Gym Etiquette 101

Gym Etiquette

Gym Etiquette

If you’re new to the gym, then you stick around and read this. You’re the main bloody reason I have to write this kind of shit and rant about it. You drive me absolutely nuts. If you’re a seasoned gym rat, then welcome. I’m sure some of these will sound familiar to you.

  1. Sucking on the Fountain: You don’t have to be Mr. Olympia to figure this one out. Just for a second use that sorry excuse for a brain of yours. There’s the normal fountain part that you drink from, and the weird vertical part on it that curves around and faces down on some fountains. That’s for filling your bottle and not for sucking on. You’re in public for Christ’s sake. That’s so filthy I can’t even comprehend what’s going through your empty skull.
  2. Personal Bubble: If you see someone posted up in a spot working out, unless you’re best buds with them, it probably doesn’t make sense to work out inches away from them. I mean that literally. I have ass-hats at my gym that will load up a trap bar and place it inches from my legs when I’m at the edge of a rack. This is even more frustrating when there is plenty of open space. Bro, do you even think?
  3. Scrawny Boyfriend Selfies: I’m not even referring to girls taking pictures of their boyfriends… I’m talking about a couple of dudes who look like they haven’t seen food in several years taking borderline inappropriate pictures of each other on the equipment. And no, this isn’t a homophobic thing (your sexual preferences are your business and not mine)… This is a problem because it makes me feel ill when you clearly don’t lift/eat and you’re basically naked in public in the gym. Just wait until you get home and you can get as lewd as you want. Jesus.
  4. Headphones in and in The Zone: Seriously… if you break this rule, the only reason you won’t be destroyed on the spot is because I still need to finish my set. I don’t know how stupid you have to be (because it seems like there’s an overwhelming number of morons out there that do this), but if someone is in the midst of holding more than you weigh on their back, in their hands, or over their chest… You shut your motherf*cking lips. If my arms and or legs are busy and I have blaring music in my ears, what in the f*ck is going through your head trying to have a conversation with me?  You enraging me with your stupidity is likely to help me hit a PR though, I guess.
  5. Lurking Like It’s Your Job: Look… it’s a big gym, and you’re almost an adult now. I understand you want to use the rack I’m in or the bench I’m on… How do you think I got here? Instead of hovering around me like a mosquito for 30 minutes, breathing down my neck and tasting my sweat, why don’t you wait for me to finish up my set and talk to me like a grown up? Why not ask me if you can work in or something? I’ll probably tell your weak ass no, but at least we’d both have closure, and you’d learn some social skills.
  6. Girlfriend Spots: You’re big and strong and everyone at the gym knows it.  Except… well… you’re not. If you’re dragging your girlfriend to the gym with you so that she can spot you while you bench then you’re a clown. If the only reason she is there is for you to show off your embarrassing ROM, then you’re not doing anyone a favor. Why not get her lifting instead of embarrassing her? You’re not fooling anyone with technique like that.
  7. Picking The Most Stacked Rack: Like most of these, this one involves a lack of common sense. If you see 5 racks that have nobody in them, but one has a few hundred pounds of weights set up, and some other personal items set up around it then it probably means someone is using it. So, instead of being a complete moron and trying to unload all of the weight, why not use the equipment that is quite obviously not in use?
  8. Cleaners Without Borders: This one might sound harsh, so let me start by saying that I do greatly appreciate the cleaners at my gym. They’re there every day to do their job and without them we’d be working out in a pile of garbage. Literally. With that said, (and this one kind of ties into the Personal Bubble) get the f*ck out of my way. There’s at least one cleaner at my gym who will wheel a cart of cleaning supplies up directly into the space I’m working out in and proceed to dawdle.  I think he waits until he sees smoke coming out of my ears before he moves on… Like it’s some sick and perverted way to disrupt my lifting session. Mr Cleaner, your job is important, but use some common sense.
  9. Working (Too Far) In: When I’m at the gym, especially at a squat rack, I might be posted up there for a while. I have absolutely no problem if someone approaches me and they want to work in with what I’m using. Most of the time. You get the odd ass-hat that asks to work in, but what he really means is “I have no concept of what’s socially acceptable, so I want to displace you from what you’re using. I am lacking sufficient social and emotional intelligence to ask you properly”. To these people, stay home and get a different hobby. Sharing is fun and positive. Hijacking of anything is greatly frowned upon in our society.
  10. ILS: If you’ve been working out for a while now, you’ve probably heard of it, unless you’re the guy or girl that has this problem. Imaginary Lat Syndrome is where an individual walks around with their immense lats in permanent flex mode… except, they don’t have lats that warrant that. Unless you’re  a pro bodybuilder, the odds that you have such large lats that it affects you walking around are pretty small. So, get a grip on reality. You’re not fooling anyone. It’s actually just embarrassing.
  11. Squat Rack Texts: This one isn’t squat rack curls. I haven’t gotten to that yet. Our gym is pretty lucky in that it has 5 or 6 squat racks. I rarely ever have to wait for one, and when I do, it’s not very long. However, you get the odd ass-hat that’s hanging out inside of the rack laughing and smiling down at his phone just texting his buddy. I’m not even sure why pieces of shit like that venture into the gym. If you have a phone with you working out, it better be for workout purposes. Not to tell your bro about how much you can’t squat.
  12. Spreading Sh*t Form: One thing I’ve learned from working out for a while is that everyone has an opinion, and not everyone can be simultaneously perfectly correct. With that said, you should be listening to the people that model what you are trying to achieve. If you see a guy or girl that deadlifts a whole pile of weight, they might be a good candidate to ask “how do I increase my deadlift”. Conversely, if you have someone coming up to you that looks like they’re decaying and can’t possibly be lifting weight, don’t take their deadlifting advice. Most people in commercial gyms have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. They should be keeping their dumb heads shut.
  13. … Many more to come.

4 thoughts on “Gym Etiquette 101

  1. Jamie

    I’m fairly new to the gym world and super stoked about learning lifting techniques. I laughed my arse off reading your rants! And I have to say who’s not curious about the face behind the mask.

    Stay strong

    1. Swoletron Post author

      Haha well I welcome you to the world of iron. There’s tons of stuff that drives me nuts in the gym, so I’m glad the rants are enjoyable.

      As for the mask… Only time will tell. How do you think people at the gym feel when I’m squatting with it?

    1. Swoletron Post author

      Hahaha. Hey man, if the various types of people at the gym are a pet peeve, then it’s likely because they can’t follow accepted gym etiquette. #1 on your list is definitely a good one.

      Thanks for stopping in.


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