Gym etiquette lacking in some members

BY TESINA JACKSON
Former Reporter &
CHRISTINA GOODVOICE
05/27/2011 06:53 AM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Aerofit Health Club member Cody Cox works out at the Tahlequah, Okla., gym. He said his biggest gym pet peeve is when people don’t put their weights back after using them and not wiping off machines when done. TESINA JACKSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A Cherokee Nation Male Seminary Recreation Center member works out on an elliptical machine at the facility in Tahlequah, Okla. Some gym members’ pet peeve is that others don’t wipe down machines with sanitizing wipes after finishing a workout. Wiping machines promotes cleanliness and helps prevent the spread of illness. CHRISTINA GOOD VOICE/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Joni Greenhaw wipes down an elliptical machine at the Cherokee Nation Male Seminary Recreation Center in Tahlequah, Okla. Not wiping exercise machines with sanitizing wipes is among the top pet peeves of Tahlequah-area gym members. JAMI CUSTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Several hundred people frequent area gyms to exercise and relieve stress, but sometimes other gym members lack general gym etiquette, which can cause unpleasant workouts.

Hundreds of people exercise daily at Cherokee Nation’s Male Seminary Recreational Center and Tahlequah’s Aerofit Health Club, and just like learning good manners as a child, there is also proper etiquette to follow for sharing a workout space with others, said gym officials.

“As far as the gym rules, they deal with safety, but we have a lot of signs up for gym (etiquette), like rack your weights and people that are sitting around talking,” said CNMSRC Director Bunner Gray.

Gray said the biggest complaint from members is other members not racking weights after lifting.

“We have signs up, but that’s something I don’t know if people get in a hurry (or what,)” he said.

The reason racking weights is an issue is that some people may not be able to remove weights from bar bells if the previous user had put on a lot of weight.

“If a big guy is doing squats and he’s got three 45-pounds (plates) on the squat bar and a girl wants to come squat, she can’t take those weights off,” Gray said. “She has to get someone to help her and (there’s the) time. That’s the biggest complaint I have.”

To combat the problem, Gray said CNMSRC workers walk through once an hour to rack weights.

“But still in between that hour there might be some people that kind of get in there (and don’t rack them.),” he said.

Russ Warner, Aerofit Health Club owner, said he’s not too particular about any certain rules except for no dropping of the weights and required gym attire, which includes shirts and closed-toe shoes.

He added that there are also a few etiquette rules, one being racking the weights.

“It’s kind of like I can’t sit around and follow everybody, I can’t rack everybody’s weights,” he said. “So pretty much, rack your weights.”

Warner said Aerofit’s few rules are pretty simple. “Rack your weights after you’re done with your equipment, no grunting, groaning, moaning, (or) any of that type of stuff,” he said.

Shirley Goodlin, CNMSRC public health educator, is charged with giving tours and assisting members who’ve been referred to the gym to begin a workout regimen. She also teaches a few classes at the center and said as an instructor she has several pet peeves.

“(People) bring their cell phones to class, have them go off with really loud music and let it keep going and then answer it, and instead of turning it off, listen to it again, or they visit with each other,” she said.

Another pet peeve of hers, and many other people, is when people save each other places in line that way other people don’t feel like they’re welcome to come in to class because it’s territorial.

“But other than that we try to make them feel welcome and try to learn their first names,” Goodlin said. “But we see a lot of people saving spots (in fitness classes) and no one will be there. Or if they’re on machines they’ll just be standing there visiting and not using the equipment so we go in and ask them if we can help (and) maybe kind of move them along a little bit.”

People taking too long on equipment may also be seen as being disrespectful by other gym members.

“Usually it kind of gets on my nerves a little bit when you’re trying to get on a bench or something and they’re using the bench bars or doing something they’re not suppose to…” said Aerofit member Joseph Craig.

But Goodlin’s biggest pet peeve as an employee is people complaining that the televisions on the equipment aren’t working.

“So if anything’s wrong with the equipment then everyone complains about what’s wrong with the equipment when really its not really the television, it’s the workout itself they should be concentrating on instead of the trivial things they complain about,” she said.

Cody Cox, an Aerofit member, said his pet peeve is people not cleaning up after themselves.

“What really bothers me is people not picking up after themselves, being respectful… rack your weights whenever you’re done,” Cox said. “I sweat a lot, and I wipe the machine after. So wipe down the machines whenever you’re done using them.”

Aerofit Health Club, located at 1026 S. Muskogee Ave., is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Some of its equipment includes treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, machine weights and free weights. Aerofit also has tanning beds and offers tae kwon do classes.

The CNMSRC is located at 1501 Graham Ave., and is free for CN citizens, CN employees and their immediate families. Monthly memberships for non-citizens are available for a fee. For more information, call 918-453-5496.

More pet peeves...

Preston Smith, CNMSRC member
“If you sweat, clean up after yourself. Don’t stay on a machine too long because others are waiting and don’t be obnoxious.”

Dakota Fields, CNMSRC member
Fields’ biggest pet peeve is people who are weightlifting and attempt too much weight then drop it.

“But I try not to drop the weights. For everyone else that does, if you’re going to drop them, lighten your load. That’s the biggest peeve I have. Do your weight. Don’t drop it.”

Robert Soontay, CNMSRC member
“Sometimes (guys) leave that stuff over (weights) there, but people are pretty good at being respectful and courteous. I don’t really have any complaints.”

Tamara Hughes, CNMSRC member
“Make sure you clean up after yourself. It’s not fun to go on (a machine) and see sweat marks. That’s just gross. If you see people waiting for stuff and have been on there long enough, let other people have a turn.”

Joseph Craig, Aerofit Health Club member
“The only problem I really have is when people try to jump on the machine that you’re using or they don’t put the weights back when they are done.”

Regarding people dropping the weights, he said:

“Slamming down weights bothers me a little bit, but I do understand it’s a gym so it doesn’t bother me too much… kind of just gripes me a little bit but at the same time it’s a gym. One of my biggest things is not putting the weights back when you’re done.”

Bunner Gray, CNMSRC director
“Definitely wiping down. I think that’s just a courtesy when you’re finished. And I tell people – and most people do – I wipe mine down before and after so (my biggest pet peeve) definitely is someone not wiping down their machine. Especially during flu season.”

christina-goodvoice@cherokee.org • 918-207-3825
tesina-jackson@cherokee.org • 918-453-5000, ext. 6139

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