What are your gym related pet peeves?

Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 01:46 pm
Do you go to the gym regularly? Do you pay a lot (too much) for your membership? What are your pet peeves that truly irk you? What behaviors or habits of other gym members make you grind your molars to dust?

I goto a really cheap gym ($10 + tax per month). And for the most part, it's a clean(ish) gym with well over 95+% of the equipment in running/working order. Bless you workers of Planet Fitness of Brooklyn.

Me? It confuses me to see perfectly healthy people use the elevator to go up or down one or two floors in this three floor gym.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 11 • Views: 4,205 • Replies: 49

Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 02:13 pm
I found the elevator odd in my old gym, too. But in all fairness, the Y was also apparently a place for physical therapy, and I would see folks in wheelchairs all the time. Obviously, the elevator is for them. But seeing people take the elevator up one flight and then work out (on a Stairmaster, no less!) is a big dose of wtf.
Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 03:57 pm
That's quite understandable. People who are in physical therapy, who using wheelchairs, who have to use crutches, or elderly persons are what I believe are legitimate reasons for people to use the elevators.
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Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 05:50 pm
Okay, what bugs me are the people who sit on a machine talking to someone for 15+ minutes when I'm on a deadline (work) and have a routine that involves that machine. Either get off it or shut up and work it. There! My pet peeve is people who go and don't work out. Why go? Just to brag that you belong to a gym?
Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 05:58 pm
Planet Fitness member also.
Worst goddam music.
Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 06:16 pm
I was a YMCA member for years, now seems like nirvana.
Joined a place in Marina del Rey and essentially threw my money at lice, or ice. Me, walking into a place with roaming heave-hos. I was simply afraid to go back. Not about their muscles, but me being ordinary.
Obviously now, I should have argued what I paid, but I left the place cold.
I know that's how they make their money.

I'm not actually afraid of the beefy folks - people from the original Gold's Gym went to (my) cafe, The Rose, were a goodly part of the crowd.

This may misrepresent the place I joined , but I was plotzed (and even after all those Y years)

Big cultural distinction.
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Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 06:24 pm
George wrote:

Planet Fitness member also.
Worst goddam music.

Yes. I truly hate Planet Fitness music. What's worse? Crunch Gym music. 10 minute electronic dance music songs. Crappy. 10 minute electronic dance remixes where they pretty much boil the annoying songs down to one or two constantly repeating craptastic song lines? Absolutely horror inducingly bad music.
Reply Fri 12 Oct, 2012 11:38 pm
Mame wrote:

Okay, what bugs me are the people who sit on a machine talking to someone for 15+ minutes when I'm on a deadline (work) and have a routine that involves that machine. Either get off it or shut up and work it. There! My pet peeve is people who go and don't work out. Why go? Just to brag that you belong to a gym?

Domination of a unique machine or a machine of which there are few is certainly a huge annoyance.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 05:41 am
I used to belong to Women's Fitness of Boston. Nice people. Lousy music. As in, they had music sung by American Idol rejects and the kids from Glee. I'd be rowing (or whatever) and hearing the opening strains of, I dunno, "Hotel California". And I'm thinking, well, I don't love this (as I have heard it a gazillion times), but okay. Not the Eagles. Argh.
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 06:47 am
I go to the gym very early usually around 5am, Monday thru Friday. Its nice, very few people working out.

I use to go right after work when it was crowded and like mame said people who sit on a machine talking to someone, or sitting there watching the TV. It’s like they’re protecting their territory or something.

Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 06:51 am
I'll be back. Boy do I have complaints.
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 10:15 am
Ok, I'm settled in somewhere.

Reading over the comments so far, I'm amazed that the only problems mentioned have to do with other members, or at worst, the music.

Even then, with other members sitting at a machine talking, all it takes to get in, or get them moving on their routine, is a polite "Can I work through?"

I'll preface all this with saying the gyms I've belonged to have all but in 2 exceptions been nationwide, or at least statewide business, where one would have expected at least a minimum level of awareness on the part of the management/staff.
In fact, I've never belonged to a gym where I did not experience not just lack of, but non-existance of customer service toward even the smallest items.

I'm a really low maintenance person. I mean Really low maintenance. I'm the one who doesn't blink an eye in a restaurant when what I was planning on ordering isn't available, or even if my 2nd choice can't be had. I just get something else and am glad for it. I certainly don't except to have special treatment anywhere, and if I can see someone is doing the best they can with the tools and resources they have available at that moment, I'm fine. I don't kill the messenger in other words.

The first gym I joined was when I was in my mid twenties. It was just a couple of blocks from work, in the direction of my apartment, so was ideal. I quickly learned not to expect the least amount of attention from the staff. They were ususally too busy either looking at themselves in the mirrors (I remember when one young woman was taking me around on like my second visit, supposedly to instruct me on how to use the equipment. She tell me what to do, then, as soon as I started, she turn her eyes away from me, and stare at her butt, turning, amiring it from several angles. When I finally said "Could you watch me instead of yourself? " she got pissy and shortchanged my instructions, going off so she could continue to admire herself), flirting with other employees or members of the opposite sex, or vacantly staring off, avoiding eye contact with anyone. Actually, I was sort of ok with that, once I accepted that was the way it was. I did my own thing, got my results, went home. I never thought of addressing this to "management" (if you can call it that), and in later years I learned that bringing anything up with them basically spotlighted you as "that person"

Once day, maybe a 2 years after joining, I showed up to find the doors locked. No notice of what happened, no phone number, nothing. Fortunately I'd gotten my monies worth out of them, but I know others had been screwed.

So, I joined another gym down the road that had opened up in the meantime. It was still on my way home, so fine.
What do you know, just a few months after joining, I showed up there to find them locked up, all the equipment gone, also.
This time I was pissed, as I was out money. Somehow I did have a phone #, and spent weeks battling back and forth on the phone with someone (let's call him John Smith) with the company, who ended up being a con man, never getting reimbursed since I didn't "have the proper proof I had ever joined, and they could not get to their paperwork, which as in'storage'".

All this was happening in S. Fla at the time. For several reasons I really wanted to belong to a gym at that time to get my exercise. It's hot and humid there, there's no nature to speak of, safety issues, time contraints, etc.

Somehow, can't remember how, I got noticea few months later the original place I'd been going to was opening back up, "under new management" I think they sent notices in the mail to former members to come over on a certain date/time to get info, rejoin, etc. I showed up, and recognized a lot of the members that had belonged to the last place with me, so we were all looking forward to getting back to the gym.
Really strange, the gym people started having up go in one at a time to talk to the new management, but whatever. I was toward the beginning, maybe 3rd out of 40-50 people, and they had like half a dozen people that would be talking to us one by one. This made me suspicious, which it turns out, I had every right to be.

I got called in, and the gym guy introduced himself to me....It was John Smith!
I told him he was the guy that jerked me around for all those weeks, and that since he already had my money, he needed to let me, and anyone else out there that lost their money because they took off in the middle of the night, rejoin for free, and only pay money after our original contracts were up.
He was really arrogant, and of course I wasn't going to get anywhere with him.
So....I walked back out to the lobby and told all the people there that these were the same people that ripped us off the first time. Pretty much we all walked out.

Ok, that's enough for part one of my gym saga. I got stuff to do, but I'll be back.

to be continued......
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 10:53 am
jcboy wrote:

I go to the gym very early usually around 5am, Monday thru Friday. Its nice, very few people working out.

I guess that's the best way to avoid pet peeves is simply to remove the people (or most of them) from the equation. Last weekend, I went to the gym, not many people at all. Twas a good session at the gym that day.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 11:40 am
2nd installment, still in S. Fla.

After the above, I had moved to another town, and joined a large gym there, who had locations across the U.S.
The membership I got for only for that gym, as that was the only place I needed/wanted to go.
I can't really say anything negative about the staff at that location. Then again, I don't recall ever asking them any questions, or having any requests.
However, it was at that time I started dating my first husband. He had a membership, but it was open to all the locations. He asked me once if I wanted to go play raquetball with him at a different location, a couple of towns over, that was some distance from me. We both knew I could go as his guest for this time, plus, I was a member, although not to all of them.

The policy at that time, at all locations, was that you were supposed to leave your membership card at the front desk, and pick it up when you left. Since I was his guest, I was supposed to leave my drivers license also. That was fine.
So we go, play raquetball, have a really good time. We go to leave, and he picks up his card, but my card and DL aren't there. I remember the young lady at the desk was totally confused, saying things like "It's not here, you'll have to come back".....No, I don't want to come back. You've got my drivers license. Plus this place is not somewhere I often come. I remember me being the one to finally say "If you don't know where it is, maybe you could get a manager?"
It took at least 10 minutes for a manager to get around to coming up front. When he did, he was holding my license and card. He came up to me and said (these were pretty near, if not his exact words) "You'll have to come back here with me" and he just started walking away.
My then BF, future husband and I both said "Why? What's wrong?" He wouldn't say, and just said "She needs to come back here." We looked at each other, neither one of us having a clue. By the managers demeanor, it really seemed like there was something wrong with either my DL or card, like I wasn't paid up, or (for some unrational reason) I was was thinking there was a problem with my DL.
So....I follow him back, and it turns out he wants me to convert to a membership to come to all the facilities.
I'd just gotten done playing raquetball, was in a really good mood. Was on a date and it was a nice day. I told him that I lived a few towns over, rarely ever came over this way, was just the guest today of my date, regularly went to the location in my town, thanks but no thanks.

Conversation then went back and forth for a few minutes, him saying "Why don't you want to join here?", me saying "Because I don't live near here, I don't come this way, I'm already a member, just not here.".....Him then asking "Why don't you want to join here?"

Kinda ridiculous.
It was like he was trying to get me mad, like if I got me mad, I'd join?
No idea.

This is going back and forth, for a while I'm trying to be polite, but after a while it's like "sorry, I'm not joining. You've got my card and DL, and we need to get going"
The man will...not...give me back my cards.
He actually held them out to me, and when I reached for them, would move his hand back.

Keep in mind, this is the manager.

I said "Look, you've got my drivers license. That belongs to me. I need it back, and my card"

He wants to start talking to me about joining again. Now he's got me. I'm annoyed/mad.
Again, this is my DL, give it to me....he refuses. I'm serious that, in so many words, I remember him saying he wasn't going to give it back.
Then he tells me he thinks I'm rude....asks me if I go to friends homes and eat their food, then just walk out?

Are you kidding me?
I told him my friends (which he wasn't one) don't take my belongings and refuse to give them back.

Of course I got it back, a total of like 20 minutes later.
My then BF, future first husband, was like "WTF?"

Oh belief me, I'm just warming up here...I'll be back with installment 3....and more.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 12:20 pm
Installment 2 - and last.
Nothin' like Chai's experiences, which so far are plain amazing.

Recapping - I loved loved loved my first gym, the YMCA in west los angeles. Learned what I know of running there (well, there and Runners World magazine, and everything I know about swimming (from a first dogpaddling and bubble blowing class to swimming a mile doing the crawl). Liked the atmosphere, regular people wearing ordinary gym clothes. Friendly but pretty much all business. They also had a health checkup for members once in a while, which I think is a good idea. Lots of reaching out to children re care when the parents were exercising, and children's classes - though none of all that was of concern to me, I liked their breadth of programs.

Went to the second because it was close to home. That was the one in the marina area. I've no real complaints, the problem was me, I felt out of place. It was sleek in decor, great views of the marina, and the people seemed to be majorly muscled. I was your basic chickenshit, and stupid about the money on top of that. Lose, lose.

Third place was in northern california - I liked it well enough; easy to get to... ah, but no great views out a window nor the working camaraderie of the Y. There was usually at least one treadmill available and that was my main interest back then. Efficient to go there, tread, leave.

So, my pet peeve? That the second and third places were not reprising the experience I had at the Y. Which of course was not their problem, but mine.
I quit the third place to just walk or run around town, even on bad weather days (the weather was never all that tough there).
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 01:16 pm
I've got a couple other big issues that have happened, but I'll break from that to simply mentioned the day to day stuff.....The stuff I honestly can't believe no one else has encountered.

First off, I will say that when I still belonged to a gym in Austin, again part of a nationwide chain, there was one location I could always count on to be at the minimum, not actively unprofessional.
I'm sure of the reason for this, it was a location downtown that was comprised of at least 80% gay members.
They had a free roaming cleaning lady of staff at all times, who was always busy. She'd always be wiping down machines, checking the rest rooms, taking out trash, cleaning the water fountain, picking up towels. The woman never stopped, and believe me, she was shown appreciation by everyone.

This however always made me wonder "Why can't all the locations, all gyms in general be like this?" It seems like at other locations, the people that work there actively go out of their way not to take care of anyone (not just me), in fact expending more energy avoiding work and members than if they just did even a half way decent job.

I like to respect what a person does for work. I would certainly miss the people/services in my life that provide cleaning, sanitation, stocking shelves, operating plastic mold injection machines etc than if some actor or athlete disappeared. The former are the people who keep this world running, and if you are one of them, I thank you.

I have a really hard time mustering up respect for people I would observe for an hour or more walking in circles around a gym floor, avoiding eye contact with anyone, leaning against a machine here or there picking at the chrome. It doesn't impress me that the only people they will stop to talk to are someone they find sexually attractive, or with whom they can share some steriod enhanced conversation with.

I remember being on an elliptical one Saturday morning, it was really bad weather, and the place was basically deserted. All the TV were tuned into, of all things, cartoon channels. I find it hard to read on an elliptical, with all the up and down motion, so I'm pretty much committed to watching TV, or staring into space. That day it took 3 or 4 times of one of the gym people walking by me in an almost empty facility before I could get his attention (meaning stop staring straight ahead as he walked around) to come over.

I asked if he could please change the station. He stared at the TV for a few seconds like it was something he'd never seen before, then looks at me and says "What?"
"Could you change the station? All the TV's have cartoons on them." You know, I can't even go into how I remember this seemed to be something hard to him to absorb.
Finally he said "I don't have the remote with me"
Is there a remote somewhere?
Could you get it?

He wanders off, I don't see him again. 20 minutes later, when I was done, and getting ready to leave. I see him. I went up to him and asked why he never came back..


See, I don't accept that he had a conversation of at least a couple minutes with me, went off, and in 20 minutes could not even remember he'd talked to me.

In all the years I went to gyms, there was a very limited list of things I'd ask for....can you change the TV....Just wanted to let you know the ladies room is running out of TP (on this one, I said that to the manager, because he was walking by me and said "How's it goin?" When I said "oh, the ladies room is almost out of paper, most of the stalls are empty" he replied "Well, no one's told me that", um, well I am).....One of the toilets is running and running (told to the manager, on that one nothing was ever done, for months at least)
These are things with spaces of weeks or months in between, like I said I'm low maintenance, and I don't think any asking for toilet paper is high maintenance. However, it always seemed to require an act of congress, and seemed a complete imposition to request any of these things.

Honestly? I could go into a gym and have it running like a top in no time. I know the name of the game is sales. They want you to buy a membership, and then not come, so they can sell more.
Besides the sales, it's mostly building maintenance and good cleaning crews.
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 02:43 pm
You're certainly right that there is no customer service at all. The staff, who are most often very young, seem to exist only to log in your entry and do whatever mysterious internal business they do. Mostly they chat with friends. In fact, on those very few occasions when I have to ask for something or report a piece of equipment which has been broken for a year, I get this odd feeling like I'm a mental case for expecting anything at all from them.
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Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 04:48 pm
I go to Planet Fitness for three reasons:
it's cheap
it has showers
it has the equipment I need for me Rhys and me.

Those are the positives.
The list of negatives could go on for pages.
The worst was when the fire alarm would go off for no apparent reason
and no one seemed to be able to turn the damn thing off. Louder than
a banshee. Bwap! Bwap! Bwap! Pause. Bwap! Bwap! Bwap! Pause.
Repeat ad nauseam. Thankfully they got that sorted out.

When we joined, the equipment was shiny and new. But it's been
deteriorating over time. The cushions on the seats cracked. They
were half-assedly repaired with tape, but then the tape started
peeling. They finally got the seats re-covered. Let's see how long
that lasts.

Then there's the hot water. Or is there?
Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 05:15 pm
You're right George

Gyms spend nothing, or next to nothing on the upkeep of their machines. Nor do they seem to realize they should.

Long ago, I discovered I really liked rowing on an ergometer, one of those rowers that resistance changes the harder you pull.

When I moved to Austin the first time, the gym I signed up at had a version of one that was pitiful. This woman kept asking the manager to get a new one, as she liked to row. This manager was a particular asshole, and was trying his best to make her beg.
I looked up the price of one and then asked him myself. He told me no, and when I asked why, he said they were too expensive. I said no they aren't, they cost XXX and facilities get a 30% discount. I guess it never occured to him anyone could easily look up the price.
Anyway, he finally told the woman they were getting one, like it was all his doing (it wasn't, I had asked, and corp was buying one for each facility) and this ass actually said to her "I want to see you on that every time you come here" like she was a child.
I moved away for a year, and when I came back visited that gym. In that time no one had ever serviced the erg. The chain was nasty and clogged with greasy dirt, it didn't run smoothly, the seat was misaligned, and it just needed a general cleaning.

Years later, I owned my own erg (and sold it for damn near what I paid for it, those things don't depreciate really) and it was pristine, even though I used it 5 times a week.
Of course, it didn't get the heavy usage as in a gym, but all you really need to do is take a rag with some machine oil on it, and run it over the length of chain once in a while.

All the machines just need to have their moving parts cleaned, as in wiped down, and maybe a little oil once in a blue moon. It's not like the people that work there don't have the time for that.

Reply Sat 13 Oct, 2012 09:44 pm
Well, I don't know where you two (you and George) go, but I've had nothing but positives to say about the gyms I've gone to, other than inconsiderate members. I've being going to gyms for about 20 years and have nothing bad to say about them. Recently I joined a gym (a year or so ago) and all the staff are pleasant and helpful, they know my name, they've just renovated (and I didn't see any need for it) and the equipment is always being replaced. They have about 12 tvs in the main area which are all tuned to different stations so you can choose which one; they have a women's section (not really sure why, but I like it) and no men are allowed in it. They have free water and wipes and lots of tp and oodles of showers and scales. Free shampoo, conditioner and soap. They even have blow dryers for your hair. Yeah, I like this gym... of course, you have to pay for all that stuff... I think the membership is $60 a month, but if you go frequently, it pays off. Not that I've ever used the blow dryers... but the price includes all the yoga, zumba, aerobic, step, cycling, and other classes you want, so, good deal in all.

So.... just depends on where you go, I guess.
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