How squeamish are you about other people's sweat in the gym?

24

Replies

  • stacj27
    stacj27 Posts: 71 Member
    I get skeeved by people in general. I clean equipment before and after use because some folks are just nasty, regardless of how much or little they sweat.
    Yes yes yes! Like others have said, it's not just sweat. It's all the other stuff too. I love that SonyaCele used the term cooties because that fits with how I view gym germs. Gyms are gross no matter how much the staff tries to keep up and I figure there's only so much I can do, but I still wipe down everything before and after I use it. I know it's not the only place that has germs (although I always carry sanitizer in my purse for other places) but since I'm there 5-6 days a week I am much more aware of how clean things around me are.
  • tigerblood6
    tigerblood6 Posts: 65 Member
    Bring your own towel and also practice using hand sanitizer
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,728 Member
    It's not that I'm squeamish, It's just that I don't want to sit/work out in whatever comprises the puddle you left behind on the floor/equipment.
  • piperdown44
    piperdown44 Posts: 958 Member
    Nope, not squeamish.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    I wipe off after I use a machine, not a yoga mat or dumbbells though.

    And if I'm doing a circuit type class, I wear workout gloves.
  • zdyb23456
    zdyb23456 Posts: 1,706 Member
    I’m not that squeamish. Unless there’s visible sweat. I mean I don’t wipe down seats at restaurants or movie theaters or anywhere else I might sit. Maybe in the winter there’s a clothing barrier, but in the summer it’s probably not much different than a bench at the gym.

    I get more skivved out by people/kids hacking around me. I can almost feel the airborne germs flying around me :neutral:
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
    edited October 2017
    A local news channel did a wipe down and culture of the gyms in my area and found there were less bacteria on the machines than they expected, and while there were bacteria, there were no cases of serious disease causing bacteria on machines.

    However, my dad died of a MRSA infection (hospital acquired) so I'm well aware that a surface touched by someone else - no sweat necessary - can theoretically kill you. If I have a scratch on my leg from where the cat jumped on my lap and I use a machine used by someone with an illness, I could easily get an infection. I also know the dwell time on the cleaning product provided by my gym for wipe downs is long enough that it does basically diddly squat to wipe down. Many products have a dwell time of something upwards of ten minutes to be effective on bacteria, and don't kill viruses anyway.

    I use hand sanitizer frequently, wash my hands and face when I get home, and store my gym clothes away from my other clothes.
  • JoRocka
    JoRocka Posts: 17,525 Member
    spartan_d wrote: »
    Interestingly...when people work in with me or ask to use something immediately after me, they don't wipe after me. I don't look gross maybe?
    I have NEVER see anyone wipe the equipment down before or after "working in." I'm okay with that. I wouldn't expect people to do that sort of thing -- again, unless they're dripping with sweat.

    I have and will.

    But usually if it's someone leaving puddles.

    I won't if there are no puddles or "grease" stains from their head.

    Totally dependent- I'm not skeeved out just touching equipment- I never whip down my equipment after a warm up. I do wash my hands when I leave and try not to marinate in the gym stuff- but sometimes it's inevitable. (work- gym- dance) sometimes there is no chance for a break.
  • lilithsrose
    lilithsrose Posts: 752 Member
    I wipe down the machines before and after I use them. The sweat itself doesn't bother me unless the equipment is visibly wet from it. Its more so the chance of getting something like a staph infection, ringworm, etc. that influences my decision to always wipe the machines before using them. I also use the hand sanitizer pumps as I walk by them.
  • sarahshinks2233
    sarahshinks2233 Posts: 55 Member
    Once you've been sweated ON (sparring), sitting on the same seat as someone else is not really a big deal. I wouldn't side-eye anyone for not wiping down after a warm-up, but always try to do so myself.
  • fittocycle
    fittocycle Posts: 825 Member
    I'm one of those who wipe down the equipment both prior to use and after use. I once saw a girl come out of the restroom stall and walk straight out of the restroom without washing her hands. I had to wonder which machine she was going to use next! Ewww!
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
    Once you've been sweated ON (sparring), sitting on the same seat as someone else is not really a big deal. I wouldn't side-eye anyone for not wiping down after a warm-up, but always try to do so myself.
    Ditto, and others who've practiced martial arts have told me they feel the same way. I've been told that ultramarathoners likewise tend to be unsqueamish. After all, you generally won't be in the most hygienic of conditions when you've been running on trails for hours on end.

    Obstacle course racers can't afford to be prissy either. It's not just because they have to run or crawl through mud, some of which can be pretty rank. It's also because they have to share the same climbing ropes, clamber over the same walls, carry the same sandbags, and so forth -- and you can be pretty sure that they'll be working up a sweat as they do so.


  • girlinahat
    girlinahat Posts: 2,956 Member
    I wipe down after.

    But I also Swing dance (Lindy Hop). Given the number of partners you dance with during a class and how energetic things get, there’s a point in an evening where you realise you are carrying your sweat, mixed with the guy who lead the dance befores sweat, onto the next persons body. It all just becomes a messy sweat swapping session, no matter how many times you change your shirt.

  • EatingAndKnitting
    EatingAndKnitting Posts: 531 Member
    When I went to the gym I wiped the seats and handles after I was done if I used a cardio machine, or the benches on the weight machines (the free weights scared me and I don't know what to do safely with my physical limitations) if I sweated on them (not often, I'm not really a heavy lifter yet).

    I didn't wipe handles on weight machines, because I usually went to the restroom after cardio (and washed my hands, I'm NOT gross) so my hands were clean and not sweaty and the weights never really made me sweat.

    My gym teacher in college scared us all with the "always use a clean towel and wipe the equipment because disease" speech. I'm not really afraid of diseases, if I was i wouldn't go to the gym (the reason I don't now is financial), or I'd wipe before too. But I figure it's courteous to wipe after I've sweated all over it.
  • ccsernica
    ccsernica Posts: 1,040 Member
    edited October 2017
    I don't care in the least. The incidence of actual disease transferred by sweat droplets is, to put it mildly, minimal. Anything touched with the hands is a different matter. I'd much rather see people wipe down handles than seats, as they really are potential disease vectors. And that has nothing to do with sweat. Handles should be wiped down even if they're not damp.

    Same with public toilet seats. Those paper shields are entirely unnecessary. Unless there's actual poo on the seat, it probably harbors less bacteria than you do on your face; and buttcheek-to-buttcheek disease transmission essentially doesn't happen.
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
    girlinahat wrote: »
    I wipe down after.

    But I also Swing dance (Lindy Hop). Given the number of partners you dance with during a class and how energetic things get, there’s a point in an evening where you realise you are carrying your sweat, mixed with the guy who lead the dance befores sweat, onto the next persons body. It all just becomes a messy sweat swapping session, no matter how many times you change your shirt.
    THIS. Years of lindy hop have taught me the same thing. There's just no point in trying to avoid it completely.

    I've found that hardcore athletes often feel the same way. Sweaty football players give each other vigorous hugs at the end of a game. The same holds true for runners as they cross the finish line. Sometimes I think that the more hardcore somebody is when it comes to physical activity, the less likely they are to care about somebody else's sweat.
  • LoveForWine
    LoveForWine Posts: 20 Member
    I'm not squeamish at all. I've, however , not run into the problem of visible sweat on a piece of equipment I'm about to use. If I did, I would just wipe it down. No big deal.
  • Sp1tfire
    Sp1tfire Posts: 1,120 Member
    I mainly worry about 'full contact' items like benches, machines with 'backs' to them, recumbant bikes, and the like. Mainly wipe these down before and after use because my hair + back touch them. I also quickly wipe down handles on ellipticals.
  • spartan_d
    spartan_d Posts: 727 Member
    JoRocka wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    Interestingly...when people work in with me or ask to use something immediately after me, they don't wipe after me. I don't look gross maybe?
    I have NEVER see anyone wipe the equipment down before or after "working in." I'm okay with that. I wouldn't expect people to do that sort of thing -- again, unless they're dripping with sweat.

    I have and will.

    But usually if it's someone leaving puddles.

    I won't if there are no puddles or "grease" stains from their head.
    I'd say that's pretty consistent with what the more pragmatic people here have been saying. Sounds like we'd all agree that visible puddles should be cleaned up. Otherwise, it's fretting over things that have no practical effect and that most people wouldn't be concerned about outside of the gym.

    Another poster mentioned swing dancing, for example. Do swing dancers wipe down their chairs after sitting down, even when things get warm? They wouldn't, except perhaps if they left a visible sweat stain. No reasonable person does that sort of thing outside of the gym.
    jemhh wrote: »
    spartan_d wrote: »
    Interestingly...when people work in with me or ask to use something immediately after me, they don't wipe after me. I don't look gross maybe?
    I have NEVER see anyone wipe the equipment down before or after "working in." I'm okay with that. I wouldn't expect people to do that sort of thing -- again, unless they're dripping with sweat.

    Yeah, I've noticed that. If somebody is waiting for a piece of equipment, I'll usually turn to them and say "would you like me to wipe this off?" and they always say no.

    My theory is that heavy lifters don't tend to be concerned unless there is visible moisture. They typically want to move briskly in between sets, so if there's no real need to wipe down, they won't. They also know that lifting heavy doesn't mean you'll be covered in sweat, though some perspiration may be involved.

    People who focus on cardio, on the other hand, are more likely to equate exercise with extensive perspiration. So in their minds, exercise --> sweat --> equipment becomes filthy because you touched it. Not always true, but the human mind is good about making associations like that.

    Just my suspicion, of course. I do think that there's a marked difference in how the heavy lifters think, though.