Ok, guys (and gals), you’re at the gym enjoying an awesome workout. You’ve got your sweat on, and your muscles are glistening. You’re feeling good. You’re looking good. You’re holding the 45-pound dumbbells you just dominated and you turn around to re-rack the weight and trip over some 15-pounders Steve Urkel just left on the ground while he’s getting a sip of vitamin water before taking a dip in the pool. Now you’re embarrassed and you skinned your knee on the side of the bench that painfully broke your fall as you stumbled.
This exact scenario may not have befallen to you, but you’ve been in a similar situation. Maybe you spent 5 minutes looking for some dumbbells or weight plates only to find them hidden under a yoga mat that wasn’t rolled up and put away. Nobody likes that feeling, and maybe you’ve been the one to forget to re-rack your weights. Don’t be that guy (or gal)! Forgetting is one thing, but blatant apathy bears no excuse. Ever see someone load up a bunch of plates for a max rep only to do half a rep and then leave all the plates on the barbell? C’mon, man!
There’s more to gym atrocities than not re-racking weight. Here are a few more gym misdeeds to avoid:
Walking around the locker room in your birthday suit. We all know how we came into the world. It seems the older you get, the less clothes you wear in the locker room and the longer you keep them off. Show some respect and wear a towel or change quickly.
Shadowboxing. Nothing wrong with shadowboxing… until you do it in the mirror between sets and put everyone within arms reach in danger.
Sweating all over the gym equipment and leaving it. You should sweat at the gym, but if you are hyper-hydrated and your sweat glands act like a shower-head, please wipe off the machines after you use them.
Using the water-fountain improperly. Water-fountains are a necessity at the gym, and you should continue to drink water and stay hydrated. But remember that they are not for spit, coffee, gum, protein shake backwash or to fill up your 64-ounce water bottle.
Nobody expects you to be the USA Network character “Monk” or a neat-freak at the gym, though I’m sure the staff would appreciate it! Just put things back where they go. It will make every gym-rat’s experience more positive and pleasant. If others see you do it, maybe they’ll take note and join in the fun of re-racking weights – a little Tom Sawyer trickery?