Do you wipe your filthy, diseased sweat off the machines at the gym?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 01, 2007 9:23 PM GMT
    I've just returned from the doctor. I've got my third case of conjunctivitis in 2.5 years. My guess is that I'm getting this at the gym.

    I have friends who say they have gotten staph infections at gyms.

    Is there anything that effectively reduces exposure to infection in the gym? Mine furnishes paper towels and some kind of disinfectant in a spritzer but practically nobody uses them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    Si senor. I tidy up after myself. Sorry 'bout the eye. :(
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:35 AM GMT
    I am more inclined to believe that all disease is a punishment from god for sinful behaviour.

    You should, I would say, reflect on whether you are GUILTY of, say, GLUTTONY or SLOTH and then PRAY and of course REPENT for your SALVATION.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:36 AM GMT
    (the above post was intended to be a joke for any particularly obtuse readers)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:50 AM GMT
    yes! i hate people who dont do it....i give them the eye of shame when i see that they havent wiped their salty sweat off the machines
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:57 AM GMT
    My germophobic doctor friend got me into some good habits at the gym that I'm sure will help reduce my gym related infections.

    First, I always bring my own towel. The main purpose of this is to reduce my skin exposure to benches, leg pads, etc. If I am wearing a wifebeater, as per usual, I will make sure my shoulders touch towel instead of leather. People don't wipe these down, and even then, who knows what the hell is on THEIR towels. I know what I did with mine. It's like at a restaurant, the table is probably cleaner before it gets wiped down with that soggy rag that has been dwelling in the busser's cart all day.

    Second, NEVER touch your face while you work out. This will lead to said conjunctivitis. Weights and keyboards are about the dirtiest things you will ever touch. Wash your hands after your workouts, and if you really have to touch your face, use the back of your hand, or forearm.

    The first thing I do after my workout is wash my hands, THEN I will do my stretches and such.

    The paper towels and spritzers are satisfactory if you use them on any part of equipment that would touch skin before and after you use the equipment; but like my good friend Towlie says,'Don't forget to bring a towel!'.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 12:58 AM GMT
    Well for a moment there I was about to get down on my knees.

    My guess is that the machines are hopelessly comtaminated, or cultured. I guess I would avoid touching your eyes and face as much as possible, and probably carry your own little disifectant with you and liberally apply to hands etc.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:00 AM GMT
    The never touch your face rule also applies to open wounds, body zits, etc. Don't be pickin your scab after using that 10 year old 25 lb dumbell that will never have and never will see a cleaning in it's life.
  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    Aug 02, 2007 1:07 AM GMT
    At 180 Fitness, there are paper towels and spray bottles with a water/vinegar mix placed throughout the facility. It's sorta a polite thing to do when you're done, if you don't at lease bring a towel yourself. They mention this when showing you around the first time, but I don't believe it's required. It should be and I do. I usually leave the gym feeling like I've fallen in the pool. Just soaked.

    LANCE
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:28 AM GMT
    "I am more inclined to believe that all disease is a punishment from god for sinful behaviour.
    You should, I would say, reflect on whether you are GUILTY of, say, GLUTTONY or SLOTH and then PRAY and of course REPENT for your SALVATION"


    Groan. The Young Faith Healer was here again today. He has replaced the faucets in three sinks in the house. This weekend he will be healing one of the bathrooms, re-caulking, installing a new vanity, etc. Then,he will install new carpet in my liberry.

    I will keep sinning if it keeps him around to do all the chores we've ignored for 7 years.

    I always carry a towel to the gym, but I imagine it's about as sanitary as Crim's cum towel.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:30 AM GMT
    OW: It must be admitted that the chap is rather too picturesque to be ridiculed! I could really use some faith healing if that's what you get for it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:43 AM GMT
    "too picturesque to be ridiculed."

    Hmmm. Like a sideshow freak?
  • irishkcguy

    Posts: 780

    Aug 02, 2007 1:45 AM GMT
    I clean up after myself. I rack my weights, too. That's a lost art.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:47 AM GMT


    Well.....there are things the gym should really do to be honest. The equipment and surfaces in the showers need to be rubbed down with either Rocal or Nolvasan. These are disinfectants used in microbiology labs.

    Keep in mind there is lots of moisture on gym equipment. If you pick up something from the gym, it does not mean folks using the equipment are saturated with the bacteria. The bosy carries all sorts of bacteria that are kept at bay. Give the bugs a warm moist place and they take off.

    Towels supplied by the gym are also a bad idea. I worked in R&D in the textile industry years ago. You'd be amazed at what is often growing on your towels sitting in the linen closet. The gym needs to make sure towels, etc are washed in a commercial laundry operation. No Maytag will do. In a commercial laundry EVERYTHING is normally bleached. The wash wheels often use steam injected into the tub to heat the water. This also kills buggers.

    Tom
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 1:48 AM GMT
    "I rack my weights, too. That's a lost art."

    Oh, I have no problem telling people to rack their damn weights. I belonged for a while to a gym here that suspended memberships of people who didn't rack 'em.
  • sfnicolas

    Posts: 121

    Aug 02, 2007 1:57 AM GMT
    isn't the towel just going to carry the same germs from machine-to-machine? unless you throw out a towel after each use, it seems pointless to me to wipe down after yourself with a cloth towel.

    i've always thought enforcing members to carry towels was a bad idea since it just projects the 'image' of "we clean-as-we-go"...but who knows how clean that towel really is, and when it was last washed (properly?!).

    i say just wash your hands, water bottle, iPod, etc. as you go, or after a workout; don't touch your eyes or mouth; and wipe down any equipment you DO sweat on with a spray/paper towel approach.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 2:42 AM GMT
    i work in a gym and i make sure that it is kept exceptionally hygienic. every morning and afternoon im in the weights room wiping everything down.
    good thing is that a lot of the regular boys have started taking the hint and cleaning up after themselves too.
    we have a policy that we will supply towels if needed, but encourage everyone tobring their own.
    and as for racking your weights - i have the best evil eye in the business and if you mess up my room i will glare you down!
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Aug 02, 2007 3:03 AM GMT
    No matter how much in a rush I am, I always wipe down any machine I use before and after I work out. I've seen how guys are at my gym and I don't even wanna imagine what I might be putting my hands on (and potentially transferring to my face and eyes).

    Once when I went to work on my gym's Abench, I looked down to see the head area covered with the previous guy's dandruff. THAT was one of the most disgusting sights I have ever seen!
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Aug 02, 2007 3:09 AM GMT
    "The equipment and surfaces in the showers need to be rubbed down with either Rocal or Nolvasan. These are disinfectants used in microbiology labs."

    Just as a point of reference, my currently lab is the 3rd microbiology lab I've worked in for a year+. In none of them did we use either of the above disinfectants. Each of my labs has used either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (typically 70%) as the primary benchtop disinfectant, with 10% bleach used on anything nasty. A small number of things were sterilized with UV radiation. Any equipment that really needs to be sterile is autoclaved, which is like putting it in an industrial strength pressure cooker.

    I do rack my weights, but I agree that unless you're using a real disinfectant, wiping down equipment is less about being hygienic than about being polite.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 3:21 AM GMT
    I wish they would force you to carry a towel while on the gym floor. Obviously they can't watch you 24/7 to make sure you use it, but if you have it, you probably will.
    The LA Fitness I go to also has Purell dispensers and I've been using that more and more along with my towel.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 4:20 AM GMT
    I carry a small towel, to mop the sweat off my own body, but, like sfnicolas, I can't see the point of going from machine to machine sopping up and spreading the sweaty soup of bacteria, hair gel and sperm-spiked saliva.

    But the disinfectant ritual raises the question of whether to act altruistically or selfishly. Since most people aren't cleaning up, I need to clean before I use the machine AND afterward, yes?

    I used to work out at the gym at the Mondrian in West Hollywood when I stayed there. They always had someone pouring iced water for you out of a crystal pitcher and someone who cleaned up sweat residue.

    A callipygian, macrophallic gym butler, that's what I need.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 5:40 AM GMT
    But ice water, do you really think that gets rid of the bacteris -- besides the psychological impact? I can't say 100%, but my guess is those buggers withstand it quite well.

    Personally I've made my piece with the guys. If they get me they get me, but I can't be that worried about them -- and personally I'll eat pretty much anything while travelling and not worry about the consequences, so as far as the gym is concerned I don't give hoot -- I do take my own towl, but yes Crim's is probably just as fresh (quite sure of that). Maybe I'm in denial, but I really don't give it much thought.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 02, 2007 5:57 AM GMT
    Maybe your immune system is compromised.
  • trebor965

    Posts: 200

    Aug 02, 2007 6:20 AM GMT
    yes i do, but i leave my poo and the greasy grimy gopher guts. you should have your healer pray over those peepers.
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Aug 02, 2007 6:31 AM GMT
    ...had the same thing happen to me a few years back...nasty...and it looks like you have an "evil eye"...

    ...I started wearing gloves...and washing my hands after my workouts...and although I do not wash off every gym machine before I use it...if I see significant fluids on what I use I clean it up before using...

    ...don't have much control over anything else...

    - David