If you’re a treadmill user, chances are you’ve been breaching treadmill etiquette for years, because there are so many ways a person can be downright inconsiderate and thoughtless when it comes to using a treadmill at the gym.
Here are the following ways that a person can be outright rude and have no clue about treadmill etiquette, and I might add that I myself have never violated any of these unwritten rules of treadmill etiquette. In no particular order:
Leaving the treadmill up at a high incline after exiting it, instead of resetting it back to zero for the next person. It boggles me how people can do this.
Leaving your germy junk in the treadmill’s cup holder. Pig! This includes used tissue, empty cups and bottles, and gum wrappers.
Using a treadmill that, due to a malfunction, creates a squeaky noise. There are other unused treadmills, but people will stay on a machine even though it makes a loud, annoying squeaky or screechy noise. Something is obviously wrong with the tread belt, yet the clod continues using the machine, even though others are available. (This problem is actually quite common with elliptical machines).
News flash: Such a noise means that the machine needs servicing, and chances are pretty high that other people can’t stand hearing it. Get off the bloody treadmill and use another!
Often, these rude people have a headset on, but this doesn’t pardon them from being so thoughtless, because if they had an ounce of common sense, a sliver of intelligence and a speck of consideration, they’d use the treadmill for a few minutes before blocking out all sound with their headset, to see if the machine is noisy. This is called having common courtesy for other gym folk.
I practice what I preach. There is a particular treadmill at one of the chain gyms I visit, and I will not run on it because the belt magnifies foot strikes and would make me sound like a buffalo.
Creating a noticeable, squeaky noise by allowing your feet to strike the juncture of the tread belt and machine’s base up front. This only happens when people hold onto the equipment — which, though in itself is not rude behavior – definitely qualifies as ridiculous because hanging onto the equipment totally defeats the objective and will prevent results! (Read why, here)
So smarten up and stop holding on, which will then enable you to walk or jog without your feet striking that juncture and making that irritating squeaking.
Jogging like an elephant. What would an elephant sound like on a treadmill? That’s how some people sound when they jog. Ironically, these are not heavy people! So why do they sound like elephants? Perhaps they want attention, akin to the man who hollers every time he lifts a weight. Or maybe they have a very low K.Q.: kinesthetic quotient.
Though some treadmills have defective belts that create thunderous noise no matter how delicate the user, I have witnessed plenty of times someone’s feet slamming with each stride, yet on that very same treadmill, I have witnessed other users, including heavier ones, make a fraction of the noise while using the same speed or faster!
So what’s up with the slamming? The whole gym is subjected to this incredible display of rudeness — or shall I say arrogance and cockiness? And isn’t it intriguing that this phenomenon exists almost exclusively among men! And it’s not because men are heavier than women. Like I said, I’ve seen men heavier than the offenders on the same treadmill, barely creating a sound at the same speed or faster!
Getting too cozy. Though this next treadmill breach of etiquette, doesn’t bother me (unless the person smells or is a foot-slammer), it enrages many treadmill users: You are on a treadmill; there are rows and rows of empty treadmills; and someone chooses to use the one right next to you! Can anyone who does this explain why you do this? If you do it to me, and you’re a foot-slammer, I’ll ask you why your 170 pound body sounds like a buffalo.