Thursday, December 31, 2015

The (Gym) Apocalypse is Upon Us!

I thought a humorous post might be in order on New Year's Eve. The video on the bottom of this post made me snort. Happy New Year's, folks!

So it's that time of year. My second favourite holiday after Christmas. New Year's is a time we look past all the garbage of the previous year and look ahead to new things. For me, that's a novel or three, that maybe, just maybe, I've mentioned here on this blog. For others, it will be a new house. A new business partner. A new job. Whatever it is, New Year's is a time to look ahead and set new goals for who we are and what we want to be.

That includes the gym. I've been working out since I was seventeen, which means I've spent more than a quarter of century sitting on the edge of a bench between sets. I still remember my first year in the gym as a skinny seventeen year old. The gym, Galaxy 2000, was mostly comprised of old-school body builders and filled with rotting black mats. The washrooms were dirty. The only women there were twice my size. Mostly I ducked my head and tried to stay out of the way of the big guys, watching in awe as they moved mountains of steel.

Galaxy was no meat market. And as a young guy, weighing in at a slight 175lbs,  I learned gym etiquette quickly. There was no track at Galaxy. No sauna or steam room. If you ventured into the bathroom, which I rarely did, you'd more than likely find someone shooting steroids into their ass.

That isn't to say I didn't appreciate my education there. I did. And it has served me well the past twenty-five years. Unfortunately, a lot of people in the gym did not have the benefit of my education. In fact, there are many days I wish that some of the people in my gym would be forced to go to Galaxy for a few months.

And for my fellow workout pals, as bad it can be sometimes, this is the time of year when it gets REALLY bad. New Years is upon us, which means the gym will be flooded by a bunch of newbies. Most regulars hate this time of year, because the gym gets so busy, but I like it. Yes, I'm a professional writer, but I'm also a professional trainer. I love seeing new people come into the gym!

Oddly enough, it isn't the new people who break these basic rules, but ones who have been going for a while and who still don't get it. here then, are my top pet peeves and some free advice for the newbies about gym etiquette.

1) People who insist on working out next to the dumbbell rack.

Listen, take two steps back. You're in the way! Yes, I know you like looking at your 135lb body in the mirror, but you can do that from farther than three feet away.

2) People who leave their weights on the floor. 

When you're done, put your weights back in the right spot on the rack. Don't just leave them there. Your mother, whom you clearly treated horribly, isn't around to pick up after you. Put those 10lbs away!

3) Skinny males taking up two or more pieces of equipment. 

Big guys and women rarely do this. Mostly it's the male college students who weigh about as much as my right calf. And yet they insist that you need 3 sets of dumbbells plus one of the machines. And for heaven's sake, stop barking at one another. We can see and hear you! We just choose not to embarrass you. We're all glad you're working out, it's a gym, not the mall.

4) Males staring at females

My wife and female friends know all about this. And usually it's done by guys who don't even know what they're doing, like jerking up far too much weight by swinging their whole body into a bicep curl. Listen, if a hot girl is working out, by all means, take a peek, but don't be a creep. Don't stare. And whatever you do, don't engage a woman who's wearing headphones. She's wearing them for a reason.

5) Men and Women who wear cologne/perfume

Look, I know the gym can be a nice place to meet people. But when you wear a scent strong enough to cause mass gagging, you're overdoing it. Nothing wrong with trying to meet someone at the gym. But don't subject the rest of us to an Axe commercial.

6) Braying

Again, this falls into the hands of those teenagers twenty-somethings talking on their cell phones, taking pictures, and talking loud enough for everyone to listen to their inane conversation  The video addresses this perfectly. WE ALL SEE YOU! Now then, simmer down.

7) Don't Play Music on Your Cell

This is a new one. About a month ago, I was in the gym and two skinny guys left their cell out and were playing music from it like it was a ghetto blaster. (look it up, kids) It was loud. I told them to turn it off. If everyone played their damn music the gym would be unpleasant. They looked at me blankly, because they didn't get it, but they did shut it off. (Yes, size matters.) Listen, there's music over the sound system. Don't like it? Listen to your Ipod. But put your headphones in.

Feel free to document a few of your own pet peeves in the comments. Haha The gym is a great place, a sanctuary of sorts, and once you get used to it, it's a really great place to drop some stress and relax. I highly encourage it! I spend 10-12 hours a day staring at a computer screen, so the gym does wonders for me in helping me get out of my head. Now all we need is for some of these pet peeves to be addressed!

I was originally just going to share this hilarious video on Fbook, but decided to make a post out of it. Enjoy. (There is some language in it.)