General Etiquette > Life...in general

Re: A New Gym Issue: The Invisible Treadmill Runner UPDATE pg 3

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weeblewobble:
I think I may have discovered a new gym etiquette issue!  (I feel like a scientist!)

I've belonged to the same gym for ten years.  I have never seen this issue come up before.   

I go to the gym at the same time every day, which happens to coincide with the regular gym time for an older gentleman who recently joined the gym.  I have noticed that every time he is on the treadmill, he climbs off using the side panels as footrests and leaves the treadmill running at a pretty healthy clip. If you stepped from the floor onto the running belt while it was moving at that speed, your feet would get knocked out from under you and you could get hurt.  The first time he did it, I thought he was going to the restroom and maybe didn't want his workout to time out and lose his calorie/distance data.  But he never came back!  He just walked out of the gym.  I have seen him do this 5-6 times now.

This is a bad idea and really inconsiderate for a few reasons:

1) It wastes electricity.

2) It puts needless wear and tear on the machines.

3) Someone who may want to use that machine may avoid it because they think someone else is using it.

4) Because of the way the machines are situated (very close together) it's difficult to approach the treadmill from the side to turn it off.  So it makes it awkward and hazardous for members or staff to climb up on a running machine and turn it off.  There are several huge STOP buttons on the treadmill, it's really obvious how to turn it off.  There's no reason to do this.

So I've seen this happen a few times and I haven't known how to respond to it.   I have gone over and stop the machine after I'm done with my routine.  I have called out, "Sir please turn off your machine" as he's walking away, but he either doesn't hear or is ignoring me. I'm not going to stop my workout to go tattle on him to the staff.  But generally, by the time I'm done, this guy is  gone and I can't point him out to the staff. I have mentioned it as I leave, but without knowing the guy's name, "Older guy in a blue sweatsuit" doesn't help them much because it describes a LOT of people. He always seems to show up after I start working out and leave before I'm done.  He's very wily. :)

Am I over stepping my bounds as a gym member trying to correct another member's use of the machines?  I love the gym and I hate to see people abuse the equipment.  And I would really hate to see someone get hurt trying to turn the machine off for someone who couldn't be bothered to do it.  Is there anything else to do?



TurtleDove:
I haven't experienced this issue, but I have issues with people not following the track rules (either going the wrong way, or not staying to the inside lane to allow passing on the outside, or walking three across and blocking passers.....).  I generally say something politely as I pass like, "I'm passing on the outside - check out the track rules over there (and point).  Since I am passing them several times in rapid succession this works for that issue. Obviously, that won't work for yours, but if you do happen to catch him someday I would mention it directly to him.

For your issue, you could try something similar.  My gym was repainted and the track rules were taken off the wall.  I insisted they be put back up so that everything would run (hah! no pun intended!) smoothly.  I would suggest asking the gym to post a sign near the treadmilss with gym rules, including in large letters, "please do not leave treadmills running while not is use."

Good luck!

WillyNilly:
I would speak to an employee as I entered 'Hi.  I work out here everyday and lately an older guy comes in a few minutes after me and uses the treadmills.  He gets it going pretty fast and then when he leaves he just steps on the sides to get off leaving it running.  I'm usually still running at that point and don't want to interrupt my workout to notify you all, but it concerns me.  Maybe you can keep an eye out for him? I wouldn't want anyone to get hurt or the machines to wear out."

Or you could change the "maybe you can keep an eye for him?" to "would it be ok for me to say something to him as he's running?" if you are comfortable doing that.

Marcia:
As someone who works as a trainer in a large fitness facility, I'd appreciate it if another member let either myself or one of the staff know about something like that. That's an accident waiting to happen to some other member. Yikes!

Lynn2000:
If he often works out near you, maybe suggest that the staff keep an eye on you, and then you can kind of signal to them when you see the guy appear. Then they can watch him, and intervene as they think best. Or make plans to interrupt your own workout, just the once, to go get the staff and point him out.

You could also ask them if they'd like you to say something more proactive to him--like speaking to him before he starts the machine up. I would only do this if the staff was okay with it, though. Not being a gym member I'm not sure what size of a reaction this warrants, thus I would ask the staff for further guidance.

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