How not to act like a wanker when you’re at the gym
Constant CPR vigilance is exhausting. Trust me. I’m there, ready to give chest compressions as I learnt in a scuba diving course as soon as someone keels over.
The only problem is, I don’t work in a hospital. I just go to a gym.
I recently joined one of those 24-hour chain gyms where you can work out to your heart’s content… or discontent.
Everyone’s going there to get healthy, but it honestly sounds like they’re about to die.
The straining. The clanging of weights on metal. The grunting. The puffing (actually, the puffing is me, riding the devil’s bicycle, otherwise known as interval training on the treadmill. Sorry about that.)
Even with my headphones in I still feel like I can hear people about to keel over.
And when I realise they’re not going to die, I’m actually quite annoyed. Exercise is meant to be good for reducing stress levels but I can feel mine rising.
So, as a “normal-ish” person going to the gym, here are my tips for the proper gym etiquette.
When you’re grabbing weights, it really messes with other people’s programs if you take two dumbbells or barbells in two different weights. For some reason, using one 5kg dumbbell and one 6kg dumbbell together seems to be popular (and, coincidentally, all I ever use are 5kg or 6kg dumbells).
If you’re going to spend a long time flexing and posing and looking in the mirror between sets, could you put your weights back? Chances are someone else will have completed their entire workout before you need them again.
If you want to have a chat on the phone, could you get off the machine you’re using, rather than just sitting there not using it and talking to your mate about “being at the gym”?
You might think it looks impressive to use the heaviest weight. It’s probably part of your program. But if you can’t control putting the weight back on the floor again without a thump that makes the whole gym shakes and you grunt like you’re, well, doing something private, I’m going to guess your weight is too heavy. Keep control, dude.
Working out with a gym buddy is great. It helps motivate you to go. Having more than one gym buddy must be great, too – but is it really necessary for all of the gym buddies to watch one guy on one bench, then take it in turns watching each other?
Finally, use a towel and wipe your sweat and hair product off the equipment. Surely we all know that one by now?
So that’s it. Six quick tips to make the gym a better place for everyone. And as for me, I’ll try to keep the puffing to a minimum.
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