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At the gym--are you social or anti-social?
Old 03-25-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
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At the gym--are you social or anti-social?

I am in general a pretty outgoing person, easily make friends, etc. Put me in almost any context and I can strike up and carry on a conversation. It just comes pretty natural to me.

However I have been a member of my gym now for over 8 years and I couldn't tell you the name of a single person there. At my gym there is a group of people who go there I think mainly for the social aspect. They are all buddies, chit-chatting, etc for much of the time they are there. I found it kind of interesting as I maybe give the quick head nod to acknowledge someone, or as I am getting stuff in/out of the locker I might say something like "tough workout' or something equally bland to make conversation, and that is only because they are right there and it almost seems rude to not at least acknowledge them. But I generally am not very social while at the gym I have to admit. I think wearing my ipod probably deters people from talking to me and being all sweaty!

I guess for me I view the gym as a necessary evil. I don't hate it, but I can't say I enjoy it. I go there for a purpose. To work out, and if I drag my sorry ass in there then I am going to take full advantage of that time to work out--not to socialize. I go everyday (except Sunday) so I see the same people. In any other situation where you seem the same strangers everyday, like the bus, or ferry or subway I have always made friendships, etc. I just found it interesting that I don't at the gym.

It made me wonder if people there view me as anti-social? I honestly don't think of myself as anti-social. If I met them in a bar or at the grocery store I would talk to them. The gym, not so much.

So are you a talker/social person at the gym, or are you like me--there to 'work your ass off and don't talk to me' kind of person?

Just curious more then anything.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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At the gym on base, it was in and out before anyone even got there. Early on Saturday and Sunday mornings it was just the heavy lifters, and the only time we talked to one another was when we needed a spotter.

I don't think I'd be much for socializing at a gym with more traffic though. You might either be too busy chatting to get your turn at the weights or machine, or be too busy chatting to let someone else get their turn.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:57 AM   #3
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Semi-social. Mainly with females.



heh heh heh -
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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When I've worked out at a gym or hiking--and I like to work out hard--I don't really want to be bothered at all. So, anti-social.
However, in the pool you can water jog and do aerobic exercise and talk at the same time. So, depends on what type of exercise I'm doing.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:07 AM   #5
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Semi-social. Mainly with females.



heh heh heh -

Ballard Guy is that you? There is a guy who has a 'Free Ballard' bumper sticker on his car that goes to our gym. My wife and I call him Ballard Guy and that is exactly what he does. He talks to ANY woman there---I am sure most of them dislike it, but maybe not. I know if I was female I would resent it. I rarely actually see him work, just talk to women. I suppose it is better then a bar though!

I don't even talk to my wife at the gym! We get there and go our separate ways. We do different things and just hook up at the end of the hour. I see several couples at my gym though who do everything together. That wouldn't work for my wife and I as we have such different workouts. Plus it would be embarassing for her to see me cry when I can't lift that weight--or even worse if she lifted more then me!
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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So are you a talker/social person at the gym, or are you like me--there to 'work your ass off and don't talk to me' kind of person?
Spouse and I are both anti-social.

I go there to sweat. About the only conversation I'll have with another gym user is to inquire whether I can have a set on the equipment they're using... perhaps in a tone of voice implying "If you're gonna chat then get the heck off the equipment".

A few years ago, to entice my daughter's help on a home-improvement project, we trenched an electrical extension to our storage shed and turned it into a workout room. We found used gear on Craigslist and loaded the place up for under $500. She enjoyed it for about 18 months and then moved on to college.

But now we really hit the gear (we've already worn out an older/used elliptical machine). Spouse enjoys using the home gym because it's not a public place. It's an interesting difference of attitudes-- as a typical guy I'm going to a gym to sweat so I don't really care how I look, let alone what I wear. She feels social pressure to clean up and wear "nicer" gym clothes. She finds a public place to be more of an obstacle to working out, it takes longer to drive there, she feels obligated to be nice to the other users and chat a little, she doesn't push as hard when she's "with all those people".

At the home gym we rarely miss a workout, we can go early in the morning without rush hour, and we both go harder to get it the heck over with. Kinda nice to be worked out and showered by 9 AM.

Among the home gym, taekwondo, and surfing-- I don't know if I'll ever go back to a public gym.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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Very antisocial because I am focusing on my workout and I am working out too hard to talk. Besides, I am focusing on my breathing. Even F. and I don't converse at the gym, because he is pretty focused on his own workout. Besides, much of the time he is over by the free weights and I strictly limit my lifting to the machines. We both listen to our mp3 players while we work out anyway, so we wouldn't hear any conversation.

Sometimes I might talk for a few seconds while dressing just to be polite, but usually I am in a hurry to get dressed and get busy. If I finish my workout before F., and I am dressed and waiting for him in the lounge area, sometimes I might socialize but usually I read my Kindle.

A lot of the older ladies seem to go to the gym mostly for the socializing, and don't seem to push themselves very hard in their workouts. They all know each other and want to talk, talk, talk with each other. I feel sorry for them because it is the pits to be old and lonely like that.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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While I am working out- I have ear buds and my ipod - I like to workout quickly moving from station to station - so, I don't talk to anyone while on the "floor". I go the same time 3 days a week and see all the same folks - in the steam room is where I am social. I enjoy the conversations there while relaxing.
Many people use the gym as their social interaction time - they work out for a few minutes then talk for several and then back to working out - that just doesnt work for me - I want to keep up my heart rate.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #9
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I don't interact much at the gym, although I am very sociable most places. I just lift weights and spin, not a lot of time for interactions. DW, on the other hand, is very sociable at the gym and has met a number of women in classes she is currently taking.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #10
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Is it really anti-social when you are at a place designated for a task that is not exactly something we crave to do, but recognize the benefits. Not to mention the fact that you NEED to pay attention to your body while doing the workout to get the feedback.

Socializing is fun when that is what you are available to do, but working out is WORKING not socializing. Do these people have a social life outside of the gym? I question the quality of the workout they are getting in any case.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:01 PM   #11
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I am very social at the gym . In fact I joined an all Women's gym to meet other women my age after I retired . We all take classes together and we rarely talk during class because we are working so hard but before and after we chat and then on Friday's we all go to lunch .After I retired I really missed the social aspect of work and this has fulfilled that need .Plus sometimes you just need to girl talk and this group is a hoot . I used to belong to a co-ed gym and there were a lot of people there who just socialized and did wimpy work outs but at this gym even the women not doing classes are very focused and motivated to get in shape . There is no way you could not be working hard doing Zumba or kickboxing . I give the women a lot of credit even the ones over eighty who come to class make every attempt to work hard . A lot of them are widows and better for them to get out and be around people then be lonely .IMO!
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:38 PM   #12
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I sometimes wear a shirt to the gym that has skull and crossbones and on the back it says "Weight Lifters for the Hell of It". Do you think I'm overly social??
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:42 PM   #13
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Anti-social. Have never been to a gym. Physical exercise by working around the homes or hiking. Spouse same way.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:53 PM   #14
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I wear my earbuds the whole time and it works great as a way to avoid talking to people. I see many others doing the same thing so I don't feel it's rude.

I've socialized twice and both times it was people I already knew and hadn't seen in a long time. Nice to see them and get caught up, but I need to do my routine solo.

OTOH my sister goes to a swim exercise class just so she has people to talk to, she's needy like that. She likes the exercise but chose an activity that would provide her with opportunities to socialize. Poor dear needs to talk. All the time.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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I think studies show you're more likely to stick to a workout routine if you have a buddy system going (I personally don't enjoy exercising so I would grow to hate the buddy for making me do it ). I don't like to socialize at the gym; but what I do appreciate is the staff making an effort to smile or say hello when you check in, when they pass members, etc. The last gym we belonged to pre-RE was a little pricey and the staff acted like the members were invisible unless they were trolling for personal training clients. Now I belong to an inexpensive place that's a little better but not much.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:46 PM   #16
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I think studies show you're more likely to stick to a workout routine if you have a buddy system going .

That is why I like going to a class . You are there for one hour . No nice way to slink out so you are forced to exercise for an hour . When I do it on my own I can always think of excuses why thirty minutes is enough .
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:46 PM   #17
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I'm definitely social at the gym, but I live in a small town and know everyone there. It's the place to get the updates as to what's going on in town, but I don't try to socialize w/ those that don't want to talk. Having friends at the gym keeps me motivated. DH prefers just to work out and not talk. He's one of the ones I don't socialize with at the gym, ha!
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #18
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If I am taking a class, I might chat briefly with the people on either side of me before it begins. If I am on the treadmill or elliptical I am usually watching TV with my earbuds. If I am using the Cybex weight machines (which I use in the women's only section of the gym) I never talk to anyone. A couple of my co-workers go to my gym so of course if I run into them, we chat it up and sometimes have a protein drink at the juice bar together.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:03 PM   #19
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I'm very social at the gym, even when I'm busting a gut I like to have a laugh. Afterwards we usually have a coffee, and chat with whoever is around.

I'm e-mailing updates and photos of our current trip to 3 of our instructors who I'm sure ae telling others how we are doing.

But I certainly respect those who like their privacy.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:20 PM   #20
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I work out at home because I don't want to socialize during a workout. When I'm traveling and work out, I am fine with a brief friendly exchange, but mostly I keep to myself. And besides, I like to think while I am working out and can't do that with someone jabbering at me...
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