When I originally started my post on gym offenders, I soon realized I had too much rage and too many examples for the post to be limited to a single list. So the rant continues:
Offender 4: Narcissus
Cue me in the restroom fixing my contact lens when jacked supersetter dude who you may recognize as Gym Offender #2 walks in. He begins flexing behind me in the mirror. Yes, he is flexing a foot away from me and studying himself over my shoulder. Does his vanity know no bounds?
No, because another time I heard him telling someone his waist and bicep measurements. Like I said, he has a loud voice. (30 inches if you're wondering. Not sure whether that's his waist or biceps . . . . )
The lesson here is, keep your flexing and admiring to inside your bedroom. Or at least your Instagram feed. Not over my shoulder.
Offender 5: “Can You Do That Somewhere Else?”
This is the easiest offender to correct. Quite a few people do it: Essentially, you should not do an exercise on equipment not meant for that equipment.
Case in point: There are six squat racks at my gym. Usually they are not all occupied, but one day they were. Except in the sixth one, a guy was doing curls. It is called a squat rack – you could bend your biceps in just about any other area in this gym, and you chose the only equipment where one can squat with a heavy load?
And definitely don’t do push-ups in the cable tower. You can do push-ups in your freaking bedroom. Why there?! And don’t tell me you’re supersetting.
Offender 6: Personal Space Invaders
Similar to the above, you also want to ask these airheads if they can "do that somewhere else."
In this case, I am on a bench using dumbbells. This girl - who is attractive, but that doesn't forgive her - walks over and puts some dumbbells on the bench beside me. Now if she had sat on her bench or stood behind it, none of this would have been an issue. However, she decides to step into the space between our benches and start doing some sort of shoulder workout. But now she is encroaching on my space, as in I cannot lift my arm to any height without whopping her. She does not seem bothered by this, because she continues doing whatever it is she doing.
Finally, she rests, and I take full advantage of extending my arms into the area she had been standing. Her eyes reel toward me as if I am the offender. Excuse me, you are the mastiff confusing yourself for a lapdog. You cannot fit in here. I'm sorry, it has nothing to do with your weight, but it does have to do with your weights.
Self-awareness, people. That's what the Beatles meant to sing in 1968.
Offender 7: The Rule Follower
A while ago, I read online that you need to “get closer to the ground” to improve your deadlifting form. Aka you should take off your shoes. Now I have seen plenty of people do squats and deadlifts barefoot, but I have never considered myself “that person,” so I felt self-conscious doing so. But truly, it makes a difference.
So I got used to doing deadlifts and squats in my socks. About six months into this routine, my gym apparently hires a rule follower, because this guy interrupts me: “You have to wear shoes while at the gym.”
My shoes are twelve inches from me. I am not prancing around in socks. I try to say as much: “I’m just doing it – “
Employee: “It’s policy.”
It’s also pretty well-known that deadlifting/squatting in socks/barefoot is a norm. And really, you aren’t about to crush your feet when the bar is six feet long and a foot from the ground. No one has that wide of a stance.
The next week I am approached by this employee again. This time I have moved a bench from the dumbbell area of the gym to the barbell area – something I have done multiple times in the previous year since there are 15 benches in the dumbbell area, which is a bit claustrophobic, and none in the barbell arena.
Employee: “You can’t move the benches.”
Me: “Oh, I didn’t know that.”
Employee: “You can move the barbells.”
Great, let me move an even larger piece of metal into the already cramped dumbbell zoo instead of reducing the population by relocating a bench. Let me guess, policy, right?