Watching TV at the gym distracts me from getting the most out of my workout, but there's another reason I steer clear of watching the personal TVs on my favorite cardio machines. I've found that a lot of people can't keep their eyes to their own screens and will gaze for an extended period at TVs other than their own. The awareness that someone else has their eyes in my direction is even more distracting than simply having the TV on — to me, it's like a stranger reading over my shoulder.
Sweating it out with others can make the gym a more motivating experience, but as with any shared space, it sometimes tests our patience. What are your pet peeves at the gym?