I am the last person who should be creating anything resembling a rule for working out, so I’m going to call these “suggestions.” I will say, though, that as a gym member for going on six months now (longest gym commitment ever!) I feel like I am in the position to discuss (read: bitch about) some of the etiquette breaches and plain old stupidity I see on a weekly basis.
So, listen up, douches:
- Re-rack your weights. For the love of god, Beefcake, you are in this gym as often—probably more—as I am. You are not blind, so you also see that not everyone in here can lift/bench/press/push/kick/groan at 800 pounds. So for fuck’s sake, when you’re done working on your chiseled man-boobs or thighs of steel, can you please put the goddamn weights back on the rack? This is Gym Rat 101, by the way. I might be willing to assume you can’t read the signs posted everywhere, but I know you had to fill out a three-page contract to get in here so that’s not going to fly.
- Wipe down the equipment after you use it. I don’t care if you just did two squats, you touched the handles of the machine with your sweaty hands, therefore you should wipe them off. There are containers of sanitizing wipes stationed all over the gym, too, so it’s not like you have to bring your own towel. Don’t be gross.
- Don’t use your cellphone in the locker room. There are signs posted about this, too, and while I can’t speak to how well the rule is followed in the men’s room, I can tell you that the women blatantly ignore it. And I am not pissed about this rule-breakage because I think someone is going to snap pictures of me mid-pants-change. What irritates me is when I am trying to change into my workout clothes and all of the benches (and sometimes standing room) are occupied by teenage girls texting or Facebooking. You’re at the gym, for fuck’s sake. Go make use of that membership and use your phone on an elliptical like everyone else does.
- Don’t spend all day on one machine, especially when you see people are waiting to use it. I get that you want your pecs to look bitchin’, brah. But if you’ve been at a non-cardio machine for going on 30 minutes and you notice the same three people meekly circling you, that’s a sign that you’re being a douche and should maybe get up and use something else for a while. Your overworked muscles will probably thank you, too.
- Don’t work out in jeans and hiking boots. I know that clothes marketed as “workout clothes” can be crazy expensive, and maybe you just want to try out the gym for a while before committing to a new wardrobe. But jeans and hiking boots? Not cool. Hiking boots can potentially damage the machines, and jeans restrict your movement. I’m definitely not making a case for having to buy into the whole workout-outfit bullshit, but come on. If you go to the gym more than once, you probably should invest in at least one pair of sweatpants, one t-shirt and one pair of gym shoes. No matter how old or ratty they are, they have to at least be more comfortable to exercise in than denim, a polo shirt and Timberlands (or the giant construction boots I saw someone in the other day).
And that, my friends, is what grinds my gears at the gym.