Of All the Cables in the Gym, She Walks into Mine

I often compare the gym to my work environment. The kindergarten classroom. Just think of it. You can’t use things in excess  and must give others a turn (sharing). You have to put the toys back on the shelf when you are finished playing (tidying up.) Just like the gym. Hogging equipment is often frowned upon, as well as not putting free weights, kettle bells  and barbells back in their proper place after use. It is an environment where it is necessary to cooperate and be courteous to other members. Just like kindergarten.

A while back I wrote a post about my gym pet peeves. I mentioned a young lady who would use the only bench with an Olympic bar for bench presses to store all her equipment. Towel, exercise chart and devices or use the bench for an exercise other than bench presses. I didn’t find this behaviour kept within the gym etiquette and often had to ask her to kindly move her belongings because I had to do my bench presses, or if I could access the bench when she was using it for ab exercises. The thing is, there were usually at least four other benches that were not in use that she could have used as her “storage” or abdominal leg extensions.

I am now on a new program with my trainer where I no longer do bench presses, but now do cable chest flies. There are two pieces of equipment in my gym where you can attach cables for a variety of exercises. Often they are popular machines, so the rules of kindergarten must be applied. For example, I have to do a super set.(two moves in a row before resting.) First I do my cable presses, then I have to do walking lunges immediately after before taking a rest and moving on to the next set. I usually come back from doing my walking lunges to find the cable machine in use, so I can’t complete my super set right away. No biggie. I can wait and will just work in a set with the other patron when they are finished. Doing super sets can be tricky when sharing the equipment because when you move away from any equipment to do your other exercise, most people assume you are done because you left the apparatus. Again, just like in kindergarten when little Johnny leaves the iPad to get a kleenex or use the washroom. Often when Johnny returns, someone else has taken ownership. You have to figure out how to share the space/toy cooperatively.

Anyway, the funny thing is this. I finished my twelve repetitions of cable flies and went into the big studio to do my walking lunges. The big studio is where group classes take place. This is in a completely different area away from the weight room floor. I like to use the big studio when it is not in use because it has a lot of square footage to do my walking lunges.

After taking a rest, I returned to the cable machine to begin the next set of cable chest presses and then walking lunges. As I returned to the cable machine, low and behold. There was the same girl who would hog the Olympic bench. Guess what? She was not doing any exercise that required cables, but was doing dumbbell bicep curls. Why? There are plenty other areas to do bicep curls. Why do your curls in the one of two places where there are cables. I was going to the other cable machine but it wasn’t free. A lady was using the pulleys to do her back rows. Rightly so. This is the place to do cable back rows, so I didn’t want to interrupt this lady to work in a set when the other cable machine had this girl there doing an exercise that didn’t require cables.


I approached the cable machine area and waited. Maybe she too was doing a super set with bicep curls and a cable exercise. Nope. At rest she just examined her booty in the mirror. Why do people do bicep curls here and look at their booties here? Just like why do people do military presses at the Smith machine when there are so many other areas to do military presses? That’s when I asked her, “Do you mind if I use these cables?” She just sighed and pursed her lips. “No,” she said curtly and moved away. Just as she snickered in the past when I asked to use the Olympic bench.  Snicker away my pretty. But in this classroom we must share.




I took a deep breath and attached my cables to do my cable chest presses. An exercise that requires cables for Pete’s sake! However, I will be nice and courteous. I don’t want to end up in the time-out chair.





19 thoughts on “Of All the Cables in the Gym, She Walks into Mine

  1. I’m proud of you for not tying the cable around her neck…lol I hate when people have no etiquette. I love how you compared it to being in kindergarten too. I was just thinking this morning about something….why in the heck do our parents even teach us to have manners!? What’s the point anymore. You grow up and learn adults don’t have manners or etiquette and if you play by the rules and be nice they walk all over you. Truly sucks lol

    1. Thanks very much! Trust me, I was thinking not so nice thoughts when she so rude.
      I can’t agree more about those who play by the rules are considered pushovers. Not so! We just treat others as we would like to be treated.

      1. I work in sales for Pepsi. At first I would get really irritated when people would be rude but now I’m learning to make fun or use my wit and it feels a lot better lol

  2. Dude! No kidding, right?!? And they act SO impositioned when you let them know what tools they’re being. ARG! The kinder principle works brilliantly here. It’s a good thing miss bootay has the benefit of your teacher-primed patience, my friend!

  3. At least she does it when you ask – some people don’t do the right thing, even when they’re asked.
    This morning a lady wanted to sit in an open spot on the subway. There was a woman in the corner but she had put her bag next to her so she was hogging half of the seat. The lady who wanted to sit down asked her if she could move her bag and the woman refused. Clearly, she hadn’t learned to share in kindergarten.
    She pushed her mouth up in a snout and cursed. It was really rough to see because the lady had to stand. A man sitting opposite to her got up and gave her the seat so now the two women were sitting next to each other. A few minutes later, the lady (the one who wanted to sit) started asking someone else for directions. Turns out she’s a tourist. I guess that’s how people come away thinking New Yorkers are mean. I just hope she forgot what the woman did and remembers that someone else offered her a seat anyway.
    I still love New York.

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing this story, Karen. That is probably something this tourist will remember from her trip. Hopefully
      she will not let one person’s rudeness shape her opinion of the local residents. At least the gentleman offered his seat to her. NYC is a great city.

  4. Wow, there are ALL TYPES of people at the gym and I’m always amazed by some of the people and their lack of manners. I’m surprised that lady would feel okay about doing bicep curls at the cable machine! The cable machines are always high priority at the gym too!! I thought you handled it well, but I’m surprised she wasn’t more aware!

  5. One in every gym. Oh “those” folks are so frustrating. I feel your pain. Some people are really just clueless and/or rude. You handled it perfectly. A+ for Char 🙂

  6. I see and get this all the time. I want to bang my head against the wall asking if their mothers did everything for them as a kid. Especially those who leave out equipment right at the bottom of the stairs (my gym has a mezzanine) or leave towels on the stairs as it’s handy storage place at shoulder height. There are a lot of older people at my gym/club and it irks me every time I see it. It’s an accident waiting to happen, but it will never be anybodies fault.

    1. Oh the leaving the stuff all about. It’s infuriating. The poor staff have to walk around the gym putting weights, barbells and kettlebells back where they belong.
      It is definetly a hazard in the making.

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