Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains Part 2
Social Behavior in the Gym
Lessons on social etiquette in the gym. Wipe up your sweat you hog.
Read Part 1 of Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains: Attitude & Fashion in the Gym So you’ve read part one, and are fully equipped, attired, and have a good idea of how to carry yourself in public. You know how to not look like an asshole, now it’s time to learn how to not act like an asshole. The name of the game is common sense. Yes, this most underrated type of intelligence dominates life in the gym as with any other place. A little common sense and a little common courtesy will go a long way. Social behavior consists of any act that you do which could potentially affect another lifter. These are crimes of both commission and omission. The most basic and common of these crimes is not wiping down the machines or seats after using them. Here’s a quick biology lesson for you… when you exercise, you sweat. There’s no reason that after your 30 minute marathon on the stationary bike, somebody should be forced to sit in a pool of your warm salty liquids. The same goes for benches, and machines that you spend any prolonged period of time on. Cleaning towels & spray bottles are put out for a reason. Use them! As a general rule of thumb, if you get up and a sweat laden imprint of your ass is left on the seat, get a towel and wipe it off.
If we sit in your sweat, you’ll be laying in your own blood.
Almost everyone who visits the gym will at some point pick up a dumbbell. Any guru will tell you that free weights are an essential part of any workout. The problem is not that people use the dumbbells, it’s that they leave them scattered about the mats like landmines. If you are strong enough to pick up the weights, do 3 or 4 sets with them, then you are strong enough to put them back. If you are pyramiding or doing drop sets don’t horde the dumbbells like bars of gold, use them for a set, replace them on the rack and choose your next weights. I don’t care if you’re a slob at home where your mother still makes your bed and cleans your room; I shouldn’t have to go on a crusade to find the weights I need or dance around an obstacle course of scattered and abandoned dumbbells. These are obvious and easily correctable offenses, but a more difficult tendency to fix is that of being an advice giver. Unless your official title is Mr. Universe, you are not in any position to give unwanted fitness advice. Here’s a little news for you Dear Abby, we don’t care how you think we should be bending our knees more or using a different grip. If on the other hand somebody is being social and asks for a few pointers, or begins a friendly discussion about different exercises, techniques, etc. then feel free to drop in your two cents; otherwise shut the fuck up and let us do our routines. Nobody likes a know-it-all, and there is nothing worse than someone getting in your face in the middle of a set trying to correct your form. As a final aside on the topic, fat people are not allowed to ever give any advice. If you knew as much as you thought you did, you wouldn’t be fat, so there is an obvious differential in knowledge. So recapping for all chunky monkies, you are not allowed to wear spandex, or to give advice or parade your ass everywhere.
Even Ann Landers doesn’t have the balls to give advice in the gym
Perhaps most important of all is that you do not use the gym as your social club. There isn’t anything wrong with being friendly or conversant, and most experts agree that lifting with a partner is a great way to keep motivated and keep safe. But remember, you are there to exert your muscles, not your mouth. If you want to work your mouth, start selling twenty-dollar blowjobs. Having a spotter or a companion for motivation and help is a good thing. I prefer to lift alone, but if you want to work out with someone, be my guest. But why do you need to bring an entire group?! I shouldn’t have to wait 45 minutes to get on the cables, a bench, or the lat-bar because there are 4 or 5 of you having a circle jerk in the middle of the gym. With that many people you’re looking at 12 – 15 sets, as opposed to my 3 or 4. Try doing a circuit routine and break your little group up, you’re only taking up space & time. Quit gossiping and get out of the fucking way.
It took them 3 & ½ days to finish their sets on the lat bar. When it was over, they all rejoiced.
Above all be respectful of the people around you and realize that there are other people trying to better themselves just like you. Think about how you’d like to sit in a pool of fat-chick sweat. (We’re assuming you don’t get off on that sort of thing. If you are sniffing the bicycle seat after a 40 year old chubby mother of 3 gets up after her 45 minute peddling spree, you problems I can’t help you with.) Ok, you now know how to act and are the model gym denizen. Unfortunately you’re still fat, people are staring at your for some odd reason, and you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for. Odds are you just don’t know how to lift properly. In the third and final part of this series, I’ll explain a few common mistakes that you might be committing during your actual workout.