A Gym Story: A Lesson in Weight Room Etiquette
A GYM STORY: A Lesson in Weight Room Etiquette
It was Monday afternoon, and for me today that meant legs. I paused for a moment, in between sets, and looked out the window, rain splattering against it, generating that white noise so comforting at night yet frustrating while driving. There were maybe three guys there, including me-- no make that four, another just walked in. I got back to my squats.
Another set down. Another rest. I decided to get a drink, walking the 5 feet to my water bottle and taking a swig. I turned back to my rack. Well, it was my rack. The newcomer had started a set during the 8 seconds it took me to get some water. Huh. Not one to make a big deal over such things, I stretched my legs, and waited.
He wasn’t a tall guy. White, slightly chubby, and going down half way before coming up again. Six reps. Okay.
“Oh hey,” I said, when he reracked the weight, “I just got one more to do.”
He was wearing an iPod attached to his arm, the signature white ear buds looped around the pinna in an odd fashion. He looked at me. “This yours?”
“Yeah, I just got one more.” I repeated, maybe he didn’t hear me with the iPod. To emphasize I held up an index finger.
“Oh.” He stepped back two feet.
It was then I noticed the neck rest. You know, that foam cylinder thing. Reminded me of a piece of one of those noodle floaty toys. I unvelcroed it and handed it to him, tried to, at least. His hands went in a different direction than mine, and after some fumbling I placed it in his hands. One more set.
Halfway through I noticed in the mirror he was watching me. No, not watching-- staring. He could at least have stepped back a bit more. Whatever, concentrate. I looked up and continued. Suddenly, my balance was off, I was in danger of tipping. **** **** ****. OK, good now, what the hell? The guy had bumped the barbell.
“My bad,” he said in that too loud voice people use when they listen to MP3 players.
“S’allright.” I wash my hands of you. Rerack the weight. And gesture. All yours.
All right, what now. Calf raises. Right. I walked to the step when in walk two gentlemen, well, more like guys. One was rather skinny, but cut in that way indicative of very low body fat content. Cross country runner, or maybe basketball. He wore a wife beater that looked like it was made of spandex. The other guy wore a loose white muscle shirt.
I start the raises, then look at the two guys. They’re on the bench press, moving 115 (two 35s) between them, like a piston. One guy in the spot position, pumping an arm up and down while the guy on his back moved in normal fashion. Okay.
I look away for a moment when I hear a scream, a cry like Conan delivering a mighty death blow (O’Brien, not the Barbarian). I start and look toward the sound. One of the guys, muscle shirt, was trying to solo the 115, he grunted and screamed again, as he hoisted the weight. He cried again in triumph.
“Yeah! That’s what I’m TALKIN’ ‘bout!” spandex wife beater said.
I finished, and then decided on some hyperextensions for good measure. A girl walked past me, about my age, in the general direction of the two guys. I performed that discreet appraisal which all single men do (and quite a few married, I imagine). A 6, 6.5, cute.
I do my thing. When I hear the radio change from whatever crappy rock station it was on to Blink 182. The girl gave a squeal of delight.
“TAAANNYAAAA!” Wife beater let out, making me start again. “My girl, mmm, look at you! How you doin’?”
“Oh I’m good, I’m actually just here for a few days.” Tanya, the girl, said.
“Mmm, right. What you doin’ tonight?” Smooth.
Great. I finish up.
So I polish off my water bottle, and walk out the down, on the way exchanging a knowing look with another one of the guys their. A silent type. I liked him. I still felt thirsty, so I headed out of the room to a water fountain, when I turn to walk out of the place I see Tanya walking out. I can only hope she let the guy down harshly.
So there you go. What other horror stories/lessons can you guys add? While socializing in the gym is fine to a certain extent, I believe people need to understand that the main reason people are there is to work out, and not act like jackasses.
115? Wowie. I'm not that strong, I've only got back into lifting recently, and I can do 300, could do 200 after a week.
Edit: I am always against such grunting and yelling. :P
One time I did one of those stupid ettiquette mistakes myself, I took off a barbell a guy was using, while he was sitting in between sets. I honestly didn't notice him there. I apologized and put it back, but he wasn't entirely mollified. Which makes sense, it's hard to overlook a 200 lb muscled cop.
Last edited by Tef-the-Persian; 8/28/2006 7:23pm at .
Where's the horror, exactly? A guy bumping into you on accident, or two people talking?
I was expecting someone telling you "squats are bad for your back!" or something.
I remember when I did 115 on the Bench. I was happy. I moved up from like 105 a few days ago. It's not like he walked up to you and said "Can you beat that? HUH???"
I don't see the problem.
mountain, molehill. although if someone bumped the barbell while i was squatting i would have more than a few words for them.
gyms are where you get to see humanity at its worst. fucking morons, everywhere.especially that idiot white guy i see in the mirror all the time
But to say, "That's what I'm talking about" after a trivial accomplishment? I guess if he was joking it makes sense. It's no major issue, but if we're going to go by the magical way we want people to act, I'd prefer if people don't do that over 115 llbs. (Which I think 50% or more of the society's healthy people above the age of 18 can do without training).
Originally Posted by Poop Loops
The guys on the bench are just idiots, but bumping someone while they're squatting is actually dangerous, both for you and the other person.
Originally Posted by Poop Loops
It wasn't trivial for him, obviously. Maybe he had chest surgery and could barely lift 70lbs a few months ago?
Originally Posted by Tef-the-Persian
When I first started lifting, I benched 90lbs. Not everybody is strong. I'm still not strong. When I hit 115 it was an accomplishment for me. I'm not the type to yell, but that guy was obviously happy.
In conclusion: who the **** cares if you think it's trivial or not? He pushed himself and made a gain and he was happy about it.
Bumping into you while squatting can do some nasty stuff, but it didn't look like he did it on purpose. People with iPods tend to be assholes. That's why I only bought a nano.
Originally Posted by Poop Loops
The guy acting like it was no big deal was horrible and irresponsible. He doesn't have a clue. Nonchalantly brushing it off is not just being an asshole; it's on the same level as letting a drunk have his car keys because the drunk lives only a block away, IMO. (What's the big deal, right?)
If I ever was so stupid to bump the bar of someone else doing squats, I'd think I'd react the same way as I might if I accidentally step on a small pet or something and kill it. Freak city.
Ok, fine, you should have taken a 45lb plate and smashed the guy's face.
But the two guys on the bench didn't come there to for you. They came there to work out however they see fit. If they are excessively loud and rude, then yeah, 45lb plate to the face city, but it's not like he was in your face.
This one time, I walked into my gym's weight room and unloaded an Armalite AR-10 carbine gas-powered semi-automatic weapon, pumping round after round into colleagues, co-workers, and fellow weight lifters.
I'm a weight lifting asshole.
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