Gym Etiquette-Don’t be THAT Guy?

We all know there are certain things you do at the gym because well….you’re supposed to- Wipe down your equipment, put your weights back in the rack properly, don’t sit on equipment if you’re not using it (aka 10 sets of 20 selfies with a lift or 2 sprinkled in for “pump factor”)

But would you EVER approach someone who is clearly ACTIVELY using a piece of equipment and tell them that they needed to move so you could use it? Would you walk up to someone in the middle of a lift and demand they hand over the bar? Ludicrous right?!?! Well, that is exactly what happened today when I took my 2 youngest to the gym tonight. You’d think that anybody that doesn’t feel like sharing equipment with anyone else would be more inclined to get their own gym equipment from somewhere like Strength and Fitness, but that wasn’t the case for this guy.

Let me set the stage for you. There are two gym facilities, one in the leasing office with all kinds of brand new fancy equipment and one closer to my apartment that houses the older not as pretty equipment. This gym is usually empty and even though the 3 treadmills kind of suck- no pause feature and no instructions or programmable workouts- it’s ok because when we go we generally have the entire gym to ourselves and I can put TV on for the kids to distract them enough to get my run in. **IF** the gym is empty I let them use the different machines because they’re showing an interest in fitness and not getting in anyone’s way. That being said, my kids know that if they’re just ‘playing’ and someone comes in to workout, they are to be respectful and allow the person to use the machines or equipment they need. In fact last week I was complimented on their excellent behavior in the gym when a young woman came in to workout in the weights section. My 2 littles were in the area and IMMEDIATELY moved out of that section so she could complete her workout without them being in the way. Proud mom!

They gym was absolutely empty when we arrived so we put Spongebob or something on the TV and I got started on my run. My son hopped on the treadmill next to me and started a series of sprint drills. Little P was alternating between walking on the treadmill next to brother and the elliptical next to me.

It was a beautiful picture! My heart was so happy to be sharing this with my children.

I could see a middle aged or older couple coming toward the gym. As they entered the facility, and began walking past us, little P stepped off the treadmill to get a drink. As she was walking back to the treadmill she was using the woman stepped in front of her and got on the treadmill. That was the beginning of my annoyance. Little P didn’t seem affected and she turned and walked over to me and started on the elliptical so I didn’t say anything.

Then it happened.

The man said LOUDLY while pointing to Little J,

“Hey, ya think can he get off of that?”

I said, “No, he’s not getting off. He’s using it.”

What the man said to me next nearly caused me to come completely unhinged. That arrogant jackass says, “well he’s not really doing anything so he needs to get off.”

I yanked the emergency stop on my treadmill and looked that asshat square in the eye and said, “My son is NOT getting off. He’s working out with his mother. He has just as much right to use it as anyone else.”

I was in absolute shock that this man would think that it was ok to act as if my son had no right to be in that gym. There are NO rules against children using equipment under parental supervision. And it’s not like they were playing around or acting disrespectful in any way.

The man grunted and grumbled and got on another elliptical. I could see him in the reflection of the windows giving me dirty looks.

The female that he was with proceeded to shout across us periodically that she was almost done and he could use ‘her’ treadmill, and he didn’t hesitate to make it clear to the now semi occupied gym that, “Oh no, it’s ok, he wouldn’t want to inconvenience anyone by making them move.”

Immature. Grow up you elitist old fart.

I know my response could have been better. More mature. I was just so blown away that this man would have the nerve to say that.

What would you have done? How do you think I could have handled the situation better? On another light note, if you’re looking for woman’s workout gear, you might want to head over to or similar sites to find clothing that you’ll look great in while you workout.


  1. Bri says:

    Good for you for a) bringing your kids to the gym and instilling healthy habits, and b) telling that old man what’s up! Some people are just plain rude. It would be awseome if working out with your kids (safe and supervised, of course) was the norm.

    • Amanda Medau says:

      Thank you Bri. Like I said, if they were being little hellions I would totally understand someone asking me to have them move. How can we expect to eliminate childhood obesity and laziness when kids are surrounded by self absorbed adults?!?!

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