We're so accustomed to multitasking just about every minute of our day that when it comes time to do something that requires our undivided attention, it can be really hard to break the addiction of texting, surfing the web, or taking phone calls. But some moments really require that we put down the @$!*-ing phone. Like anytime we hit the gym.
The gym chain Planet Fitness is especially serious about this rule. They have a bazillion signs up all over all of their gyms reminding members of their no cellphone rule. And one Massachusetts woman named Tina Santoro Asmar recently learned they're not kidding around. She claims the gym's general manager came after her with a "bizarrely angry" crackdown after she answered an "unexpected call from her doctor's office" while using an elliptical last week. The confrontation ended with her getting booted out of the gym. For good. Ha!
Although Asmar makes it like the club co-owner Brian Kablik was "enraged" and "very threatening," it sounds like it may have really been she who was belligerent. Kablik said:
This is a member that’s had repeated issues and incidents with cellphone use. I can assure you that our manager would not be treating a member poorly. Her reaction, when she was approached in a professional way, was extremely unprofessional and rude and dismissive.
Ugh, well, this is most definitely a "she said/he said" story to some extent, but I feel like no matter how it went down, it sounds like the behavior exhibited by Asmar was just plain rude, obnoxious, and a blatant example of how NOT to work up a sweat.
Most people go to the gym to get their workout in, to de-stress, tune out the rest of the world for a solid (but, in the scheme of things, short) 30-60 minutes. Planet Fitness' philosophy seems especially in tune with that and, as a result, they've banned cellphone use in their gyms (though you can use it in the lobby, but apparently a quick walk to that part of the gym was too much for Asmar).
People like Asmar don't seem to understand that you really do need to eliminate all distractions to get the most out of your workout. Geeze, it's been scientifically proven that if you are thinking about the muscle you're working, you'll get 22 percent better results! So obviously it would stand to follow that if you're concentrating on your cardio, you'll probably get further than if you're yakking away on your phone.
Okay, so maybe it was her doctor, but as New York attorney Lori Pines, author of The Little Book of Gym Etiquette: A Handbook for Dealing With Annoying People at the Gym, said, "She couldn’t have been in a dire medical emergency, because she was in the middle of working out.” Too true!
And by the way, when an entire book has to be written to tell people how to behave at the gym, you know we've got a problem. Put it down. Leave it in the freakin' locker! Because using your phone at the gym is absolutely no way to get the most out of your workout.
How do you feel about no cellphone rules at the gym?