When a frustrated professional found her limited gym time being derailed by a sedentary social club, she came to Reddit to ask:
I (36f) am lucky enough to work from home and use my “lunch break” in the afternoon to go to the gym and get my workout out of the way, then eat at my desk when I get home.
I go to a small-ish gym. There’s a variety of equipment to use, but only 1 of every machine there. Since I am on my lunch break, I only have a limited amount of time to get my stuff done every day. I try to stick to a routine each time I go.
I see a lot of the same faces since I usually go within the same hour window each week day. There is also an older (I’m terrible at this but would guess 75-85) man who is there almost every day as well. I get the impression the time at the gym is as much about getting out and being social as it is getting a work out in for him.
The issue is that he has a tendency to sit on a single machine for 30-40 minutes at a time and have conversations with gym goers, usually the same group of people, 4-5 people at a time gathered around a weight machine just chatting. And it’s almost always a machine I’m hoping to use.
Whenever I see him when I walk in, I just resign myself to the fact that I’ll be missing out on part of my routine that day. He is not using the machine during this time, but is sitting on the seat and resting while they all chat.
WIBTA (Would I be the a-hole) for interrupting their conversation and asking an older man with a cane (and by default 4 or 5 other people) to move so that I can use the machine?
As annoyed as I am by what I feel is rude behavior (it would be a different story if there was more than 1 of each machine), I also don’t want to be labeled as a Karen for asking him to move so I can do 1 extra set of lifts.
I also think this could be petty of me, but get irritated because of the principle of it. Thoughts? Should I continue to bite my tongue and just do what I can?
Here's what Reddit had to say...
NTA. Gym machines are for exercising. If he’s not exercising, he needs to get off of the machines. If he wants to sit around and talk to people, he can go to a coffee shop.
If you're polite and respectful YWNBTA (you would not be the a-hole). 'Excuse me sir(s), are you using the machine? Could you please let me use it real quick for X sets, I'll be as quick as I can... ... thanks a lot!'
NTA - if you do it very nicely. Smile, say, 'Hi, how are you today! I see you here every day! We're regulars, aren't we? Ha ha... say, I have to leave in 20 minutes, would it be possible to let me just get on that machine and do a few reps? Maybe we could take turns? I hate to disturb you, but it's my only chance, you know?' And smile like a little angel the whole time.
Ask the staff to remind him that he shouldn't hog the machines. If that still doesn't work, just tell him you need to use that machine. NTA.
NTA. Sounds like he's quite the conversationalist if he's that popular with the regulars. I'd definitely strike up a convo and ask him if you can work in.
I guess I've been worried that it would be obvious who 'complained' but I guess I should approach them. Nobody else seems to be bothered by it, though.
Good luck out there, everyone! And don't be a machine hog!