Thursday, March 12, 2009

pump rage

At my gym, Thursday body pump class is always busy. It's best to arrive half an hour early, get all your gear (bar, clips, step and weights), then go play on a cardio machine till the class starts.

Today most of us arrived early and by the scheduled start time there were no weights left. There was much anger amongst the just-on-timers about how unfair it was that we early birds had hogged all the weights.

I admit that I use a lot of weights. Use, mind you, not hog. I don't just look at them. They are on my bar and I lift them.

One angry on-timer expressed her concern to me that it wasn't fair that I had so many weights when she didn't have enough to have a good workout. What should I have done? Given her some weights so that she could have a good workout? If I had worked it so that we each had the same number of weights, she would have had the weight she needed, but I would have had much less than I needed.

An ethical dilemma. Is fair distribution the same as equal distribution?

What would you have done?

I don't think that I was under any obligation to give her my stuff. The rule is first in best dressed.

But generosity suggests that I should. I'm not obliged to help, but am free to do so.

What would you have done?

As it turned out, I was saved making a decision by the fact that I had already arranged to share my weights with the girl next to me during certain tracks when I didn't need them all.


  1. Join Curves. You never have to share there!

  2. On-timer has boundary issues. Don't buy into them then or you'll be (a) enabling her and (b) displaying or creating your own. Check out the Cloud and Townsend book on Boundaries for more on this topic.

    What did she expect - that you would not set up your weights on the basis that yet another person might turn up and want them too?

    She needs to do one of the following actions:
    (a) talk to the gym owner / manager to request more weights be provided;
    (b) go to a different class time;
    (c) get a weights regime that doesn't rely on being able to make it to a particular class (a decent gym should have staff with whom you can make an appointment for this purpose - this is how Ian and I do weights training); or
    (d) join a less busy gym.

    If it happens again, maybe your response could be something along the lines of, "Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer when you can't get here early enough to get the amount of weights you like. Have you tried asking the manager if there are more available or if they can suggest another option that works better for you?"

    That way you are not the 'enemy' for 'hogging' weights and it gives her encouragement and suggestions on how to sort out her own issues in a mature manner (which empowers her rather than leaving her with a victim mentality).

    Remember (yes, often easier said than done), the issue is hers, not yours unless you buy into it.