Weight Lifting Etiquette…Got it?

Sorry, but this one’s definitely a guy thing. We know you’re lifting weights. In fact, the whole gym is well aware that you’re lifting weights. We know you’re lifting a dumbbell, but there’s no need to be one. Keep it to yourself. The grunting and groaning is SO unnecessary. Do you ever hear a woman make that much noise lifting weights? We know you exist, and we’d prefer you existed much more quietly.

1. It’s Really Not Nice To Leave A Giant Sweat Spot On The Weight Bench When You Leave It

How many times have you finally spied a weight bench after a long wait (pun intended), and when you triumphantly went to rush over to capture it, found a big messy blob of sweat on the bench? Eeww, right? Obviously the person who used the bench before that person didn’t leave it that way, or they wouldn’t have used it. So what could someone possibly be thinking about when leaving the bench in that condition? “I hope they didn’t see me?” “I’m leaving my sweat for posterity?”

Here’s a memo for you. The gym requires you to bring a towel–use it! And those little paper towel stations with disinfectant spray are not a decoration either!

2. Don’t Stand Right In Front Of Someone And Block The Mirror In Front Of Them

This seems to be a new act of rudeness that’s getting quite popular. I’ll be on a weight bench, doing an arm row or tricep kickback, trying to focus on my form in the mirror, and a guy will step immediately in front of the end of my bench, blocking the mirror and making it all about him.

Hello! Did you think the mirror was only put up for your viewing pleasure? Do you think I want to see your backside? Did you not notice that others work out here too, and you could step two feet to the side and we could all be happy?

3. Do Not Just Sit On A Piece Of Gym Equipment And Text Or Talk On Your Cell

Inevitably, this always happens when you get to the last piece of gym equipment that you need to complete your workout. Someone–yes, sorry, it’s usually a guy–will be sitting on a popular piece of equipment like the pec-fly machine, and be texting away. Oh, did you not understand that the only viable reason for sitting on that equipment is to actually use it?

The only thing worse is having someone on the weight bench or machine having a conversation. If you’re waiting for the item in question, it’s an exercise in frustration (besides how come he gets a cell signal and you don’t). If you’re next door trying to focus on your workout, it’s totally distracting and annoying.

I once got so ticked off when a guy was talking loudly on the phone near the stretching area where I was that’s supposed to be peaceful, I actually made a comment out loud multiple times to the amusement of the people around me (who enjoyed the scene, but did not have my back as they made themselves scarce as they sensed a confrontation).

Eventually “cell guy” caught on and asked me what my (fill in the expletive) problem was. I got my NYC on, and even though he was a big guy, I advised him that he was the problem, and that it was much more courteous to take the call away from where people were working out. He muttered another expletive and then told the person on the phone that “apparently he was bothering someone” and kept talking, but at least moved away from me. After, some of my fellow gym attendees gave me an “atta girl.” Here’s hoping I come back in the next life as a 6’2″ bruiser.

4. Put Weights And Benches Back Where You Found Them, Put The Standard Attachment Back

Ever have the fun of stumbling upon a 100 lb dumbbell in the middle of the gym floor? Or weight plates that are way too heavy to move in the way around the floor of a bench? How about your favorite Hammer Strength sit-up chair left across the gym floor at a Smith machine? How about putting back the stuff where you found it. When the gym rules say “please rerack your weights,” it doesn’t say, “except for you.”

And for goodness sake, if you put a funky attachment on a machine, or take the hand pull off a FreeMotion machine for example, it’s not up to the next person to deal with it. Put it back the way you found it! Is that so darn hard?