Working out in your local fitness facility can sometime be infuriating. Some people do dumb things that can completely ruin your workout. And make you feel like this...
It's bound to happen at some point. You'll run into someone who is inconsiderate or simply doesn't know what he or she is doing. To avoid that person, never do the following 10 things when you're in a gym.
1) You Don't Wipe Off Equipment After You Use It
Finding a gigantic puddle of sweat on a bench is never a good thing. You have to find a spray bottle and towel and clean off someone else's grime before you can start. It's gross and inconsiderate. Please wipe off the equipment after you use it.
2) You Use Too Much Equipment at Once
Gyms get crowded during prime time hours. Sometimes finding an idle piece of equipment can be a struggle. So it's extra frustrating when you see someone taking up more than two pieces of equipment at once. There is a good chance that this type of individual won't be keen on letting you work in, since they have zero awareness of their surroundings.
You can get away with staking out multiple pieces of equipment during off-peak hours when the gym is quiet. But if it's crowded, using minimal equipment is always best. You can't expect to grab five sets of dumbbells for a drop set without angering your fellow gym-goers.
3) You Don't Ask to Work In
It's extremely frustrating when you jump up for a quick drink of water and come back to find that someone has swooped in and stolen your spot—despite the fact that your towel is right where you left it. Or, maybe you're doing a superset and someone takes the equipment you're using for the other exercise.
Unless the person is gone for four or five minutes, just ask to work in with him—or determine if he is still using that piece of equipment. Remember: sharing is caring.
4) You Don't Put the Plates Back When You're Finished
This one drives me nuts. Everyone once in awhile, I find myself searching for 45-pound plates and the rack is empty. Sure enough, the leg press machine is loaded with 12 plates and it's sitting idle. I have to make several trips with the plates back to where I was working just because someone else was lazy. Thanks, buddy.
5) You're Always on Your Phone
The gym is quickly turning into a cell phone fest. Texts, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat—you name it: people are checking their phones as they "work out." Worst of all, a few narcissists are taking selfies.
This might seem harmless. Who cares if someone has a crappy workout and wastes his or her time? Problem is, often such offenders commandeer a piece of equipment for absurd amounts of time, taking ridiculous rest intervals, because they're more concerned with what's glowing on their screen than with actually working out.
There are two exceptions to this rule: 1) using your phone to keep track of your workout, and 2) quickly changing a song. Other than that, keep your phone in your locker, preferably in Do Not Disturb mode.
6) You Sing Out Loud
Not one around you wants to hear you sing. Just don't.
7) You Constantly Check Yourself Out
We get it. You think you look good. But do you really need to check your bulging biceps after every set of Curls? Do you really need to lean over with your hand on a bench so your triceps pop a little bit more?
8) You Get Too Crazy With Chalk
We love chalk. It's a great tool for reinforcing your grip when you work with heavy weights. It's much better than straps or gloves—especially gloves—because you must still use your grip strength, not rely on equipment to hold the weight.
That said, you don't need a cloud of chalk following you around the gym, like the dirt cloud that forever surrounds Pigpen. Just a little chalk will do. Don't give your gym a reason to ban chalk. You know the staff hates to keep cleaning chalk dust off the floor.
9) You Talk More Than You Work Out
I remember one guy who worked out at my gym. In the hour it took most people to finish their entire workouts, he did maybe three or four sets of Bench Press or Chest Press. And he was doing some crazy powerlifting routine from the former Soviet Union. He spent the rest of his time chitchatting with the receptionist and his apparently large group of friends. It was clear why he wasn't in very good shape.
10) You Do Curls in the Squat Rack
This might be the worst thing one can do in a gym. Most gyms have one or two squat racks, and they are only places where you can do Barbell Squats. You can do Curls in any place where you can stand up. Yet for some reason, people gravitate toward the squat rack for Curls. Not cool. Not cool, at all.
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