The Downtown YMCA, where I belonged when I lived in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, banned cell phones from the moment you went into the locker room. Cell phones were banned from the exercise floor, from classes, from the pool area, from the basketball and squash courts. You could use your cell in the lobby, where there were comfortable chairs and people often sat to relax and drink coffee, but nowhere else.
My new gym makes no rules about cell phones, and so they are highly visible on the workout floor. The people who are there working out when I usually go — late morning — are much younger than those who filled the exercise floor at the Downtown Y. I think these young people must work from home, and use a late morning workout as a break. They are on the cardio machines, or using the free weights or resistance machines, with cell phone in hand. They lift a little, then stop and check out their phones. If they are running on the treadmill, many ignore the large screen TV’s scattered around and the individual TV’s on each machine in favor of ear buds and a cell.
I have enough trouble holding form and focusing on what I’m doing without trying to consult my phone at the same time, so I lock my phone up along with my small purse, my ball cap, sweatshirt if I’ve worn one, and anyone else that’s extraneous to the workout. That other people have cell phones doesn’t bother me at all. I’m just interested in how hard it is these days to go without a phone for any length of time, even the hour that most people who come to a gym spend working out.