Are You a "Gym Jerk"?

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    Are You a "Gym Jerk"?


    I chose this section of the forum because gym etiquette is part of training. If a mod wants to move it, be my guest

    Mind Your Manners -- in the Gym

    Annoying socializers, grunters, and excessive sweaters can bum out your workout. Following gym etiquette not only is polite, it's safe -- for you and your fellow gym-goers.
    By Dulce Zamora
    Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD
    WebMD Feature



    We all have different reasons for working out, whether it's to lose weight, to obtain rock-hard abs, or to stay healthy. Whatever the motivation, for some of us, getting to the gym is an achievement unto itself. So when people there are rude, gross, or downright annoying, it can be frustrating because they can distract us from our fitness goals, or worse, can hurt us. Or sometimes, we might not know it, but we may be the offending club member.


    Salvatore Fichera, an exercise physiologist in New York, and Joe Warpeha, Duluth, Minnesota-based certified strength and conditioning specialist, have seen their share of careless and inconsiderate acts resulting in injury.


    For example, customers who fail to wipe sweat from exercise equipment have reportedly been known to pass on communicable diseases such as rashes to other people. Cell-phone yakkers or excessively loud grunters have caused serious trainers to lose concentration and strain muscles. Weightlifters who neglect to secure barbells properly have had loose plates drop and crush toes -- theirs and others'.


    These mishaps are easily avoidable. With good manners and common sense, gym-going can become a pleasant, safe, and healthy experience for everyone.


    The Lazy ... and Dangerous


    One of the most common gaffes people make at the gym is failing to put equipment back in its proper place.


    "Some people just leave dumbbells on the floor, which is totally dumb," Fichera says. "It is inconvenient for someone who may need that particular weight afterwards, and it could hurt other members who, while looking at themselves in the mirror, back up and don't see it on the floor."


    The rule also applies to clients using free weights. Besides leaving them on the floor, some lifters apparently don't return them to their proper number slots (i.e., the 10-pound weight in the "10" spot, the 20-pounder in the "20" spot, etc.) Some people carry weights to different parts of the gym and leave them there. This obviously inconveniences others who may have to do some searching to complete their exercise.


    It is also important to secure the collars on barbells. Loose plates can slide off, bounce on the ground, and hurt someone. Such common-sense rules fall under the heading of "Use equipment properly" and "Follow instructions," which should be a no-brainer, but some people still surprisingly act foolish.


    The Grunters


    Then there are people who scream or grunt loudly during their set. Some even drop their weights on the ground, making a big thump. These noisemakers peeve David Reyes, 33, who takes his workout routine seriously.


    "Let's say that I'm bench-pressing," says Reyes. "I'm doing a heavy set and am focused on lifting with the proper form, and on my way up [with the barbell], I hear "BOOM! BOOM!"... There goes my concentration, and without it, I could end up with 300 pounds on my neck."

    Reyes himself feels the need to release energy when he lifts, but he does what he calls a "muted grunt" to be considerate of other members. For people who think they need the extra boost while lifting, Fichera suggests a loud breath instead. He says a forceful exhalation should provide the same benefits as a noisy grunt.


    Heavy-lifters may want to ask people to spot them while doing a set. While this may seem like an inconvenience, Warpeha says most lifters won't have a problem looking out for you, knowing that they might also need the help one day. If you can't handle a certain weight, it's best not to use it, for your safety and for others around you.


    The Yakkers


    Talking to others while performing a weight set could be hazardous to your health because it distracts from following proper technique, says Fichera. "Even if you've been going to the gym for a long time, it's still important to focus on your muscle contractions, or you could really hurt yourself."


    Plus, people who stand idle and simply hang out with one another on the workout floor can ruin a positive, serious workout atmosphere.


    Albert Valencia, a Los Angeles consultant, likes it when people are more like him at the gym. He works out at least four times a week, and tries to be out of the gym in an hour and 15 minutes. He says people who socialize sometimes upset him because they tend to not pay attention and hog equipment, making his workout inefficient.


    Another disturbing behavior at the gym has to do with something that seems to irk people everywhere -- hearing people talk on their cell phones.


    "Nobody needs to hear your conversation," says Re Perez, 31, who has not only experience as a club member, but as staff at an upscale Manhattan gym. He says it's one thing to receive quick calls to get information, but it's another matter to babble away, looking pretentious.


    If you must yak, take your chatter outside the workout area. Some gyms have dedicated places for socializing, such as cafes and lobbies.


    The Intruders


    It also annoys Valencia when people disturb him during a set when they ask questions like if he's going to be finished with the machine soon.


    In this case, Fichera says it's proper etiquette to let others use equipment while you're resting between sets. It may not be ideal, but the same courtesy could come in handy next time you're in a hurry.


    If you're really in a rush and can't wait for someone to finish, Warpeha recommends looking for alternatives. "More than one machine can work out a particular muscle," he says. "If all else fails, use free weights."


    Fitness centers usually have trained personnel on the floor who can guide you with appropriate exercises. For a simple question or two, there is usually no charge.


    The Soakers


    Some people may feel good about sweating up a storm at the gym, but remember to clean up after yourself. Warpeha says he's heard of customers catching colds and getting rashes from peers who don't bother to wipe perspiration from equipment. He's also seen people leave their stinky clothes in the locker room, thereby polluting the air.


    Remember that the locker room is not your personal private space. This means other people may not appreciate it if you spread your stuff all over the benches, leave your shaven hair in the sink, put towels on the floor, and forget to flush the toilet.


    Bottom line is that proper fitness etiquette may not differ so much from practicing good manners in the outside world. The only difference is that at the gym, you may be able to get away with wearing skimpy clothing without even a second glance.


    Published April 14, 2003.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    SOURCES: Salvatore Fichera, exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer, New York. Joe Warpeha, certified strength and conditioning specialist, Duluth, Minnesota. David Reyes. Albert Valencia. Re Perez.
    http://content.health.msn.com/conten...e/63/72063.htm


    So, are you a gym jerk??

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    Making noise is a part of workout as far as Im concerned. It it helps ME get my set or rep done, then I'm going to do it. Everyone else.....oh well!
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    i have a problem with some of the people that work at the gyms, all they do at my gym is walk around and try to talk to people that are trying to train.
    or if they hire someone the owner expects that person to show someone new around the gym and even give them a training routine. some of these guys are just little teenagers that have no idea of training and you can tell they dont even work out themselves.

    that is my little rant!!
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    Originally posted by windwords7
    Making noise is a part of workout as far as Im concerned. It it helps ME get my set or rep done, then I'm going to do it. Everyone else.....oh well!
    I wish I had that luxury at my gym. I live in a suburban hell, and the only gym anywhere close to where I am is packed with old white women doing their 5 lb. curls. If I grunted too hard, I'd be sent home
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    I work at our school "fitness center," and it's not that bad there. Most of the problems arise due to people being incosiderate, and not following simple rules regarding re-racking and using the weight collars (yes, I know some people hate them, but we have them due to how close things are, and our staff are all fully qualified to offer a spot on any exercise (and yes... we always have at least one male staff member in the building in case it's an insane lift attempt)). The biggest problem is people not putting stuff back, or assuming that "re-rack your weights" means take everything off EXCEPT 1 45-pound plate on each side. What these people fail to realize is that there are people that can't/don't want to bench that much (the little 100lb-ish girls for example), and by not putting things back, they create problems for everyone, including themselves in the long run. Common courtesy would solve so many problems in my gym (and many others I assume).

    ManBeast
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    I know Im a jerk. Me and my guys are the biggest guys in our gay ass health club gym. so what do we do. We talk like Arnold and make up sayings like "nice reps for girlie weight." we oly say it to eachother but I know we make some guys mad cause were joking and still bigger than them. One time I got a dirty look from a gut who was finishing his max bench out at 315 and I said In my Arnold voice "leave it on I need to warm up arghhhhhh" he got kind of pissed but thats how we are. we feed off each oher.
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    MB, I am like you.. the biggest problem we have is not reracking.. Sorry I don't get paid enough to pickup after the little HS boys that load the machines down and then can't seem to remember to rerack them. I get some really funny looks when I ask them to rerack them.
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    my problem is the kids who load a preacher bar or something with 5's and 10's... not for drop sets or anything mind you... just to look like there's more weight on the bar I guess, I'm not really sure... but they ALWAYS leave the bars lying around with the mini-discs on em, and if I catch em I ask em to empty the ****.
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    Interesting that you would have a thread like this, so I'mma use it to rant some... WARNING RANT AHEAD :

    Here I am, doing one-leg calf raises with a 25kg (55lb) plate in my hand, on the Adductor/Abductor machine because it has a nice grippy metal platform that allows that exercice nicely. It's the only place in the gym where I can do that movement. Now here comes this chatty woman, asking if she can use it, so I say "Sure, I take 2 minutes between sets, so that's fine". But she goes away and does something else for a few sets, then comes back towards the machine when I tell her I'm going to do another set in 20 seconds.

    So there she goes and makes herself comfortable on the machine and I repeat "Look, I need it back in 15 seconds..." and she starts doing her set... And she's trying to make conversation with me at the same time. After her set of adductors, she goes on to the abductors... Then she switches back again, and now I'm like 2.5 minutes LATE on my set and she's sitting there asking me why I'm not replying to her, not making conversation.

    By that time I'm more than a little irritated, so I just JUMP on the pin, clamping down the stack with 210lbs more. And I growl at her "Get off the machine NOW!"

    Well, she actually did understand that. So there goes, a little diplomacy and patiently explaining things in simple terms, nothing better to get some understanding. :-)

    Interestingly, I'm the guy who always makes sure I'm being respectful of OTHERS in the gym...
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    THE WATER BOTTLE MOTHERF%$#ER!


    Th a$$hole who leaves his water bottle on a bench and isnt even using it or near it so I'm left thinking someone went to get Dbells or something.....
    I am very quiet and kept to myself in the gym, one time I took the water bottle and put it on the floor and I hear "yo what are you doing? thats my water" I picked it up and launched it across the gym. Dick.
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    i like to lift weights naked...is this a problem ?
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    The things I'm guilty of are not wiping my sweat. And I fought over a Smith machine at a local YMCA when I was 18 because I used the machine and 5 minutes later some old man said he was already using it and wanted to take it back. He refused to let me work in, needless to say they banned me and the old guy from the YMCA. BTW Sheesh, I work out at a Health Club full of mostly women, and they just talk and hog up equipment
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    Originally posted by Jarconis
    i like to lift weights naked...is this a problem ?
    As long as I never, ever, ever see it, I don't see the problem.

    Unless of course, you work out at a gym in a state in which public exposure is illegal.
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    Originally posted by destro19
    I know Im a jerk. Me and my guys are the biggest guys in our gay ass health club gym. so what do we do. We talk like Arnold and make up sayings like "nice reps for girlie weight." we oly say it to eachother but I know we make some guys mad cause were joking and still bigger than them. One time I got a dirty look from a gut who was finishing his max bench out at 315 and I said In my Arnold voice "leave it on I need to warm up arghhhhhh" he got kind of pissed but thats how we are. we feed off each oher.
     

    LOL! What a dub.  If I was that guy I would have dropped a plate on your forehead.
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    The only thing that bothers me is when people mess with the music. I work out at the YMCA and they have two rooms with the free weights and some machines like smith machine, leg press, etc. Anyway the rest of the machines and treadmills, and all that other stuff is upstairs where most of the people who just want to stay in shape work out. Downstairs is for the bodybuilders.

    Downstairs they have speakers setup and a tuner to where you can change the station to whatever, my beef is when people from the upstairs venture down and turn the volume down or change the station to **** like easy listening 104.5. I usually just walk in slam the volume back up to full and change the station. Most get the hint but some actually say something like "hey can you keep that down." Needless to say I usually just laugh at them and continue on with my workout, but...if need be I go nutz and explain to them (in a nice way of course)that if the music bothers them go back upstair with the other excercisers. Ahh that felt better. Late J
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    Originally posted by NPursuit


     

    LOL! What a dub.  If I was that guy I would have dropped a plate on your forehead.
    I wasnt trying to be a jerk. it just sort of slipped out. when me and my guys are together sometimes we forget that other people arnt in on our jokes. We all start talking like arnold, hans and frans and insult eachother but its all in fun.
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    Originally posted by jminis
    The only thing that bothers me is when people mess with the music. I work out at the YMCA and they have two rooms with the free weights and some machines like smith machine, leg press, etc. Anyway the rest of the machines and treadmills, and all that other stuff is upstairs where most of the people who just want to stay in shape work out. Downstairs is for the bodybuilders.

    Downstairs they have speakers setup and a tuner to where you can change the station to whatever, my beef is when people from the upstairs venture down and turn the volume down or change the station to **** like easy listening 104.5. I usually just walk in slam the volume back up to full and change the station. Most get the hint but some actually say something like "hey can you keep that down." Needless to say I usually just laugh at them and continue on with my workout, but...if need be I go nutz and explain to them (in a nice way of course)that if the music bothers them go back upstair with the other excercisers. Ahh that felt better. Late J
    man i hate that. theres this old guy at my gym and every time they have on modern music he will go the front desk and complain untill they change it.
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    Originally posted by destro19

    I wasnt trying to be a jerk. it just sort of slipped out. when me and my guys are together sometimes we forget that other people arnt in on our jokes. We all start talking like arnold, hans and frans and insult eachother but its all in fun.
     

    LOL yeah I know.  That guy probably still hasn't gotten over you telling him to leave the weight on because you need to warm up.
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    Originally posted by destro19


    man i hate that. theres this old guy at my gym and every time they have on modern music he will go the front desk and complain untill they change it.
    they used to have the receiver/radio/cd tuner sitting out visible and it would always be on, pumping some easy listening **** through the speakers... which, you know... is fine... not for the godamn gym though... anyway, I started bringing my own cd of metallica, disturbed, etc, a little gym mix, and what happens? they put a ****ing lock box contraption over the stereo!
  

  
 

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