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Is verbal harassment common at the gym? And do women or men catch more of it?

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  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Posts: 7,255Member Member Posts: 7,255Member Member
    shaumom wrote: »
    This is a pretty easy one -

    Have you ever witnessed, participated in, or been a victim of, verbal harassment at a gym? How often - frequently, sometimes, occasionally, almost never?

    If yes, what type? Sexual harassment, verbal intimidation, insults or derogatory comments, something else?

    And, was the victim of said harassment a man or a woman (or someone who reads as a man or woman)?

    And if anyone wishes, bonus question: are you a man or woman (or read like one) - just to see if we pay more attention to when people within our own perceived group are harassed, vs. other groups.


    Bonus bonus question: if this is something you see sometimes or frequently, do you do anything about it when you see it? Or what do you think should be done about it, if anything?

    i've never personally experienced verbal harassment or seen/heard it in person. but up until recently there was a guy who constantly tries to intimidate me by trying to one-up every exercise i do. on the days i do squats, he would stop his workout, loads up the same amount of weight i'm using on the power rack next to mines without warming up, then he gets under the bar and starts grunting loudly, like he didn't even unrack the bar off the rack, he's just standing under it. from the mirror in front of me, i see him staring directly at me and grunting loudly. he would not shut up and start his set until i look at him. everytime the timer on my phone goes off, i get under the bar and he stands there to watch me squat, once my set is done i sit on the floor, start the timer, and read the news on my phone app, then he goes back under the bar and starts grunting again while waiting for me to watch him squat, and he would do this continuously. on the days i really don't want to deal with him, i would just turn my head over to pretend like i looked, and then he starts doing his quarter squats. i've reported him, to a different manager and they had him banned.

    this one guy who would purposely wait until i unrack the barbell to start bench press or squats and he will come over to grab weights just to spite me or something. like i walk out for squats, i take a huge breathe in, brace my core, and just when i am about to break my hips and knees to start the first rep for the set, the guy will come rushing over, squeezing/dodging between the barbells, trying to get to the back to get weights by the mirrors in front of me, and then i'm just standing there with over 255 lbs sitting on my traps/scapulas, i'm standing there waiting for him to get out, but he would just stand around to fiddling with the 5 lbs and 10 lbs. for bench press the guy would wait until i unracked the bar and moved it above my shoulders, then he would come swooping in, acting like he's grabbing weights beside me with his side of the body almost bumping into the barbell, it's so scary and i'm just holding the bar up until he leaves because with his body there, i can't even put the barbell back on the hooks. the gym only have 2 types of plates, the metal ones and the rubber ones, same color and brands, they're hanging on all the smith machines, squat racks, deadlifts platforms, bench press, they're just all over the entire gym, but he would purposely come over to where i'm trying to start my set, to come over to grab weights. on some days when i'm not in a good mood, feeling annoyed/frustrated, i really just want to smash his face with a plate.

    there are many other things, like i literally have a fan club at gym. i always have a bunch of dudes following me around the gym and they just straight up stare at me while i'm lifting. no matter where i moved to in the gym, they will always show up near me within 60 seconds. they just stand or sit on a machine close to where i am and they just stare without ever doing any exercises themselves.

    If supposedly having a 'fan club' bothers you so, move gyms.
  • 100_PROOF_100_PROOF_ Posts: 1,175Member Member Posts: 1,175Member Member
    Sloth2016 wrote: »
    The only time someone looks at me is when I have some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe and its following me around. :/

    Same.

    I can't think of one time that I've ever even noticed how much weight someone was loading or what lifts they were doing that day. I don't pay anyone any attention and they don't bother me. Nobody stares at me or harasses me in any way.

    Most people are there to do their own thing and aren't worried about what others are doing. People have their own problems and lives and really don't care if it's my leg day or whatnot.
  • ghudson92ghudson92 Posts: 408Member Member Posts: 408Member Member
    I've been a member of three different gyms and, aside from the trainers, no one has ever spoken to me let alone harassed me. Last week two teenagers commented on the fact my gym outfit didn't match my trainers, but that was about me and not to me. They will learn in ten years the joys of having to wash and dry your own clothes, I don't give a hoot if my gym clothes match :lol:
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 21,880Member Member Posts: 21,880Member Member
    nutmegoreo wrote: »
    shaumom wrote: »
    This is a pretty easy one -

    Have you ever witnessed, participated in, or been a victim of, verbal harassment at a gym? How often - frequently, sometimes, occasionally, almost never?

    If yes, what type? Sexual harassment, verbal intimidation, insults or derogatory comments, something else?

    And, was the victim of said harassment a man or a woman (or someone who reads as a man or woman)?

    And if anyone wishes, bonus question: are you a man or woman (or read like one) - just to see if we pay more attention to when people within our own perceived group are harassed, vs. other groups.


    Bonus bonus question: if this is something you see sometimes or frequently, do you do anything about it when you see it? Or what do you think should be done about it, if anything?

    i've never personally experienced verbal harassment or seen/heard it in person. but up until recently there was a guy who constantly tries to intimidate me by trying to one-up every exercise i do. on the days i do squats, he would stop his workout, loads up the same amount of weight i'm using on the power rack next to mines without warming up, then he gets under the bar and starts grunting loudly, like he didn't even unrack the bar off the rack, he's just standing under it. from the mirror in front of me, i see him staring directly at me and grunting loudly. he would not shut up and start his set until i look at him. everytime the timer on my phone goes off, i get under the bar and he stands there to watch me squat, once my set is done i sit on the floor, start the timer, and read the news on my phone app, then he goes back under the bar and starts grunting again while waiting for me to watch him squat, and he would do this continuously. on the days i really don't want to deal with him, i would just turn my head over to pretend like i looked, and then he starts doing his quarter squats. i've reported him, to a different manager and they had him banned.

    this one guy who would purposely wait until i unrack the barbell to start bench press or squats and he will come over to grab weights just to spite me or something. like i walk out for squats, i take a huge breathe in, brace my core, and just when i am about to break my hips and knees to start the first rep for the set, the guy will come rushing over, squeezing/dodging between the barbells, trying to get to the back to get weights by the mirrors in front of me, and then i'm just standing there with over 255 lbs sitting on my traps/scapulas, i'm standing there waiting for him to get out, but he would just stand around to fiddling with the 5 lbs and 10 lbs. for bench press the guy would wait until i unracked the bar and moved it above my shoulders, then he would come swooping in, acting like he's grabbing weights beside me with his side of the body almost bumping into the barbell, it's so scary and i'm just holding the bar up until he leaves because with his body there, i can't even put the barbell back on the hooks. the gym only have 2 types of plates, the metal ones and the rubber ones, same color and brands, they're hanging on all the smith machines, squat racks, deadlifts platforms, bench press, they're just all over the entire gym, but he would purposely come over to where i'm trying to start my set, to come over to grab weights. on some days when i'm not in a good mood, feeling annoyed/frustrated, i really just want to smash his face with a plate.

    there are many other things, like i literally have a fan club at gym. i always have a bunch of dudes following me around the gym and they just straight up stare at me while i'm lifting. no matter where i moved to in the gym, they will always show up near me within 60 seconds. they just stand or sit on a machine close to where i am and they just stare without ever doing any exercises themselves.

    Are you working out in a tutu? I'm not sure why else you would garner so much attention in a place where so many are just focussing on their own goals.

    See-through leggings. That'll do it! :laugh:
  • GottaBurnEmAllGottaBurnEmAll Posts: 7,511Member Member Posts: 7,511Member Member
    I once had a creepy looking dude (seriously, he looked like he had a sock stuffed down his pants) try to make small talk after he took a treadmill next to me when all the other treadmills were empty. I clearly had headphones in and finally told him that I was really into my podcast.

    I don't consider that verbal harassment, though. Just... creepy. That guy creeped on other women after that.
  • CutemesoonCutemesoon Posts: 1,950Member Member Posts: 1,950Member Member

    i've never personally experienced verbal harassment or seen/heard it in person. but up until recently there was a guy who constantly tries to intimidate me by trying to one-up every exercise i do. on the days i do squats, he would stop his workout, loads up the same amount of weight i'm using on the power rack next to mines without warming up, then he gets under the bar and starts grunting loudly, like he didn't even unrack the bar off the rack, he's just standing under it. from the mirror in front of me, i see him staring directly at me and grunting loudly. he would not shut up and start his set until i look at him. everytime the timer on my phone goes off, i get under the bar and he stands there to watch me squat, once my set is done i sit on the floor, start the timer, and read the news on my phone app, then he goes back under the bar and starts grunting again while waiting for me to watch him squat, and he would do this continuously. on the days i really don't want to deal with him, i would just turn my head over to pretend like i looked, and then he starts doing his quarter squats. i've reported him, to a different manager and they had him banned.

    this one guy who would purposely wait until i unrack the barbell to start bench press or squats and he will come over to grab weights just to spite me or something. like i walk out for squats, i take a huge breathe in, brace my core, and just when i am about to break my hips and knees to start the first rep for the set, the guy will come rushing over, squeezing/dodging between the barbells, trying to get to the back to get weights by the mirrors in front of me, and then i'm just standing there with over 255 lbs sitting on my traps/scapulas, i'm standing there waiting for him to get out, but he would just stand around to fiddling with the 5 lbs and 10 lbs. for bench press the guy would wait until i unracked the bar and moved it above my shoulders, then he would come swooping in, acting like he's grabbing weights beside me with his side of the body almost bumping into the barbell, it's so scary and i'm just holding the bar up until he leaves because with his body there, i can't even put the barbell back on the hooks. the gym only have 2 types of plates, the metal ones and the rubber ones, same color and brands, they're hanging on all the smith machines, squat racks, deadlifts platforms, bench press, they're just all over the entire gym, but he would purposely come over to where i'm trying to start my set, to come over to grab weights. on some days when i'm not in a good mood, feeling annoyed/frustrated, i really just want to smash his face with a plate.

    there are many other things, like i literally have a fan club at gym. i always have a bunch of dudes following me around the gym and they just straight up stare at me while i'm lifting. no matter where i moved to in the gym, they will always show up near me within 60 seconds. they just stand or sit on a machine close to where i am and they just stare without ever doing any exercises themselves.

    I'm thinking that this guy either is jealous because you look the way he wants to look, he's jealous that you can lift the amount of weights that you do, or maybe he likes you. He sure seems to be going thru LOTS of trouble to get your attention. :lol:
  • ShaycosShaycos Posts: 3Member Member Posts: 3Member Member
    Verbally for who I am, no! However my previous gym had been independent and was bought out by a chain. Seems that any member that joined after the buyout, got stick. One or two original members had bought life time membership, no problem but they seemed to think it made them above the rules, after having one guy stand in the middle of a swim lane I was using (rest of pool was empty) and the same guy switch off a treadmill I was running on, I left.
    Only other problem was a guy decided to get far too close in the spa. Presume it was a compliment but I hastily decided time was up
  • gradchica27gradchica27 Posts: 423Member Member Posts: 423Member Member
    Never harassed. Got hit on repeatedly by one dude (opened myself up to that one, asking him to spot me, but there was only the guy with a walker and his equally frail wife, so..), but never harassed or intimidated. I agree with some other posters that road running got me far more verbal harassment and felt more physically unsafe than any gym/weight room I’ve been to.
    edited November 2018
  • CahgetsfitCahgetsfit Posts: 1,004Member Member Posts: 1,004Member Member
    Interesting question. No, never seen harassment at the gym.

    I have mumbled and not so mumbly but kinda out loudly cracked it in a general way about people no re-racking plate weights and not putting the damned dumbbells in the right places on the racks - drives me mad - I go for the 12 kilo and pick up a freaking 8kg or 16 kilo but not the 12kg I wanted. So yes, I have cracked it out loud.

    Once someone even asked me if I was alright LOL! I said no.

    But I never attack anyone personally - this is generic rambling old lady on the gym floor stylz.

    I go to a university gym, not a commercial one. So we're a mixture of students and staff who work here and it's all very chill and happy families. Not pretentious and not fashionable or anything like that.
  • 33gail3333gail33 Posts: 102Member Member Posts: 102Member Member
    I think the idea that everyone is focusing on themselves and not you is a nice idea, but not exactly accurate for women at the gym.
    I don't go to the gym anymore, but when I did (as a decidedly average looking 40-ish woman) I had enough men "harass" me to make it uncomfortable. One specific incident where I was doing weights (just dumbells) and the guy beside me rhymed off my usual routine. It is pretty creepy to know someone has been watching you workout enough to know what you are gonna do next.
  • PardyqueenxoxoPardyqueenxoxo Posts: 210Member Member Posts: 210Member Member
    yes at one of my gyms, i joined a new one because of it. a chap would deliberately go on the equipment next to me and try and talk to me, what ever i went to next he would follow me, he once saw me out while i was taking my daughter for a picnic and he asked me out! i said no etc i even told him i was getting married (not true) and he still hassled me.
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Posts: 954Member Member Posts: 954Member Member
    jesspen91 wrote: »
    This isn't really this particular man's fault but it's something that really annoyed me recently.

    I am a very mild mannered and non-confrontational person and I never complain about what others are doing in the gym. Not when people don't rerack their plates and I (a small women) has to move multiple 25kg plates before my workout even starts. Not to the guy who repeatedly lines up fixed barbells of various weights when doing pyramid sets rather than just taking the one he needs for that particular set. Not when groups of men sit on the benches in the weight area just watching and taking pictures of their friends so that other people can't use those benches. I just sigh and do something different until that equipment becomes available.

    I've never seen anyone challenge this sort of behaviour.

    Yet last week a man (who, to be fair to him, has never displayed this type of behaviour). Crossed the gym to call me inconsiderate for forgetting to detach the handle I was using from the cable machine. Something that would have taken him seconds to do, unlike the time it takes me to unload 150kg from a barbell. I know I'm being a bit hypocritical here but why do these bros get away with everything repeatedly and I get harassed for a small one time mistake?

    I guess the answer is to try and channel that man and speak up more but it is really hard for me.

    Meh, guy just sounds like a jackhole. I'm pretty big on "gym etiquette" and really really get bent out of shape when people don't rack their weights or try to run circuits during prime time in the main areas. However, I've never blinked an eye at what attachments are left on the cable machines. Sometimes it's the one I want to use sometimes I have to switch it out. It never occurred to me worry about it. All of ours are just usually sitting in a pile in this little depression off to the side anyhow.
  • New_Heavens_EarthNew_Heavens_Earth Posts: 354Member Member Posts: 354Member Member
    jseams1234 wrote: »
    jesspen91 wrote: »
    This isn't really this particular man's fault but it's something that really annoyed me recently.

    I am a very mild mannered and non-confrontational person and I never complain about what others are doing in the gym. Not when people don't rerack their plates and I (a small women) has to move multiple 25kg plates before my workout even starts. Not to the guy who repeatedly lines up fixed barbells of various weights when doing pyramid sets rather than just taking the one he needs for that particular set. Not when groups of men sit on the benches in the weight area just watching and taking pictures of their friends so that other people can't use those benches. I just sigh and do something different until that equipment becomes available.

    I've never seen anyone challenge this sort of behaviour.

    Yet last week a man (who, to be fair to him, has never displayed this type of behaviour). Crossed the gym to call me inconsiderate for forgetting to detach the handle I was using from the cable machine. Something that would have taken him seconds to do, unlike the time it takes me to unload 150kg from a barbell. I know I'm being a bit hypocritical here but why do these bros get away with everything repeatedly and I get harassed for a small one time mistake?

    I guess the answer is to try and channel that man and speak up more but it is really hard for me.

    Meh, guy just sounds like a jackhole. I'm pretty big on "gym etiquette" and really really get bent out of shape when people don't rack their weights or try to run circuits during prime time in the main areas. However, I've never blinked an eye at what attachments are left on the cable machines. Sometimes it's the one I want to use sometimes I have to switch it out. It never occurred to me worry about it. All of ours are just usually sitting in a pile in this little depression off to the side anyhow.

    I ran into the weight hogging recently. Someone took every set of dumbbells under 20 lbs for themselves, except a few where they only took one. So I just went heavier than usual. I was just worried about injury and a slowed up workout.
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