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To get pissed off with the clique at my exercise class?

(201 Posts)
HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 14-Apr-17 13:49:29

Okay, firstly this is lighthearted. I am well aware it is a first world problem. It's more of a pondering about human behaviour than anything else...

I do a barre-concept class every week. It's not at a studio or anywhere fancy (we don't even have a 'barre' but just use the wall) but at the local leisure centre. I enjoy it. There's a group of women who take it VERY SERIOUSLY. These are women in their 40s/50s. They are very pally with the instructor, if she's running even two min late they will stand in the front and offer to lead the class, wear designer gear (I mean they make a real effort with their appearance, hair and make up is done too) and 'save spaces' for each other.

My main bugbear is it's like they think they are still the 'cool girls' at school. The first time I went I grabbed a space and a woman says 'sorry but my friend usually stands there and she's running late'. I ignored her and the class started. The latecomer runs in. Woman next to me goes 'Lisa I saved you a space but this lady seems to have taken it, sorry!' Lisa huffily takes a space somewhere else.

There was an extra class today as it's a bank holiday so I went along. Exact same class as I go to every Saturday. One woman ( a regular) goes 'are you new? I have NEVER seen you before!' I said 'this is my 6th class', and she exclaims 'are you sure? I've never noticed you before!'

I just said 'I don't usually make a big thing about it, I just turn up'. She just made a comment about hoping I could 'keep up' with the class...

I still keep at it because it's a nice work out but I cringe all the way though the class at the clique. Lots of newcomers have come and not been back as it's not incredibly welcoming. It seems to be a minefield knowing where you are 'allowed' to stand and what colour weights are the preferred ones of the clique.

AIBU to think some people never grow out of the mindset of being at secondary school and part of the 'in crowd'? One lady who joined a week or so ago was complimented by one of the regulars on her water-container. She absolutely gushed her thanks, you'd think she'd just been told she was in line for a Nobel prize.

I don't have colleagues (nanny/pa) and no children so no 'school gate' experiences exactly, so I think it's just been a long time since I've been in any kind of environment where people are just thrown together. I just find it strange I guess. I thought all the cliqueness and being part of the cool gang got left behind long ago. I just want to do my class without listening to the tinkly laughs and the 'in-jokes' and worrying about where I can bloody stand!

Marshy Fri 14-Apr-17 13:56:01

I'd be going somewhere else. Life is too short for this kind of crap. They sound awful.

NotCarylChurchill Fri 14-Apr-17 13:58:36

Wow, they sound very very sad! Quiet word to the instructor? She can't be thrilled with brats chasing off customers and trying to teach her classes unqualified!

SoftlyCatchyMonkey1 Fri 14-Apr-17 14:00:02

Don't let it bother you. You're there for your workout, stand where you bloody well like. How sad that these women form cliques. They clearly have boring lives! I have done a variety of different activities over the years and don't really give any notice to those sorts of women. Just enjoy yourself whilst you're there. You'll probably find these women will notice you enjoying it and will befriend you anyway.

MargotFenring Fri 14-Apr-17 14:01:43

Ha, this made me smile, as it was the same at my Zumba group. They called themselves Zumbarettes FFS. They co-ordinated their outfits and vied for the instructors blessed smiles and thumbs ups.

I used to upset the Zumbarettes harmony by standing in their spaces, but only because I wanted a clear view of the instructor so I could see what I was supposed to be doing.

Don't get me started on the co-ordinated whoops and in jokes.... Ugh. I don't go anymore. I run. Alone smile

CakesAreBiscuitsToo Fri 14-Apr-17 14:02:01

Fucking hell some people have small lives, don't they?

I actually don't mind seeing shit like this as it reminds me not to close my world in too small.

Please, do something subversive to shock them!

Sybil59 Fri 14-Apr-17 14:03:10

They sound like a bunch of wankers who need taken down a peg or two. Grown women do not save spaces for each other, nor do they make snide remarks on the subject. It's utterly hilarious that your behaviour is considered inconsiderate and that a snidey comment is fair game. It's very clear who's on the wrong here.

Mothervulva Fri 14-Apr-17 14:05:44

I hate this sort of shit. Years ago I used to go to an aqua aerobics class at my local pool in the evening, one week I was off work so booked online to go during the day.
Whist I was waiting to go in one woman who was standing with a group of other 60 somethings came over and said:
'Are you new?'
Me. 'Not really, I go every week in the evening but first time to this day class'.
I thought she was being friendly wen she followed up with.
'Oh, well Sue couldn't come this week because it was booked up by you, we come every week'.
Once I'd recovered from her audacity I shrugged and said 'not my problem I'm afraid.''

She went back to her group chuntering. I couldn't believe the cheek of her.

Cookingongas Fri 14-Apr-17 14:07:21

I don't exercise but my school gate is just like this. I think you're right. The pack mentality doesn't go away. (In women and men- how many threads have we seen where men are peer pressured into stupid behaviour?!?! How? They're adults! But still, it happens)

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Fri 14-Apr-17 14:07:29

So she said she saved a spot for her friend next to her and you totally ignored her? Why were you so rude? Was there nowhere else for you to stand?

For all you know they've chosen this exercise together as a way to keep in touch.

If someone sat next to me in French class (if I'd told them the seat was saved obviously) so I couldn't spend that hour learning with my friend I would think they were very rude.

Floorblob Fri 14-Apr-17 14:07:54

Another one who stopped going to a Zumba group because of women like this! In my case this the instructor actually encouraged the wannabe instructor of the clique and let her lead some of the sections. It was very off putting .

wizzywig Fri 14-Apr-17 14:08:34

Ooh mothervulva !!! You badass taking Sue's place

citychick Fri 14-Apr-17 14:10:25

they coordinated their outfits

oh dear God..ha ha ha.

i suffered the same when i started yoga . complained to the gym reception and found another class

just crack on OP . nevermind the bullshit.

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Apr-17 14:10:33

Did they join as a group? How bizarre to try to set up your own gang in a class full of strangers!

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Apr-17 14:12:06

Zumbarettes.... Can you imagine what those loolas were like at school?

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 14-Apr-17 14:12:39

so glad it's not just me!

iwasjustabouttosaythat well, because she doesn't own the floor space, and she's not the instructor, so how can she tell me where to stand? Also if your friend is running late and you wanted to stand together then they should have got there on time! If you want to 'keep I touch', go for a coffee rather than talk through a class others have paid for hmm

TheWitTank Fri 14-Apr-17 14:13:01

Grim! They sound like a bunch of dicks.
I attend a class on a Sunday and as a group us regulars are close and chat, tend to use the same spaces, have in jokes etc. However, we ALWAYS welcome newcomers, make sure they feel comfortable, encourage them to join our conversations and help with any equipment they haven't used before. We had a new lady a few weeks back who really struggled to keep up and wanted to give up and not come back, but I encouraged her to give it another go, stand with me, and told her nobody was judging her abilities and to just have fun! She came back and is enjoying it. I would speak to the instructor one on one and tell her/him about the atmosphere and how off putting it is. If the class content is enjoyable and worthwhile then I wouldn't be pushed out, I would ignore the dicks, do the class quietly and use any space or equipment free (who saves spaces when they are over 12 hmm). If the class is mediocre I would leave and find a new one.

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 14-Apr-17 14:14:24

Zumbrettes made me laugh grin I can totally imagine the whooping...

I don't think they joined as a gang but are definitely very social with each other outside the class- they do the Pilates too which I don't do and have been going for years.

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Apr-17 14:14:50

Haha, I'd demand a refund if the session was led by the teacher's pet!!

Trb17 Fri 14-Apr-17 14:15:17

It never changes. Exclusion used as a weapon.

HarrietKettleWasHere Fri 14-Apr-17 14:15:39

She actually looked genuinely gutted when the real instructor came in and she had to step down...

Topuptheglass Fri 14-Apr-17 14:19:07

The cheeky sods!

Reminds me of a slimming class I used to go to!

I'd definitely mention it to the instructor - though she'll probably not care either way if she's getting paid anyway.

SapphireStrange Fri 14-Apr-17 14:20:09

If you like the class then keep going. Ignore the sad twats. You sound as though you can handle it – a lesser woman would have apologised for standing in the 'wrong' space and slunk off grin

There is similar in one of my gym classes; two factions who both seem to think a) it's highly important to be there early enough to 'get a space' in the front row and b) it's a crime if someone from the other faction is in the front row and –gasp –occasionally crosses the path of one of them during class (it's Zumba, it's fast and furious, people get in each other's way sometimes FFS).

One or other of the sides has a whispery bitch to me about it occasionally. I just stay pleasant and neutral.

People like this have just got nothing better to worry about.

Side note: can you tell us what your class involves? I do BalletFit so am interested!

YouOKHun Fri 14-Apr-17 14:21:41

This is why I don't do exercise classes any more. There always seem to be a line up of empty headed bints in the front row and an instructor who doesn't realise why she/he can only retain these few core customers and why newcomers melt away after one or two sessions. Of course it's not always the case but often enough to put me off.

ScarlettFreestone Fri 14-Apr-17 14:22:29


If your friend chooses to arrive late then you can move to sit next to her when she arrives. You can't save spaces at a paid for class!

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