10 Things That Offend Me at the Gym
In this new age of “offendedness” I am bringing my own little spin on things. A few weeks ago I was using some light weights to work on my sumo deadlift form. I don’t sumo deadlift often but I want to begin incorporating it a bit into my programs. The following video was not made for my YouTube Channel or the website. I had no intention of showing this video to anyone. I was using the video to check my form. I wanted to make sure I had good spinal alignment and that I was tucking my chin. Using video to address my form is something I do often and I suggest you do it also! My form needs some work but here is the video.
You are probably thinking, “Okay great. Who cares?” Well if you are a real lifter you are about to care.
Shortly after that lift, the manager of the gym approached me. He told me to stop “dropping the bar.” He then stated that people get “uncomfortable” when they hear weights making “loud noises.” He also said that bars had been broken in the past from people deadlifting and that if I want to continue deadlifting I can’t let the weights touch the ground. And yes he was actually serious when he said this.
Being more mature in my older age, my response to the manager was a simple, “Okay.” I did this to avoid confrontation and blowing up into a huge argument. It was my final set so it didn’t matter much at the time. Needless to say though, I am in the process of looking for a new gym.
What I really wanted to do was bring up the fact that the squirrely gentleman to the left of me (off camera) is curling in the squat rack and literally threw the bar into the rack after his set. You can hear it in the video. It happens just before I begin to pull and it’s way louder than the sound of me deadlifting. But, the manager said nothing to him.
What bothers me the most is this whole idea of people being “uncomfortable” and “offended” by ridiculous things. How does hearing weights hit the floor make someone “uncomfortable?” I don’t get it, but it is not the first time I have heard this.
This mind set of unwarranted offendedness is not just isolated to the gym.
The whole concept is wild to me. Everyone gets offended over everything. Through social media I constantly read posts about individuals who feel offended. Recently the posts have been about people being offended that others are bidding them a happy or merry (insert holiday). Since when is being nice offensive? If you do not celebrate that particular holiday, be thankful that the person is kind and thinks of you highly enough to include you in something that is of such importance to them.
This still doesn’t answer my question though.
Why is everyone such an offended victim?
To be honest I don’t know, but it is spreading like the plague.
My deadlifting experience and this concept has me thinking….
What are the top 10 things that offend me in the gym?
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Let’s do it!
This offends me so much. It tells me that you think I can’t move. It tells me you think I am an idiot. It tells me you don’t encourage hard work. It tells me I need to find a new gym.
9. Talking on your cell phone excessively loud/texting excessively while sitting on equipment.
No one cares that you are at the gym. No one in the gym cares that you are talking to someone about the fact that you are at the gym. Lower your voice and stop posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. #NoOneCares #ShutUpOrGoHome
8. Heavy dumbbells on the bottom rack
This is common in most gyms, but it truly pisses me off. Why on Earth would you put the heaviest dumbbells on the bottom rack? Think about it. People are bending down and reaching under the top rack to pull out a 100 lb+ dumbbell. That positioning puts the handler at such a mechanical disadvantage that it can easily lead to injury. Putting the large dumbbells on the top rack would make much more sense. The stupidity with putting the heaviest dumbbells on the bottom rack totally offends me.
7. People who know nothing but tell everyone else how to lift
There are many examples that can fit here but the best one that I can think of includes a self-proclaimed Noob-Vet. I am not kidding. He claims to be both extremely knowledgeable, yet tells everyone how he only recently began working out. He talks to you while you are in the middle of sets and expects a response. Oh, you have headphones on? Yeah that doesn’t matter to him. He will wave his hand in your line of sight as you are mid-pull during a set of lat pull downs. He also will tell you that the exercise you are doing is bad and that you are doing it incorrectly. During a set of alternating lunges he once told me that I shouldn’t do them because they were bad for your knees. No Mr. Noob-Vet, you are bad for my gym mojo. Take the hint and go away.
6. The excessively torn shirt guy
Tight shirts are fine. Sleeveless shirts are cool. Tank tops are okay. 160 lb males walking around in pink sleeveless shirts that are cut down to the bottom seam are not acceptable. It offends me. I don’t want to see your nipples. I don’t want to see you flexing in the mirror either. If I can’t wear my Timbs in the gym, you can’t wear that soft, foofy shirt. Man up, stop doing “arms”, get rid of your toe shoes and do a real lift.
5. Couthless people
People flat out have no couth. Here is an example for you. I am doing pull ups on one of four bars that are attached to cable stations. That means there are six other cables that are open for use while I am doing pull ups. So, “excessively torn shirt guy” decides to do push downs on a cable attached to the same station where I am doing pull ups. He mindlessly walks over and begins his set while I am in the middle of mine. His back is literally brushing on my legs. The dirty look I gave him after my set barely scared him away. These mindless drones are relentless… and offensive.
4. Curling in the squat rack
The gym has one squat rack. There are five other barbells in the gym, two EZ curl bars, two complete pyramids of preset barbells, and countless dumbbells. You really need to use the squat rack to do curls? I told a guy once, “I need to squat. You can curl somewhere else.” He acted very confused and asked, “Where?” I replied: “Anywhere.” This exchange made me feel uncomfortable.
Just stop. It hurts my eyes and makes me feel uneasy.
2. Excessive talking between sets
I have completed an entire workout before some people complete three sets. I am not joking. People will sit at the bench press and talk excessively long and loud about nothing. The loud talking is to draw everyone’s attention. Apparently they didn’t get enough at home. Once the group finally gets around to doing a set, they grunt and yell. The lifter’s friend and spotter shout words of encouragement. They say things like: “Light weight,” “Get big,” and “We be ballin”. As the friend assists with the liftoff he makes a final loud noise. This is his last stitch effort to draw attention before the actual lift. Astonished, I see that the guy lifting only uses a quarter range of motion. He looks like he is having a seizure. He re-racks the weight and his boys all give him compliments followed by the phrase: “No homo.” Apparently this is acceptable gym etiquette but doing a proper deadlift is not. Let me clue you Bozos in: “No one is going to be impressed with how much weight you can re-rack.” – Bro Science Life’s Dom Mazzetti.
1. Doing exercises directly in front of the dumbbell racks
There is nothing like trying to bend down and grab a heavy dumbbell off of the bottom rack while ducking wild, sloppy arm curls. The worst part about these perpetrators and pretenders is the fact they always have long noodle arms. They also travel in packs so this makes them difficult to avoid. It is like trying to run through an automatic car wash without getting slapped by those big, floppy swinging cloths. People forget that this is a gym, not an obstacle course! People need to have some couth, courtesy and learn some gym etiquette. Move away from the dumbbell rack once you begin your set.
Of course a lot of what I have complained about is tongue in cheek. Sure most of it can be annoying, but I really am not “offended” by any of it. It doesn’t change my life or affect me. It is not debilitating. The truth is, there will always be things that people find “offensive” or things that make people feel “uncomfortable.” To limit this, people need to prioritize their lives and differentiate between what is important and what is not. People also need to build a tolerance and acceptance for those that are different than they are.
So in my situation, just because the woman who wastes her time on the elliptical for hours gets “uncomfortable” because I deadlift, it doesn’t mean I should have to stop doing what I do. I don’t complain that she is wasting her time and is in the way of people who want to make real gains. I don’t complain to management about the losers on their phones who hog up precious gym space. I accept people for who they are, both inside the gym and outside the gym. I also do not let them deter me from achieving what I want. If you put up a road block I am busting through it.
The real problem is that people just love to make excuses as to why they don’t achieve. “The gym is dirty,” “I am too busy,” “There are guys that lift heavy weight and it makes me feel uncomfortable.” I call BS to all of that. These are just more excuses and more reasons to make you feel better about not being able to achieve what you want. Don’t let nonsense distract you from achieving your goals.
I find that at this point, the only thing that truly offends me is an unwarranted sense of offense. So the next time someone tells me that they are “uncomfortable” or “offended” by something ridiculous, I will tell them: “Your level of offendedness offends me.” Let’s see how they like that.