Do you have problems with group fitness instructors playing their music too loud or screaming into their microphones?
The gym that I work at has an open gymnasium, meaning that aside from 4 walls, the "ceiling" is non-existent. It's just open space that leads into the area of the workout centre. Thus, everyone within the workout centre can hear music blasting from the gym. Not only that, we have a small corner close by the tracks that's used for spin class. There are only 13 bikes in that area. It too is an open area, so aside from 2 walls, there aren't any other walls to absorb sound.
Quite often, it seems like the group fitness instructors who uses these areas are unaware of their sound levels. The trainers and gym members have made complaints about the noise level, and although addressed with the instructors and the supervisors/managers on several occasions, it seems to go unchecked or ignored after a while.
I would think that a requirement for the group fitness instructors would be to ensure appropriate sound levels for the group size and they are working with. I know personally that I had to sometimes talk to my clients very loudly so they can hear me over the music (even at the far ends of the workout centre where it shouldn't be possible for the music to reach us). Should a health and safety inspector come in to check on things, I would think that sound levels for these classes would be written as an environmental health and safety risk.
Has any trainer (or even other group fitness instructors) had any problems like this? If so, what actions did you take? Had you had to address this issue with the instructors/supervisors/managers? If so, what was the outcome of this for you? I hope I'm not the only one with this problem (or even my workplace being the only location that has issues like this).
I know there are ordinances about environmental safety in the workplace, including OSHA regulations on sound levels. You might want to consider printing them out and bringing them to the attention of management. Perhaps knowing they are in violation of safety laws may help them crack down. You can also download apps to read the decible level to prove that the music is at an unsafe level.
This is an industry wide problem; I bring ear plugs to fitness conferences to protect my ears. Most conferences (including IDEA's, and the worst offender ECA) have classes that are at ear shattering levels. It is disturbing that an industry based on health promotes sound levels that cause hearing damage. I stopped attending ECA because my complaints about the music fell on deaf ears (sorry, couldn't resist). Most people I have confronted on this claim that "their students want it loud". Even if this is true I feel we should educate our students about hearing damage, not give in to them. I would love to hear others on a resolution for how we can be leaders about this.
I hope that this helps.
Sorry I got so wordy! To summarize:
1) Instructor awareness
2) Customer awareness
3) Transparent Scheduling so everyone knows what classes are when etc.
Good luck - this can be tricky! For every person who wants the volume down, there is probably someone who wants it cranked up.
usually the only way to get management attention is to have the members complain. If they feel that people will find another gym, is gets attention.
My hearing is very sensitive and it actually hurts me to be exposed to loud music. As a member of that club, I would quit.
In fact, when I go to the IDEA conventions and walk by fitness classes with music, I usually found it too loud for my taste. But as the others have stated, for any one who does not like the volume, there is another member who calls it 'energizing'.
You can speak to management about looking into sound baffle panels which may help absorb some of the sound.
You can also test the sound levels with management and one or two of your instructors - using the guidelines for decibel levels provided below agree to a reasonable level, then mark it on the sound system.
Even with those strategies in place, unless you absorb the sound by closing in the room, the sound will bounce and carry. NOT an ideal situation, but increasing the awareness for everyone involved will help you work toward a solution.
From ACSM Resources for the Group Fitnesss Instructor (LWW 2011)
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established safety standards for noise levels based on approximately 60 minutes of continuous exposure. Based on the OSHA guidelines, IDEA Health & Fitness Association (1997) recommends the following with regard to music volume in the fitness class
• Music intensity during a group exercise class should not exceed 90 dB.
• Since an instructor’s voice needs to be heard, the instructor’s voice should not exceed 100 dB. Exposure at that level should last no longer than 1 hour.
• To motivate clients, fitness instructors should use creativity and enthusiasm instead of raising music vol-ume, and they should educate clients about the risks of continuous exposure to excessive music volume.
Best of luck,
IMembers bear a great deal of responsibility as well, instructors and trainers are so eager to do whatever the member wants, compromising their values, decorum and integrity.
I was leading out in a TRX class the other day, right next to my class area are punching bags, so the trainer comes in and starts training a small group. It was loud, my class kept looking a t me, was a distraction. So, I asked twice to keep it down, but to no avail.
I agree; noise levels are usually too high. I keep the volume on the quieter side for the clients to enjoy each other's company in the class. We do not want to disturb anyone else, either.
My ACE Group Fitness Instructor c. 2011 book says the music volume should be under 85 decibels. References in approximations are: normal conversation in quiet place is 60-70 dB, alarm clock ring two feet away is 80 dB, chainsaw is 100 dB, and a jet plane takeoff is 120 dB. OSHA says ear protection needed for workers exposed to 90 dB over eight hour period. Extended exposure to above 85 dB can damage hearing as well as the instructor's voice. The clients should be able to hear their own voice clearly at all times.
So, there you have it. We need to be the responsible ones to speak up and gently remind people about health issues.
Most instructors would insist that volume added energy therefore they would not turn it down.
You can research and be aware of all the "guidelines" but that won't necessarily bring you your desired result.
You may want to look for a different facility that better suits your needs.
Are you the only trainer complaining, is it your clients only complaining?
If that's not the case bring it to the attention of the dept. head & so on, everyone has a boss...
If management is not willing to implement more courtesy towards the complaint it may be that the participants are enjoying the class & maybe it has a good following...
If facility meetings are had get it on the agenda for the next improvement discussion, present the info provided by diligent research ladies and ask others to speak up...
other than that that's some gym politics 4 ya...
Appreciate that this is an old post but if you're still struggling with these issues you might consider www.wireless-fitness.com. It's a solution to silence your spin classes so that noise disturbances are a thing of the past.
Loads of spin studios in London are using them theses days. check out www.cykl-haus.com as an example.