Thursday, April 22, 2010

More Workout Etiquette

A couple of months ago, I wrote about how I'd like to see things go at the gym. Among other things, I wanted people to dress appropriately (especially depending on their age and physical condition), to be clean when they go work out, and not to talk to me. I got some great feedback and saw a little bit more myself, so here's Volume 2. You can read the first one here.

I was at the gym yesterday and saw something I thought just wasn't really happening.  The weather has been great, so most of my town must be working out outside...or maybe just drinking on somebody's patio.  But there was a girl who came in and got set up on an elliptical machine.  She was wearing all velour and had beautiful blond hair with the roots dyed black.  She sat on the floor for a moment before she boarded the machine, and when she got to her feet, she had her laptop in hand.  She placed it on the magazine holder and walked for a few minutes.  I figured she was just reading a website, so I didn't think much of it.

But when she got off the elliptical and carried her computer to every other machine she used, I started thinking she might not be all there.  As I got closer, I saw that she was in the middle of a video chat with her boyfriend...or at least I'm assuming he's her boyfriend.  Even when she was on the leg press machine, she held the computer so the webcam was facing her and this guy could watch her go up and down.  I thought about just walking over and kissing her right in front of the webcam, but I kept thinking of reasons that was a terrible idea...and none of them included that such an act would be mean.  I dated a girl once who needed that kind of attention.  For about a minute.

Video chatting is not something I would have ever thought needed to be banned from the gym.  It's like saying you can't bring a rhinoceros with you on a roller coaster.  You just can't think of everything, nor should you need to.

Here are some additions a few people made to my list of do's and don't's for the gym:

Shani said:  "no farting at the gym...there's little worse than being nasally assaulted while breathing hard...My gym has a 'no cellphones' sign, they should have a 'no farting' sign too."  I only toot privately, thank you very much.  My conscience is clear.

Cory said:  "No one cares you are about to set your own PR of 385 on the bench.  Please do not walk around the gym slapping yourself in the face and psyching yourself up before the attempt."  Seriously.

Jill doesn't want you "sitting on the weight machine for 10 minutes trying to work up the strength to do another set."  And neither do I.

And finally, Rachael reminded me that I completely forgot about locker room etiquette.  "Even though it is acceptable to be completely nude, DO NOT bend over and show everyone your goods...from both sides."  I know how bad that is in the men's locker room.  I can only imagine how bad it could be next door.

Rachael's comment reminded me that I've always been troubled by the (usually quite old) men who sit on the furniture completely naked for long periods of time (or any period of time, for that matter), watching TV.  Fortunately my gym now has brown pleather chairs that can be wiped down and disinfected, but I'm not taking any chances.

And I hate to mention this last point, because the guy who violates this is much larger than I am.  But he probably can't read anyway, so I'm good.  If you can leg press over 1300 pounds, you might as well stop lifting.  You probably can't wear pants other than your sweet Zubaz, so let's quit.  What bugs me about it, besides him telling everybody around what he's doing, is that he has just about every free weight in the room on the machine so he can get the weight he needs.  Now I'm loading 20 of the five-pound weights on each end of the bar for my bench-press, and people are looking at me like I'm the idiot.

Oh well, I guess if people weren't doing these things, I wouldn't have anything to complain about.  

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