In the almost 25 years it’s been since I started working out, I’ve seen some pretty bizarre behavior at the gym. There’s all the standard alpha male displays that guys do, evolutionary remnants of the days when we just learned how to walk upright… which you sort of have to look past. It’s going to be another thousand years at least before men get over it, two thousand if you’re Latin (machismo is very big, I know I grew up with it). But there’s other stuff guys do at the gym that’s just plain dumb and annoying. So the following is my list of the top ten stupid things body builders do at the gym.
10. Carrying a gallon jug of water.
Okay so we know you should keep hydrated during a workout but seriously? What is that all about? Was a hurricane watch just issued? Are you really going to drink that entire gallon of water during your workout? Drinking too much water can actually be very unhealthy and could possibly lead to a condition called hyponatremia. Besides it just looks really stupid. I’m not sure how this trend started out, maybe it’s because guys don’t look bad ass enough holding a Zephyrhills bottle.
9. Bags on the workout floor.
There’s signs everywhere stating gym bags are not permitted on the workout floor and that doesn’t stop the masses from bringing them. And they’re not small bags either. It’s like they’re carrying a home gym in there and maybe a mini-bar. Perhaps they should have put the bag in some place made for just for the purpose, like a locker? Of course the bags are placed strategically where you can trip over them. If and when you do, look out because it’s gonna be your fault.
8. Chewing / sucking on your iPhone cable – Phones Between Boobs
Your earphone cables are filthy. They come into contact with so many surfaces that you’re not even aware of and no one really cleans them (unless they’re left in your pocket during a wash). Not to mention many cables have a certain amount of lead in them to maintain their flexibility. So yeah just not a good idea overall. Yet there they are, chewing on these cables like they’re flavored or something. Wait, are they?
What’s up with putting your iPhone between your boobs like it’s nature’s wireless cradle? Does anyone remember when there was much concern over the radiation output of mobile devices and their possible link to tumors? Of course these rumors were conveniently brushed under the rug by numerous studies paid for by mobile carriers, but come on, let’s not take the chance. Oh yeah and Iron Man called and he wants his look back.
7. Using the adjacent shorter water fountain simultaneously.
Okay so the smaller water fountain next to the larger one isn’t for two people at the same time to get water. It’s for accessibility for those persons who may be using a wheelchair or other mobility device. Standing in front of a fountain, my frame easily takes up half the space of the adjacent one. And while I’m there drinking some jerk will always violate my personal space and proceed to fill their water bottle or drink next to me, sucking all the water pressure from the pipe. Suddenly there’s only one real working fountain and it’s being used by the person that just showed up. Interestingly enough, this complete lack of courtesy is most often performed by someone that doesn’t want to wait in line either. They will literally walk past the five or six people waiting (who are being respectful) and just help themselves. So it makes complete sense that they would engage in this completely self-centered action.
6. Re-purposing a machine.
Some machines have multiple functions and positions and some do not. It’s just not supposed to be used in that manner. When my gym gets really crowded and people become impatient, it’s not unusual for the lat pull down machine (with a fixed bar), to be turned into a tricep extension. To accomplish this task, the braniacs have to step onto the seat made for your butt and balance carefully while attempting to duplicate the movement. Should they slip off this small seat and fall, the solid steal bar (not the removable floating kind) will clip their jaw on the way up and send them straight to the hospital.
5. Sunglasses at the gym, at night.
Yes some people are just too cool to be seen and that includes those guys decked out in the latest eye wear for the sunny outdoors. Once again this behavior is usually paired with some other odd display, such as wearing excessive jewelry or flashy street clothes. Obviously fitness isn’t their prime interest in going to the gym. They think they look cool and we are left asking ourselves why.
4. Amazing displays of gum chewing.
Holy shit that’s a strong jaw, I bet you could pull a semi with it. I guess that’s what these guys want you to think as they walk around, chomping on a huge wad of gum. I read somewhere that this is also a sign of dominance left over from when your house was made of stone and so were your golf clubs. So not sure if that falls into the “overlook / born this way” category.
3. Holding court in the locker room.
My gym locker room is pretty disgusting. There’s no ventilation in the bathroom area so you’re talking some pretty nasty organic scents in the stale air. I really can’t imagine why anyone would actually want to hang there. Sure as the stench of raw sewage there will often be a group of men hanging out, sometimes perched on the filthy counter top, talking about absolutely nothing. When did smelly bathrooms become a thing for men? Is this a straight thing and I just missed out on it?
2. Yelling, Grunting and Cursing.
We all know you’re pretty stoked about benching 240 but forgive me if I don’t share your excitement when I hear “fuck yeah!” echoing through the gym. Sometimes it’s just “fffffuuuuuuuucccccckkkk!!!” without the “yeah” and the length of the expletive is directly proportional to the time of the repetition. Also many times the person screaming actually seems angry and not excited at all. Grunting can often accompany the screaming which must make you even stronger.
1. Slamming the weights.
Slamming the weights is for quitters. Most would agree that the “negative” portion of a repetition is the most productive part. So instead of getting the full benefit of the last rep, muscled-up douche bag decides to slam it in an effort to tell us how hard he’s been lifting. All he’s really doing is telling everyone he’s a quitter and couldn’t handle the weight. He should probably try less weight.
So that’s my top ten. I know I may sound like a bit of an ass, but it would be really nice if you could go to a gym and people were just people and not trying to be something they’re not. The worse thing about this list is that people usually do a combination of these actions, not just a single one. We just really need to respect and be courteous to one another, and I don’t think I’m a jerk for wanting that. Before getting a chance to post this little rant, my partner Eric sent me this photo from the Planet Fitness he visited in Boston. Turns out I’m not the only one that thinks this way and there’s even a word for it. Yes! I’m vindicated. 🙂