This time I'd like to share with you some of my favorite people at my gym. First there is throw-all-weights-around guy. Throw-all-weights-around guy is the person who thinks that after you complete a set, you have to throw the weights to the floor for the set to be effective. For him, if the barbell doesn't scare someone, if the dumbbells don't almost take out someone's foot, if the stack on a machine doesn't slam down hard, the set would not be complete.
Then we have do-all-movements-in-front-of-the-dumbbell-rack man (DAMIFOTB to his friends). This individual loves to monopolize an entire area although he knows good and well the open space behind him isn't in use. This man loves to block others from getting dumbbells in front of him regardless of the fact that he isn't using them. This guy loves to do this in front of the very popular dumbbells (40-60 lbs) because he loves to be where the action is. Down by the 10s or up there by the 100s is no good although they are dumbbells because people don't use those as much.
But seriously folks, these characters are not actual people. I know, I know. You know these guys too! Hell, you may be one of these guys. This was a way of introducing gym etiquette to everyone and how it truly doesn't exist in most gyms. A few of the worst things I see that I did not mention already are as follows:
Leaving dumbbells and barbells on/across benches in between sets This is classic behavior of many people who rest dumbbells and barbells on benches so they don't have to go ALL THE WAY to the floor to pick them up again. The 2 real problems with this are that 1) the leave terrible indents in the benches thus making them more likely to rip open and need repair and 2) the are just asking for an injury. If one of them fell on the floor, say good-bye any toes that are in the way. There is just no reason to do this. Put the damn weights on a rack or on the floor. The funniest thing to see is guys who curl using ez-curl bars (also called cambered bar or curl bar) who put the barbell across the end of a flat bench in between sets so they can change the weights. The benefit apparently is that the weight is off the floor so changing the plates on the side must be easier, right? Wrong. What ends up happening is that one side must equally (or very nearly) balance the other side of the barbell will tip and fall. So if you are alone, you have to play this acrobatic game making sure you counterbalance each side so as to avoid an "embarrassing" situation of falling weights. If you are with a partner, this game takes on a whole new level. It becomes a game of timing and speed. On the count of three, each partner must take off the weight at precisely the same speed as the other or one guy gets it on the foot. How come putting the weight 2 feet lower on the floor doesn't occur to these people? Death should be the penalty for this behavior. OK, death is a little extreme. Castration is more fair.
Leaving weights out after you use them This is one of the most annoying. This one goes back to kindergarten. You take a toy out, put it away! How easy is that? Why can't people put away weights after they use them? A subsection of this idiocy is when people rerack plates in the wrong place on the weight trees or when they put dumbbells back out of the place they got them from so there soon becomes no discernible organization to the dumbbell rack. This is so easy and so obvious, you wouldn't even think it needed to be said. Do people think they are doing a service to others so they don't have to go ALL THE WAY to the racks to get weights? Better we just leave them out in case someone wants to use them any time this week, jackass. Leaving at least 1 45-lb plate on a bench press barbell is the classic behavior. Who would ever bench with less than 135? Only a girl or skinny wimp maybe and screw them, right? This condition will be found to be linked to excessive damage to the thoracic region as a result of repetitive crushing blows to the sternum during "heavy" bench pressing in the future. I am convinced of this fact.
Bottom line: If you see this behavior, it's OK to say something. Do it how you please. Conventional wisdom would say to be polite so as not to cause a confrontation, but if you are into the confrontation and are as fed up as me with this crap, maybe abandoning your etiquette, temporarily of course, is your chosen course of action. Be sure the guy isn't much bigger than you though because being pissed off and then pissed on is doubly frustrating.
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