Originally Posted by Gruff
This. Hugely irritating when people ask how many sets you have left. People can't seem to master the simple concept that if someone's already on equipment they want to use, just go do another exercise until said equipment opens up.
If someone's using equipment that I need, I just do something else until it's available. My workout isn't more important than theirs, and vice versa.
Originally Posted by OzzyJones
Pish! Perfectly acceptable to ask how many sets someone has left. What if they say one? You start doing something else and by the time you're finished someone else has the station.
I agree you shouldn't hang around like a fart in a spacesuit tho
I think that asking is perfectly fine, so long as you don't then crowd the person and try and rush them. That's dick. But asking is relevant. First off, you may have a "preferred" piece of equipment (one gym I go to has three squat racks, all different) and it might be worth waiting for your favorite rack if the person has only one set left, while you'll go to your second choice if they have four left. Secondly, order matters; for example it's much easier to press after squatting than vic versa. I'd rather wait it out than do something else that'll use up energy I need for my initial lifts.
However, I am a firm believer that when and where practical you should share. I've declined sharing, though, when someone offers to let me in, if it means changing height settings (too much wasted effort for both of us). There's also no excuse not to share when using cable machines. None at all. I'll also look for alternate locations to do certain exercises. If people are waiting for the squat rack, when I'm done squatting I'll leave and use the bar/plates from an unused bench to deadlift, because that is portable and their squats are not.
Finally, I think it's perfectly polite to ask if someone minds you working in on a for a different exercise that doesn't impact their settings. If I notice someone doing pulls off of the safety pins on a squat rack, I'll often ask if they mind me setting up a second bar, for squats, then rotating in with them. Sometimes I need to move their bar to the floor for my sets, but I always put it back for theirs. Doesn't restrict anyone's workout and makes more efficient use of equipment.