Having read about commercial gyms that outlaw squat racks and "grunting," I feel grateful to have a company gym outfitted with top-notch equipment. For the first time, though, I have witnessed the workout habits of Herbus Americanus firsthand. If you've frequented a company gym, you have likely seen all of these obvious mistakes:
People hate weights - The average person is afraid that they will either hurt themselves by lifting heavy, or they will get "too bulky." So they do a couple sets on the leg extension machine, hit the elliptical for 8 minutes, and call it a day. Wouldn't want to get too big. Ironically, fear of getting "bulky" seems inversely proportional to time spent in the gym.
Gym-goers don't push themselves - I get a sick pleasure watching coworkers take a leisurely stroll on the cardio machines or do a couple pull-ups while barely breaking a sweat. This makes me feel better about collapsing after my last deadlift rep, Tim Tebowing on the floor out of necessity until the room stops spinning. Most people are lucky to work out an average of 20 minutes a day. If you're going any less than 100% during that time, you are a fool to expect any realistic gains.
Record keeping is poor - People drift from machine to machine, sometimes hitting 8 or 9 different stations during their hard-fought 14-minute crucible of pain. Despite their regimen containing more exercises than I knew existed, I rarely see them record how many reps they are doing at what weight. They care about putting "gym time" in in the abstract, but do not care enough to track their progress or pursue fitness goals.
Most people are looking for excuses NOT to get a workout in - I have seen people amble into the gym, talk to a coworker about the weather for 15 minutes, work out for 5 minutes, and leave. The vast majority of people are incurably lazy. By distracting themselves, they get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with getting into the gym without any of that unpleasant sweatiness, loss of breath, or soreness the next day.
Don't let this be you.