Post # 1
Ok, I think we have all experienced this……..being stuck next to the smelly person at the gym! How do you handle it? I am lucky enough to work in an office that has a gym on location that also offers aerobics classes. I attend them on my lunch break three times a week.
For the last 3 weeks or so, no matter what time I arrive for the class, or where I stand in the class, I am surrounded by 2 or 3 of the people (it is the same 4 people every.time). I’ve tried standing in the front, in the middle, in the back, it doesn’t matter.
Today, I was the first person to arrive, so I took a spot in the front left so that only one person could be to the side of me, and with the fans in the front, no one could stand in front of me and have their odor waffed to me. The second person to arrive stood RIGHT NEXT TO ME. This is one of the 4 people. I could have moved spots, but I think it would have been really rude and obvious. Another of the 4 people stood directly behind me and somehow it was still obnoxiously strong.
It’s getting to the point where I don’t even want to go to the class anymore because it is almost impossible to workout and maintain my breathing, today I actually became nauseous towards the end (yes it really is that strong BO). I almost walked out.
This is not a jugemental post, I don’t know their situation, but the gym has showers with soap, shampoo, and body wash, so it’s not a matter of not having access to necessities. It could be a personal or religious choice but if it’s starting to affect my performance, what can I do about it?
Would you just move to another side of the room, even if it’s rude, or do you just suffer through it?
Post # 3
@kmarie719: I would move. Maybe jokingly mumbling how you are afraid you will hit someone because you get so into the workout…or something like that.
Post # 4
I remember being on the treadmill once and three old ladies decide to use the ones next to mine….Alll I smelled was old lady perfume! It was as strong as can be, and I literally could not take it anymore….So I moved to another one.
Post # 5
If the BO is that bad, you definitely shouldn’t stay next to them. Maybe if you’re in class and one of the smelly people moves next to you, you can leave the room for a minute (maybe acting like you’re getting water or going to the restroom), and go to a different spot when you return. I actually did that before but with a lady who wore really really strong perfume. I guess it’s better than BO, but who wears that much perfume to a gym?!
Post # 6
Could you talk to the instructor? Chances are s/he smells it as well and could make a general announcement to the class about even though they are coming to work out they need to maintain normal hygeine. Then no one is singled out and maybe they’ll take a hint.
Post # 7
I can’t deal with smells (whether BO or perfume) so I would just get up and move. It’s not like you see them “in real life” so I have no qualms about being rude. I would also tell the instructor, if this is a class, so s/he can make an announcement about hygiene.
That said, some people just don’t care. I had a friend once that smelled like BO frequently and she thought herself to be quite attractive (which could be considered true, depending on who you ask). People joked about it behind her back frequently, but she never thought she had a problem. Even her clothes smelled of it and she would wear things for multiple days prior to washing.
Post # 8
@Rubbs: Perfume is the worst when working out. I want oxygen in my gasping body, not chemicals and flowers.
@kmarie719: There isn’t really a good way to handle this situation unfortunately. I would suggest perhaps discussing your concerns with the instructor and see what they say. Perhaps they have noticed it too?
In the end you may need to find a different class if it is that big of an issue (which it sounds like it is). 🙁
Post # 9
It’s a different instructor each day, but the same instructors each week, so if I bring it up with someone, it would likely be the gym manager (I really thought about approaching him today after the class).
The gym is actually owned by the company so it’s all coworkers (though mostly not anyone I interact with) that attend. It’s a small gym so unfortunately I don’t have a selection of classes to choose from (only 2 a day) unless I wanted to stay after hours to attend the evening one-which the evening classes aren’t the same as the daytime ones.
The alternative is to just not attend the class and use the machines instead however I enjoy the variety the classes offer and typically can’t maintain interest in treadmills/ellipticals in order to get a good workout.
I think if it is as bad next week, I will talk with the manager, like PP said, I can’t be the only one who notices…
Post # 10
A trick I learned when I was a CNA and had to deal with a LOT of B.O./diapers/horrid smells
Carmex on the insides of your nostrils. You won’t smell ANYTHING but carmex. It totally works. Try it!
Post # 11
I am sorry and I guess I am the odd man our here but I do not think it is reasonable to talk to gym management about the smell of people at a gym. When you work out you sweat and not everyone smells like powder or axe body spray. Trust me I know what it is like to be right next to the person who smells horrible but I think that is part of what you get when you go to the gym or in a hot crowded class offered by the gym. In addition, I think it is very judgemental to assume that someone does not have good hygeine because of their BO when they are working out.
Moving is the best option in my opinion or go to a different class.
Post # 12
@kmarie719: how many people are in the class/how big is the room? If the 4 people are in the same area – is it possible to go to the other end?
I feel your pain because I used to workout in a group class (outdoors) with a very smelly guy and it was nauseating. I can put up with a lot of smells, but the odor his body expelled when he sweat was unreal. I wouldnt’ even call it body odor – it was phermones on crack!
In any case, I would show up right when class would begin and pick a spot as FAR from him as possible. There were a couple times he showed up late and was right by me. I wouldn’t move in that case… but I would try to be strategic about when I’d arrive, for that sole reason. Usually he got there before me and I could navigate around him… and usually I could STILL smell him when the wind would shift – gag.
Post # 13
@kmarie719: What if instead of going in early, you go in late? That way the stinky people will already be there and you can scope them out and then plant yourself across the room instead. That way you don’t even give them the option of selecting a spot near you- you are in control!
Post # 14
There is a girl in my gym who smells horribly all the time. She wears fresh clothing every day, and I know that she showers. At first, I would move away, make stink eyes at her, and join in the comments with the rest of the girls. Then I thought about how it most likely was a medical thing. She knows that she gives off a bigger BO than others. And she probably feels it (and was most likely bullied for it).
My advice? Well, I really dont notice it anymore now that I’ve been working out at this gym for several months with her in every one of my classes. I know that’s not really a solution, but it’s better than making him/her feel horrible for something that they may or may not have control of.
Post # 15
This is what prevented me from ever taking a Bikram yoga class. 20+ people sweating profusely?
I’ve never had this problem at the gym, but it seems to always happen at the movies. I have to buy a bag of popcorn, not to eat it, but to hold it under my nose, lol.
I like bleusteel’s idea of pretending to leave the room, and then just moving to a different spot.
Post # 16
Are you sure it’s not you if it follows you everywhere?