The brave gym-goers of Reddit are here with your daily dose of secondhand embarrassment – but don’t blame us if you’re too scared to go work out after reading these.
1. “Coming out of the hole while squatting, I usually let out a slight grunt right before lockout. Well, a few weeks ago, I was at the end of my last set and I really felt like I couldn’t do it, but my earphones were blaring and my upbeat workout playlist convinced me that I could finish this set. So up I come, and instead of releasing the slight, guttural grunt that I usually make, I let out a very loud, very high-pitched, and very sexual moan (I’m a guy). I was super embarrassed at first, but afterwards joked around with the guy that was sharing the rack with me, so at least I was able to at least play it off a bit.”
2. “As a freshman in college, our strength coach was teaching us good squat form, and all the upperclassmen were watching us. When it was my turn to demonstrate my squat and have my form picked apart by the coach and seniors alike, my shorts tore and made the loudest ripping sound imaginable. The whole team laughed as a torn apart pair of boxers hung out from my shorts.”
3. “I was way too into my music and drifted off in my mind on a treadmill. I ended up tripping over myself and fell face first before rolling off. The hot girl three treadmills down saw and laughed. people smaller than me offered to help and an old lady just gave me a sad face.”
4. “I was in a beginner’s yoga class, with just very soft music playing when a fart inevitably got pushed out. It was pretty obvious it came from me.”
5. “Once I shook my bottle without putting the lid on properly, resulting in some poor old guy, about to do some squats, getting covered in my protein shake.”
6. “I went up to a girl who looked like a girl I flirt with a lot. She was stretching off in a corner so I came up and said, ‘So how’d you get so flexible?’ It wasn’t my friend, and I never learned how she got so flexible.”
7. “I went for a good, long run in my new dark gray spandex leggings. Only after getting into the locker room post-run did I realize that sweat shows on dark gray spandex leggings. Oh, it shows so, so much.”
8. “The tongue on my running shoe was all screwed up and genius-me thought I could fix it whilst running. Well, I couldn’t and I shouldn’t have tried because falling off a treadmill really hurts.”
9. “One time I s— myself while doing heavy squats. It was pretty late at night and mostly empty, so I just took a shower, cleaned up after me and continued to squat in clean underpants.”
10. “I was doing dips on a bench (hands on bench, feet on ground) and on my last rep tried to push myself up to my feet. I had no strength left and fell backwards into the bench. Not the worst, but definitely looked around to see who noticed.”
11. “I was so wrapped up in lifting that I removed a plate from a smith machine as a kid was just about to start squatting. The bar was on his back and everything. Oops.”
12. “So I’d just finished squatting in a rack and was moving onto straight leg DLs. With the bar on the top peg and already loaded with weight I figured I would save some time and just squat it down to the bottom of the rack, get out from under it, and then lift it onto the floor. That way I wouldn’t have to take the weight off and on again. Perfect plan, nothing could go wrong, right?
I proceed to get under the bar and squat down, but must have stepped back too far because one side of the bar barely misses the rack. Not expecting to take the weight back up, and now being thrown way off balance, I fell straight back and the loaded bar crashed and clanked to the ground behind me. I got back up and with only a healthy amount of embarrassment and a charlie horse in the left side of my a–.”
13. “Once when I was in the locker room I discovered a door, and being the curious 16-year-old guy that I was, I had to try it. Turns out, one of the employees forgot to lock it and it led to the ladies locker room.”
14. “While running on a treadmill at the gym where I worked, I ripped LOUD farts on like five consecutive steps. It was busy. I left.”
15. “Back when I was first starting, I got stuck under the bar doing a bench press and hadn’t thought to ask anyone how to recover from this. It was only 40 kg on the bar and I was stuck under it. I tried to push it up over my head, leaving a red line up my head where the bar had caught my forehead.”
16. “I thought it would be a good idea to put 2 lb weights in my pockets to weight my chin-ups a little. Pants fell down. I fell down trying to stop them. Landed on my a– with my pants by my knees.”
17. “A few years ago I was doing the incline bench at 225 lbs. I put what I thought was a 45 on a side, but it was a 35. I was more into my music than I was into paying attention, so when I went to lift, the weight imbalance caused me to go to the heavier side and a 45 shot off. Then the bar was massively imbalanced and it went the other way and the 35 shot off. Trying to compensate, for it I swung back and forth losing the other 45s. I was younger and extremely embarrassed. Now I’d probably laugh it off.”
18. “The first time I ever did squats, a friend showed me the ropes of all the basic exercises throughout the week. He insisted I try a weight that I thought was too much. But he was sure I’d be able to handle it. I got it up on my shoulders, going good, went down for my first rep and stalled going back up. My legs gave out, I completely blanked on the concept of safety bars and stops on the sides, and let out an embarrassingly high pitched squeal of terror. Got up to most of the gym looking at me, but tried to play it off like it must have been some other guy that did that.”
19. “The shame of being convinced you can lift something, committing, failing and crushing yourself. Then hoping nobody saw this, getting up, making out that you have used the weights to their full potential and walking away. Happens every day.”
20. “I fell off the treadmill one time. I didn’t get hurt, got right back on, and high fived the guy next to me. Then I fell off again.”
21. “I was at the gym when I saw a girl I knew from high school a few years ago walk in and get on the treadmill right near me. I always secretly had a crush on her and thought it would be the perfect to reconnect after my workout, so I made sure to run extra hard and fast to impress her. When I was finally done I went over to say hello, when I realized it was a complete stranger who I had never met in my life.”
Stories have been edited for clarity and length.