Thursday, July 11, 2013

Basic Gym Etiquette (and a rant)

Fair warning: This post is mostly a rant. But there's a workout at the end, so it's not all negative. Alright, it's mostly negative. And super sarcastic. But I think it's important that you see this side of me.

My workouts are usually a time for me to zone out, relax (oddly), and destress. So when someone's behavior completely ruins that experience, I get frustrated. And so today after my workout I wrote Terry this e-mail (it's in red because I was angry). (Also note I changed quite a few of the--um--harsher words to make them blog-appropriate. Those are italicized and bolded, and you can use your imagination to determine which words I had there originally.)

Just a warning: This e-mail is purely to vent.
So I'm in the middle of my strength workout when some woman bursts into the room and hops on the elliptical WITH HER COFFEE and proceeds to pedal at like 2 mph. Whatever, no big deal. But then she gets off the elliptical, leans over, and turns off the TV that I was watching on the treadmill next to her. Okay, I can forgive that, she probably thought someone (I) had left it on. THEN she gets off the elliptical and TURNS OFF THE LIGHT. WHAT THE HECK!? I looked at her like, "WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING? DO YOU NOT SEE ME WORKING OUT???" And she goes, "Is that ok?" NO woman. That's NOT okay.
So I finish my strength and get on the treadmill, and she's still pedaling SO SLOWLY and then she's clearing her throat (probably because she's DRINKING COFFEE WHILE WORKING OUT) and laughing out loud at whatever's on her TV and singing or humming or something--I don't know because at this point I cranked up my iPod--and potentially talking to herself or to me. I don't care. But I was doing a HIIT, so I sped up and slowed down. But every time I sped up, she would start pedaling with really dramatic arm movements, like throwing her elbows in the air, and I thought to myself, "IS THIS WOMAN MOCKING ME?" Seriously, she was that obnoxious that I really think she might have been mocking me. I was SO annoyed.

So then the cherry on top: Finally (after 20 minutes--which felt like an eternity to me) the woman leaves. AND LEAVES HER COFFEE CUP. (She's done this before--I know because I've seen her exact cup in the elliptical before.) So I'm irritated at her for lack of common decency, but it shouldn't have been surprising based on her other behaviors. But then after she leaves I open the door to let some air in because A) I was dying and B) I'm a DECENT HUMAN BEING who waits until others leave before changing the workout environment. But then the woman comes back (obviously hadn't finished her coffee) and on the way out SHE CLOSED THE DARN DOOR. WHO DOES THAT?! 

My only possible justifications for her behavior:
1) She has never been to a gym where other people also work out.
2) She has never interacted with humans before.
3) She has interacted with humans, but they were cavemen and she time traveled here.
4) She's a lunatic.
5) She works for a candid camera show and is testing methods that will drive people nuts.
6) She's trying to cut out caffeine and therefore drinking decaf and it's not cutting it, so she's taking it out on unsuspecting gym goers.
7) She saw [Terry and me] together, fell madly in love with [him], and is trying to get me to attack her so I'll get evicted and [he]'ll divorce me.
8) She is a fembot trying to ruin workouts everywhere so that the human race becomes weak and can be more easily destroyed.

These are the basic rules of etiquette as I see them:
  1. If you want to change something about the workout environment--music, TV channel, temperature, door open or closed, lights on or off (WTF?!)--and you do not actually work at the gym, you should ask the other people first.
  2. Leave everything cleaner than you found it. Re-rack your weights, move equipment back where you found it, throw away your garbage. I feel like this is common sense. Apparently it is not.
  3. Avoid singing out loud. Even Celine Dion (especially Celine Dion?) shouldn't sing out loud at the gym. This also goes for talking on the cell phone, yelling across the gym to your friend, loud, repetitive grunting, slamming dumbbells... I'm in the zone here; don't make me stop and glare at you.
  4. Really, we can sum it all up in one rule: Remember that there are other people around you. Be polite and courteous. We're (probably) all (mostly) rational. If you want to work in between my sets, just ask. If you want me to move over so you can do your exercises next to me (why wouldn't you? I'm really fun to be next to, and I won't sing out loud), give me a "hey do you mind?" smile. Don't spend an hour on the treadmill if people are waiting. Don't take all the dumbbells off the rack to create your circuits station that will take 45 minutes--and then leave them there. Just consider others and we'll be good.

Now go practice that etiquette with this workout:

Some notes:

Superset 1

Superset 2
Superset 3
Superset 4
Superset 5
Superset 6

So, any good gym etiquette stories to share? 


  1. What a bitch that woman was!

  2. hahahaha i loved this. it was like mad libs trying to figure out which words you could have used :)

  3. Oh I've seen people like that too! Who drinks coffee while working out? She was just plain rude.

  4. What an awesome way to start my day. This was classic! You and Terry definitely need to start plotting your revenge for the next time this WOMAN shows up... Oh the fun you cuold have!
    At the gym I used to go to, there was a guy who would get on the elliptical and sing at the top of his lungs. He was a legend at the gym because he was such a nice guy, so we all just giggled at his performance.

  5. There is someone in the office who likes to walk on the treadmill ( in her work clothes) and talk on the phone the entire time. So distracting to me and my clients.

  6. ugggggh poor gym etiquette drives me insane!!! i hate when people cut in to a machine that i'm clearly using without asking! hello i'm here!

  7. Haha..especially Celine Dion.

    I run a gym so I see this all the time, even though my gym is in a country club where the people are older, and presumably not muscle heads who don't give a hoot. Which is why the staff controls the temperature, televisions, and lights. If I could just get people to clean up after themselves...

    Sometime people don't even realize that they can be heard when they sing along to the music in their ears. Dumb but true :-)