A PSA on Gym Etiquette

Below are helpful tips for an improved gym experience. 

1. Re-rack your shit. This regards any piece of equipment that moves – dumbbells, straight bars, benches, weight plates, WHATEVER. No one is impressed with how much you can lift. They’re just burdened by having to clean up after you to get to their own workout. If they are impressed by the amount of weight you can lift, they’re a nerd, and need a swirly.

2. Wipe down your machines. Seriously, it’s gross. I don’t need the thought of how much you sweat and what the hell was in it running through my head as I’m trying to pump iron. It freaks me out. Yeah, I’m kind of a germophobe, but who isn’t in this case? No one wants to jump into a pool of your sweat. I’d rather you pee in the shower. At least then I can’t see it.

3. No extended talking in active areas. Please, for the love of god, if you want to have a broversation that lasts thirty minutes, take it to a lobby or wall or lunch. When you’re standing at a machine or in an area for that long anywhere you’re going to be in the way. It’s like you’re a person in the bank line insisting the teller review all your Susan B. Anthonys before you cash them in for a varied collection of fives, twenties, and Sacagawea ducats.  

4. Don’t slam weights. The only reason to ever do this is if your body gives out. Otherwise, wouldn’t it be a bigger sign of strength to demonstrate control the entire set, including putting the weights down? And since when is it okay to just drop things when we’re done with them? Dinner plates, vases, babies – they’re all unacceptable to simply drop after interaction. Think about it.

5. Help each other. I think this would be cool to see happen more, because everyone goes to the gym for the sole purpose of self-improvement. But it doesn’t necessitate being isolated. Even if we’ve got music on, it would be better to help someone lift one more rep safely than watch them potentially drop it on themselves or have to end sets early. And if you see someone with really bad form, why not save them the pain that’s inevitably going to come? Maybe that pain is what keeps them from going to the gym anymore, and then they’re uncomfortable with a route to self improvement, and that’s very unparty. Meanwhile, helping is one of the partiest things in the world. This one, in particular, is something I should work on most. 

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