So I’m at the gym, patiently waiting for someone to finish their sets on an incline bench, and eventually the guy wraps it up, grabs his keys and bolts for the door.
I go to that bench and observe what he left behind: A reservoir of head-sweat dripping down the bench from where is hair-gelled melon used to be.
I cleaned that crap up because it’s just nasty. I encourage you, whatever you do, please don’t be that guy.
That was just one of many annoying things people do in a gym. It got me to thinking. If you don’t want to be “that guy” (or girl), here’s a list of things to avoid:
Don’t drop, slam or clang the weights. Dropping weights on the floor, even if they’re big, just makes you look like an attention-seeking douchenozzle. Same thing with the unnecessary clanging on dumbbell presses and flies. Doesn’t matter if they weigh 80, 90, or 100 pounds. Don’t drop, slam or clang them.
Don’t hog three stations at once unless there’s no one there. You like cross training? Super sets? Fine. But if it’s busy, have some consideration for others who are waiting on you to remove your towel, sweatshirt or water bottle from multiple stations. If this is too much to ask, go get your circuit training in at a Crossfit gym where circuits are organized for a group.
Don’t yell and scream while you lift. Again, it just makes you look like a douche. Inhale, then exhale. A low-audible grunt is acceptable. A war cry is not.
Clothe yourself appropriately. I don’t care about fashion in the gym, but don’t be ripping off your shirt (dudes) or coming into the gym looking like a pole dancer (gals). T-shirt, tank, shorts. It ain’t hard.
When you’re grabbing a pair of dumbbells from the rack, pick them up and move an acceptable distance from said rack so you’re not blocking others from grabbing the weights you’re standing in front of. A minor sin, but annoying nonetheless.
Don’t do a set every five minutes, spending the in-between time yucking it up with your buddies, yacking on the phone or texting whoever. You’re defeating your own workout and hogging a station others could be using much more efficiently – and effectively.
Don’t cheat. I mean, really. Bouncing the barbell off your chest while benching, doing half-squats, jerking your body around to muscle a weight up – don’t do it. You look stupid. You’ll hurt yourself. And you won’t get stronger. Use less weight and do it right. You’re not fooling anyone when you slam 405 pounds on the squat rack, lower yourself six inches and bounce back up.
On a similar vein, can we put a stake in the heart of all things kipping? You’re better off doing sets of five real pull-ups than sets of 25 kipping “muscle-ups.”
Pick up after yourself. Please, for the love of all that is good and holy, clean up your mess! If you drag out 5 pairs of dumbbells, put them all back where they belong. Did you use a lot of plates? Fine. Put ‘em back. Don’t leave some crazy mess that only a 5-year-old could dream up. You’re not leaving tips to the gym staff or other exercisers to pick up after you. Trashing out a gym floor and leaving the mess behind is the height of narcissistic douchebaggery.
Unless you can actually use the speed bag, leave it alone. There’s nothing more annoying than some wanna-be tough guy trying to be Rocky Balboa or Randy Couture while noisily fumbling around with a speed bag.
Keep your opinions to yourself. Unsolicited advice to other exercisers is almost routinely unwanted. You annoy the person you’re talking to and make yourself look like a know-it-all. If the person wants advice, he/she will ask.
I’m sure there are more. Lots more. Let me know what they are.
And please. Don’t be that guy.
On Twitter @RMHigh7088