Today let’s have some fun! This morning while enjoying my 5k I witnessed a “craziness” event at my gym. A man who must be a lawyer based on the conversation and a woman who must have been seeking additional legal council at her gym in full conversation. I kid you not, I felt like I was watching an infomercial for Bender & Bender? William Mattar? Alexander & Catalano? (Insert name of annoying personal injury lawyer you are familiar with…here)
It was crazy! The man is trying to run but also give advice and comment while keeping his pace on a treadmill… in a gym. The lady stood on the treadmill next to him and chatted him up all while he worked out. I just kept thinking this man is a martyr because after 1 minute I would have asked a judge for a recess. Or just put my ear buds back in.
I still have no idea what the specifics of the case were, but it seemed like a challenge. I put in my ear buds and watched while I imagined what the case was about. I decided it was a torrid affair of a man caught cheating trying to flee the scene. While speeding said cheater smashed into the lady’s car at a red light during rush hour. The impact pushed her, her beloved poodle, and her car into a backyard pool? Hey it could happen.
Does anyone else people watch and then try to decide what the conversation of the strangers is about? Am I the only one? Bueller?
But the whole exchange brought up for me what is proper etiquette at the gym? I often see my neighbors there. I give them a wave and keep moving. If it’s a friend or family member I’ll probably stop say hello and chat for a hot second before moving on. I have some clients at the gym and I give them the hi wave as well.
Am I being rude? What is the appropriate amount of time to spend chatting with someone at the gym. Maybe I should talk to my neighbors there? I have no idea what the rules are about these types of things.
I decided to create my own “Gym Chat Etiquette Rules”
1. Upon walking into the workout area. Scan for people I know. Wave to those on machines and others who are too far from my workout area to speak with.
2. Family – Stop them to
ask questions about Christmas dinnersay hello and have a few minutes of general dialogue.
3. Clients – I’m sticking to the wave and say hi. I do not want to “talk shop” in a tank top that may or may not be full of sweat.
4. Friends – Depending on the level of sweat dripping from their brow, I make an approach during a break. If he/she is banging out 5 hard treadmill miles I leave them be.
5. Group Class – If I’m on time for the class (this means EARLY people) I’ll chat a bit with the other patrons. Usual topic of discussion include: class/weather/workout wear.
5a. During Group Class – Keep it quick and short. Maybe a “WOW this is hard” or “I’m feeling it” as a means of group support.
7. I don’t say hi to people when they get on a machine next to me, I give a nod. Almost to say, I see you and may the force be with you.
6. Special Cases:
– Spin: before class OK to chat, during class: unless I’m dying or have maxed out the bike I don’t talk to anyone, I’m in a zone.
– Yoga I’m in a zone I don’t talk at all.
-Lap Swim I’m not a fish so it’s hard to talk and breathe, crisis adverted.
Those are my only rules for conversating (my own word) at the gym. I usually workout alone so the whole idea of chatty Cathy while I run on a treadmill next to my bestie has never really happened for me.
I’m always interested in what other people’s rules are for chatting at the gym. Does it drive you crazy when people are chatting next to you? What do you say when someone gets on a piece of equipment next to you? Do you say hi, give a nod, ask their views on popular political issues? AND Especially if you are a trainer, do your rules change?
Question of the Day: What are your rules for conversations during your workouts?