Gym Etiquette is a Thing!

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

Like a lot of people, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get back in shape. I took the first step by joining the gym. When I was working out today, a woman had the free weights that I needed next to her treadmill. She was running on the treadmill when I asked her if I could use them. She said no, and told me that she needs them after she gets off. I wanted to tell her that I will get them back to her when as soon as she needs them back, but I could tell that this would cause an argument, and she would make a scene. I feel like she was not using good gym etiquette. Please give me your take on the situation.

Thank you.

Nora W.

Dear Nora W.,

First of all, congratulations on joining a gym and making a commitment to improve your health by exercising. Second, I do not think this woman is showing good etiquette at all. I feel like she was hoarding the free weights that you wanted to use. I personally do some leg lifts in between my arm reps to give me energy for the next set. My leg lifts take about 60 seconds. If someone is going to take more than a few minutes in between sets, they should put the weights back while they do their other activity – such as getting on the treadmill. Third, I say if your gut tells you that she would cause a scene, then that was smart of you not to push her. I know it was probably very frustrating, but she would have just wasted your time discussing – or yelling – about the issue. If an issue like this happens again, I would go to the front desk and ask if they have any rules about hoarding or hogging the equipment. This will make them aware that there is a problem, and hopefully they will look-out and correct offenders.

If you have an etiquette question for me, please email me at mrsmcveighsmanners.com.