Gym horror stories

July 12, 2008

I’ve never experienced some of the horror stories in this CNN article, but some of the issues it and the commenters wrote about I have experienced.

As always, the comments are instructive. A debate over whether treadmills are for running only, I’ve never heard of this before. One commenter wrote in that if you don’t run at least 7 1/2 mi / hr on the treadmill, you shouldn’t be allowed to use it! Treadmill wars.. then some agreement that people are disgusted by public gyms and buy equipment for home use. I think buying several pieces of good quality home equipment would prove more expensive than a typical gym membership, but I can see where it would be worth it to many people (if you could afford it).

Some behavior I’ve seen:

  • When I was a member of the YMCA (believe it or not around here the Y costs twice as much or more than the commercial gyms), I noticed the # of women, who I would assume fit the category of ‘cougar,’ who had obvious breast augmentation work done. Gender biased comment, yes, but these women no doubt wanted to be noticed, in the gym or elsewhere.
  • People who would reserve equipment with an iPod or a towel.
  • One guy once who had a cold or something, but insisted on coming to the gym and running on a treadmill. Every minute or so, he’s grab his towel off the front panel of the machine, blow his nose into it, and put it back. The whole panel of the machine must have been covered in his snot.
  • Perverts ogling people in the locker room in one particular Y. They weren’t too hard to find.. the Y has an open shower room, and you would see guys sitting on chairs, staring into the showers. That particular place too had a lot of men prancing about completely nude in the locker room. This isn’t Europe, so it was odd, That’s why there are family locker rooms I take it.
  • As for people turned off by gyms and lacking motivation, it is obvious to me that the commercial gym business model counts on this. You have to sign a 1 to 2 year contract with a gym that you can’t break except as allowed by local law. Most people it is assumed, will give up (the well know New Year’s rush to the gym that tapers off in a month or two) but will have to pay out their contract.
  • Gym need to provide a little training for people who aren’t familiar with the weights or cardio equipment. People abuse or improperly use equipment which could (and has) result in injury.
  • People who use a piece of equipment (like a treadmill) that is obviously damaged in some way, causing a tremendous amount of screeching or other noise. Use another piece if it is available, and even if one isn’t. Of course, you may be damaging the equipment further.
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