ATTN: Gym Rat

May 28, 2020 — Jt Spratley

First published on May 23, 2016

Below are a bunch of thoughts for fellow gym rats in the weight room.

  1. Wipe down the bench, or your area on the fitness mat, after you’re done, especially if you’ve been sweating or putting your shoes on it (step-ups or box jumps).
  2. Dropping or throwing weights at the end of your set makes you a douche. Seriously, you’re sooooooo wiped out from those garbage form curls you can’t set down 30 pound dumbbells or those partial deadlifts you can’t set down 135 on a barbell? Okay.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for a spot during a heavy lift attempt.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for tips in the weight room. Just be tactful.

  5. Just because you’ve never seen an exercise someone is doing, doesn’t mean he or she is using improper form or doesn’t know what they’re doing. I still get weird looks and laughed at for sumo deadlifts and windshield wipers. Grow up.
  6. He lifts a lot more than you. Okay. That doesn’t mean he or she is simply showing off. Have you heard of progressive overload?
  7. Everyone has different goals at different times. Such goals include improving 1RM, ability to do X reps with Y weight in Z seconds, mobility, and flexibility. Periodization.
  8. Having a pen and paper means you have a plan. Using it in the gym should mean you’re taking notes about the weight you’re using, pain, what’s being targeted, and more . . . or maybe just tallying how many sets you got left because you suck at memory after three sets.
  9. If the gym is busy, don’t hog two machines or three sets of dumbbells. You’re a jerk.
  10. If you’re at a water fountain and there’s another one beside you, I’m getting my sip(s) of water. A 1-2 minute rest period is TOO short to be waiting for you to fill your water bottle. Lick lint.
  11. Lock your valuables up or keep them close at all times. The good guy will take it straight to the lost and found box. The bad guy will take it.
  12. If you need space for your exercise, find it. Don’t always look to force it. Definitely don’t if it’s a busy time. You shouldn’t be doing barbell side lunges two feet in front of a dumbbell rack with a smith machine and adjustable bench within five feet. Find a free corner. Switch the barbell for dumbbells. Choose a different variation. It’ll be okay.
  13. Bad or slippery grip can result in injury and embarrassment. Learn proper grip. Get chalk or Gold Bond powder. Get training gloves. Figure it out.
  14. It’s okay to record yourself doing exercises sometimes for educational purposes. But don’t be that guy (or gal) that takes selfies for nothing.
  15. Check your attire. Check for holes. Cover yourself. You should be looking to improve yourself, not show skin.

Tags: fitness

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