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How Do I Tell Someone I'd Rather Not Workout With Them?

a friend of mine at work frequenly asks me if she can workout with me, especially on my big workout days; the problem is i don't like to workout with anyone. i'm very focused and i don't like to talk while i'm concentrating on my weights and form. the other problem is that it already takes me two hours on the nights i lift weights and do my hour of cardio, i don't want it to take longer all the while waiting for her to get her reps in. i know i should be nice and let her join me, since she's interested but i'm just not ready for a workout partner. we used to workout together months before and i don't workout nearly as hard when she's with me because she's talking talking talking, and she's an enabler and quick to say, wanna get outta here and get a drink? she's very distracting in yoga classes too... she whispers to me the whole time and she gets up and leaves during the end relaxation portion, how awful is that? she's nice and i love to be around her and talk to her except at the gym...

Thu. May 17, 12:11pm

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why can't you tell her that you prefer to work out alone, that you focus more that way and you'd like to meet up afterward some day for a chat or a walk? it may be that she wants to hang out and is just trying to join your activities. if you provide another way to hang out, you may solve the issue.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 12:24 PM

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Say the exact same thing.

That you posted here. It was a very clear and concise reason why you would rather work out alone.
If she wants "buddy time" offer to visit in a different venue.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 12:35 PM

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It's a fair assumption that this is a friend you're not comfortable being blunt with, but it also sounds like you don't want to discourage her from exercising...

"You're more than welcome to join me during my cardio workouts, but my weight workouts require all of my concentration so that I don't hurt myself."

As for going for a beer after a workout - give her a technical speech on how the body metabolizes alcohol and how it can really mess up what you're trying to accomplish (make stuff up if you have to).

I don't know if my advice qualifies as "bad passive-aggressive", but it's what I would do to avoid too much awkwardness without sacrificing my own gym happiness.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 12:51 PM

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I would tell her that I need to do my weight workouts alone for times sake but that she was welcome to hop on a treadmill next to me when i do cardio (then jog/run so that you aren't expected to keep up too much of a conversation haha!). Don't tell her when you are going to classes or get there early enough that you can put your yoga mat next to others so she can't be near you and whisper. A lot of people use the gym for social time more than anything else-you need to draw some boundaries with this friend.

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 1:07 PM

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"I don't mind, but I'm very focused, so if I appear to be ignoring you I probably am" :-)

On a serious note I had this issue too. Only I didn't have your insight and so I agreed thinking it would be nice to have someone to work out. Fortunately she didn't last more than one session. However I do take periodic walks with her that are merely a way to get out, take in the lovely day and chat for a few miles. I don't consider them 'work outs' though.

If I was faced with this situation again I would, as kindly as possible, state what you said early on in your post - "Sorry, I find I really like to focus on my workout and just kind of get into a zone, so I think I'd prefer to keep working out solo."

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 1:13 PM

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op here- thanks for all the comments, i really appreciate them!

12:51 and 1:07 are right on the money with how i'm feeling... i think because i see her everyday and we talk all day long via IM (all day buddy time, and somewhat distracting there too, of course i don't mind being distracted at work), it just seems awkward to want to come out and say it. i feel so guilty becuase she's really interested in what i'm doing and wants to see what i'm doing that's so successful for me. she's one of my biggest cheerleaders except at the gym. kinda strange.

passive-agressive is not always a bad thing! ;o)

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 1:19 PM

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op here again- and 1:13 great advice!

Thursday, May 17, 2007, 1:20 PM

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