Other women at my gym irk me (kinda long)

I’ve been going to an all-women gym for the past 4 months. It’s circuit training - you alternate between machines and either a mini tramp or stepper for 40 seconds each, and your workout runs about 30 minutes total. It was a big deal for me to join, and I’ve kept with it and had some success thus far. Go me.

When you first come in, the managers show you how to use all the machines and after you’ve gone through them all they let you do a real workout to decide whether or not you’d like to join. Most people forget the first few times exactly how to use each machine, but the managers will correct you or show you and you get the hang of it eventually.

It drives me nuts sometimes to see other women using the machines incorrectly. They use them in such a way that the muscles aren’t being worked and they get no benefit. Kind of like they’re doing a modified version, and therefore not actually getting any sort of workout from the machine. And sometimes the managers won’t tell them what they’re doing wrong, so the women just keep going about things the wrong way. I would tell them myself how to properly be using a machine, but I don’t want to a) offend the other person and b) step on the managers’ toes.

TO THE POINT! There’s a woman, I’ll call her S, who is usually there when I am…and she puts in very little effort. She’s significantly overweight, and I’m sure it was a big step for her to join. But it bugs me sometimes to see here there because she’s one of those people who does the machines in a modified ineffective way, and puts no energy into it when she’s on the mini tramp or stepper.

I promise I’m not getting on a soapbox about it, or trying to project a holier-than-thou attitude…but it frustrates me to watch someone who clearly wants to be there but doesn’t actually make the effort.

The other things that get me - chewing gum while you’re working out, and WEARING JEANS! Who wears jeans to the gym???



Does the improper use of the machines do some sort of damage to them? How does other people exercising badly affect you? Chewing gum could be annoying because of the smacking, I guess… I’m just not sure why this is even an issue for you.

This drives me nuts too- I hate watching people, for example, who use an elliptical trainer leaning way forward, with practically all of their weight on their arms, so their little legs swing around about as effectively as if they were dangling them off a bridge.

But I keep my mouth shut about it, and just roll my eyes very, very quietly.

Jeans? Jeans!

That sight alone would drive me batty.

Sorry. I was thinking of a stair-stepper. Clearly it would be impossible to misuse an elliptical trainer in the way I described, unless the person were already quite fit and astonishingly flexible.

I am not a woman, so I don;t go to a woman’s gym… But I am a member of Gold’s and although I’m no pro by any means, nor am I likely ever to be confused for one, it does drive me up the wall to see people doing their excersizes incorrectly. And there is a reason behind it. The Gold’s I belong to is not large, so there are a very limited number of machines. The Hack Squat (Designed by some sadistic psycho Nazi torture pro, I’m SURE) in particular is one of the machines that they only have ONE of… You put your feet on a plate that is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, and your back goes on a shuttle that is on a 45 degree angle the other way. There are pads that go on your shoulders, and you press with your legs to lift the shuttle up the inclined plane. It works out your abdomen and legs. Its hard. I hate that machine more than most of them. But I digress. The way to make it a GOOD workout is to release the stops and SQUAT… Bend your knees to at least a 90 degree angle and then press again. I’m a big guy… Doing over 200 pounds on it is not easy… I have had more than once to wait around while someone loads 500 pounds on the machine, and then barely bends their legs at all. Not only are they not getting a good workout, but they are keeping me from getting a good workout while I wait for them to finish with the machine… So yeah… Its annoying…

For me, it’s not the people at the gym, it’s the PTs and owners that annoy me. They should know better. They should be correcting people who are doing things that are dangerous to themselves and to the equipment (and potentially to others in the gym, though that’s a weaker possibility).

I love my gym - but the last time I went looking for one, the sales person (who claimed to be a PT) showed me around - and showed me people lifting weights that were way too heavy on the machine weights. people with bad form on the cardio machines (you can put all your weight on your arms on the elliptical. I’ve seen it done). People doing “bicep curls” by using every bit of momentum they could muster and putting their whole backs into it.
She didn’t even look askance at any of them, and used some as examples of what I could do.
If they’re out there watching what’s happening, would it really take all that much to say “don’t swing your arms like that”?

To OP - maybe you could get to know this woman a little bit and “coach” her?

By considering that option, that will help you decide if this bothers you enough to do something about, or if it really is something you can live with.

About the jeans–although I’ve never worn jeans in the gym, you wouldn’t think it was strange to see someone wearing jeans to take a walk or go for a bike ride. Unless they’re really working out hard, I say kudos for them for being there at all. Maybe all they had time for is a light workout after work or something.

Now, could someone please do something about the slim, attractive people in the cute outfits doing stuff on the machines I could never do in a million years!! Stop them before I go mad.

Our gym just opened a new branch – conveniently situated about 3 blocks from my house – that has computer-linked equipment that is set up specifically for you so that in order to do the workout, you have to move the equipment so far to get the beep signaling the end of your range of motion, and then only bring it back till you hear the other beep – and if you go too far or too fast, it gives a loud triple beep. So it’s really, really easy to see who’s cheating on their workout.

The other reason I love this gym is that it’s connected with a hospital and a physical therapy center so there are a LOT of people in there who are elderly, as out of shape as I am, or have injuries so that I’m not constantly intimidated by the Buff Squad.

Harriet, funny you should say that…she gives me odd looks. I have no idea why. But I’m always noticing her looking at me funny.

Sure, I look at the other women sometimes, even if just to see how they’re using the stepper (I’ve gotten good movement ideas from seeing what others do)…but I seem to always catch this lady giving me odd looks.

It’s not like other people aren’t friendly, I often chat with other people while we’re going through the circuit.

I should add that I’m not gonna start some “what’re YOU lookin at??” business. ;j

The other things that get me - chewing gum while you’re working out, and WEARING JEANS! Who wears jeans to the gym???

I see people in jeans at my gym all the time.

Usually they are just popping in to lift weights real quick, though.

Is it FitLinxx? That’s what we have at our YMCA, and I love it.

I saw an older lady at the gym tonight, using the leg press machine while wearing sandals. Not athletic sandals, mind you… regular leather dressy sandals. At least they seemed to have squishy soles, but it still didn’t look safe. I figured she’d either just joined and hadn’t figured out that sandals weren’t appropriate footwear for weight training, or she had some kind of problem with her feet that precluded wearing full shoes.

Most gyms around vancouver don’t allow you to wear jeans… the reason? Rivits, zippers and buttons destroy the padded seats (think of a rivit, with the persons weight, plus the weight they are lifting being pressed into the pads… teear!)

Gym rat checking in.

I see people using machines wrong all the time but it doesn’t bother me much as I hate using them anyway. Free-weights for me all the way. Only time I put up with machines is when I am there with my girlfriend and I can change weight quicker other then that blaa.

Of course if they cant you the machines right I don’t recommend free weights. My teammate and me are the only ones that do Olympic lifts and squats on the free bar. Must of the time it us getting the dirty looks.

Plus there’s never a wait use them. :slight_smile:


Start exercising at home. Not only will you be free of stupid people who distract you, you’ll also save a fortune, save time, and be able to exercise on your own schedule, not the gym’s.

If you’re one of those women who’s afraid of free weights, try calisthenics… push-ups, sit-ups, chin-ups, jump in the air, sit on the floor and stand up again, carry a box for distance… you get the idea.

I’d go lift the junk in my dad’s back yard before I’d go back to a commercial gym! :slight_smile:

I would try to strike up a conversation with her and see if she’d be open to a suggestion or two.

My reason? I used to belong to a gym where the “staff” couldn’t be arsed to help a person figure the machines out. Every single time I went, I asked for help, and the person I asked would say, “Oh, I can show you x or y real quick, but there’s no one here right now who can do a complete orientation.” For a while I tried to figure the machines out on my own, feeling stupid the whole way, but then I just accepted that that was dangerous and not likely to get me into shape. I quit, complained and got a refund—but that didn’t help me get into shape, either.

So, offreing a helpful suggestion to a fellow exerciser might be a huge and welcome help.

Former gym rat gone to seed checking in here.

One of my greatest peeves were:

1) form ( and both men and women do this yet the men seem to do it with vast quatities of weights as if deliberately trying to tear a rotater cuff.

2) Chitchatting on the equipment.

3) The music selection. Rock and roll is fine. Techno beat is fine too. But, please, fertheloveofOg, don’t play speed metal, hard core screaming jesus kinda music. *I * cannot concentrate on the Temple or pavillion as it is that is my body listening to that. Although, I am pretty sure that it does help drop the sperm count in the young silverbacks strutting about the place with their neck muscles permanently flexed, and that is fine by me.

The finest compliment I’ve ever received in the gym was from a guy that worked out at the same time I did every day for years. he was fit - as in Tri-athlete-Iron Man fit - and he came over one day and complimented me on my form and how I paced myself and alternated well and gave me a few pointers. That encouraged me more than anything else.
[Getting to the OP]

Why not go to the manager and whisper that maybe if she intervened on this lady’s behalf to encourage her. It just might help.

My mom. And she wears all of her jewelry. But she’s 73 (and they’re the kind with an elastic waist and no pockets), so really it’s kinda cute.

As for your bigger complaint, I hear ya. In fact, I have a secret fear, when I’m at the gym, that if I try a new machine my form will be all wrong, and somebody like you will be looking at me and thinking, “God, what horrible form.”

And I personally wouldn’t mind if you came over and told me what I was doing wrong in that case.

Maybe you could approach this woman in a friendly way, and say something like, "I love this machine. I actually find that I get a really good workout when I do it like this . . . "

At the gym I work out at we have a man who shows up in dress pants and a tweed trench coat to use the erg. Ever see a man in a trench coat try to use a rowing machine? I almost fell off the treadmill.

Using the machines incorrectly, or with no effort is fairly common place as well. I only correct people if they tell me that it’s not fair that they work out for 15 minutes every day on the reclined bike while I’m in better shape.

Lots of guys over-lift, but the guys I know who do it know the risks. No stranger than smoking, perhaps less so.