I thought this one was an excellent follow up article to the article titled “Gym Creatures” that I did awhile back, where we discussed the best and funniest stories of idiots in the gym.
Then, I decided it was time to follow it up with a question to you all. Are you a gym idiot?
What do I mean by asking that? Well, read below and we’ll find out if you or your friends are what I like to call, “gym idiots.”
I honestly couldn’t even begin to tell you just how many idiots I see at the gym on a daily basis. Myself, along with many others who work out and train daily, or at least regularly, have developed a keen eye for spotting gym “idiots.” In fact, we’ve gotten so we can name them as soon as they’ve walked through the door.
These guys have absolutely no idea what they’re doing or even why they bother coming to the gym. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t really care that certain people look dumb when in the gym. Hell, I even did an article as I stated above discussing this (link to gym creatures article)
What actually bothers me about these idiots is 1.) These people are actually cheating themselves out of a solid workout and making gains. “And this affects me, how?” you ask?
Well the amount of idiots who spread BAD information out to youngsters or anyone just starting training. For example, look at the reputation anabolic steroids has obtained just through idiots who join the gym and after 2/3 weeks are blasting out 500/600mg of testosterone 2/3 times a week and screwing themselves up. It’s ridiculous!.
And God forbid one of these idiots talk to an enthusiastic teenager, especially a young woman! “Oh, you shouldn’t do squats! You shouldn’t…” and I could go on.
Point number 2 is that that they actually make the gym environment a lot less enjoyable for everyone else. Where do you think all of the stereotypes about regular gym-goers came from? These clowns of course. I am going to give you the 8 Simple Rules of Gym Etiquette. Abide by the following eight rules of gym etiquette and you’ll not only instantly look a much more experienced and professional individual, but much more important you’ll give others the best possible chance to have a kick ass workout! And hopefully inspire others to follow suit.
- Rule number 1. Get the !@#$ off your cell phone. This is my #1 and many others pet peeve. Among all else, it’s even worse than the fat, lazy people who stand still on the airport moving walkways (they’re not rides, it’s not an amusement park, we actually have somewhere to go!). The gym is a place to lift heavy, work hard, never give up and kick some ass. What does this mean? Work hard! NOT check your voice mail, text, or make calls, or check e-mail.
If you’re on your phone, your work ethic is at the level of a new born. I mean it. You are immediately discredited and you appear as if you really don’t give a shit about what you’re doing. Exercise with purpose and with intensity. Otherwise, why even bother going down? Not only are you wasting your time. You’re a waste to everyone else’s when you sit on the bench texting, when the guy next to you wants to load up 400lbs.
We don’t give a shit if Cindy’s moved houses, we don’t care what panties Sarah wears, and we definitely don’t care if your mother wants a Mars bar from the nearest vending machine.
So put down that cell phone, it’s the only way you’ll achieve your goals. Get rid of all the other distractions too, your cell phone is a biggie, so get rid of it.
- Rule number 2. Put back your weights after you are done using them! If you use dumbbells or load a barbell, be courteous and decent enough to return what you used back to its original spot. It’s really not that hard. I have two major reasons for this. 1) If a barbell is loaded or dumbbells are sitting next to a bench, it sends out a message and signals to other lifters that the equipment is still in USE, when obviously it isn’t.
If you leave weights behind on the floor it prevents others from using the equipment. 2) Why should someone else have to clean up after your mess? Seriously, would you want to clean up after their’s? If you use equipment, it’s NOT, I repeat, NOT the job of other lifters or gym employees to move the weights that you used. It honestly doesn’t take an unnecessary amount of time and energy to return weights, re-rack your weights after you’re done.
- You’d think this one was an obvious one, but evidently, it isn’t! Don’t stand in front of the damn weight racks. If you’re using dumbbells, use them away from the rack! I can’t tell you how frustrating it is for me and any other gym user when I’m trying to get a set of dumbbells, but some IDIOT is doing curls! (Had to be curls, didn’t it?) There they are right in front of the rack blocking it. It’s really not difficult, all you really need to do is stand up, walk to an open area and you are done!
- Stop admiring yourself. Everyone loves looking at themselves and admiring the Greek God like body they’ve spent hours upon hours in the gym sculpting, but remember, you’re not at home in your bathroom staring at yourself, you are instead, in a public place.
Staring at yourself, flexing excessively, and pulling up your shirt to show off your abs all fall into the category of being a conceited individual. If I was taking my top off in a room full of guys and doing poses, what would you think about me, eh? You don’t look good. You look like an idiot. Everyone around you thinks you’re an idiot (and I really do mean EVERYONE), and trust me, you don’t look good or cool in the slightest, no matter how sexy your mother says your body is. Do it in the locker room or in the privacy of your own home.
- Stop hitting on women. This one’s mainly for guys, but it’s honestly a huge no-no. Trying to pick up women in the gym is one of the saddest and pathetic things I see guys doing on a daily basis. Women at the gym are typically focused on one thing: Their workout—and so they should be, and they honestly don’t want to be bothered by some idiot throwing around inappropriate remarks.
I guarantee you that they’ll either A.) ignore you or B.) give you a disgusted look, but I’d prefer they did C.) and slap you. You know what you are really doing? What you’re doing is throwing off their workout and pissing them off. Add this to making yourself look stupid. Respect a woman’s space in the gym. If you wouldn’t constantly pester a male there, what makes you think it’s clever or even appropriate to do this to a female? Focus on your workout and leave her be. If she asks for help or advice that’s one thing, but keep everything appropriate.
- Number 6 is, again, one you’d expect everyone to do but unfortunately, they don’t. It’s simple. Respect people’s space when they’re training. What I’m saying is, use some common sense if someone is doing a set of wide grip pull ups or benching, don’t go up to them and start speaking to them. And god forbid DO NOT walk past someone squatting and knock the door. Some arsehole did this to me on a 600lb squat, the first time I’d ever attempted it. Want to know what happened? I had his head crunched onto the nearest bench, and had others not been there, I’m sure his injury would have been a lot worse than it was. If someone is in the process of working out, DO NOT talk to them, ask if you can use the equipment next, distract them, or crowd their space (this is assuming they’re not standing in front of the weight rack, in that case do what you want).
It’s beyond being completely disrespectful to interfere with someone when they’re smack dab in the middle of a hard as hell set, if they are pushing themselves to hit a new max. Wait until they finish their set and then kindly move along with your business.
- Do some research and get a good routine! One of the things that bothers me most is when people use awful form in the gym, so bad it’s actually dangerous. I see this a lot on overhead press. A guy will lift a weight too heavy, attempt to push press it then go backwards and forwards. Not only will you be looking at injury, you can cause a lot of injury to those around you! Be mindful! So many people throw weights around like floppy fish, throwing their arms everywhere back and forth, thinking that they’re actually doing something productive. They’re not. Using proper, strict form and doing exercises correctly while lifting heavy weights is so important for getting maximal results and preventing injury.
Get your thighs parallel to the ground on squats. Tuck your elbows into your sides during bicep curls and triceps extensions. Don’t under any circumstances arch your back during deadlifts. These are the fundamental skills that so many people lack, and honestly, you really shouldn’t just do a little research, watch a YouTube video, or ask an experienced friend. It doesn’t matter. It takes a little bit of work to vastly improve the quality of your workout. And that little bit of work gives you GREAT results! Besides being more effective, you’ll automatically look 100x more experienced and proficient.
- Wipe down. If you sweat all over a bench or machine, don’t worry about it, simply just wipe it down with some disinfectant wipes. No one wants your sweat or germs on their clothes, but at the same time, no one cares if you’ve had a hard workout or sweat. Good luck to you.
Anything else you see idiots do in the gym? Leave a comment below.