When someone takes your weights or machine at the gym, it’s extremely annoying and impolite. For one, the person who invaded your space should have enough manners to ask if you’re still using it. Second, if you’re within 5-10 feet of a piece of equipment, it’s always polite to ask if someone in the general area is using it, unless it’s obvious that the people around you are already using another piece of equipment.
So if someone you don’t know swoops in and steals your weights, here are some options for you to try, and they don’t involve punching the guy in the mouth:
#1 – Say “Hey dude. I still had a couple of sets to do.”
When you say this, it should become incredibly apparent that you were using the machine or weights in question, and that the person should back off and come back at a later time when you’re finished.
Most people would take the hint and leave you alone to finish your workout, but you may get a few people that say “mind if I work in with you?”
The response is entirely up to you as it’s your personal space, but I like to let people work in with me whenever they want. For one, it doesn’t actually slow you down at all, as they’re just working out when you would be resting anyway. Second, it gives you a chance to connect with someone on a personal level at the gym and make a new gym buddy.
A lot of the time, you just get in, get out, and never talk to anyone. It’s nice to talk to someone once in awhile.
#2 – Throw in a Last Quick Set and Leave
If someone steals your equipment without saying anything, you could say “I was using that. Just let me get a quick set in there, and then it’s all yours.”
If you fly in there, finish your set, and then move on to your next exercise, everyone wins. You don’t get a guy who gets pissed at, you don’t miss your workout, and there are no awkward questions and answers in the middle.
Unless you actually have more than one set to go, then it would be best to ask them to work in with you or come back when you’re done.
Hopefully this helps you next time some guy creeps on your space!