You spend a lot of time at the gym. It‘s precious time. It’s your time. Some people just don’t get it and, to make it worse, they usually come in at the same time as you - every day. Instead of letting these people ruin your workout, write out a list of people who you’d ban from the gym if you had the power. It might look a little like this.
People who don’t understand what ‘appropriate gymwear’ means
Why is this woman wearing heels at the gym? Some people do have a tight Achilles tendon, so they have to shock their heels to squat safely. With stretching, most people can discard the need for a wooden block over time. In case you’re wondering, a block of wood is more stable than a pair of stilettos. For women, wearing high heeled shoes is usually the cause of the Achilles tightness. So, aside from the fact that squatting in heels can be dangerous, the heels themselves are predisposing her to injury.
The clueless ones
People who don’t have any idea how to use the equipment and don’t have the common sense to ask, read instructions, research, or even watch what other people are doing.
People who wear inadequate footwear in the weights area
Sports shoes don’t offer much protection from falling weights, but they do offer some and they’re more likely to contain any blood loss. When you add in the visual and olfactory yuck factor, there’s every reason to ban sandal wearers from the gym. As for the barefoot brigade, no one wants to place their face on the leg curl machine after you’ve been stretching your hamstrings on it.
People who don’t realise that machines are for exercising on
If you can read a magazine while you’re on the stepper, you’re not really exercising. As for the TVs above the treadmill, they are there to distract you from the pain of exercise. If exercise is distracting you from your regular TV viewing, please watch your favourite shows at home and stop hogging the cardio equipment.
It’s difficult to legislate against this, and IQ tests slipped into gym membership applications do have a certain ‘eugenic flavour’. However, aside from the occupational health and safety risks stupid people bring with them, they also have an economic cost. After the 9/11 attacks, insurance companies raised the premiums for most businesses, including gyms. Insurance became a bigger expense in a gym’s budget, and one which had to be recouped by increasing membership fees. Next time you see someone doing something stupid at the gym, try and imagine how an insurance assessor would see them. It isn’t an accident waiting to happen, it’s your gym fees about to go through the roof. Get these people banned.
Anyone who joins up in January
“Haven’t I seen you here before? Maybe last January and the one before?” They sign up for a year in those ‘New Year, New You’ specials, expect miracles by Friday, and drop out by February. We should be grateful that they subsidise our gym fees, but can’t they do their annual cleanse outdoors? It won’t cost them a thing, and no one will even notice when they stop exercising three weeks later. More importantly, the rest of us ‘all year’ exercisers won’t have to miss out on classes, book cardio equipment, and wait for showers while they pass through their annual exercise phase.
You don’t want to hear the audio for this gif, just being in a gym when someone is slamming their weights down or knocking their dumbbells together knows how annoying this is. No one wants to train to the sounds of grown men giving birth, either. If you’ve got screamers and clangers in your gym, ask management to give them a warning.
This goes without saying. Don’t pick up the weights you aren’t prepared to put them away afterwards. As for your sweat, wiping down your bench after use isn’t optional.
No one’s saying you can’t socialise, but chatting over the squat rack for twenty minutes while other people are waiting for it is uncool. Use the machine, and step away to chat.
If skim milk doesn’t agree with you, don’t drink it. No one cares about your little tummy upset. If you can’t hold it in while pushing out those final reps, get on eBay and buy yourself a nice little weight set so you can train at home.
Personal trainers who don’t train anyone
You’ve got an hour with a client, which means you spend that hour looking after their needs, not puffing yourself out in front of the mirror and chatting on your mobile. These guys give everyone else in the industry a bad name.
Train alone and take adequate rest breaks. Train with a partner and spot them during their set, but three’s a crowd. Groups of three chat more, rest longer, and tie up machines forever. Invariably, they start coming in with matching bandanas and conspiracy theories that the other two guys are trying to hold them back. Ban threesomes before things get really weird.