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Old 06-30-08, 11:12 AM   #1
Litespeed
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Gym rudeness?

I walked over to an machine I wanted to use and found a towel on it, but no one around. I looked around didn't see anyone who looked like they were using it. I even asked my husband who was on a machine close to it if someone was using the machine. He said the guy had walked away but didn't know where he went. I removed the towel to another machine nearby and got on the machine. After doing one set on the machine, a guy comes over and said "I only left that machine for a second". I told him I had two more sets to do. He stomped off in a huff. Was I wrong not to give him back the machine? Come to find out he was all the way across the gym in another area using a different machine when I got on this one. I'm guessing he thought he could "save" this machine for when he got done on the other one so he could trade off.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:20 AM   #2
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No you were not wrong--he was to try to save it. They do tell us at our gym to let others "work in" between sets, but I never see anyone do it.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:24 AM   #3
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I've never seen the practice of "saving" a machine with a towel. In fact, in these parts if someone is going to be spending a fair amount of time on a machine, it's common for another to "work-in" between sets. But that would require a kindergartner's sense of sharing, which this guy does not seem to possess.

[Edit] Rae, I was writing my post at the same time you were. Maybe "working-in" is a regional thing. It's pretty common at our gym.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:33 AM   #4
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a guy comes over and said "I only left that machine for a second". I told him I had two more sets to do. He stomped off in a huff. Was I wrong not to give him back the machine? Come to find out he was all the way across the gym in another area using a different machine when I got on this one. I'm guessing he thought he could "save" this machine for when he got done on the other one so he could trade off.
I haven't worked out in a Gym since high school, but I can spot a narcissist when I see one. You did the right thing.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:39 AM   #5
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They cant "save" a machine. That is being rude on their part. And they should be ready to let someone else work in, even if they didnt leave the machine.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:44 AM   #6
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You were within your rights. Frankly, one of the things I hate about gyms is other people's "cooties." Having to touch their towel is one of those things. What's worse is having to wipe THEIR sweat from the machine because they didn't. Now their cooties are on my towel. Yuck.
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Old 06-30-08, 11:46 AM   #7
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I have had that situation many times over the last 30 years of gym training. I always let people work in. After I finish, I replace the set up for the person to his / her configuration. If I see someone standing around that looks like they might want to use the machine, I offer to let them work in even if they do not ask. In your example, I would have offered to allow the person to work in even before he asked.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:39 PM   #8
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He was wrong.

You were right.

People who try to tie up machines should buy a Bowflex.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:47 PM   #9
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You were right to take the machine. Even better in telling the guy you were going to finish your sets. If the guy was taking a breather between sets, he should have been standing next to the machine. If he was near the machine you would have asked if he was done using the machine and he may have even invited you to use the machine between his sets. If you go to the same gym at the same times you get to know who is there and how they use the equipment. Some people are considerate, some are oblivious to what is happening around them and others are just plain rude and selfish.
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Old 06-30-08, 12:55 PM   #10
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A couple of weeks ago I was making my speedy (on purpose) work out round and got to the lat pull down machine. There were two young guys shooting the bull and laughing it up a couple of machines over. I set the machine and started to use it and one of the young studs comes walking over and says:

"Hey, I'm using that machine."

My response was: "It doesn't look like you are using it while you stand around chatting with your friend. Make up your mind - chat or workout. Regardless you can have it when I'm finished."

I checked with gym management and they said that he was wrong and I was right.

That made my black eye feel much better! (just joking)

DG is worried about cooties!!!! Me too! I hope they wash their hands after taking care of business!
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Old 06-30-08, 12:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
You were within your rights. Frankly, one of the things I hate about gyms is other people's "cooties." Having to touch their towel is one of those things. What's worse is having to wipe THEIR sweat from the machine because they didn't. Now their cooties are on my towel. Yuck.
Bad news: Cooties are everywhere. And they aren't all this cute:

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Old 06-30-08, 03:11 PM   #12
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You should have made a rat tail with his towl and snapped him a good one!
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Old 06-30-08, 03:33 PM   #13
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I do a Cardio workout at the gym. 10 minutes on 6 machines and a brisk walk between each machine. There are several machines of each type in the gym- but ocasionally- I do find that when I go from say the Bike to the Treadmill- All the treadmills are taken. Normally this would just mean that I go onto the next exercise in the sequence. One evening I was waiting to go on the stepper and the 4 machines seemed to be occupied by people trying for a Marathon. That was the night I discovered the torture machine- The cross trainer. It took a year before I mastered the technique but untill I did- I was getting a good workout.

And if you put a towel on a machine to save it over here- You will have to go and look for the towel. It will not be there if anyone else wants the machine. Pointless argueing the point that you were saving the machine- or you were in the middle of sets. Definitely frowned upon over here and you don't do it twice.
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Old 06-30-08, 03:59 PM   #14
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Possession is 9/10ths . . .
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Old 06-30-08, 04:14 PM   #15
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This is like people at resorts who leave a towel on a poolside lounge on their way to breakfast, figuring they have reserved it for whenever they decide to hit the pool. It is bogus and should be totally ignored. bk
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Old 06-30-08, 04:29 PM   #16
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I don't mind if someone wants to ask if they can work in a set between mine, which actually hasn't happened to often. It does bother me when someone thinks that by putting a towel on a machine, that no one else is allowed to touch it until they decide they will come back to it. I have seen this happen more then once and more then once I have moved a towel to use the machine. I even had one young kid come back over during my second set and point to his bag and towel sitting beside the machine and saying "that's my stuff". I just replied with "Oh" and continued with my sets. To people like this, I will NOT give in. I doubt if anyone would even read "gym etiquette" if it were posted on the walls.
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Old 06-30-08, 04:55 PM   #17
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You were within your rights. Frankly, one of the things I hate about gyms is other people's "cooties." Having to touch their towel is one of those things. What's worse is having to wipe THEIR sweat from the machine because they didn't. Now their cooties are on my towel. Yuck.
I use to carry a towel with a small bottle of alcohol , to wipe the handles off of everything I touched. When I got done I would wipe my hands off as well. You're right I quit going to gyms.
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Old 06-30-08, 04:55 PM   #18
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This is like people at resorts who leave a towel on a poolside lounge on their way to breakfast, figuring they have reserved it for whenever they decide to hit the pool. It is bogus and should be totally ignored. bk

Just like those who leave lawn chairs on the roadside to save a parking place.
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Old 06-30-08, 06:35 PM   #19
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Experiences such as yours were one of many reasons I canceled my membership a few years ago. In a huge room full of a sea of exercise equipment, it was not uncommon to see the majority of people sitting on machines resting between sets. Politely asking to "work in" would either produce a blank stare or a flat "no". Bottles of disinfectant were conveniently placed within reach. Their focus was clearly toward the acquisition of new members, rather than servicing their existing ones. So much for gym etiquette. Oh well.. Let's ride our bikes...
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Old 06-30-08, 07:45 PM   #20
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Just like those who leave lawn chairs on the roadside to save a parking place.
Heh- that's a South Philly thing- I didn't know that kind of thing was allowed in NE!
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Old 06-30-08, 07:47 PM   #21
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Heh- that's a South Philly thing- I didn't know that kind of thing was allowed in NE!
Are you kidding? In Boston, the ubiquitous lawn chair in the road is the new "winter dandelion."
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Old 06-30-08, 07:51 PM   #22
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In MN those ubiquitous lawn chairs would be resting under tires..
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Old 06-30-08, 09:05 PM   #23
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Ignore the guy. He is definitely being rude and inconsiderate. Generally, if I leave an area, momentarily, I don't expect to have the spot when I return. I suggest greeting him with a smile and say, "I'll be done in a second. I didn't know that you were here. You can work in if you like." I find it better to assume it was a momentarily lapse of judgement

I know from my own experience in the gym that sometimes I get so focused on my routine, I don't pay attention to others. I don't mean to.

I feel the same about people taking 3 chairs at the airport or some other nonsense. Life IS better when you play nice. This is part of the wisdom I have learned in my 50 years.
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Old 06-30-08, 09:28 PM   #24
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I dislike a gym atmosphere and it's a good thing I do. We considered joining a gym early last year, and instead decided to spend that money on a couple of bikes to tool around the neighborhood on weekends. You know the rest of the story.
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Old 07-01-08, 06:20 AM   #25
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Are you kidding? In Boston, the ubiquitous lawn chair in the road is the new "winter dandelion."
Ohhh- Boston! I had visions of rural Vermont- never mind! Boston and Philly are pretty much cut from the same mold . In Philly, it's not just lawn chairs- traffic cones are particularly valuable for the purpose of claiming a parking space, and they look a lot more official to out-of-towners who might be tempted to move what looks to them like a misplaced lawn chair.


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I dislike a gym atmosphere and it's a good thing I do. We considered joining a gym early last year, and instead decided to spend that money on a couple of bikes to tool around the neighborhood on weekends. You know the rest of the story.
Yeah- here too, although I also invested in some equipment for a home gym. Every time I visit a hotel gym (even the fancy ones) I'm reassured that I did the right thing. BTW, dirty gym equipment can be a hotbed of MRSA- just sayin'.
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