What’s the correct etiquette around gym machines?
Very often when I go to my local gym, I have a ‘workout’ in mind – one day I’ll do a circuit of upper body machines, on another a circuit of lower body machines etc to give myself a bit of variety and so as not to over-exercise the same muscles.
More and more, my ‘circuit’ gets interrupted, not by other people using the machines (which is what they’re intended for) but sitting on them playing games on their mobile phones or accessing email etc while they take a break. Sometimes this ‘break’ can last for 5 minutes or more, which seriously screws my workout. It’s complicated a bit by the fact that there are only a few lower intensity upper and lower body machines in the gym. As a women of (ahem) more mature years and (double ahem) considerably rounder physique than most of the other gym people, hanging around the gym isn’t really my idea of a good time. I want to get my workout done and go home (and lie down).
Would I be displaying hugely bad manners to ask them if they intend using the machine any time soon so that I can get on with my workout and go home? Or should I just suck it up and change my workout or miss those machines? I haven’t raised it with the gym manager yet. 1008-13
Gym machines are no different than any other piece of mechanical equipment humans use daily. If someone has parked their behind on it in a manner which is not consistent with the machine’s intended use, it is quite polite to ask, “May I use that? I’d like to finish my circuit.” You don’t ask, “Are you finished with that?”, because obviously the person is not since he/she continues to “use” it to play games on their iPhone.