Is It Okay to Talk During a Fitness Class?

Answer: No. No, it is not.



Dear Girls at the Back of My Spin Class Last Night,

I’m so thrilled you decided to try Spinning for the first time. I only recently decided that I’m down with it, after finding a teacher and class I really, really like. And I’m all about people trying new things to get them out of their fitness comfort zones, so kudos on giving indoor cycling a whirl.

While I have your ear, can I say something, you know, girl-to-girl? Fellow gym-goer to fellow gym-goer? Cool, thanks. You know how you talked during the entire warmup, and then whenever we weren’t climbing hills you picked up your conversation right where you left off? Yeah. That. You should stop that. It’s super annoying.

See, the thing is, the class is only 45 minutes long. And the teacher, well, I’m pretty sure he’d like everyone’s attention and focus for each and every one of those 45 minutes. And another thing: the studio is really, really small, and last night there were only like 12 of us in there. So, Girl in the Blue Shirt, when you talked all about how you were out of town last weekend and absolutely waaaaasted the entire time, and how you don’t even know how you made it to work on Monday, oh my God … We all heard you. Every single word.

I thought you might get the hint when the teacher turned up the music, but no, you just talked louder. And then when he made that joke, like, “Well, I guess we should pick up the pace. Some of you seem to be, um, fully recovered,” I don’t think you realized he was talking to you. Because, quite frankly, if you were able to talk that much throughout the class, it either means you have some serious Hulk-like strength going on or something, or you weren’t pushing yourself hard enough.

Look, I think it’s great you guys are fitness buddies. Lord knows I’d love to have someone to drag me to the gym every day. If nothing else, it’d ensure I actually get there, no skipping allowed. But when you take a class—any class, really—it’s not the time to gab like girlfriends. It’s a tad distracting, especially when yours truly is focusing every last ounce of attention on climbing a hill—followed by another, and then another.

So next time—and I truly hope there is a next time; you should try Spinning again!—let’s keep our weekend drinking stories to ourselves. Mmmkay?


Emily “the ridiculously sweaty girl in the embarrassing padded shorts” Leaman

» Tell us: Do you think it’s okay to gab during a fitness class? Have you ever done it, or scolded anyone who has? Share in the comments.

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  • Bekka

    I noticed in the photo that one of the participants is wearing sweatpants. Maybe istock isn’t aware of how hot people get in spinning classes, or maybe those were all that fit her right now. Either way, that chick must be hot.

    • Emily Leaman

      Truth. Also: good eyes.

  • I agree. Everyone should be working hard, that means breathing hard, not talking loud haha- I did a class last night where everyone shut off their lights. got in the zone and climbed the last hill to the very sweaty end. Talking would not have gone down there-

    Nice call out.

  • Jessica

    OMG I HATE THIS. I also dislike those who talk on the phone while ellipticalling (I wish that was really a verb) or walking on the treadmill, but that would be a whole new can of worms.

    That being said… I understand that maybe, for some reason, you may not be going all out in class every time (so talking is possible). But I think, especially in a group class, there is someone talking to you (instructor) – who you agreed to listen to and learn from the moment you showed up.

    I mean, did you talk through your college classes? Or freshman English in high school? Probably not. And that’s because you would have been asked to leave. Well, fitness classes are no different.

    I wish more class instructors would actually call people out – and ask them to leave if they don’t want to be there. I guess that’s a fine line to walk though.

    I really hope Girl in Blue Shirt reads this.

  • Suz

    I ran a half marathon where I was really struggling to keep a good pace, around 8:30, and the entire time these two girls were chatting it up right behind me. I could not seem to get away from them! And I was so angry that they were doing a leisurely stroll while I was trying to PR.
    I really hope Girl in Blue Shirt reads it and gets that it was her. The girls who ran behind me, well, they were in Portland Oregon and I think they decided to finally turn on their jets and STFU in the last couple miles. :)

  • As long as you are not disruptive……. during yoga it’s not ok to talk.

  • What;s worse is when people are texting and answering their cell phone during yoga

  • I have been a Spinning Instructor for about 15 years now and nothing gets me going more than the blabber mouths. I have tried every trick in the book to get people to shut their traps, to no avail (I guess that they are not ‘tricks’ after all). Look, people, if your only social outlet is your 45 minutes in Spin class, you have bigger issues than your gut (which has not changed a bit since you started coming to the gym–so you need to shut your trap in more ways than on: pedal harder and Dunkin’ less). Emily, I will pay you to come to my class and tell these folks to zip it. Name your fee….

  • Kristen N’ Jay-Jay

    This…is…awesome!!! I Spin every day at one of the “posh” gym in Philly and even in that gym there are still Spin talkers, and no matter what they never get the hint that their talking is rude and distracting. A few weeks ago one of my favorite Spin instructors called out a guy who was texting (or whatever with his phone) in the middle of class. He left in a huff and have the nerve complain to management. I’m pretty sure his complaint didn’t warrant any sympathy from the staff.

  • Pauline

    LOVE this! Super annoying when people are disrespectful and inconsiderate both to the instructor and others that were in the class. great post! Sharing in on FB!

  • Laura Nadeau

    Today I was taking a circuit class and two women next to me wear talking for the first 3 intervals. I stepped toward them and said “please stop talking” to which they look confused. They continued jabbering so i said louder “please stop talking”. A woman on my right went off at me and told me that I shouldn’t speak to them and to focus on my own workout. At this point the instructor is by my side and I told them that were constantly talking and he shrugged his shoulders. I repeated that it’s a workout class and talking is not part of it, still nothing. So now I have one woman in my face because I asked the rude participants to stop talking and then the instructor (who I thought would simply announce to the class to keep talking to a minimum) is looking at me like I have 2 heads. I asked, “you don’t have my back on this, do you? And he said no. I left and talked to the manager and she went up and checked out the situation.

    I just can’t believe that the instructor didn’t enforce basic class etiquette. And, that he left me out to dry.

    Don’t let rude people ruin your experience. Stand up for yourself and say something!