Don't be THAT Guy: 6 Things to Never Do at the Gym
Unfortunately, every gym has THAT guy (you know quite well who I'm talking about). In an attempt to make everyone a bit more tolerable, here are 6 ways how not to become THAT GUY:
1. Don't stretch too long by a machine.
Stretching is great. Not only is it great, but it’s one of the most important aspects of physical exercise. So, by all means, stretch! But please, please, please don't hover over the piece of equipment you plan to use during crazy long periods of stretching!
I have seen it so many times. Someone finds the machine they want to begin working on, stand right by it, and stretch (usually for excessively long periods of time). They’re like dogs pissing on trees, except they’re humans and the machines are inorganic entities. (Yeah, I just made that comparison.)
The simple solution? Take the stretching elsewhere. Usually there are open spaces in gyms designed specifically for that purpose. No one wants to wait to get on a machine because you're a territorial maniac.
2. Don't litter your paper towels.
I am a big advocate of using paper towels at the gym. Not every machine needs to be wiped down after every use, but if the place where my head/arm/other body part is going to rest is covered in your gross body juice, wipe it down. Post-wiping, show some semblance of tact and human decency by throwing the perspiration-saturated towel away.
Moral: Don’t be a disgusting human being.
3. Don't sing along with your iPod.
As much as I wish it never happened, my iPod dies on occasion. Tragically, upon the death of my loyal music-playing companion, I’m forced to listen to the gym atmosphere, including whatever is on FM's Top 40 that day. To curb my suffering and already lowered concentration, please don't scream out all the words to the Beyonce song you are listening to in your earbuds. Though you cannot hear the off-key arrhythmic squalling pouring out of your contorted, sweaty face, the rest of us can. And seriously dude, most annoying thing ever.
4. Don't be an entitled meathead.
There are some exercises that take a little bit longer than others. Sometimes I might be repping out 5 or 6 sets and taking a needed 30-second break between sets. Unfortunately, the dimwitted meatheads of the world feel that they need the machines more than I do; he is PAYING to be here and takes PRIORITY! Oh wait, the rest of us are paying the same freaking amount and are equally entitled to the machines neither of us own. It’s common courtesy to allow everyone their time on a machine and not rush them off, no matter how much your muscles crave its use.
Sometimes though, it’s acceptable to share a machine, especially when someone’s rest time between sets is roughly the same time that it takes for another person to complete their set. Which leads us to number 5…
5. Don't Bogart the machine. (Not cool, bro.)
As outlined above, it’s totally possible to share a machine or exercise station. Not every situation is suited for this (like a treadmill), but a lot of times, all that’s required is for us not to be horrible selfish people. If I was working two muscles back to back, going from a machine to a different station alternately, by no means should I expect to have the machine that I just left “saved.” If another gym-goer wants a go, we can talk (I know weird, right?) and figure out how we can simultaneously use a single machine. Keep in mind, though, to not take an undue amount of time on a machine; it will slow you down, as well as the person you’re working with.
6. Don't steal all the freaking dumbbells.
You want to work with dumbbells, and that’s cool, I love them just as much as the next guy. But dude, do you really need to take ALL the weights for every single set you plan on doing? This is super frustrating - now I can’t get to the weight I need because it’s too busy lying at your feet and not being used. If you take a total of 2 pairs of dumbbells, that’s fine, no one cares. But, if you feel the need to take 4 or 5 pairs over to a yoga mat in the corner, especially on a crazy busy Monday evening, that is poor form my friend.