View Full Version : Workout Room Side Effects

01-10-2004, 04:40 PM
The Chairman and sole member of the Olfactory Committee here at Chez keno informed me that the workout room was beginning to smell like a gym. Go figure. Anyhow, if she had a better sniffer, she would have noticed about a year ago. Worse yet, the workout room is just below the Chairman's and my bedroom, and she further informed me that the aroma was even creeping into the bedroom.

What methods have you who pray at the altar of the indoor trainer used to minimize or eliminate the odiferous by-product of wattage in your workout rooms?


01-10-2004, 05:02 PM
I suggest a hostile overthrow of the Chairman. Let the Chairman know that you won't be pushed around. Tell her that it is your house too. Uh-oh my Chairman just walked in. She just gave me the look. Now she is picking up the lamp. She just explained to me that what I meant to say was that you should be subserviant to the Chairman and do as she says. All kidding aside, I don't have an odor problem in my indoor gym. I have turned off the heat ducts in that room and I run a dehumidifier. I also run a fan when I ride. As a result of these three things the air stays dry and cool and the room does not get that smell of a gym. The cool dry air also makes my time on the trainer a little more tolerable.


01-10-2004, 05:28 PM
Shampoo the carpet

Use lots of Lysol disinfectanct spray (germs cause the odor)

Put a mat under your trainer / bench and wash or wipe down often

Get a big dog that smells worse than your workout room

01-11-2004, 07:27 AM
good place for a "stickup" air freshener.

Ahneida Ride
01-11-2004, 09:43 AM
Get the Chairman to Workout with greater intensity then you ?

01-11-2004, 10:23 AM
My "workout room"--where I keep the rollers--is also directly under the bedroom. It's the garage. We open the garage door and, voila, fresh air.

I also use a sweatnet thing on the bike. It really does catch a fair bit of the sweat. Once in a while (not all that often, truth be told) I wash it.

01-11-2004, 10:48 AM
tell her to put some potpouri (sp?) in the bedroom. Women love that stuff.

01-11-2004, 11:42 AM
It sounds like to will need to rebaseline the "smell" in the room. Lysol works to kill germs that cause odors (HAHA).

"Fabreeze" is a name brand product that works wonders to actually remove stains and ODOR from things like rugs, chairs, and other fabric items. I also put a removable, washable "pad" under the trainer so it can be put in the washer. This protects the permenant items in the room.

Good luck

01-11-2004, 11:51 AM

You don't mention size/volume of room, floor and wall surfaces nor your climate. Lacking such info, I'll instead detail our home gym which lacks any gym-bourne odors.

We moved 3 years ago to an early 20th century home that my wife wanted to have a little fun with. Our previous home was a homogenous single level rancher with 9' flat celings throughout and basically no architectual grace or appeal other than the level 1.5 acre lot. I however had one condition before buying into this 'new home', I must be able to have a dedicated home gym. For me that ended up being down stairs off back entry because it was well ventilated and isolated from most of the living space. In our former home I had used the pool house as a gym and from that had mostly learned what worked and definitely what did not.

The first consideration should be adequate ventilation. For this I had bi-fold glass doors installed; it has a single french door for egress but when I'm going to work out, the balance of the exterior wall which appears to be large windows when closed can be swung open like a bifold which opens to a large patio with western exposure. When open, the opening is 8' x 17' which provides plenty of ventilation. If this type of setup is not practical for you, consider increasing size of windows and doors if at all practical, ventilation is everything. My gym is approximately 24'x32'x10' which I beleive also helps mitigate the sweatbox effect. We have also installed 2 very large ceiling fans with blade pitch and direction oriented for downward airflow; this in effect forces warm, dry air downward moderating humidity. Bay Area climate also helps in that summertime humidity rarely reaches above 60%.

I personally think the most important factor, well perhaps next to adequate ventilation, is floor and wall coverings. Do not use carpeting or rugs! The smell stems from bacteria, mold, mildew and fungus, all items that may be hosted by carpeting. Also avoid porous floor covering like concrete products, wood or natural stone. We used porcelain tiles. For grout, be sure to specify epoxy based grouts, the standard Portland Cement based grouts are porous, require sealing/maintainence and eventually can host organisms like mold, etc. Use rubber mats for sit ups and other areas that may benefit from a resilient floor surface -- I put them in free weight area and at yoga/stretching area. The room had plaster walls and wood ceilings when we bought it. In the gym, the ceiling was plastered (also some insulation was added) and all walls were painted with a special primer designed for wet areas which contains a mildicide. The finish paint also had a mildicide added when being mixed.

For HVAC duty, I would suggest not using the home's central forced air system. Our home uses in-floor hydronic radiant heat so its not a problem. I would suggest a small in-floor radiant system using electric coils if you not have a boiler or a decent baseboard/wall heater. Even with good ventilation and good floor/wall covering choices, there is going to be some stale, air-borne smell you do not want being pumped throughout home in a forced air system.

I would also suggest you carefully plan layout. Highly aerobic gear like treadmills, Nordic track, rowing machine and/or bike rollers be placed nearest large ventilation openings. Strectching areas, freeweights, situp areas and the like can be placed away from largest ventilation opening.

Always have adequate supply of clean terry cloth towels with you, wipe down equipment after each usage. Remove used towels after each session, let them smell up laundry room where nobody 'lives'! The floors get mopped weekly with disinfectant solution and all mats get washed down and dried outside.

We also put those "plug-in" air fresheners in one of the electrical recepticles. I think it takes a bit if trial and error with those, some of them are very pungent and not easy on my olfactory senses. Set them to lowest setting, away from ventilation and find a mild smelling one, you'll be ok. My wife uses the gym with me on a daily basis plus I host training sessions with local young athletes 2-4 time/wk, yet I would honestly say the smell of gym is nothing like a gym. In fact my wife would never work out there if it smelled in the least like a gym.

It may seem like an overwhelming task or list of modifications but working out in a pleasant smelling gym is alot funner and most changes are pretty minor weekend jobs for a good carpenter. Best of luck to you and your pleasant smelling gym.

Too Tall
01-12-2004, 10:18 AM
Concrete floors.

We recycle our bath towels for "Gym" use after a few yrs. Toss an old towel down to catch sweat and use it to wipe everything down after.

Fabreeze? Is that UCI approved?

01-12-2004, 12:09 PM
After carefully reading the excellent advice offered by many, I opted to try as a first step purchasing some Lysol spray disinfectant to apply liberally to my workout room. I even went so far as to buy the giant size.

After working out yesterday, I excitedly remove the cannister from the A&P bag, read the directions (a New Year's resolution), and pressed the push button. Well, the damn thing broke and disinfectant leaded down the side of the cannister. My right hand no longer smells like the rest of me.

Having had no success with that one, I have a contractor coming over later in the week to discuss leveling and rebuilding the house. Short of that I'll sell the place and move to a warmer climate.


01-12-2004, 03:06 PM
do you have a dog?
if so, feed the dog peanut butter. smooth or crunchy, your choice.
watch the dog try to eat it. funny as h*ll.
then stand back. (just don't stand directly behind the dog.)
your wife won't notice the smell of your gym. trust me.
always happy to offer a helpful suggestion.