A public service announcement from Cardiogirl

24 VIPs have spoken »

Once again I feel the need to share some information to make all of our lives a little bit easier at the gym. I understand that working out among others creates competition whether you’re into that or not. So it’s natural to want to check out the people around you while you’re sweating away.

So far we’re cool.

I also believe it’s normal to be curious about another person’s machine settings when that person is either on the machine for a very long time or is running/striding at a very fast pace. That behavior catches my interest, too, so we’re still copacetic in our joint curiosity. I also want stats on the guy who is sprinting on the treadmill. Who can run that fast for that long?

Here’s where the PSA comes in: if you’re hellbent on getting that information, you need to be subtle about it. If you were at the race track making a sports bet you wouldn’t look over another person’s shoulder so you could copy. Would you? No, you would not.

Do not stare at the person in question. Casually glance in that direction and keep your eyes moving right along.

Do not get on the machine right next to that person when the rest of the machines in that row are open. Have the decency to keep at least one empty machine between the two of you.

Do not get on the machine next to that person and study their readout like you’re perusing basketball stats before placing a bet.

Yeah. I’m talking to you Nosy McPherson.

I did not appreciate you hopping onto the elliptical right next to me yesterday just so you could rest your chin on my left shoulder while you raped my stats.

Don’t do that again.

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24 VIPs have spoken

  • Steve says:

    Your rule about keeping space between workout machines is similar to the urinal rule in men’s washrooms. If there are 5 urinals along the wall, represented by the Xs below, and men are the numbers representing the sequence in which they entered, the following is acceptable:


    The following is not!:


    If a number 4 enters, in the first scenario above, he should wait! :)

    Oh, and hell no to any eye contact or casual glances down towards “crotchal” areas. Hell no I say. Conversation is allowed, but only about sports, the hot stripper that just performed, or the latest war. Any mention of personal hygiene or feelings will be met with angry silence or an outburst of “Holy Swine Juice! Shutup”.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I remember you telling me about this in the past. I can’t remember what we were talking about but I was questioning you in-depth and your provided a well-thought out answer.

      I appreciate that in a VIP member, Steve. Thank you.

      Naturally I have one more clarifying question for you. Say you’re at work in the bathroom and your boss is at urinal one. I know you’re choosing three or five, but isn’t it hella awkward taking a whiz standing one urinal away from your boss?

  • Madge says:

    I’m all for leaving an open machine between me and who ever else is on the treadmil, but what if the one next to them is the only one with a working tv? I machine hop until I find one that works, and if it happens to be right next to someone so be it.

    • cardiogirl says:

      You must attend an upscale gym, Madge, because I got to the Y and there are no TVs on the machines. There are four TVs mounted in the ceiling at the very front of the room so that eliminates that scenario from my gym.

      I would still be annoyed, however, if we did have TVs and a person chose the machine next to mine just to watch TV.

      • madge says:

        Nah, it’s not upscale, it’s anytime fitness, it’s only $58 a couple. The machines are only about a year old and all the treadmils and elipticals have tv’s, but not all of them work, some have picture but the cc and headphone jack are broken, can’t watch cash cab without either cc or sound. My co-worker agrees with you.

        • cardiogirl says:

          Well I guess if price is a factor the Y is more upscale than your place since a family membership costs $72 per month.

          p.s. *Raises fist in the air* power to your co-worker!

  • Lanita says:

    I totally respect the personal, private gym bubble we should all be allowed. That’s why I always try to go after the mother’s morning shift and the lunch hour crowd. Less Nosy McPhersons. They need to make blinders for workout equipment…like the screens that stop the Nosy McPhersons sitting next to you on an airplane.

    Oh, gotta go to the gym now!

  • Never having been to a gym in my life means that I don’t have that problem, though there are many other ways the Nosy McPherson’s of this world can operate!

    • cardiogirl says:

      Babs, you’ve NEVER been to a gym?! How can this be?

      • Without wishing to sound miss goody two shoes, I was born in a time when people (and kids) were very active. No TV and no computers. We ran around an played all day long as kids. As an adult (into my thirties) I played both Netball and badminton in my lunch breaks and after work. I don’t know that there were gyms around back then. They certainly weren’t needed. Fast foods were not around so we ate healthier too.

        It wasn’t until I hit my fifties, that I started to slowly gain weight. By that time, I was certainly not going to any gym. I’d sooner get on my Wii ;)

        • cardiogirl says:

          Seriously, there was no TV when you were a kid, Babs? Hey didn’t you get sweaty and gross while playing sports at lunch?

          Although playing badminton at work sounds like fun. I need to add your number to my Wii. My kid is home from school today so I’m going to make her help me. And I’ll use your FB instructions. Between the two of you I should be able to do this.

          • Nope, no TV. I was about 10 when we got our first TV. They were black & white, and didn’t transmit for many hours in the day either.

            I must be from another planet! I don’t actually sweat. I used to worry about that, but on the odd occasion, when the weather was really hot, I did, so I do have sweat glands. We played netball tournaments and they were always in the lunch break, or straight after work. BUT the UK is very cool compared to the US.
            Babs (beetle) recently posted..Do Customer Service know what they’re doingMy Profile

  • Elizabeth A says:

    How about? No staring. Just stop it. It is rude. All the time. Period.

    Drives me crazy. Especially at red lights.

  • Kathy says:

    “…raped my stats.” Oh, yeah. Cardiogirl’s pissed.

    Now, me being so new and all to the gym scene, I happened to enjoy when a guy picked the treadmill immediately to my left last week, instead of picking one of the six that were empty far away from me. You know why? Because I was so mad he dared to get that close to me that I stayed on the treadmill until he got off. I don’t care if he was going to be an hour. I walked further and longer than HIM!

    Yeah, I have a competitive spirit right now. Later on, when I’m at my goal weight and I won’t care so much, I’ll punch whoever does that to me in the throat. But for now, it’s copacetic.

    • cardiogirl says:

      Yes, Kathy you totally saw my rage and that is exactly what I was feeling yesterday. I really wanted to bitch slap that chick yesterday. And as I drove home I knew exactly what I would be ranting about today in this here space.

      And I know EXACTLY what you mean about being the last man standing at the gym. Yeah, I said man.

  • Kittie Flyn says:

    I love that there is someone else out there who has a treadmill/cardio machine bubble.

    That being said when forced to be surrounded on all sides while on the treadmill (which I do hate because it never fails that someone has flying sweat and it gets on me) that when a guy gets on the machine, he will look at me, look at my pace/incline and try to match it. I have outrun and out-inclined many a guy who couldn’t last. It seems that men like to use treadmills for an average of 7 minutes and then decide that’s enough cardio for them. I guess to be fair I am a distance runner.

    However I much prefer to keep at least one cardio machine between me and the next gym-goer. For some reason I always manage to attract the sweatiest, stinkiest people.

    When I win the lottery I will have my own home gym complete with all types of cardio equipment that I will not have to share with anyone!
    Kittie Flyn recently posted..Weekend Wrap UpMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      There is a massive, unspoken workout bubble that should be revered at every exercise establishment across the nation, methinks. It should be part of the initial consultation when someone joins the gym.

      GROSS on the flying sweat! AAUUUGGHHH!

      I love you, Kittie Flyn. I absolutely love that you have “outrun and out-inclined many a guy who couldn’t last.” I live to be the last woman standing at the gym. Especially when a fellow gym member attempts to silently bring it. When that happens, I mentally nod and silently whisper, “You better believe it’s on, gingah.”

      • Kittie Flyn says:

        Cardiogirl-I had an incident that reminded me of this post. There’s a guy who occasionally comes into the gym to work out. He always, ALWAYS chooses the machine right next to the one I’m using, even if the others are free. When he sweats he smells AWFUL. I’m not saying that I expect everyone to smell like roses when they sweat but this guy reeks like 3 day old seafood, dairy and meat garbage left in a car on the hottest day of the year. I literally have to stop my workout and move to a different machine as far away as possible. I wonder if people know they stink. I am pretty aware of the pungent aroma I give off as I sweat but again, it’s pretty standard stinky. I think he may know which is why he chooses to use the machine closest to me (or whomever happens to be using the cardio equipment). It’s foul. This is when I wish I had the luxury of a private in-home gym.
        Kittie Flyn recently posted..Life kinda sucks- but thats okMy Profile

  • Sneeze/cough in their direction. I bet that gets them to move along :)
    strugglingwriter recently posted..Two YearsMy Profile

  • Soonerchick says:

    I like what struggling writer said. But I might go one better and tell them that the person who used that machine before them told me they thought they might have the flu. :P
    Soonerchick recently posted..Rock My World- Little Country GirlMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      I should say that right when the person gets on. I’d pull one earbud out and say something like, “You better wipe that machine down before you use it. The last person on it left quickly saying they thought they were catching the flu.”

      Then turn away and readjust my earbud.

  • Nicky says:

    See, that’s why I used to bring my music with me. Once the earbuds went in, I stopped noticing people. I do the same thing at work. Tune in and tune everyone else out.

    • cardiogirl says:

      Music is a must, but I still am distracted visually at the gym. I try to adjust my blinders but someone always catches my attention. I need to work on that.

  • If I have on earphones, I don’t notice anything or anyone. Even if the person next to me collapses, I won’t notice. I don’t go to a gym, although in my early 20′s, I worked at one as an instructor. Gyms are not something I enjoy. I do walk, and I do some (very little ) exercise. I’d rather take a walk than walk on a treadmill.
    Linda Medrano recently posted..At Least Once In A LifetimeMy Profile

    • cardiogirl says:

      Hey, when you walk for exercise do you wear heels? And what did you instruct when you worked at the gym? Did you teach an aerobics class ala Jane Fonda? I swear she wore nylons under that leotard and leg warmers.

      • When I worked at the Ray and Claire Stern Spa in San Francisco, the “instructors” wore leotards and fishnets and heels. I was hired because I had a 4 month old baby and I was 110 pounds. I was supposed to say “Using this equipment is what took off my baby weight” but that was totally untrue. I slipped off the shoes and gave a ballet lesson doing bar work twice a day. The women weren’t crazy about it, but it’s the only thing I knew. Aerobics was not a “coined term” yet, CG. We helped the members use the wide range of “machines”, gave our little half hour sessions, hustled for memberships, and did a lot of “one on one” with members. Not my most amazing job ever. We also learned how to use a tape measure to show loss of inches. Uh huh.
        Linda Medrano recently posted..At Least Once In A LifetimeMy Profile

      • I spent 50 years walking for exercise in heels, at least a mile a day, and always in heels. My legs are strong as hell and still in pretty good shape.
        Linda Medrano recently posted..At Least Once In A LifetimeMy Profile

  • June says:

    Being Irish and German, I will go to any lengths to secure my personal space. The Dirty Dancing line, this is my dance space, this is yours, has special meaning to me. Still, sometimes there is no avoiding the elliptical sandwich situation. My main request of the person or persons beside me is, please, whenever possible, breathe through your nose, as I do. I don’t care how inoffensive your breath is: I don’t want to smell it. I don’t want to smell anyone’s breath, actually, in any situation, unless I happen to be sleeping with them. But that’s just me.

    Thanks for the post! You addressed some very important issues.


    • cardiogirl says:

      Get out! I, too, have Irish and German blood co-mingling inside this shell o’ mine. Maybe that’s why I’m ruled by personal space issues.

      TOTALLY forgot about the Dirty Dancing quote. This is my Most Excellent Surprise of the day, June!

      Look, spaghetti arms. This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don’t go into yours, you don’t go into mine.

  • Linda says:

    I agree! Give others some space when at all possible. Sometimes it is crowded, and then you just remember “eyes in front.”

    • cardiogirl says:

      I always wonder if those people just don’t care about personal space. As in, it just doesn’t bother them to live as if life is just one big mosh pit.

  • June says:

    How funny! I’m extremely new to blogging and after leaving that comment I panicked, thinking I’d been snarkier than I meant to and probably offended someone, if not everyone. Imagine my surprise!

    Mosh pit? That’s a new one on me. I like it!

  • [...] you really need to work on your gaping technique. While you weren’t *quite* as bad as that woman who got on the elliptical next to mine just to molest my stats, you weren’t much [...]

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