!

      LOL! I saw a guy do that recently and get stuck under the bar, then let the weights slip off one end and crash all over the floor. Too funny!

  15. And this is why I work out in the comfort of my own home. Because if the only person in my “gym” bothers me, I can shut the door on him. Ha!

  16. I stay away from gyms because 1) I’m too self-conscious, and 2) I would hurt myself. And I’d probably end up hurting the person next to me when I go flying through the air from a speeding treadmill.

    I think I’ll stick to my personal rowing machine. My music, my space, no pain for everyone else.

    1. Hey Suzanne!

      Nothing wrong with a good home workout! Still, if you ever get a good deal to try out a gym with some trainer sessions included check it out. Just don’t pay attention to anyone else.

    1. Hey Susan!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

      That is one way of looking at it! Just gotta get through the first few months of noobs at the gym.

  17. Too funny, the last time i was at a gym i was one of those noobs and totally got on the machine backwards. I had no idea what i was doing. I fixed that problem and just never went back. LOL

  18. OMG – do we go to the same gym? You just sparked a mad fire in me.
    -Let’s start with the parking lot. (We HAVE to drive to the gym in Texas. It’s 13 miles away) In January, my spot is always taken. Annoying.
    -Then I have to wait in a mile long line for childcare only to see the mom who dropped off little Jimmy sitting in the sauna 12 minutes after taking the treadmill that I wanted.
    -The people on the phones….this is a gym. If you can talk on the phone, you’re not working out hard enough. Increase your resistance and Shut the eff up!
    -Use proper form. I don’t want to be the person who has to help you up when you throw out your back because you’re swinging your dumb bells all over the place.
    -The nakeds…it’s just as bad in the Ladies locker room. I see more bush there than a gynecologist or a horticulturist.

    1. Hey Mandi!

      That last line made me laugh out loud!

      I also don’t get the sauna thing. The last thing I want to do is sit around with naked smelly guys in a steamy room. Uh, no.

  19. I purposely waste away on my sofa eating bon bons and avoid the gym just so I don’t annoy those that are slaves to the machines. 😉

  20. I don’t wanna get knocked into spam posting a link but go youtube “Gym Fail”. You know you have the right one if they are playing “Let’s Get Physical” in the background. Can’t tell if he was injured or not – sorry for laughing! If that was the real song playing at the gym, I don’t think he was training for the tough mudder.

    1. Hey Kenya!

      I have seen those videos and it’s always funny to watch. Somewhat painful too!

      Yeah, I don’t think most of these people would survive one!

  21. Holy Mackerel, it was like a gym workout scrolling down the comment page to leave a note today! With your clear excellent work ethic and customer service orientation, I think you should go for the last part of your Post- open your own ‘Resolutions’ gym, an easy way to keep the income going and become a billionaire!

  22. LOVE THIS!!!!!! The whole time I was reading it, I was nodding my head! Our gym posted this big New Year’s sign up, and our ladies’ gym went from being average to being PACKED! They hogged the machines, took their sweet time on them while I stood around waiting to get on—and then Zumba class. Oh Gawd—ladies would come in late to class and jump right in front of me. Then of course they didn’t know the dance steps and were all over the place. GRRRRR! Thankfully, the month rush is over and things have quieted down at the gym again. Whew.

    1. Hey Mother!

      I speak the truth! Every year it’s the same at gyms. Mine will slow down soon after the weather gets nicer out. Hopefully soon!

  23. I want to open a gym/bar called Resolutions! LOL! It’s the same here, Phil, the noobs come every January. My girlfriend and I were just talking about how hard it is to get on a machine or use the equipment when you want. I’m hanging out at the pool or the yoga studio until it gets back to normal.

    1. Hey Mary!

      The worst are usually Monday and Tuesday nights. Everyone wants to work off what they did to themselves on the weekend. By Spring they fizzle out. Hopefully!

  24. I wrote a post about the gym a couple of days ago. I am that nosey person that corrects people when they’re doing something wrong in the gym. Sometimes people seem annoyed but most of the time they are grateful. I can’t stand the idea of someone hurting themselves because I said nothing.

    1. Hey Becca!

      You’re one of the good ones. Just be careful you don’t get the wacko that thinks you’re flirting with them. Gym romance gets messy.

  25. I’m so glad that I am done with all of that. I played Ice Hockey for 19 years and dealt with all kinds of Gymbo Gerks and now I just walk and hike for my exercise. I don’t have to impress the girls at the beach. I don’t knock people down for being near my goalie. There are advantages to being an old fart.

  26. Phil, I guess you can say I’m a NOOB. Only time I go to the gym is when there giving out the free passes. lol I use to have a gym membership but I got rid of it because it was costing me. I was actually using it. lol When I do go to the gym, I try to stay out of people’s way and I usually lift what I know I can lift. If I plan on going heavy, I usually get the guy whose on the phone to spot for me; that usually get’s those guys off the phone. I’m not even at the gym all the time and I find it annoying when someone is trying to converse with me and I’m out of breathe. That’s the perfect time to hand out a business card to my blogsite. =) lol nice post…

  27. I have to take some exception to the idea that those who aren’t doing it optimally are not doing it “right” at all. I’m one of those people. My philosophy in doing it my way boils down to the simple idea that one needs to keep their gym routine sustainable. That means, in part, keeping it lazy. Not turning the routine into such a stressful event or a daily spike of physical work. While being sure to mix it up and concentrate on heaving lifting with a formulaic mix of some cardio in there does optimize the workout, no doubt producing results faster, it also means that before long someone “requiring” that is more opt to quit over the sheer labor of it, than continuing, which means nothing gets done.

    A lazier workout works because it’s a habit one can keep up. It doesn’t work nearly as fast, nor does it necessarily turn one into a body-builder, but it works. A tempered workout that goes on for years will eventually knock out the same calories that everyone agrees are not healthy. If there is a little bit of weight-lifting in there to boot, it also means that a “nice” and “tone” level of development will take shape, triangulating the chest at the top, which is considered very attractive, even though it will not mean “chizzled” chest cleavage or rolling arm muscles. If you’re doing it for sex appeal, the former is just as effective as the latter (women regard physical attraction as just one part of a carousel of traits so being bigger and tighter doesn’t result in a higher attention volume beyond what one could have acquired a thousand gym hours ago; it’s sometimes better to take half one’s gym time and use it to pursue an MBA, if this is your goal at all I mean) .

    I do 60 lame minutes strolling on a treadmill folowed by 4 quick reps on muscle-building machines at least 4 times a week. I have not consistently done this in New York as I did in Florida, and unfortunately it shows, but in Florida I lost 30 pounds in a little under 2 years, which was just absolutely fine. But, if I had to pound and sweat for that, I would never have gone past two weeks, and would not have lost anything.

    I know opinion varies widely on this, but I’m a firm believer in the simple formula that calories go in, calories go out. No weird pipage dictating when or how this occurs more efficiently one way or another is significantly applicable however many books telling one what time of day to eat in relation to what time of day you work out, what kinds of foods to eat (except obviously, avoid fat-garnering crap), or mixes and other tricks, there are.

    I guess what I’m venting is that yes, there is an optimal workout approach but a lazy one gets the job done too, and, more certainly, because you’re likely to keep it up.

    1. Hey David!

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought out comment on my post. Great points all around.

      First off, congrats on the weight loss. 30 pounds lost is terrific. Yeah, I know what you mean by the difference of being in Florida. Nicer weather makes one want to keep a healthier lifestyle, while NYC involves long cold winters and a ton of bars and restaurants to eat and drink at on a daily basis. It is hard to keep in shape living here. My dad called me today to tell me it was in the 60’s where he lives in FL today. The bastard!

      Also, I give you credit for sticking with your workouts. I never accused anyone of being lazy. My point of this was about those that do so much wrong in the gyms that it is laughable, and also a detriment to their well being. I take issue with those that refuse to ask someone for training advice, and also at those trainers that refuse to offer free help and pointers when they see people doing things wrong. Sure, this post is mostly in jest, but I don’t want to ever see anyone get hurt either.

      More power to you my man. Whatever works for you is all good. Just keep at it and stay healthy for the long term. Life is short, so we might as well live a fit enough life as long as we can.

      1. Thanks fil! No worries, “lazy” was my own definition of how the more casual workout must look to dedicated aficionados, but trust me, in all actuality, even the soft workout takes a mountain of will to see it through.

        Trainers have given me invaluable advise from time to time as they pass by, which I incorporate. Heh – I just know that if it were up to them and many of my own friends that have coached me over the years, I’d be tossing a giant ball or dragging an iron weight. I think another keyword I meant to convey is consistency, which has been harder here in NYC than in Tampa for the very reasons you stipulate. Weather gets in the way, crowds get in the way, all the machines a part of my ritualistic routine are not always available. I worked second shift in Tampa and went to a 24 hour gym over that 2-year stretch. You can imagine how nice it was that the roads were always empty, as was the gym, save for overnight regulars (oddballs but in time we got to know each other and sort of became a click). That ease of daily incorporation definitely helped keep the routine going.

        I’m winding up back to it and hopefully I can get back to where I was when I left. 😛

        Thanks for the shout-out!

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!