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Shhh! We're Exercising

Shhh! We're Exercising

If you have never worked out next to a grunting, moaning—maybe even expletive-using—man, then you have not yet suffered the torture of sharing a weight room with a noisy exercise partner. But despite how irritating some of the workout groaning can be, some health enthusiasts say a bit of rowdy banter is a plus and can help motivate you to get through a tough workout.

So, the question is: If one must deal with motivational-noise, then where’s the happy medium? Well, if the case of Christopher Carter is any indication, then we would recommend you pick your battles.

According to The New York Times, Carter, a stockbroker, was taking a spinning class with Stuart Sugarman who was groaning and shouting his way through his workout. Carter became so agitated that he walked over and upended Sugarman’s exercise bike. Sugarman spent two weeks in the hospital and has had chronic neck and back pain ever since. He pressed charges, and Carter now faces up to a year in prison if he is convicted on an assault charge.

But we can at least hope for some moderation, right?

The rules in Debrett’s New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners say, “Yes, indeed!”

A few tips the guide recommends for gym-goers:
* Don’t be rude to instructors.
* Don’t be “irritatingly competitive on aerobic machines.”
* Excessive grunting, hissing and huffing when lifting weights should be avoided.

In addition to Derbrett’s guide, the American Council on Exercise says that rules you should have learned in kindergarten, like “use your inside voice,” should also be considered. This means save your loud cell phone conversations for when you are done sweatin’ it out.

But don’t be too self-conscious. Health experts say an integral part of any workout plan is having fun. Just be aware of the people around you—and keep the singing along to your MP3 at a minimum! [The New York Times]

Posted: 5/30/08