Can you guess the top gym complaints?
In a class last week, a class that was far from full, I had a person set up three centimetres away.
I looked at them, they looked at me. I looked, with intent and desperation, at all the space to their left, they smiled and looked at their toes and then dripped sweat onto my mat throughout the class.
People go to the gym or to various classes for a little relief, but they can be infuriating (and sweaty) places. But sweat, it seems, is not our biggest gripe.
In a new survey of 1000 gym-goers by consumer research group, Canstar Blue, overcrowding was the number one cause of complaint (48 per cent).
“Millions of Australians turn to gyms in a bid to improve their health and fitness, but picking the wrong one for your personal preferences could turn out to be a nightmare,” said Canstar Blue’s Megan Doyle.
“Not everyone likes rap music or wants to see men flexing their muscles in front of mirrors, so it’s important to get a good idea about a gym chain before signing up to an expensive contract.”
Signing up for that contract warrants and extra moment’s thought also because many people don’t use their membership.
“Australians are spending an average of $65 per month on their gym memberships, but more than half of people don’t go as much as they thought they would,” Doyle says. “So you really need to do your research before jumping in.”
Indeed – a separate survey of 2,000 people found 74 per cent thought fellow gym goers were guilty of bad gym etiquette.
They didn’t just point the finger at others; 49 per cent admitted to having used another person’s water bottle or towel, 33 per cent revealed they exercise without deodorant, while 18 per cent said they’d turned up for a session despite coughing, sneezing and being sick.
It’s enough to make you want to carry a can of antibacterial spray and give a good squirt at anyone who comes near you.
And, based on the Canstar research, it’s likely there will be plenty of people near you given overcrowding was the most common complaint, topping the list:
- Overcrowding: 48 per cent
- Sweaty equipment (e.g. people not using a towel): 36 per cent
- The gym being smelly or untidy: 32 per cent
- People not resetting or replacing equipment: 31 per cent
- Dirty or smelly changing facilities: 30 per cent
- Loud grunting from people working out: 24 per cent
- People showing off (e.g. flexing muscles): 22 per cent
Other complaints included music or TV choices, equipment not working properly, people using mobile phones, and people staring or trying to start conversations.Women were more likely to complain than men (90 versus 83 per cent), but most respondents (74 per cent) still said their gym membership was worth it (even if they didn’t use it much) as it had helped them to achieve goals.
Of the fitness chains, Jetts was rated the highest, followed by Anytime Fitness, Snap and Curves.
If you want to avoid here are a few key unwritten rules of gym club that make a big difference to your own and other people’s workouts. Most of them are common sense, but in case you missed the memo, you can read them here or here.
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