Uncomfortable at the gym? Sometimes I am too

I am upset. I dislike it when other trainers – particularly those less qualified and less educated than myself – make comments on my workouts. I currently work alongside a trainer who frequently hassles me about my workouts. Comments like “done already?” are getting quite old. His ignorance of my knowledge regarding the scientific bases and effectiveness of my workouts is evident. I typically let these unnecessary comments roll off my back. As I reflect on his comments made earlier this week, I am concerned about what he may say to others – and how some individuals may take it.

The situation

Earlier in the week I ran to the gym prior to teaching a strength class. I ran just over 5 miles and I was walking on the treadmill to cool down – sunglasses atop my head and gloves in hand – when he began to talk to me. Here is how the conversation went:

He asked “did you run here?”
“Yes.”
“How far?”
“A little over 5 miles.”
“That’s not bad, how are you getting home?”
“I’m getting a ride after I teach class.”
“Why don’t you run home?”
“Because I train smart.”
“Well if you are going to do it you might as well do it all the way – I mean” and I cut him off,
“once you join me on my training plan you can make comments, until then keep them to yourself.”

Comments gone bad

He is an example of a hater. He is an example of someone who assists in making the gym environment intimidating and uncomfortable. Mind you, he is an average trainer – no education and no certifications. He is in great physical condition. He works out “hard” but his methods of “killing” people are not based on science and are based solely on making it as hard as possible. Does that get results? Sometimes, but not without unnecessary risks. photo (27)

Back to the comments. If you tell me I am not working hard enough – you have not done my workouts. Nor can anyone make those comments without doing a full needs assessment. He does not realize I have a history of over-exercising  – but then why would he care? He does not know the physical obstacles I have overcome and for which I carefully allocate for when designing my workouts. But he does not bother to think before he speaks.

The gym culture

I do not like the gym culture this cultivates. Every piece of cardio equipment around me was occupied – and individuals were listening to this conversation (he does not talk quietly). What does the woman who just came in to get 20 minutes on the treadmill next to me now think? Is she now thinking, well if her workout doesn’t count why did I bother with this? We do not know. I personally wouldn’t risk making this comments and threatening someones confidence, determination, etc. Most individuals – and especially women – are uncomfortable and self-conscious at the gym to begin with. This justifies those thoughts and feelings to a certain degree.

I have been trying to decide whether or not to approach him about the matter. Do these comments truly negatively impact the culture, or have I been spoiled by the truly positive environment I previously worked in? There is a time and a place to hassle individuals in an effort to push them – based on my observation he is not cognizant of these boundaries.

While we work at the same gym – as a trainer he is not my competition. No individual will be choosing between him or me. If someone wants to train with him they would likely never have the desire to work with me (and vice versa). However, they may come to me after they get hurt training with him. Regardless, he is not my competition.

The bottomline

I needed to vent. I suppose my focus on the psychological aspects of exercise makes me more sensitive to these issues than most trainers and avid gym-goers. But I believe this is another example of when we should stop and think before we speak.

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9 thoughts on “Uncomfortable at the gym? Sometimes I am too

      • I am not too concerned about him trying to sabotage. It’s the big picture that bothers me. I have a line of people waiting to train with me when my time opens up…

        I would just like to see a safe, welcome environment for all people to work on health and fitness comfortably, without risk of feeling judged.

  1. Pingback: A missing link to weight loss | StrongBraveHonest

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