By DAN ROMAND
The other day I was “visiting” one of the local big box gyms and ran across “That Guy”. I’m sure many of you have seen “That Guy” at the gym. The one strutting around 1-gallon water jug in hand, flexing his muscles in his tank top.
Well, as I was working out, I paid attention to him and how he essentially took over the place. He grabbed his bench and then proceeded to make a rainbox of dumbbells around it. Grunting as he lifted and putting on a show, he epitomoized the typical “musclehead” we all know and… well, despise.
I’ve seen these type of people in the gym for many years and, no, it’s not just guys that do it.
So, I thought I’d throw together a little list of my Top 10 Gym Fails You Must Not Do!
In no particular order:
10. Not wiping down the equipment after you use it: Yes, I know it’s hot, I know you’re working hard, but I really don’t want to be sitting in your pool of sweat after you’re done with the machine and no… it’s not my job to wipe it down
9. Not using deodorant: Again, yes you will sweat but if I can smell you across the room well then let me introduce you to this new piece of fitness equipment called a shower.
8. Putting on a ton of perfume before you workout: oh yeah nothing I like better than being on a cardio machine and having someone get on the one next to me reeking of perfume to the point I can LITERALLY taste it in my mouth…. Seriously? Again, there’s this new piece of equipment… oh and it’s not just the ladies that do this. I swear some of these guys have stock in Axe body spray.
7. Hogging the equipment: Ever see the guy who’s got a bunch of dumbbells piled up around him. Yeah, don’t be him. Take the one or two pairs you need and leave the rest for us. The guy I mentioned above… he had 11 different pairs of dumbbells arranged around him. I’m not sure if he was trying to impress the ladies, but most of us looked at him and said what a putz.(Well, it was another word but I’m trying to follow No. 4, coming up.)
6. Hogging the equipment, part deux: You got a call on your cell. Okay, maybe it really is life threatening and you do need to take it. What you don’t need to do is sit on the leg press machine for 30 minutes while on the phone giving dirty looks to anyone who wants to use it. And if it’s not urgent… take the call outside or tell them you’ll call back… We really don’t need to listen to you talking to your girlfriend about how bad your relationship is.
5. Not putting the equipment away when you’re done: The aforementioned putz, yeah, when he was done, just walked away and left all 11 pairs of dumbells sitting there on the floor. I felt bad for the woman behind the fitness counter who had to put them all away. Clean up after yourself.
4. Language: Now look, I’ve been known to drop the F-bomb a time or two. And, yes, even during a workout.But, seriously, when you’re carrying on a loud conversation with your buddy that has more profanity than a Chris Rock show, you need to reevaluate your surroundings and take into account you are not in your basement gym. Be respectful to those around you.
3. Checking out the girls or guys: Look, it’s a gym, not a dating market, and when you stand there staring down the man or woman like a starving dog looking at a t-bone. Well, it’s just wrong. And, if you think you’re being discrete, you’re not
2. Inappropriate attire: Seriously. Walking around with the word “Juicy” on your butt? Look, I’m there to workout, not read your butt. And dude, that skintight pair of spandex shorts you’re wearing. You may think we want to see what you’re packing, but we don’t. Though, it was hilarious the one time the guy was doing clean and jerks and his spandex split. Oh, and ladies, for the love of god, if you’re going to wear a tank top, please wear a bra underneath.
1. Making fun of people who are overweight (or skinny): This is one that really sets me off. These people have just as much right to be there as you do and, frankly, they are making an effort to get fitter. Being an ass isn’t helping. And, if you think you’re all that, well, the rest of us don’t. As a trainer, I much prefer working with people who are trying to change their lives than some arrogant jerk who thinks he (or she) is all that.
Posing: Seriously. Standing in front of a mirror and flexing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen this one. I had fallen off the treadmill once laughing so hard. We aren’t impressed, and that girl you were hoping you would impress with your bicepts, well she was laughing harder at you than I was.
I can tell you that in my 30-plus years of experience in the gym, I’ve seen each and every one of the above — not just once, but over and over.
It’s annoying to say the least, and, as the owner of a fitness studio. I don’t tolerate it at all. It’s one of the reasons our clients come to us and, more importantly, stay with us.
So I implore you… don’t be THAT GUY (or Girl).
Dan Romand is co-owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness NY in Colonie, where he is also a certified personal trainer. He is also a regular contributor to TheSpot518, where you can find his health and fitness column.