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Ricky Gervais Refuses to Exercise in Public, Do You?

Speak Up: How Do You Feel About Working Out in Public?

Some of us use the crowds at the gym to motivate us to exercise harder, while some of us get paralyzed by exercising in front of other folks. In a recent interview, Ricky Gervais said that he just bought a house with a gym in the basement, not because of convenience, but so he never has to exercise in public. His sentiments lead me to think about my friend who basically only uses exercise videos to work out because she has the same reservations as The Office creator.

Me, I am not one to worry about what others think, though I do save some of my "hip-thrusting" moves for home workouts. I know my pal and Gervais are not alone here, so what are your thoughts about exercising in public. Does it motivate you or mortify you? Or are you indifferent? Speak up and share your thoughts below.


Join The Conversation
superman15 superman15 5 years
I'm a small girl who doesn't have any issues with my weight. The only thing is is that I'm not in shape. I HATE the gym. I want to get in shape and especially run but I don't want to go to the gym to do so. Running on the treadmill terrifies me in front of people because I feel like people are watching me, expecting me to be in shape and not slow down after 5 minutes. I'm better running at a park though for some reason. I used to work out in my house in the morning over the summer but it just didn't stick after a schedule change. I feel like when I get in shape, that fer may go away but for now it keeps me from being healthy. I know no one is pressuring you when you go to the gym but it feels like it. I don't know how to use the machines and I'm not in the best shape. I guess knowing theres other people who are in shape and know how to work out makes me feel uncomfortable and totally out of place. If the gym were empty or my own I feel like I'd be in shape now. I think its that way for a bunch of people
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i don't like to work out when people are watching me cause i feel like they are looking at my fat or they are watching how i do things knowing that i don't do them right... i usually go to the gym when it's less busy actually which actually lets me have a better work out. i don't have to be self conscious and i can usually work out longer and harder and have a good time.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
This is definitely something that keeps me from working out and I wish it wasn't.
Savs Savs 8 years
My gym at home with all the suburban Moms? Not an issue. The school gym here at uni, though, feels like it's overrun with sorority girls with perfect bodies who are walking on the elliptical while talking on their phones. It's just discouraging, because there I am, all red and sweating like a pig while they're not really doing anything and get to be size 2s.
austerity austerity 8 years
No self-consciousness here. In fact, I like working out in public because the team spirit motivates me to work out well and not skip moves, slow down etc.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I like to work out in the privacy of my den!
yasume yasume 8 years
I will work out in public and private. When I had gym memberships, I would do my thing. I didn't care, I was in a zone. Now, I do workouts at home because I have a workout room with plenty of equipment. I also run three days a week, ride a bike and do raquetball in my neighborhood.
angelfromlsu angelfromlsu 8 years
I hate the gym with a passion. I do all my running outside. You actually burn more calories since the incline is always changing. I also do walking lunges and jump rope outside. I do biking sometimes. I save my push ups and kettlebells swings for my yard but I always do my pull ups at a public area since I don't own a pull up bar. Stop being so scared and go work out outside when weather permits. Our presence in public is a good influence. The fact that you are ashamed to be seen exercising...not good role-model for our children.
hihowareya hihowareya 8 years
I'm afraid of going outside running because I can't run (like, I could do maybe 50 feet before being a lame wad out of breath or something, I don't know), and then with trying to do brisk walking instead outside, I feel like people are judging me for not running. :-(
Smilesp Smilesp 8 years
I like working out in the gym. Sometimes I do get self conscious about trying new exercises because I don't want to look stupid. What I really don't like is running outside. People always stare at you from their cars and guys always honk and yell. Yuck.
Carrie14884290 Carrie14884290 8 years
I have weights and a power rack in my garage for this very reason.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
quarterjappy, you beat me to this! Taking off my glasses works for me as well!
quarterjappy quarterjappy 8 years
a tip: If you wear glasses....take them off while on the treadmill....the anxiety will disappear. It's can't see them..they can't see you... at least it works for me=)
digibron digibron 8 years
I prefer doing strength training at home, but mostly because it's free and I'm more motivated because there's no travelling-to-the-gym-time to put me off. I'll take my cardio anywhere. :)
cfp cfp 8 years
I HATE working out when there are a lot of people around. My workouts are pretty intense and I usually end up soaking wet five miles into my run and I lift weights heavier than most guys...I hate the contrast between me (I probably smell bad and I definitely don't look good) and the other girls in their stylish workout gear that's pretty, fresh, and color-coded who are reading magazines on the ellipticals. It makes me feel like a mutant. I don't mind it when there are fewer people around, though because I feel more comfortable when I can put more space between me and the person next to me.
Sun_Sun Sun_Sun 8 years
well i'd prefer working out in private. my husband and i usually go to the gym when its not so busy.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Agreed, tis, about it being weird to work out in hotels. I hate it when there's only one other person with you. So awkward. I have to admit, when I see very overweight people at the gym, I don't judge them, I think they're doing a good thing, but I do always wonder what the bigger picture is. Is this their first time? Have they lost 100 ponds already and this is actually being in good shape for them? Do they come every day and still look the same? I just wonder. I feel badly about it, but I wonder. I just an exercise bike for my house, though, and I love it. I never thought I put much thought into my gym clothes, but now I can work out in these leggings I have that are kind of high waters that I would not wear in public. Or, I have, like, this polo shirt that has a stain on it that I can wear to work out in. It doesn't look athletic, I used to wear it to work, and I would feel weird wearing a collared shirt in the gym, but no one cares at home. Plus I can get up and go get water or do whatever without losing my machine. I can watch any tv show or dvd or anything. It is so great!
princessgouveia princessgouveia 8 years
The other people working out aren't so much the issue as the huge windows. Almost every gym I've been to in the city has these huge windows looking out on the street and I feel very silly running (I'm quite chubby so there is some serious jiggling going on as well) while all these people on the street are walking by. Its like all the tiny people on the street are staring are judging, which sounds a little insane, but oh well.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Halie - I totally agree! Why not use one of the other machines?
kristints kristints 8 years
I used to be self conscious, but now that I've been working out for a while and have gotten stronger, I feel much better about going to the gym.
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
the only thing i am self-conscious about is running in public on the treadmill or on the track. I definitely don't have small boobs and I cannot get myself to jog with them bouncing up and down
rc4480 rc4480 8 years
I feel you, Halie, but I've been guilty of that before...silly as it sounds, i have this one particular treadmill that i'm most comfortable on and if it's free, i have to be on it! To answer the question, working out in a gym has helped me get into better shape, because: a) i'm competitive by nature and i create mini-competitions with people on the treadmills next to me (in my head, of course, not in reality) b) i learn new exercises (esp free weight moves) by watching others (not gawking, i promise!) c) i see people with the body i would like to achieve, so it makes me work harder d) being so close to the sofa or my bed makes me want to slack off
aka-Daria aka-Daria 8 years
i love working out at the gym surrounded by people, we're all there for the same purpose, to get healthy and be in shape, and i know it may sound mean but it motivates me to stay longer when i see people bigger than me cause it lights a fuse under my ass and i tell myself i don't want to get that big. however, public as in running outside, no. I don't like to do that, passing cars, the stares, the honking, the self-consciousness of people just staring at my, do not like that.
Halie Halie 8 years
There's a women's only portion of my gym that I LOVE using, men at the gyms I'm a member of can really make me feel uncomfortable (not all men are like that though). But I love being the only one working out though. What I don't like is when I'm the only one in an entire row of cardio machines and then someone comes in and uses the machine RIGHT next to's happened. I mean seriously, out of the ENTIRE ROW they had to use the one right next to me. They did not respect the "Buffer Zone" rule
threadhunter threadhunter 8 years
i just started taking zumba at the gym and the class takes place on the basketball court - but it is completely open to the rest of the gym. on two sides of the court we have walls of mirrors. the back side of the court is open to the racquetball courts; and there is a walkway above where people walk by and watch. i really dislike when people walk by and look at us (there is typically 20+ in the class) but 10 minutes into the workout i forget about the "observers" b/c i am so focused on the workout.
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