Rules for the Gym

After 20+ years of working out and being in gyms across the planet, I've come to the conclusion that a few should-be-obvious things need to be mentioned.

Wipe the damn equipment when you're done

I don't care how good you look or how cool you are, wipe off the equipment.

Your sweat puddle is no more attractive than the next persons.

Look around and try to minimize your gym consumption, thus minimizing your douchebag coefficient

There are many points to be made on this one, almost all points fall under the "No really, You're not the only one here" category.

Look around and match the space available with the lift you're trying to do and right-size it.

If there's a single squat cage for heavy lifting and full racks of pre-loaded barbells, doing curls in the squat cage is a no-no.

Just because you can curl 50lbs in 10 places in the gym does not mean someone can squat/shrug 400 anywhere....they have that cage for a reason.

Do not lift anything while standing over the dumbbell racks, ever

I don't care what you're doing, take a step back and let people have access to the rest of the rack.

Occupying 10 sets of dumbbells while doing curls or lateral raises is just dickish.

You are probably not in such great shape that taking a single step back would ruin your fitness, trust me on this one.

Do not sit/lay/recline on the dumbbell racks

I would have never thought this needed to be mentioned, but just got done watching an uber-douchebag trainer sitting for 15+ minutes on the dumbbell racks while training someone a week ago. Come on super-fit-polo-shirted-trainer-guy, stand the fuck up or sit somewhere else. Yeah, and having your trainee doing their exercise next to the dumbbell racks as well puts you on the top of the dick-of-the-month podium.

This guy barely seemed to get the hint when I was tossing 50lb'ers behind him back into the rack. Yes, douchebaggery does go far enough to have people tossing dumbbells in your direction....

If it were legal, I would have been throwing dumbbells AT him.... with no regret and bad intent.

Do not use your cellphone during any type of spin/yoga/pilates/fitness class

Yes yuppie douchebags I'm sure you are/it is really important.

If you must take a call, shut your phone up, get out of the room and do your business.

Everyone in class is trying their best to concentrate and work hard, no one came to listen to you 'close the deal'.

If you doubt me, start a class called 'listening to me closing a deal' and see how many people show up.

Keep your shirt on

I'm sure having your shirt one will not impede your herculean bench press much.

Even if it does, it's a small price to pay for not being 'that guy' at the gym.

Nothing screams douchebag quite as like a guy hulking out of his shirt mid-workout.

Stop wearing makeup

Doing your hair and making yourself up to go sweat is just ....well both south florida-ish and stupid.

    "But I don't sweat..."

If you're working out in such a way you're not sweating, you are not working out.

At this point you are in the way taking up gym real estate. Get off the bike, go to the mall and shop.

Get a 700 calorie smoothie on the way out and explain to your friends how it is your generics which keep you from losing weight.


In a related note, if you're spending 10-15 minutes looking for close-in parking to the gym, you've probably missed the point. See you in the food-court of the mall.

Perfume does not make you thinner, quit it already

Nothing like huffing and puffing and pulling in a stifling toxic cloud of 'Inspiration #9' from the woman on the treadmill next to you.

Guys, this goes for you too lay off the high-karate before lifting.

Middle aged White Guys, stop wearing onion-skin, dolphin, or just plain too short shorts

This is bad, there are worse.

No one wants to be blinded by the flash of skinny white guy upper thigh.

It's bad enough when you're running, but 'hanging a prune' while lifting is just poor form.

No one wants to see it, you look retarded, and yes the people who are laughing are laughing at you.

Don't give workout advice to anyone unless they ask

There is a tremendous diversity in the workouts people do and the reasons they do them.

Just because someone isn't doing YOUR workout, does not make it wrong.

Triathletes, power lifters, people trying to rehab things or just get a semblance of fitness can all do different workouts without it being 'wrong'.

The only exception to the don't give advice rule is if someone is in imminent danger or hurting themselves or others.

Diversity aside, I stick to the "If you're not sweating, you're not working" out truism.

If there's space, give people space.

The men's urinal equation is a pretty good rule of thumb when it comes to using available space in any gym.

In a densely gear packed but people empty gym, I've had a girl walk under my arms as I was doing dumbbell presses with 100+lbs in each hand.

Gravity, it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

Good luck with your feet if I fail badly.

If you have the option, space it out. 

This is not Europe and guys don't like people they don't know being that close to them.

Locker room etiquette

Do your thing, get in, get out.

Old guys, stop hanging around naked in the locker room for hours at a shot

In case you're confused, it's a locker room and not a nudist event.

Everyone needs to change their clothes, but talk to guys who go to the gym a lot and at some point they have had a want-eye-bleach moment like this one:

You walk into the gym thinking about today's workout or whatever, only to be blinded by the old naked guy having a conversation and hanging out.

After the workout, the same guy is still naked in the locker room talking to people. Stop it. Book a cruise if that's your thing, no one else signed up for it at the gym.

In a related note....

If you're naked, don't strike up conversations with people you don't know in the locker room

Did this need to be said? Yes.

Don't hang your balls on the counter while you fluff-dry/brill cream your hair

No one wants your junk on the community sink. Put some damn clothes on already.

Clean up after yourself

Leaving nasty towels all over the place is fine if it's your house.

This is not your house, and the people who work at the gym are not your parents.

Pick your crap up.

In Summary

I really would have liked to not had the need to write this, but apparently some of the above will be news to people.

The more crowded the gym, the more important being considerate of others becomes.

Let people work in, use space wisely and treat others how you'd like to be treated. 

Oh yeah, and don't be that guy.