Author Topic: S/O of I know you're clean... but you still smell - smelling strong at the gym  (Read 4118 times)

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Bethalize

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Your input and suggestions on this scenario would be appreciated. I know what I would want to happen, but I'm a resilient person.

You are a woman in your late 30s. You go to the gym a lot. You do classes, have coffee and have a personal trainer. When you lift your arms up you smell very strongly of body odour to other people. People can talk to you quite happily until you lift your arms. When you have been working with your trainer the smell is obvious within 20 feet. Some people have been noticing and some have made (unkind) comments to your trainer. Trainer is unhappy with the smell but shuts down unkind comments.

What would you want to happen?

No one says anything to you.
The personal trainer (good at his job, young enough to be your son) says something.
The casual friend you made at the gym takes you aside and says something.
A member of gym staff who doesn't know you is briefed to say something.
Other - please post below.

Aquamarine

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I would rather have anyone just tell me what the problem was rather than have people continue to gossip behind my back and avoid me without me being to understand why they were doing so.  I can't fix what I'm not aware of.
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MrTango

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I'd much rather someone say something to me, rather than no one say anything.

Better someone I know than a stranger, so my vote would be for the trainer or the casual friend to say something.

If I were in the position of having to say it, I'd say something like "have you ever considered wearing deodorant when your work out?"

whatsanenigma

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I think that for me, I would rather have the trainer say something, but in a professional manner.  I would like them to address it as, you seem to be  having a problem I have seen many times before, that even I had when I first started working out, that I didn't know it would be a good idea to [I don't know what-put on extra deodorant before working out, switch deodorants to a stronger one....whatever] so I'm just passing this information along to you.

That way, it would seem more like just part of learning from the trainer, the same as learning how to properly do pushups or whatever.  It's part of a trainer's job, I think, to make the workout experience the best and most productive possible for the client, and advice on physical comfort regarding clothing or sweating too much or whatever could be part of that.

I do have to say, though, that I might question the professionalism of a trainer who is "unhappy" with how his clients smell when working out.  I would think that bad smells would be an occupational hazard in that profession and that people shouldn't feel inhibited about working out based on how their sweat smells.  (Some people might be in more  need of a shower than others after a workout, of course, but during the actual workout, it shouldn't matter.)

NyaChan

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I'm a little confused - is her body odor much worse than the average person who is working out?  I usually smell sweat when I go to the gym and would expect someone who is working out to not be at their freshest.

Yvaine

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I'm a little confused - is her body odor much worse than the average person who is working out?  I usually smell sweat when I go to the gym and would expect someone who is working out to not be at their freshest.

This.

TootsNYC

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I'm a little confused - is her body odor much worse than the average person who is working out?  I usually smell sweat when I go to the gym and would expect someone who is working out to not be at their freshest.

And if so, the trainer should be saying something, AND the trainer would *hopefully* be enough in tune w/ physiology to know that extreme body odor can sometimes be a clue that there is a physical problem.

And that would hopefully prompt him to say something, simply because he's a semi-health professional (semi-health, not semi-professional) who is looking out for her interests. Just as he should speak up if she's limping or has limited range of motion in her arm or something.

Bethalize

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I'm a little confused - is her body odor much worse than the average person who is working out?  I usually smell sweat when I go to the gym and would expect someone who is working out to not be at their freshest.

Oh, yes. Everyone smells a bit sweaty sometimes. This is noticeable several feet away. Not until she raises her arms though. Then it hits you very noticeably.

Amara

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She may already be aware of it, be embarrassed to death by it, and yet not able to control it.

When I was younger I suffered through about twenty years of sweating heavily. The minute the weather turned hot I sweated. The day I tried seven different anti-perspirants a total of twelve times (one on top of the other) and it took my body only ten minutes to break through I knew I had to see a doctor. He prescribed a prescription-only one and it worked but it sure hurt. I hated those sweat stains. I could smell myself (though nowhere near as badly as this woman.) It was only as I hit my forties, I think, that the problem disappeared.

So some of the tactful approaches are good, but know that she is painfully aware of it already.  :-[
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 08:29:53 PM by Amara »

dawbs

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I dunno, but I think the gym has a decidedly different set of rules.

Even if it's really noticeable, it's the gym--where people are supposed to be able to go and exercise and get sweaty.
Which makes me lean heavily toward "nobody says anything" category.

Bethalize

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I knew I had to see a doctor.

[SNIP]

 know that she is likely painfully aware of it already.  :-[

That's the thing isn't it? If you are aware of it but you are failing to manage it is it perhaps time someone suggested you see a doctor?

Amara

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It is SO embarrassing, OP. I just don't think anyone at gym, unless they have a relationship with her outside the gym, should say anything. I feel for her. I don't know if it could be done. But maybe. I only know I would have died.

whatsanenigma

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It is SO embarrassing, OP. I just don't think anyone at gym, unless they have a relationship with her outside the gym, should say anything. I feel for her. I don't know if it could be done. But maybe. I only know I would have died.

On one hand I agree with you, but on the other hand, I think that I would be grateful to know so I could stop it from happening any more.

Maybe the key is, whoever tells her should have some concrete suggestions (and not just "bathe more often" because she's probably tried that).  Maybe some people have to upgrade deodorants when they work out-the one for daily use is not strong enough.  Maybe she has an undiagnosed medical condition and should see her doctor.  Things like that.

Because if somebody just said to me, no matter how kindly, "Hey, you smell bad", I would be mortified and never want to show my face in that place again.  But if they said possible reasons, and were sympathetic about it, offering a suggestion for a gym "newbie", I would be mortified but get over it quickly and thank them.

Rohanna

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I think it would be better coming from someone who isn't her trainer- I think after this much time has passed it would be awkward for him to bring it up.

I think there's a difference between "fresh" sweat from working out and "knock you out at 20 paces" sour body-odor smell. If nothing else, it may indicate a health issue this woman needs to bring up to a professional.
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VorFemme

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I know someone with reduced kidney function who is required to work up a sweat at least once a day so that her sweat glands can "help" her kidneys in detoxification.

Her sweat smells really strong - gym clothes are washed daily, she showers after exercise, but there may still be a lingering trace of the stuff that most people don't have in their sweat, due to the reduced kidney function.

Deodorant doesn't work.  Showering twice a day and clean clothes mitigates it but does not control it completely.  I don't know if the woman in the OP has medical issues - but some people's sweat just smells more than other peoples.  She might be one of the unlucky ones....or she might have more medical issues than she is comfortable sharing with the world at large.
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