By Mike Simone Men's Fitness
We all go to a gym for different reasons, but the end goal is fitness, not fraternity. Let the girls order their protein shakes in peace, keep the flirting to a minimum and remember: bars are made for socializing, gyms are made for exercising. If you're truly interested in a woman, keep it in your pants, take it home and plaster your walls in construction paper cut-outs of her like the rest of us. Whatever you do, for the love of Pete's hairy beanbag, don't gawp at her while she's splayed out like a snuff star doing hamstring curls.
THE GOD OF WAR
Easy, Dice Man. We know your bicep's bigger than the average human head, but there's no need to throw weights, howl and stare at everyone within range as if they all just farted. Lose the snarl, smile, nod, maybe even assist someone with a spot if asked, and we promise not to tell anyone you call your girlfriend "baby boo."
A typical rest period between sets is 30 seconds to two minutes. An average working set takes around 30 more seconds. So how is it that you're still sitting there, staring into space after 20 minutes? If you're going to idle, the cushions on the seats at the juice bar are more comfortable than the ones on the bench.
THE LIVING PLANET
Maybe you are the biggest or most ripped guy in the joint. Good for you! Being in great shape is an accomplishment—being an arrogant dick is an irritant. Mirrors in the gym are to check your form or to sneak a piggy glimpse of the girl doing hamstring curls, not to flex and admire yourself like an underwear model.
THE CRUISE DIRECTOR
There's a difference between being friendly and making it a mission to know everyone's name, birthday and favorite Kardashian. By the time you’re done with meeting, greeting and exchanging phone numbers, the hardcore gym grunt has finished half his workout. Learn when to read body language—you might think people are wearing headphones for music, but they're really just avoiding you.
We're huge advocates of heart, soul and encouragement, but some people need to tone it down a few kilobels. Egging someone on is part of your duty as a spotter, but when you're cheering and screaming like the Triple Crown's riding on it, it can get distracting for others. There's no need to approach each training session like it's a title fight.
THE EXCUSE GENERATOR
Arms sore? Work wearing you down? Still wondering why you've only lost two pounds in the last election cycle? Instead of spending an hour complaining to everyone within earshot about your busy schedule or old college injuries and then eking out 10 minutes on the Gazelle Edge Glider, try to break a sweat lifting some real weights or doing high-intensity interval cardio.
THE FITNESS POSSE
There is no way all six of you are going to bench press and/or spot one another at the same time. There's also no way you're going to stay focused and get in a quality training session when you're busy filling your boys in about your crazy weekend in Sioux Falls. Come at different times, work in twos, train in different areas. Save the team bromances for the post-gym bender. Your entourage is crowding the gym floor and ruining everyone else's flow.