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How to Deal With a Treadmill Hog

Gym Dilemma: Dealing With a Treadmill Hog

I try to avoid going to the gym during peak hours because of the long waits and time restrictions on the cardio equipment, but some days I can only manage to hit the gym during prime time. While it's tough to adhere to the 30-minute gym-imposed time limit on the treadmill, if there's a long line of people waiting (and there usually is), I play by the rules. But, of course, there's one woman who does not get off the treadmill for at least an hour — more often 90 minutes — no matter how long the wait.

Until now I've ignored her, but recently, someone politely asked me to give up my treadmill after going over the 30-minute limit while treadmill hog was at least on minute 45. I bit my tongue, but I don't think I can hold in my anger much longer. I'm not the only one with serious feelings about treadmill hogs, but what's the best way to deal? I've come up with three suggestions and possible outcomes; to let me know which route you think I should pursue,


Ignore her. While this approach has served me (and just about every other person in the gym) well for a few weeks, her hogging the machine is clearly starting to bother me. I'm rather non-confrontational, so I default to this approach, silently hoping and waiting that someone else will say something to her. Pro: I don't have to deal with it. Con: I have to stew in anger silently watching her marathon workouts three days a week.


Tell the staff. I feel a little passive-aggressive approaching the gym staff, but that's what they're there for, right? Pro: Again, I don't have to be the one to confront her. Con: She might know I reported her and get confrontational. Or, she might end up embarrassed that I've dragged someone else into the situation.

Just tell her nicely. I should simply say, "Hey, I'm sorry, but there's a huge waiting line and I've noticed you're over the time limit on this treadmill. Do you think you could wrap it up?" Pro: She probably won't say no to my polite, direct approach. Con: She still might say no, and then I'm back to square one.

ferret ferret 6 years
When I was marathon training, I actually felt bad for the long lines (esp during winter time when it's dangerous to run at night) that I would jump off at 30 min, then jump back onto a new one. It actually is nice to switch up the "view" haha. I guess I was lucky that I could always get off, take a drink and find a free one in less than 5 minutes. I mean, it IS boring to run for long periods of time on a treadmill...
Dbaby Dbaby 7 years
I am a trainer at a gym and I would happily talk to a member IF my gym enforced such rules. Thankfully, we don't, which is mostly better for everyone. But I 'get' why these restrictions exist-- esp during peak hours when some people wait a long time for a treadmill (we are a small gym, not in the US, we only have 9 treadmills). I know so many people are psychologically attached to running, it's easy once you get used to it and humans are creatures of habit. But for every time I see a line waiting for a treadmill, there are at least two rowers free. Doing a new form of cardio or even warm-up can have a big, positive effect on your fitness level and your body. And, personally, rowing kicks my butt. Something to think about for those who are tied to the treadmill... Just my two cents! PS- I hate doing cardio indoors too . It gets so boring! Sun/Rain/Wind/Snow, if I have someone to take care of my daughter, I will be running outside :)
Spectra Spectra 7 years
My gym has sign up sheets for the cardio equipment and a 30 minute time limit. Usually, there is not a line for machines, but sometimes there is a line for the treadmills. If you are using a machine that you didn't sign up for, the staff will ask you to exit your machine so the next person can use it. I think the 30 minute rule is pretty stupid, too, but my gym only really enforces it if there is a line for the machines. Otherwise, no one really cares about it too much. If I wanted to use a machine and there was a huge line and someone had been on a treadmill for 90 minutes, I'd tell the staff. It's their job to enforce the rules and that way, the rule offender won't think you're just being bitchy or something.
mek123 mek123 7 years
I'm with tell the staff group, you don't need anymore stress, you are at the gym to get rid of stress. There are a few pieces of cardio equipment at my gym with time limits and I've seen a couple of nasty situations when people try to confront the rule-breaker.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Tell the staff!!!!!! Seriously, it's not fair to you and everyone else in the gym!
dubalicious dubalicious 7 years
My gym has about 7 treadmills that have 30 minute limits (that people strictly enforce) and 3 treadmills that don't have time limits. I think that is a great way to handle the situation. Maybe suggest that to the staff.
vtsang vtsang 7 years
I'm thankful too that my gym has enough cardio machines so there's no time limit. But I say, take it to the staff. One thing is, they are there to assist you, and if more people give them feedback, it might be a good thing for them. They can look at how machines are being used and perhaps get more treadmills or designate a few that are specifically for long runs.
shiningeyes shiningeyes 7 years
Oh, I am so thankful I go to a gym that doesn't need a time limit on the cardio equipment. I find that the treadmills seem to have a time limit on them anyway - ours shut down immediately after an hour. I agree with the suggestion that you tell the staff. It's their job to enforce the rules, not yours.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 7 years
Where do you all live that has such crowded gyms? I've never had to wait for a machine at my Equinox.
TheLittleMonster TheLittleMonster 7 years
The gym I go to is huge and has a lot of cardio equipment so there are no time restrictions. But during peaks times I try my best to work around the crowds when I'm there to lift. I've asked people how many sets they have left if they've been on equipment for a while and people have done the same with me (or asked to work between your sets). I don't think it's offensive to ask someone to wrap it up if they've been on the machine for a while.
janetmouse janetmouse 7 years
If there's a line, it's rude for ANYONE to hog up the treadmill...if they want to spend an hour or more on any machine, they should come when it's not too busy!
Mila_83 Mila_83 7 years
That is exactly why I avoid going to gym during rush hours at any cost. I usually work out first thing in the morning -at 6AM there are plenty of treadmills available:) To be honest, I enjoy running and I do run a lot (in this weather treadmill is my only option).For me,running for 30min its like not running at all... That said,I definitely would not want for someone to complain to the gym stuff instead of addressing an issue with me first and if I would have an issue with someone at the gym,I would attempt to resolve it personally and nicely, without going to the stuff (if they are being rude in return,when I would take a different approach).
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I'm with yse. I've run a few marathons and I can't imagine getting the bulk of my training done on a treadmill! Yuck ! There are very few reasons to run inside. Even bad weather can be dealt with .. yaktrax for ice, layers for cold, running early/ late for hot weather (before/ after the sun), etc. Right now I'm using the mill b/c our sidewalks are covered in 30"+ of snow and running in the street has proved difficult and dangerous.
lydialee_home lydialee_home 7 years
We had a 30 min limit rule on the cardio machine during peak time in our Y. But the time that I go is not busy at all (5:30 in the morning), so a lot of us just stay at the treadmill longer than the 30 min rule. I have to admit that I am one of those that stay on the treadmill for 100 min, but I only use treadmill when it's pouring outside, and there's lots of open treadmill during the time that I go.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
This is tough. I actually feel bad for "treadmill hogs" of the world. It's one thing if you're using a free gym at your workplace, but if you're paying $100+ per month for a gym membership, it's kind of annoying to be told that you can only work out for 30 minutes! That's really a pretty short run. Having said that, I totally understand that it's annoying for you to go to the gym and not get to use the treadmill at all. I would probably tell a staff member, as well. The gym adopted the 30 minute time limit -- it's their duty to implement it. Plus, if she doesn't care about blatantly violating the time limit on the signs, it's likely that she won't consider you an authority figure that she has to listen to.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
Tell the staff-that's their job. I go to a gym where there are a ton of cardio machines. However, the time limit is 20 minutes. Ummm, that's not enough to get a decent workout! With a five minute warm up and five for cool down, you'd need at least 30 minutes!!! Honestly, I think it should just be a nice 40 minutes (that's how long it takes me with the interval training from fitsugar!) and then the machine should beep loudly, announcing a time limit!
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I think I would just go to a different gym, or do some other kind of exercise if prime time is the only free time in my day. Standing in a long line or being limited in the amount of exercise I can do means the gym isn't meeting my needs. If someone wants to run a marathon, I won't be the one to whine that it's against the rules.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
i've never had this problem - at my gym there are always treadmilles open...but i am pretty nonconfrontational so i would probably ignore it while giving her dirty looks and talking about her loudly to others (i guess that makes me passive agressive as well LOL)
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
i think it's so weird that most people would rather tell the gym staff than kindly ask the treadmill hog to jump off. If you are politely asking someone to adhere to the gym rules what reason do they have to be mad at you?
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
agreed -- at my gym the staffers see a line, and they'll come around and check out the time on the treadmill. Sometimes I've been at 31 minutes and have 2 minutes left before I hit my distance goal so I'll just explain, and then make sure I'm off when I'm done. They're never mean about it and are just enforcing the rules, so I'd speak to them.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Yup, tell the staff.
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