T Nation

What To Do About Neighbor?


Hey everyone,
I have a question for the board. I have a portable heavy bag that I got as a gift last year. I use it 1-2 times a week when I'm unable to get to my MMA gym and workout. Yes, it does make noise as it slides a bit when you hit it with some force.

I live on the top floor of an apartment complex. My neighbor directly below me is a shut-in. She's seriously left her apartment I think maybe 5 times in the 3 years I've lived here. So, she's always home. She's complained a couple of times about the noise from the bag and claimed it's caused pictures from her wall to fall (even though nothing's even fallen in my apt., even my CD rack which holds 500 CD's and is a bit fragile).

We do have a porch so now that the weather's nice I was going to move it out there. The bag will still make noise, but I figure if it's outside, then she has less room to complain, espeically if I'm using it in the middle of the day.

I'm thinking of buying some type of matting to put down to try and reduce some of the noise.

Should I bother with that or just set the bag up out there and let her deal with it? Only thing I worry about is her complaining to the office and then having to deal with them. I'd talk with her, but she's seriously afraid to open her door.

Any other suggestions?



Moving it outside should help some. I'd go ahead and put a good rubber mat down under it as well. That will help keep it from sliding as well as help isolate some of the vibrations.

You say that you cant talk to her because she's scared to open the door. I'm assuming its an elderly lady since she's a shut in. I'd go down there and try to talk to her some more, maybe offer to do some little tasks she has trouble with like carry her trash to the dumpster or something like that. Getting on good terms would keep her from complaining to the managment as quickly.


A pre emptive strike: First, I would talk to the management. Your situation sounds reasonable with midday training sometimes for a hour or less. Tell them the situation and see if they aware of this kooky neighbor of yours. I'm sure the landscape crew makes this much noise on a regular basis. There are some people who will complain no matter what.


Definitely going to get a rubber mat...any suggestions on where to get one? I was thinking Sports Authority but wasn't sure if the quality was good.

I could go try and talk with her again. She's in her mid 40's, I'd say. Only thing is, she hardly ever opens the door if you knock. Even when maintenance comes to change out the air filters she refuses to open the door, so they sit it outside and she eventually picks it up. I feel bad for her.


My wife said the same thing. Thankfully there's a new assistant manager that is reasonable, so I'll talk with her. The manager isn't very nice and often brushes complaints or suggestions aside without listening.


I'm not sure moving it out would help. The problem is the whole framing is moving.

  1. Offer to observe the pictures moving and have a friend use the bag and see what happens. No way a landscaping crew would "Shake" a house.

  2. You live upstairs. I HATED being downstairs. Even when the 2 cats upstars ran it was VERY loud and that's like 20 lbs.

  3. If you only use it a couple tims a week, then why not move it outside and downstairs for the workout?


you could get one at a sporting goods store, but alott of them are fairly thin and can tear.

I'd look into a cargo mat for a Truck bed or if you have a farmers supply store or co-op near by look for a mat to use in horse stalls and trailers. You can cut these to size to fit your area. Also look at www.jefffers.com for the stall mats.

If they can withstand a horse with metal shoes they can hold up under your bag


you should probably quit being a dick. you live in an apt. she has the right to peace and quiet with out you invading her privacy.

maybe you are knocking stuff off of her walls. you are concentrating more kinetic energy downwards than up.

she has every right to complain.

get a house, move to the bottom floor or go to a park with your bag.


The OP is not being a dick. He sounds like he's being very considerate of his neighbor and is trying to work out the situation to everyone's satisfaction, ie, looking around for a mat and other ways to reduce the noise/vibration. It sounds like the neighbor has some issues and the OP should be commended in his efforts to work things out.


If you want peace and complete quiet, don't live in an apartment complex. He's not being a dick, he's looking for ways around it.

I'd definitely speak with management about it first, or even at the same time as your neighbor. Try to work out a comprimise, or even find out if you have to move it at all.

You can't expect to not hear a thing when you're living around other people.

Ask the neighbor (maybe when you're with the manager) if you can see/hear how bad it is. Sometimes walls and ceilings are thinner than one would think, and sometimes the person complaining is being unreasonable. You have to see for yourself.


Yea, within reason though. Why would there be rules about noise levels after a certain time?

If everyone has a right to "peace and quiet", there wouldn't be a time restriction on certain noise levels.

Some noise is, and should be acceptable in the middle of the day. How much noise is up to the manager to say.


Is it really that huge of an issue to not give up those 1 or 2 times a week you use the bag at home? Might be less grief for you in the long run.

I'm also a downstairs neighbor to someone and you would be suprised how much sound comes through the floors in the older/poorly built apartments.


Thanks for all the replies and for all the backup. Not sure why I'd be called a dick when as others have said, I'm being very reasonable and trying to come up with a solution to please everyone.

I figure if worse comes to worse I can get a dolly and move the bag downstairs. While it's not ideal for me, I would do it if the noise really was that bad.

Hopefully talking with management and the neighbor (preferably at the same time), we can work something out.


I agree with rockscar. My wife and I bought a house quicker than we planned on because our downstairs apartment was so loud. We had an upstairs neighbor that was always traveling.

When he moved out the new folks were very loud. Even activities that shouldn't have made a lot of noise sounded very loud downstairs. I can't imagine what a punching bag would sound like. Bringing it outside would be the considerate thing to do.


Hey bro that sounds like the best idea and you seem like a gentleman.

You'll never regret showing an act of kindness and consideration to a shut-in. And if she's only 40 I'm sure she's fighting bigger demons everyday then you or me.

Besides humping that bag up and down the stairs sounds like cardio to me:)


Yeah, I definitely feel sorry for her because I can relate somewhat to what's she's going through, as I have anxiety issues of my own. Thankfully, being outdoors or around people doesn't bother me.

Trekking the bag up and down the stairs would definitely be a workout in and of itself; even with a dolly.


You might want to check your lease agreement. In my apartment complex you are not allowed to run a surround system. Although it sucks you can't do certain things you have to consider everyones situation. Maybe she works from home and while she is trying to work she doesn't need to hear her roof thumping in. I work a 3-11 shift so when I'm home relaxing before I have to go to work the last thing I want to do is hear someone elses noise. Check the lease you signed, you might not have a leg to stand on. Also regardless of what time of day it is the noise does have to be with in reason.


After further evaluation, I think even if I move it out to the patio and put flooring down, the noise is still going to be too much. I do agree if I lived below someone this would be something I wouldn't want to hear.

So, I'm either going to buy a dolly and wheel the thing up and down 3 flights of stairs and do my workouts on the sidewalk/grass area or go talk with the office and see if I can either store the bag in the office and then move it into the fitness center when I want to use it; or see if the office has any interest in buying the bag from me to add to the fitness center equipment.