Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Twit

Today I left the gym six workouts early (one and a half workouts in!) because I was so frustrated by something that happened. And it’s more than frustrating that I left because I was completely put off and not because I was finished. Especially since originally I didn’t fancy being there at all before having a complete change of heart and being super motivated. I don’t think anyone should be put off by preconceptions about the gym. I don’t feel intimidated as a girl and I encourage others not feel intimidated for other reasons- I’ve heard guys say they want to join a gym but worry they’ll be judged by others for not being “muscly” when 1) I believe people are at the gym only for themselves, 2) Any body type is the perfect match for the gym. I do believe, on the whole, gym-goers aim not to be twits. However…

Today, I was on the biceps curl machine. I was quickly going from machine to machine (not giving myself enough rest time because I wanted to get back home to do coursework). In between each set I would go on my phone (I know I don’t use mine so much it slows down the process of me completing my sets at the gym and in turn slowing others down- today I was using it for no more than 5-10 seconds between each set). I noticed a guy lurking by the machine and understanding it could look like I was taking the mick, I did my next set. Quickly, I was (I shouldn’t be justifying this) about to reply to a short message and get back to it, when the guy moved closer, forcing me to look at him.

Rude Guy (RG): Can I jump in between sets

Me: *Very confused, the penny not dropping.* Afterward I’ve finished, yeah

RG: No, now

Me: *Agitated by this point.* Well, no. I’m not going to be long; I’m whizzing through

RG: But you’re not doing anything right now

Me: *Exasperated* For five seconds I’m not doing anything. Are you serious?

RG: Yes, I’m serious *Continues to stand there while nothing is said and I try to carry on before feeling as though my happy experience was being violated.*

Me: This is so uncomfortable (Following this, I got up and left the machine, did a full four sets on another machine and left because I felt so embarrassed, infuriated and the closest I’ve felt to intimated at the gym before.)

How not to be a twit at the gym

ONE. If people don’t want to be interrupted, accept it. As above shows, if someone wants to be left alone, that’s a-okay. I only go to the gym for myself and don’t want to be interrupted unless it’s necessary or I can help someone with something. I understand jumping in in between sets is a “thing”, but I didn’t want that and that is okay. I was quickly doing my gym session and this guy completely messed it up. Because he was stood there lurking, I had to stop my workout half way through and that is completely unacceptable. I didn’t feel intimidated (even though he chose to laugh while I calmly argued my point and he made it clear he thinks he owns that gym) but it was intimidating. And no one should feel that way; especially not exercising- doing something for themselves and themselves only. It’s not my responsibility to speed up someone else’s session and it WASN’T EVEN BUSY AT THE GYM AND HE MADE THE EXPERIENCE PROLONGED (okay, I’m still mad).

TWO. Be patient! Many a time I’ve been interrupted for a guy (in my experience, it has simply been guys that have done this) to ask if they can use the piece of equipment I’m using after me. Of course they can. I’m even willing to hand them something straight afterwards if they asked. But is asking really necessary? Keep an eye out (don’t lurk!) but sometimes it can really put me off. I’ll want to hurry up and finish so I don’t feel like I’m being waited on. As a part b to this point, don’t stare at someone because you’re wanting to assess when you can use the equipment. Obviously. Why does that need saying?!

THREE. Be aware. Constantly, I watch and experience people refuse to accept spatial awareness. People walk past the machine I’m on, far too closely, in turn forcing me to stop so I don’t injure them in any way. It’s a whole process that could be so easily avoided, consequently not affecting my or their experience.

In general, I have such a positive experience at the gym. It just feels like everyone is in a rush- and that’s fine but to involve others in your persistent need to make sure you’re next and not anyone else is not cool. Going to the gym is such “me time” for me and I mostly go straight after university and am in need of wind down time. Many others will go before or after work, to relieve stress or simply because they want to. So why risk ruining someone else’s time for themselves?

~ Kat ~


4 thoughts on “Gym Etiquette: How Not to be a Twit

  1. TheChattyIntrovert says:

    Yeah, I get your frustration. I make little notes in my notebook about weight, sets, and reps and all and go between two machines til I’m done with them. But when I go at certain times, there’re all these guys on them and sometimes they’re talking and lounging in front of a machine I’d like to use. Since I don’t know if they’re motivation partners or whatever, and I’m not going to eavesdrop, I end up skipping and try to come back to the machines. But if they take too long, I end up just leaving.
    Or one’ll take a space across from me on a machine and sometimes I think they’re trying to catch my eye and do a lot of reps. I ignore them and work on my own breathing and such so I don’t get hurt by not paying attention. I just pay enough attention to others to make sure the equipment was wiped off and not all sweaty, and also to make sure a machine’s not being used yet. So far, going immediately back and forth between two machines does alright (my notebook on one, water bottle at another).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Binging on Beetroot says:

      It’s definitely difficult to find the balance between those who go for social reasons on top of the normal reasons to go and those who go for time with themselves (which is me… And maybe you too?). I’m glad you ignore them! I love the gym but sometimes there can be awkward issues!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mackenzie says:

    YESSSS- I was excited for this post big time just from the title. DJ laughs at how I get worked up about gym etiquette (or people’s lack thereof). I am so sorry that experience happened- it’s nearly unfathomable that someone could be that rude! This list is so good and your reasons hit the nail on the head. I would also add- 1. don’t talk on your phone while on the machines- there are times I try to read and I can’t focus because someone is blabbering next to me. 2. If you have the sniffles. Bring a tissue- I don’t want to hear someone sucking snot every five seconds. 3. Don’t drop the weights on the weight machines- just no. You have enough strength to hold them up, stop giving me heart attacks every time you complete a set. 4. WATCH YOUR SCENT! Use deodorant, pretty please. 5. USE HEADPHONES- there is a girl that comes into our apartment gym constantly and plays her device OUT LOUD!….. Ok, I’m so sorry to just rant all over your blog like this but as you can tell I’ve been having a bit of annoyances myself. Lol. Hope everything is going amazing post your amazing Paris trip! I had so much fun reading those epic posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Binging on Beetroot says:

      This is amazing! It’s ridiculous what people think is okay and what is not at the gym! I especially agree with not dropping the weights on the weights machine- absolutely terrifying when people do that!!
      She plays her music OUT LOUD?! NOOOO!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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