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Gym Etiquette: Oh No She Didn’t!

gym-etiquette-585I never thought I’d say this, but my current gym (or rather some of the women there) are bringing out the ugly in me. How is that possible, you ask? I mean, working out breeds positive spurts of awesome that people notice and pick up on, right? So, how is it that I can leave the gym snarling?

It’s all about sharing and hoarding.

Currently my workouts consist of supersets; meaning I usually need two different workout stations to be ready and available so that I can quickly move from one muscle exercise to the other. When you work out at a public gym that’s packed with enthusiastic health fiends though, this becomes a bit challenging. The other day I was setting up my stations for some pull-ups and push-ups. I set up the bar at the Smith machine and then laid out my mat for the push-up part. Right as I was about to start at it, a lady came up and started using the Smith machine that I had obviously just prepped. I was heated! I snarled even!

And…I said nothing because I’m a passive-aggressive punk. (Guilty as charged!) I switched up the order of the workout until the machine was available. Everything worked out, but I was still wasn’t a happy camper. I’m trying to be a nice girl in the gym, but it’s hard when I’m not sure of the gym’s etiquette and how to mark equipment MC Hammer Style. (You can’t touch this!)

That’s where your help comes in. Do you think it’s fair to reserve equipment? How do you stake your territory without being rude? And what’s your pet peeve: hoarding or sharing? Superset divas beg to know. —Tish

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  1. Judy says:

    I think it’s fair to see serve equipment but you should offer to let people work in while you’re note using a station/machine.

  2. Jen says:

    I agree that makes me so annoyed. However, in a public gym, it does seem unfair to take over two stations or pieces of equipment. That woman was probably just being a jerk, however, what if she actually did just need that one last machine to finish her workout? I don’t think it would be fair to take it over while you are doing pushups half the time, you know? I think you have to do what you did – do a different set. It’s the price we pay for a public gym (even though we pay a lot!)

  3. Amy says:

    My guess is that the woman was not aware of your intentions. Everyone at the gym is so caught up in their own routine, that she probably did not notice you prepping the Smith machine, just as you probably had not noticed what she was doing immediately before or after the Smith machine. I work out at home now, but back when I was doing the gym, all I looked for was whether anyone was actually on the machine. If not, I assumed it was free. What you might want to do is ask the management if there is a protocol in place for supersets, and if not, suggest formulating one and posting signs around the gym. I bet lots of people would appreciate some concrete guidelines.

  4. Jeannie says:

    In a public gym, if it’s a busy time, then it’s not really fair to take over two stations. Some of us can only go at a certain time, and we want to be able to work out as well. Can be a bit annoying if the equipment you want to use is off limits because someone has reserved it but isn’t using it straight away. However, you can work in with someone, use one machine while the other person is resting and then let them use it while you do your superset.

  5. Kelly says:

    I can sympathize. While it wasn’t with using the equipment I had a similar experience. I take Zumba class each week and am usually in the same area of the room each week. Well this woman comes into class late, goes to one spot and then takes my spot after I went to grab a drink from my water bottle. WTH! I didn’t say anything to her but grumbled under my breath the rest of the class.

  6. Violette says:

    Sorry, but hoarding < sharing. People need to be reasonable and find a way to work in. We all pay the same gym fees and have the same right to the equipment.

    I do supersets at home or in a way that doesn't monopolize two stations at once.

  7. Cat says:

    Sorry but my peeve is when someone plants their behind on the equipment and stays there even during the rest break between their sets. On most machines it is not that difficult to reset the weight, seat, etc. I’m trying to get my workout done here too.

  8. Jill says:

    This happens to me all the the time! More so with men than with women and I absolutely hate it! Just because I am a woman does not mean you can come over and STEAL my equipment. I too am a fan of supersets, trisets, and circuits. I usually adjust to the crowd. If it’s empty, I’ll do circuits. If it’s crowded I stick to supersets using same equipment or very close together. Remember, you have to be considerate to the other members. They too are trying to get their workout in. If, however, they cut in, I walk up to them and tell them, “I’m here but you can jump in. I have ___ sets left.” They usually back off. If it’s not crowded at all, and someone takes a kettlebell or dumbbell or something that can easily be replaced, I stare at them, roll my eyes, and go get another one. They always get the message..

  9. Espe says:

    I agree with Violette and Cat-if this is a public gym-there is no valid reason for you to consider this other gym member selfish for using the gym equipment. Sorry, everybody’s entitled to work out in a public gym on equipment that is not being used. No members of the public are more ‘public’ than others. I have hopped on machines that were not being used, to have women come up and just stand right behind the machine for a length of time to, I assume, try to intimidate me off of ‘their’ machine. I consider *that* rude.

  10. Rachel says:

    Haha I definitely relate to this, I love going to the gym too but when I have a strict schedule I’ve gotta keep and there’s some women messing about and holding me up I feeling myself beginning to bubble lol.

  11. Jax says:

    I do a lot of supersets too; I usually try to make one half of the superset something I can do with free weights or body weight so I only have to tie up one machine/bench. If I am using two at once, I let people work in — I just tell them what I’m doing so we can figure out how to share. Or sometimes I’ll let them know I have only one set left or whatever and ask them to wait.

  12. Mike says:

    People that superset in a public gym just boggle my mind, especially when it’s crowded. They hog 2 stations. I came across a few incidents years apart. One guy was superstting and wanted to cut in on my single. I told him no. He looked at me like I kicked his dog. Sorry but your time and workout is not more important than mine.

    Recently I went over to do tricep pulldowns when I saw no one there. Guy comes back and wants to get in his last set because he’s supersetting. Before I can say anything he takes off my extention, hands it to me and puts the other one that I took off back on and an old guy with him starts using it.

    I mean, you f**kwads and your supersetting, you really must stress out a lot because you have to explain to people in the gym all the time that you were using something, even though you walk far away from it and leave nothing to mark it. Just superset at home!

    And by the way, yes I’m the guy that stays on one station for 3-4 sets with rests in between on it. I don’t talk on my cell or with others in between. If you can’t wait less than 5 minutes when I’ll be done then that’s your problem. And I was there first. I give people that respect so give it to me too.

  13. Meggs says:

    Alternate! 🙂

  14. Leigh says:

    The gym I was a member of actually had strict rules against reserving equipment. It’s incredibly rude to decide your workout is more important than someone else’s to the extent that you’re going to stake claim to equipment you’re not actively using. Especially since they’re paying their dues the same as you.

  15. af says:

    I understand supersets and the pain of having to wait, but it’s poor gym ettiquate to “reserve” any piece of equipment when you’re not using it.

  16. Melissa says:

    If you plan on supersetting, go to the gym when it’s not as busy. Or take a friend with you and do the same superset. Machine hogs are no fun.

  17. Sheri says:

    This just makes me glad I work out at home. I go to the gym for cardio and group classes but you will NOT catch me in that crowded weight room. NO. WAY.

  18. gym bunny says:

    Supersetting is equipment hogging, period. Stop being selfish.

  19. K Neu says:

    I can see both sides to this. BUT at a public gym, especially at busy times, it is 100% unfair to Reserve equipment or space. I already have to steam over people using equipment to surf their phones, I just can’t allow another kind of interruption in my own Thing. I have a favorite Treadmill, and a stretching space that feels good to me… so I figure it this way: if I want a machine or space to myself without conflict, I change my time of work-out to ensure it. Hence, I rise at 3:30am to have 24hr Fitness practically to myself until 5:45am. I know it is crazy early, but it is far more relaxing and I can enjoy the ass-kicking I am about to bestow upon myself. 🙂

  20. Tamara says:

    I’m so glad I gave up going to the gym and do my workouts at home now. Hogging the machines, staying on the machines between sets while checking phones, keeping ALL the kettle bells and then taking ages to finish, leaving equipment sweaty, oh yuck, I just couldn’t take it any more. And gyms don’t care, because they want my money as well as the hoggers’, the profuse sweat-drenched morons and kettle bells collectors. No thanks. The aggravation was messing with my enjoyment of my workouts. So if you want to do supersets do them at home or go to the gym at 4 am!

  21. Sara says:

    Don’t be an jerk. If you want to take up more than one piece of equipment, buy a home gym. If you are on another piece of equipment then guess what? You aren’t use the other one and therefore I will.

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