Gym etiquette revisited. Or how not to piss me off at the gym.

Friday, September 2, 2016 Permalink

If you’ve got a really good memory, or – (understandably) commit my posts and every-thought to memory – you will recall I joined a gym a few months ago.

Finally.

Because of my recent surgery, general level of unfitness and lack of motivation (in increasing order of importance), I’ve really only been sticking to water aerobics. When I can get there.

IMG_1593

I’m not sure I’m getting full benefits of my membership – which will be even more problematic as move FAAAAR away to the other end of town (today).

Nevertheless, I’m enjoying the water aerobics and find I can work quite hard with some effort. And the perfectionist in me obviously feels compelled to lap those there when running along the pool or similar. And I’m pretty sure the fact most of the participants are 20yrs older than me has nothing to do with my running-in-water prowess.

Anyhoo, there’s something that’s increasingly pissing me off with each class. Most of the ladies there seem all very nice. It’s very cliquey though, which is weird… and most are Pauline Hanson supporters (long story) but…. I’m almost ready to cast some glares or – worse still – have a rant.

My (aforementioned) dedicated readers will remember a post I wrote in 2013 about gym etiquette. I wasn’t going to the gym regularly then, but had been a devotee a few years earlier and on several occasions throughout my adult life.

My post included the usual – about wiping equipment down, not grunting, moving in the right direction when dancing and so forth. All very sensible commandments suggestions.

However, I’m feeling compelled to add an addendum to number 3 on that list which is about…

Shutting. The. Fuck. Up.

Like I said… these ladies are all very nice and everything but… some of them do not stop talking. The instructor tries to get their attention for the pre-class blurb (ie. work at your own pace, yadda yadda yadda) but then several of the women (in pairs or threesomes) just talk through the whole thing. Some don’t even properly face the instructor, but each other. Obviously not paying attention.

IMG_0291

They go through the motions, missing a few moves here and there, but they talk and talk and talk.

It’s distracting as hell for those near them… (although sometimes it drowns out the tragic music – presumably chosen by the instructor based on the age of most participants). #ObladiOblada

It also seems really disrespectful to the instructor. I hope they don’t take offence but it must frustrate them. I’m sure they don’t assume their class members are aspiring to Olympic-level performance, surely they’re there to get fitter or healthier.

But… I have been known to be a little (ahem) unreasonable at times.

Given the classes are very informal and mostly filled with older-people, am I being overly pedantic in thinking these people should take the class more seriously and shut the hell up; or should I be viewing this as their social outing and let them go for it… happy they’re moving at all.

Flogging my blog With Some Grace – for the first time in a very long time.

 

38 Comments
  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    September 2, 2016

    That would totally piss me off too. I hate it when people talk through stuff we’ve paid money to see/hear/experience. Informal or not. You can talk outside for free. But if we’ve paid for a service then bloody well shut up and concentrate on the service!

  • inthegoodbooksblog
    September 2, 2016

    I’d be annoyed too. It bothers me when people don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. I don’t like it when I am at my children’s school assembly and the kids are performing, and a lot of parents are talking amongst themselves. It’s rude and so annoying!

  • Jo
    September 2, 2016

    I’ve never done a water aerobics class, but I’ve seen groups of the same age ladies do the same in the classes at my gym. Then they continue it in the change rooms- to the point where if someone else (i.e. me) is getting changed at a bench where they want to sit & continue their rant about the youth of today or the price of petrol or in praise of whatever Alan Jones or Ray Hadley said that morning, then they move your stuff so they can. Rude.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      Ah yes… I must ask my mum about the over 60s stuff she does. Perhaps it’s just something older people do – take things less seriously (and I don’t mean in a bad way), but if they’re more laid-back about classes (less intense or something).

  • Ingrid Ingrid
    September 2, 2016

    I think it is rude and disrespectful to the instructor and others around them but I doubt they will change unfortunately! It quite possibly is their social outing for the week.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      Yes I don’t think they’re meaning to be rude or disrespectful… They’re nice enough ladies but just talk from the moment they get there until they leave. I think some actually go almost every weekday as well!

  • Char
    September 2, 2016

    That’s what the post-class coffee is for. You don’t chat during the class and if you can you’re not working hard enough. Ever. And it’s even worse to chat through the instructor’s instructions. That’s just rude.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      That’s what I tend to think Char but I think it seems to be the way they view class. I don’t know if it’s different cos we’re in the pool and the instructor is on the edge and further away, or whether they don’t see it as something they need to take particularly seriously. Many there are a bit half-hearted…. go through the motions, and I guess that’s fine if that’s what they want. Perhaps I worry about it more than the instructor?!

  • kimbacaffeinate
    September 2, 2016

    And this is why I don’t join gyms..it is too peopley! Gads..that would make me crazy and its not like you can put headphones on and listen to an audiobook in your own bubble.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      I find it much easier to motivate myself going to classes Kimberly but have now moved much further from the gym, so… not sure how I’ll go from here!

  • HandbagMafia
    September 2, 2016

    Oh wow, that would drive me up the wall. How rude!

  • Liz
    September 2, 2016

    Tell them to shut the f….k up. I have had to do it to some of my classes. It’s disrespectful towards me as the instructor and intimidating for those not in the in-group

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      I try to get in a different part of the pool to the usual suspects but have taken a glance in their direction a few times when I hear them!

  • charliegirlteachergirl
    September 2, 2016

    It is very rude. I teach 10 year olds and they (for the most part) know when to shut up. It is very disheartening as an outsider to be excluded in that way, and it’s deplorable to completely disrespect the instructor. I hate when I got to conferences and teachers (one at my own school) just want to talk through the whole thing. Granted, an amazing teacher who could teach me things, but I’m there to learn and further my teaching palette. Knowing me as I do, after I awhile I know I’d say something along those lines.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      Oh yes, I hate being at ‘events’ etc and people speak through speeches or similar. I probably cut these women some slack because they’re there every day and see it as a social thing as much as anything else…. but struggle to wonder if I’m being too obsessive.

  • Vanessa
    September 2, 2016

    Talk through the activities themselves, but it’s rude to talk when the instructor is. Others are paying for the flipping class too and want to listen.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      In all honesty we don’t really have to listen to many of the instructions as most of the teachers do similar things in classes and demonstrate it anyway, but… I think part of it is I don’t think they’re ‘trying’ hard enough… (which is more about me than them!)

  • Ness
    September 2, 2016

    I don’t know how you could concentrate on the exercise and have a conversation at the same time. But maybe that’s because I’m a bad multi-talsker? That would definitely be annoying for sure.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      I don’t think they’re particularly multiskilled Ness as they often miss entire things because they don’t look up (or over) enough….

  • Shauna 'Round the Corner
    September 2, 2016

    I’m flogging for the first time in a while too! Deborah, those rude ladies would drive me wild. NO it is not the place to socialise. I’d be speaking with the instructor about it. It’s really up to her/him to sort it, as a matter of courtesy to the rest of the class! It’s just so ignorant. Good luck and good on you for getting active. I downloaded a fitness app recently and it lasted a week.

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      I’m not sure if I’ll stick with the gym longer term Shauna and need to think about some other options as well. I’m trying to lose weight and get fitter and – obviously – exercising is a major part of that. I’d be happy if I knew I could get out walking most days etc and maybe do some pilates or yoga.

  • Lydia C. Lee
    September 2, 2016

    I’ve got to say I’ve had issues where the gym instructer wouldn’t shut up – she kept telling these really long and stupid stories about getting locked out of the house or seeing Bon Jovi. Weirdly I seemed to be the only person that didn’t think these stories were funny and rivetting. Maybe it’s me…

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      Oh that is weird. I’ve had instructors who try too hard and others who have that perfect blend of encouragement and motivation….

  • Jess
    September 2, 2016

    Hahaha I laughed out loud at #obladioblada that would kill me. It is rude and disrespect to the instructor! A little bit of talking at appropriate times fine, but while she is talking is.out of.control!

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      I know… I used to joke about the music we used in my apartment complex’s informal water aerobics and then I got to the first class at the gym and had stuff like that. It’s only one of the instructors though. The other plays some Madonna etc… Nothing TOO recent though.

  • Denyse Whelan
    September 2, 2016

    Rude and as for not respecting others and the teacher..of course not. Sooooo frustrating. I applaud you for two things though. Keeping on keeping and being here flogging ze blog!!

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      Ha thanks Denyse. I haven’t made it there much in the last two weeks – I can’t get to those classes when I work and then with the sale and move it’s been just one class a week in the last couple of weeks. I’ve decided I’m counting the packing and unpacking of boxes as exercise though. I’m bloody sore from the move-in yesterday. I only did a little bit of carrying to move boxes into the room we later needed them but my back and feet were very tender by late afternoon.

  • Michelle Weaver (@pinkypoinker)
    September 2, 2016

    I remember being a mature age student at Uni and telling the noisy people in lectures to shush and getting dirty looks. Respect people!

    • Debbish
      September 3, 2016

      It’s funny isn’t it…. I’d be the young grumpy one though, they’d be the older funsters!

  • Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
    September 4, 2016

    That would be annoying! Especially if it was distracting me from getting my workout in at all. I just joined a gym here with 2 friends and have been really been enjoying it. We meet at the gym after we drop kids off at various schools and chat for awhile on the treadmills and then go take a class where other than an occasional comment we don’t talk because we’re focusing on our workout! It’s never even occurred to me to just chat during the whole class!

    • Debbish
      September 4, 2016

      Yes… I think it’s the case that it’s more of a social thing than an exercise thing for some of the women there. Which I guess is fine – unless it’s impinging on others’ enjoyment.

  • laurelrainsnow
    September 5, 2016

    I am already annoyed on your behalf, and can relate to your feelings; I’ve been in situations like that, where people talk constantly, not even caring that other people around them are noticing (and maybe even glaring).

    Not at the gym, however, as I stopped going when my gym moved to the other side of the city, requiring a freeway or two to get there….and before that, I was in an early morning group that wasn’t very talky.

    But I realized that I don’t really enjoy group activities anyway, being an introvert who loves holing up at home. But…I did exercise more when I was attending the gym.

    I’ll be interestied to read about how things progress, and how you solve this problem. As I know you will!

    • Debbish
      September 5, 2016

      Thanks Laurel…. with my move and conference I’ll be away from classes a couple of weeks so not heading back to the class until later next week. I thought I might actually ask the instructor at the end of the class if it bothers her (rather than complain about it myself). She might not have a problem with it or realise that the group is very much there for the social outing and little else. There’s also an earlier morning class so I could consider that as an option (as opposed to mid-morning).

  • Grace
    September 8, 2016

    Good to see you back, Deb!! And for the record – I can’t stand people who talk in cinemas as well as during gym class! I go to the gym to get my shit down and get out. If they want to socialise, then go to the cafe or go for a bloody walk outside! PS Pauline Hanson supporters are my other pet hate….urgh!

    • Debbish
      September 10, 2016

      Ha! Yes, I had a huge whinge on my personal FB page after the last election when they were all chatting about how happy they were to see Pauline back. And and Derryn Hinch’s inclusion as well!

I'd love to hear your thoughts