Man returns to gym after 8 years and is shocked by how it's changed
Man who’s returned to the gym after an 8-year hiatus asks why it’s become so unfriendly – after nobody chatted and his wife warned he’ll get kicked out for even looking at a woman
- The anonymous Reddit user, from the UK, questioned the ‘change’ in gymgoers
- SEE MORE: ‘Entitled’ mum tries to kick young woman off a machine at Utah gym
A man has prompted a debate online about gym culture after revealing his wife warned him he’d be ‘kicked out’ for ‘looking at women’.
The anonymous social media user, from the UK, posted on the subreddit r/NoStupidQuestions after visiting his local gym for the first time in eight years.
He described how, after being unable to attend due to a sports injury, his return to what he used to consider ‘a social place’ has turned rather frosty.
He said his wife had told him he shouldn’t even ‘look in the direction of a woman working out’ or else he might be ‘reported and kicked out.’
The post – which has attracted a swarm of opinions from various Reddit members – has been upvoted 8,500 times and received 2,300 comments.
A British man has prompted a debate online about gym culture after revealing his wife warned him he’d be ‘kicked out’ for ‘looking at women’ (Stock image)
Sharing his experience, he wrote: ‘I recently hit the gym again after not going for about 8 years (Only to rehab a sports injury).
‘Back when I used to gym regularly in my twenties it was a social place where strangers would chat to each other in between sets and strangers would spot other people at random.
‘None of that happens anymore. Also my wife warned me not to even look in the direction of a woman working out else I might get reported and kicked out of the gym. Has it gotten that bad?’
He continued: ‘Of course gyms back then had 1 or 2 pervs, but that didn’t stop everyone else from being friendly, plus everyone knew who the pervs were.’
A wave of differing opinions were expressed by hundreds of commenters, including one who explained the change saying: ‘Ear buds and noise cancelling headphones’ to define why people do not talk to each other anymore at the gym.
A user blamed Covid-19 for the demise of social interaction in public spaces, writing: ‘COVID may be over, but they never want to go back to pre-social distancing levels of casual conversation.’
Another wrote: ‘The only folks I’ve seen chat with others at the gym are older folks who are there to socialise as much as they are to workout or people who spend hours at the gym.
‘Most people are busy, I have an hour at the gym, so I’m there to workout and then go about my day. Chatting takes time away from that.’
One user agreed, saying: ‘There are some people that still are social. Depends on the people I guess. Most people just want to be left alone and do their workout. I think for many it’s the only place where they get some quiet alone time and they prefer it that way.
A man posted his frustrations about social interactions on the subreddit r/NoStupidQuestions after attending the gym for the first time in eight years
‘And as a woman it takes a long time to get comfortable in the gym. For me at least. In my last gym there were a couple of old dudes that just came to stare. In my current gym that hasn’t happened yet.’
With many migrating more towards the man’s query of whether or not it is controversial to even quickly glance at a woman while working out, the responses were diverse.
A commenter, defending a woman’s right to be left alone at the gym, wrote: ‘”Gym Culture” was not necessarily hospitable to women who just wanted to get a workout in.
‘It’s not a nightclub anymore. This is a good thing.’
Another disagreed, saying: ‘With social media being a thing, I have seen many videos on TikTok/Instagram about those “influencers” calling people out at the gym just for looking in their direction – not being a creep, but resting in between their sets or just walking to get to their next workout.’
A fellow Reddit user wrote: ‘I go tot the gym 4-5 days a week. People still ask to spot. No you won’t get kicked out for glancing at women.’
A final commenter expressed his frustration at the “gym-fluencers” taking over his gym.
He said: ‘I think the only thing that has changed in the gym is the “gym-fluencers.” Unlimited data, onlyfans, and the compact tripod have ultimately spawned this group and gyms are starting to push back.
‘I never wanted to talk casually while in the gym even 10 years ago. I don’t have that kind of time.’
Editing his post after the wave of responses, the original poster commented: ‘I didn’t expect this to blow up like this.
A swarm of commenters shared their personal opinions on whether or not it’s acceptable to talk to others at the gym – revealing more problems than just being encouraged to be talk
‘From the replies it seems it’s a combination of wireless earphones, covid, and tiktok scandals are the main reason gyms are less social than before.
‘For clarification, when I say chat between sets, I literally mean a handful of words.
‘Sometimes it might be someone complimenting your form, or more commonly some gym bro trying to be helpful and correct your form.
‘No one’s going to the gym to chat about the latest marvel movie or what they did last weekend.’
He added: ‘Eg. I’ve moved to freeweight shoulder press a month or two back and sometimes my form isn’t great without a spot.
‘I might not be remembering correctly but back when I’d do free weights, if I was struggling to keep form I’m sure most of the time some stranger would come spot me for that set at random.’
Earlier this year, a fitness fanatic sparked a heated debate online after critiquing various videos of women claiming to be harassed by men at the gym – insisting they ‘aren’t victims’ just because guys look at them as they workout.
Joey Swoll, a training coach who splits his time between Los Angeles and New York, recently caused a major argument on the web after he started responding to TikToks posted by females at the gym who said they were uncomfortable because a man had been watching them.
Joey insisted that ‘there is a big difference’ between someone simply ‘looking or glancing’ at a woman and ‘being an actual creep,’ and his claims have left social media divided.
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