Rules of the Weight Room

The weight room is a pretty incredible place, a place that is filled with strength, determination, and PRs.

But it’s also often full of douchey people.

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Unfortunately, this is a fact of life. But maybe all of those douchey people don’t realize what they’re doing, maybe they don’t know any better. Maybe they just need a set of rules like we all had posted on the wall in our 3rd grade classrooms.

So here is my list, my seven rules of the weight room. And these rules are not meant to be broken. Even if you can bench press your girlfriend and her two best friends in pyramid formation.

1. Wash your clothing. Especially dry fit.  Workout clothes stink. Dry fit clothes stink even more. Even if you think you didn’t get sweaty, that dry-fit shirt you’re wearing absorbed some of the sweat that you think magically never appeared. And even if you think your own home-grown scent isn’t that bad, multiply it by 10 and that’s what other people smell. Add in the constant movement that causes your scent to waft, and often close quarters of a weight room, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for body-odor-smog. Air pollution at it’s most offensive.

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2. No Selfies. Ever. STOP STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MIRROR AND TAKING SELFIES WITH YOUR PHONE. Stop. Just stop. For the love of God, stop.

3. Stick to one rack at a time. I know you really think that you need to be super-setting your quarter squats with your bench press, bro, but if you work out in a gym that only has 3 power racks, and you’re taking up 2 of them for 45 minutes, that’s not really fair now is it? Unless you’re one of only a couple people lifting, don’t act like you’re entitled to hog everything just because your biceps are big. And if you absolutely must be using both racks, don’t give me a death stare when I ask to work in for sets on one of them.

LiftingRules14. Clean Up Your Mess.  After you’re done getting your pump on, don’t leave a loaded barbell for the next person to clean off. No, it’s not because I can’t lift the plates myself, it’s because I don’t like cleaning up after sweaty, smelly strangers. And on a related note, please, please, please: if you do see me clearing plates off a barbell, don’t rush over, push me out of the way, and do it for me. You think you’re being a gentleman, I think you’re being sexist. I can move the plates by myself, thank you very much. 

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5. No Gabbing With Your Bestie On The Phone. The weight room certainly doesn’t have to be silent, and conversations between gym goers happen frequently. But when I’m trying to bust out a set of dead lifts and you’ve just parked your ass on a bench, holding a set of 3 lb dumbbells that you aren’t even using because you’re too busy on your phone, you’re distracting me and taking me out of my groove. I don’t need to hear about how drunk you got last night or what time you’re going to go tanning lately. I don’t care. Please shut up.

6. If you sweat, wipe it up. There is nothing more gross than mysterious sweat droplets that have been left on a bench to fester. There is no shame in sweating, so if you are the perpetrator, leaving it behind and pretending you “didn’t do it” is just plain disgusting. You wouldn’t leave other bodily fluids laying around would you? Sweat is no different. And if you would leave other bodily fluids laying around, maybe you have no business being out in public anyway.

7. Don’t spread out like you’re in your living room. I’ve seen people come into the weight room, drop their sweatshirt on one bench, their keys and water bottle on another, and then set up in the squat rack.  For others who come in after you, seeing gear on a bench gives the impression that someone is using it. Be considerate, and keep your belongings with you, or leave them in the locker room.  Douche.

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You tell ’em, Pauly. 

What is your biggest weight room rule? What is your biggest gym pet peeve?

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7 thoughts on “Rules of the Weight Room

  1. My favorite are the girls who pick up the free weights and then just stand directly in front of the rack, blocking tons of weights, as they curl 8 pounds. Get out of the way!!! Also love the guys who take 40 minutes to get through a set of squats. Stop hogging the smith machine, bro! haha

  2. The hogging of the smith kills me, or today I saw a guy using the seated cable row for bicep curls… wth? My personal fav today though was the girl sitting on an exercise bike “sort of” peddling with her iPad playing a game…. might as well have had a bag of bon bon’s in the water bottle holder.

  3. Ugh, just dealt with 3, 4, and 7 from one pair of guys this week. The place was a disaster when they left.

    Not re-racking your weights in my biggest issue because I really think it keeps a lot of women out of the free weight area. Who wants to deload a bar full of 45’s when they are brand new to lifting.

  4. weight room etiquette – or lack thereof – is a HUGE pet peeve of mine! leaving weights on the bar is such an issue at my gym, despite the dozen signs telling you to re-rack your weights! but on a lighter note, re: bodily fluids…a few weekends ago a watched, horrified, as a guy spit on the gym floor. just, like…hocked a loogie right next to where he was doing preacher curls. and then got riotously angry when somebody suggested that maybe he shouldn’t be spitting on the floor. people!

  5. LMAO I love all of these. I have never actually seen anyone take a selfie in the middle of the gym. I think that’s an American thing because you’d probably get beaten up if you tried to do that here! My gym only has one squat rack and 3 smith machines. Even at peak times, the squat rack is usually free because all the bros are on the smith machines, but someone was using the rack today to curl (and just the bar, not even any additional weight). Not cool. I asked him how much longer he was going to be, and then proceeded to throw down 200lb deadlifts. The look on his face was priceless!

  6. Haha I totally agree with all of these – especially the one about people throwing their crap on like three different benches.

    I also really hate it when people wear really strong perfume/cologne to the gym. I’m pretty sensitive to smells, so it gives me a headache!

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