Friday, March 11, 2011

Gym Etiquette

One of the most interesting things about the gym I work at, is that for many of our members, it is their first gym experience. Because of the neighborhood we are in (a more affluent, older part of Boston) we didn't start to get a younger crowd until just recently.

This creates the scenario in which we have a lot of members with really poor gym etiquette. Things that you learn as your gym-age increases is taken for granted here, and has to be taught to people in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Small things as well as big things; putting your towel in the bin, wiping down benches, re-racking your weights, understanding how "working in" works. These are the kinds of things most people learn early on in their gym life; you start off being an idiot in your shitty high school weight room, grow up a little in your college meathead gym, and then get a little more refined when you join your first $30/month gym when you get your first job.

Meat factory

By the time you get to the upscale wellness club, you've learned how to act like a human when you're at the gym (hopefully). 

Not so, at my facility. People are occasionally oblivious as to their surroundings. Guys on their phone in the locker room, people using 4 benches at a time, working in on your set without asking, leaving 95 lbs on Every.Single.Bar. 

(Seriously, who is squatting, benching, curling and "deadlifting" with 95 lbs AT THE SAME TIME?!?!?!)

This guy. 95 lbs.

Thankfully, our clients have done a pretty okay job of learning the "rules" of the gym as we have grown; for the most part. 

Here's a couple of things you can do to make everyones experience at the gym a better one:

1) If you see a guy do any exercise with 3 or more plates on one side of a BARBELL, leave him alone. Forever. He is at the gym to train, not pussyfoot around. 
2) Don't talk on your cell phone. If you can't leave life behind for 45 minutes to get in a work-out, then you don't have the time to be in the gym anyway. Plus, no one gives a damn about your conversation.
3) Leaving your plates on any implement is just plain rude. It is annoying both ways; if I have to take 80 lbs of 10's off of the bar, it is annoying. If I have to unload 400 lbs of plates off of the leg press so that I can squat, it is annoying. Don't do it.
4) If you're doing multiple sets of an exercise (which is fine) please don't take 9 minutes between sets to talk to your buddy about the Celtics game. Hurry up with your cable chest fly's so that I can do my Pallof Presses.
5) Quit the posturing; you don't need to grunt THAT loudly to curl 25 lbs. And don't chuck your DBs like that; no matter how hard you drop them, 40 lb dumbbells dont sound like 80's.
6) You're dripping sweat? Cool, its the gym. Wipe your gooch sweat off the seated row when you're done with it, though.
7) If you need to work in with someone, ask. But don't ask to work in if you have to change ALL the weights and the bar placement; that is just annoying.
8) This last one is not so common, but still pretty important: try not to stink. I know it's a gym but, please, try not to stink TOO badly.

Follow these rules, and you won't piss anyone off at the gym.

Now, go lift something heavy!

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