Gym Class Etiquette

I have written so many times about how I’m a gym class girl.  If I’m going to the gym, I’m so much more likely to go if I’m going to a class – and to work out that way I want to work out – when I’m in a class instead of doing my own thing.  When I go, I try to be respectful of the other people in the class because it is their class, too, not just mine.

I do my best to be on time, but I don’t always succeed – especially in the early classes where I’m sitting in the car waiting for the bus before I can head to the gym.  If I’m late, I try to gather any gear quietly, find a spot that doesn’t necessitate someone else moving, etc.

I may get slightly annoyed by the people who make up their own moves to the routines in the step and Zumba classes because (in my admittedly judgy mind) it looks like they want to show off their fancy moves more than anything else, but it honestly doesn’t really bother me.  It sort of make me giggle more than anything else.  If they weren’t standing in the front row dead center, I’d probably be less likely to think that they want to show off and would be more likely to think they just want a more intense workout (or something), but it never fails to amaze me that the one or two people in a class who want to do their own thing are always front and center.

Gym class schedule - it is ok to take overlapping classes?

The part that really gets me though is the people who can’t decide what class they’re going to go to on a given day.  Granted, it’s partly the fault of the gym for the way they’ve set up the schedule.  If you want to do a spin class, you can’t do any other classes that day, as they run into both the 8:30 and the 9:45 classes that feature other disciplines.  My thought?  Move the spin class (and maybe later so that as the yoga and Pilates classes are trying to cool down and meditate at 9:25, we aren’t listening to the boom boom spin music through the wall), and you’ll solve a lot of the problems.

Instead, there is a not insignificant portion of the step and Pilates classes that come at 8:30 and leave at 9:10.  In both instances, it involves them walking around and through others who are working out (because the classes are generally pretty crowded and full by that point) to put away their equipment.

I’m conflicted.  I get that they want to do both classes.  But is it disrespectful to get up and leave in the middle of a class, or is the instructor happy to have them for the period she does?  I feel like they get annoyed given the mildly acerbic comments that they used to make, but I feel like they’ve also just given up.  As someone in the class, it’s distracting to me to watch (which says something about my own focus level, doesn’t it?) and listen to them get up and leave.  I’d rather they simply choose a class and stick with it.

To me, this is different from the people who leave partway through the class because they realize the class just isn’t for them or who have maxed out on their capacity for exercise at that point.  I feel for them, but I understand.  They’re different from the people who choose to leave class early before cooldown because they don’t see the value in it or who are going to spend time on the treadmill or elsewhere in the gym working out and don’t need the cooldown.

These folks leave class early every single time so they can be on time to spin class.  At some point, shouldn’t they choose to finish this class and go late to spin?  The spin classes aren’t full where they run the risk of not getting a bike if they are late.

Then again, the people who are able to make it to class on time every day probably aren’t thrilled when I walk in three or four minutes late either.  At least I’m not the girl who walks in halfway through class.  I suppose.

So how do you feel about people who come late or leave early from fitness classes?


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