TL;DR – This post is highly opinionated and contains naughty words. If you have a tendency to take things personally or don’t want to have your exercise views challenged please click the back button.
Lifting is getting more popular which is great. Gyms are getting busier which is not so great for most people. Free weights areas are now becoming the most over-subscribed areas in gyms due to the lag of providers not reacting to the culture shift.
Most gyms still pour their money into fitness babysitting machines such as upright bikes, selectorized weights machines, and treadmills. People are starting to work out thanks primarily to the popularity of CrossFit that if you want to affect change in your body you might need to train with some form of intensity. They are also starting to realise that the leanest cohort of humans on the planet “bodybuilders” might know a thing or two about getting lean and maybe weights are a good idea.
This has lead to a lot of “norms” venturing into the weights room which was previously the refuge of steroid-fuelled eating disorders and autistic weirdos who only care how much they can lift in 2 or 3 exercises. As with any increased demand for a finite resource in this case the squat rack tensions are rising in weight rooms around the world.
To stop yourself ending up like 1939’s France you need to be more wary of your behaviour and gym etiquette to stop yourself getting caught up in gym blitzkrieg.
1 – Gym equipment typically is first come first serve but please don’t take the piss.
In most weight rooms across the world, there is that group of people or person who hogs the fuck out of one area for the guts of two hours. They show up super early with their luggage and plonk their ass down in the same squat rack refusing to be rushed through their workout because their training takes priority.
Rather than dropping your latest rad Instagram post and obsessing over what filter would go better to accentuate the depth of your 30 kg squat maybe put the phone down and do another goddamned set.
2 – Don’t come within 1 metre of another human being and barbell making the beast with two back.
For some reason when it comes to gyms people lose all common sense. When another person is balancing 550 lbs of steel on their back it is not cool to walk within 30 centimeters of that steel in case maybe you might you know hit the fucking bar and cripple the poor bastard under it.
Yeah we get it you need the microplates off the rack so you can load your next week of strong lifts but you can wait for 30 seconds for the set to finish.
3 – Not every gym that has barbells in it is a CrossFit box.
You like circuit training we get it now please take your epileptic fit to a gym or area designed for your chosen training cult. I would like to invoke a universal gym rule that anyone who takes a skipping rope out of their gym bag in a free weights room should have their membership terminated with extreme prejudice.
You can literally do burpees anywhere on god’s green earth there are only so many places I can squat 300 kg. Because you have a tribal tattoo and really like doing unconventional cardio doesn’t mean you have the right to take up 3 pieces of equipment in a busy gym. If you want to do CrossFit join a CrossFit gym.
4 – Stop screaming you petulant moron.
Before I go on with the rest of this “tip” let’s watch something together.
Please note the lack of shouting or hollering (to coin a phrase) he lets out an audible grunt of exertion but the man is squatting 926 lbs for reps so I think he has the right to let out a noise since he is probably exerting himself. You see there is a line between letting out audible grunts due to pushing yourself through a tough set and being a twat.
Most people who shout and yell when they lift do it to get attention, however, this attention isn’t based on the merit of lifting a fuck off weight it is based purely on your ability to act like a moron. No gym should condone assholes especially attention seeking assholes.
5 – Stretch in the Ab area or allocated warm up / cool down areas stop taking up perfectly good lifting space with your B-movie yoga.
Ever since mobility WOD was a thing and stretching became a super dark art every lifter with an internet connection somehow feels the need to roll around on the floor straddling a phallic object to release their “myofascial tissue”.
When an overenthusiastic man starts making ridiculous statements and adopting suggestive postures the old reaction would have been to run for some reason in this day and age it makes you an expert.
Before the weightlifters chip in with their smug cloud of superiority, we get your sport requires you to stretch please have the decency to do it in a designated area and get the fuck off the lifting platform I want to lift on.
6 – If you want to catch up with your mates go to Starbucks.
We get people like to go to the gym for the social aspect and camaraderie fan-fucking-tastic. Well, I like to use the free weights room to lift weights so if you would kindly take your weekly catch up to a cosy sofa or coffee shop I would appreciate it.
The gym isn’t a social club (there are places for that kind of thing called social clubs) it is a space with exercise equipment that rents the use of said exercise equipment out to members so they can exercise. Talking to Rosie about you latest baking triumph or to Jack (off) about how fucked up you got at the weekend is not exercise.
Talking to Rosie about your latest baking triumph or to Jack (off) about how fucked up you got at the weekend is not exercise. If you do feel the need to chatter away insistently please have the decency to keep it to you and your friend I feel like I know the ins and outs of everyone’s life due to the amount of conversations I have overheard usually mid-set.
7 – Being in the gym doesn’t give you licence to be an ignorant c*nt.
Please, thank you, may I and excuse me words that seem to leave people’s vocabulary when they enter the gym. Everyone automatically thinks of the Tren riddled guy who just walks up and starts to use equipment and test this person does fall foul of this tenant, however, you dear reader are not innocent I would be willing to bet.
The last time a new person did something stupid in your vicinity did you
A – scream at them and feel smug afterwards
B – do nothing and talk shit about them behind you back.
C – make a passive aggressive comment.
D – ask them calmly not to do that again and explain why.
If you answered anything other than D then you have acted like a bellend.
I hope this article has both informed and amused in equal measure.