Ban Cell Phone Use at Gyms? Good Idea or Bad?

Ok, picture this — you’re at a movie theater just getting settled in to your seat.

Popcorn and drink in their designated spaces, the lights dim, and the movie you’ve been dying to see for weeks begins.

Now imagine the person right next to you picks up his/her cell phone, makes a phone call, and proceeds to have a 20+ minute conversation.

It goes without saying, something like that would literally ruin your moviegoing experience.

Thankfully, the very intelligent people running the theaters and the movie industry have done an outstanding job making sure people know that the movie theater is a Cell Phone Quiet area — no cell phone use allowed.

Oh, and if they catch you, and you don’t put your cell phone away, you’ll be banned from the theater.

What does this have to do with banning cell phones at the gym?

Let me tell you.

Lately while I’ve been at the gym on my cardio equipment, people one or two machines away from me start making phone calls the minute they get on the machines!

Oh, and they’re not just a one or two minute phone call — they stay on the phone for 15-20 minutes chatting away loudly enough where I can hear all their personal business.

In fact, even the music in my headphones at near capacity can’t drown out their ramblings. 

And listening to music at that volume for extended periods of time is just not good for your ear drums.

Fact is, I shouldn’t even have to do that. Nor should I have to get better noise-cancelling headphones.

It’s distracting, disturbing, and I really think it should stop!

I mean come on, the gym is for working out isn’t it? You’re there to get healthy, not to have long winded conversations on the phone with your bestie or business partner.

Oh, and if you have enough breath to be having an active conversation with someone for that long, you’re NOT WORKING OUT HARD ENOUGH. Period.

If you’re that important where you can’t miss a phone call, I’d say it’s about time for you to get an assistant.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that people may need to take an important phone call here or there, but if the conversation absolutely can’t wait until you get done working out, be courteous and get off the equipment, walk outside or to a less populated area of the gym, and have the conversation without disturbing everyone else.

Please Refrain From Cell Phone Use
Should Gyms be a No Phone Call zone?

What do I do with my cell when I’m at the gym?

Most of the time I simply turn my phone on airplane mode.

When I’m not doing that, if I receive a call, I immediately hit ignore and let it go to voicemail.

On the absolute rare occasion I feel I need to answer the phone, in a quiet voice, I tell the caller I can’t talk but I’ll be happy to call them back shortly.

Now, is that so hard?

Should Gyms be designated as Cell Phone Quite Areas?

What do you think?

Am I being totally unreasonable, or should gyms start enforcing the same No Phone Calls policies that movie theaters have had for such a long time?

2 thoughts on “Ban Cell Phone Use at Gyms? Good Idea or Bad?”

  1. Gyms are for working out. People who are so addicted to talking on the phone, maybe need some intervention to help them reprioritize? It is beyond me an individual unable – or unwilling – to simply take their call off the floor. Have lifted weights for decades – it is 98% uncritical calls entertaining those oblivious to how their stalling out on equipment, & half assedness in how they choose to work out & it’s impact on those who look at that time & space as sacred. I have trained for the Olympics & cannot imagine my coach’s reaction to an amateur attitude that requires I chat with buddies or do a work meeting, while I am training. And that gyms that feign “fitness” don’t hold boundaries around what that actually means. LA Fitness is a clown show.

  2. I go to Life Time Fitness, and there are 112 gyms nationwide.

    There is no protection of privacy for people of all ages. They are not taking minimum affirmative steps to protect against privacy rights violations.

    Life Time Fitness is encouraging cell phone use, and you can see members and employees near locker room attendants on cell phones, and even one locker room attendants, such as PJ making personal calls. You cannot say if they are texting or talking, or taking pictures or video. There is no way of knowing. states difficult to determine if your picture is taken because you’re unaware.
    Lot of good information.

    video shows LTF gym video while people showering, and captures guy taking picture while videoing.

    Please see my CNN I REPORT. I would like my story on CNN so to protect other gym members. [link removed]

    Very important, gym members are making the revelation, that it is NOT possible to know if photography and video is happening while other members are visibly using their cell phones, and the more visible devices are present, the more greater the risk presents.

    Gym members do not have the level of sophistication and time to search the internet because postings can go on any search engine, any year, accessible by unique tags at that time, and doing such searches is an ugly task for the average person. Luckily, majority pictures and video taken will only be for private collections.

    Also, members are realizing no one can be trusted when on cell phones. My observation is that most members on cell phones keep towels very tight around them, because they are aware they have the ability to take pictures, and those not using cell phones are often fully nude, truly unaware of the risk of picture and video taking.

    however, the gym locker room attendant that does not enforce the no cell phone policy makes the judgment that the member using the cell phone is safe to other members.


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