Why do so many gyms just show sports?


I need to get this pet peeve off my chest. It is the weekend. I like to work out. I hate to watch sports while working out. Unfortunately, sometimes, sports is the only thing showing at the gym. Any gym. I can be on the road. I can be at my physical therapy gym. I can be at my home building’s gym. The past three weeks, the televisions on every single one of  the machines at my home gym only show three channels and they are ESPN version 1, 2, and 3.


Let me take a step back  and note that I like sports.  I prefer watching sports live than on a television. But even then, I grew up watching baseball on the television. I get a kick of watching the superbowl for the actual game.  And I totally get into watching tennis on TV. I am great at sports trivia. I don’t fear the category of sports on Trivial Pursuit as I tend to do rather well with it.   Thus, this rant is not about gender or gender dynamics, if that is what anyone thought I was heading towards.


Here is the thing. I hate having few choices of what to watch. Who doesn’t, really?  Why is there an assumption that if only three channels will be shown at a gym, that they should be sports related. Many of the individuals that work out, do not play or care for sports. Many work out for health and vanity reasons (let’s be real, right). Maybe during the old days people who worked out more tended to be into sports. But that is just not the case anymore (if that was ever true). Here is another thing, I prefer to watch horror films while working out. I tend to think that if I were in a horror film, I would be able to out walk or run the villain. Such a scene would motivate me on the treadmill.  Give me a horror scene over a basketball game while I am on the elliptical. I do not need to see buffed individuals playing hard while I am working out. I am working out. I am already motivated. I must say I had gotten used to watching the TV show Grimm on the machines. It was often darkly lit scenes that I had to really stare into to follow. That easily kept me interested and preoccupied to the point that I wouldn’t notice for how long I had been working out.


Another problem with watching sports all the time at the gym, is that I do at times let out a big cheer and feel like an idiot. I cannot quietly watch a sports game even when I don’t have a team I am necessarily rooting for. I have to scream, yell, curse and woop it up. Watching sports at the gym can be quite disruptive in that way.  If I had watched that game 7 of the Cubs World Series while working out, I probably would have injured myself.  The game had so many ups an downs and agony points. No way I wouldn’t have fallen off the machine when the Indians tied the game in the 8th inning.


This whole thing is a silly pet peeve, I know.  I suppose there are worse things in life. I far prefer to watch posts than not have a gym at which to workout.  I try to keep things in perspective. I once was oversees in Panama where the hotel gym was only playing William Hung videos. Now that was torture.

He seems like he is a good guy in real life. However, watching his videos makes one want to grab some weights and bang one’s head against them. That’s not good.  So, yes, I’d rather watch the Lakers lose yet again than a William Hung video.


My goodness! The sophie choices we are faced with these days.

5 replies »

  1. I guess I’m lucky. My gym has 24 TV’s lined up and you can tune in to any one of them while working out. They also have the closed-caption going for those who don’t have ear buds with them.


  2. I belive gyms show sports or have sports nations like espy as there default channel because when you think of exercising you think of athletes. Most people at the gym are looking to get exercise, train for sports, or simply better there lives. I think some guys put on sports as a little motivation.


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