Sunday, April 10, 2005

Noticing things at the gym

I'm a stickler for ettiquet, to a point, but there are certain places I notice. I think this is, in part, because I was dating a trainer when I started lifting and going to the gym. I'd always been intimidated before, so I wanted to learn how to do everything right so I didn't embarass myself and run away screaming, "It's no ordinary rabbit! ... Run away ... Run away!!!" Sorry, I went tangent.

Women at the gym. There are few women at the gym. They are usually there to do aerobics or bike/run/erg. The women who go to lift come in two flavors: older women and over achievers. The older women, I'd guess, are there b/c they recently retired or decided to tone for some reason. The younger women, however, are total over acheivers. These girls WATCH you lift. I've seen one chick totally admonish a dude for doing something wrong -- He had JUST started, and I think he left, embarassed. These women are HARDCORE when they are in there. They do not shy away from asking to work in, and they are serious and focused. They also wear those wet-suit looking things and no bras. I thought of JC for some reason when I noticed today, thinking this would be his kinda gym. At least when the women are there.

My rack is just that, MINE. Okay people, when you are lifting PLEASE respect other people's gym-personal space. This includes their weight rack. You use equal weights in two's. If there are two on your rack, taking one leaves you unable to use the weight without finding another. Some ass took one of my 10's while I was lifting today. I'd gotten 2 so that I could go up in weight without having to forage before my next set. He TOOK my 10, so I had to find another. I made a point to make eye contact when I was hauling another 10 back to the rack and he was done. He looked away pretty quickly, but was clearly embarassed. Asshole. This is the second time people at the gym have been openly rude. Just remember, when in doubt, ask if you want something, instead of just taking it.

Talking while in the middle of a set. Don't do it. if someone is working out, or clearly in the middle of the set DO NOT TALK TO THEM. It can totally break your concentration. I saw some dude drop the bar on his chest the other day cause some dude was asking him about some dumbells at this side. The guy broke his focus so bad he had to rest the bar on his chest and have two other people come lift it for him. so, note that it can be both rude AND dangerous. This is true even if someone is lifting light weights. So, wait until they are done, then ask. It will cost you one minute, and save everyone time and pain in the long run.

Take a class. Anyone who wants to start at the gym should take an orientation class. You should also get a friend or a trainer who will take you through different exercises casually. Getting it right the first time can make a huge difference in the long run. Plus, you will see results faster and have a better idea of what you want to do when you get to the gym. People who need to take classes are usually those people who you see standing around debating what to do (when it's empty). If you have a goal when you enter, you work out harder, and more efficiently. If you are constantly deciding what you want while you work out, your mind is not on what you are doing, but what you will be doing. This requires base knowledge of different exercies. Having the knowledge base allows you to change up your workout while you are in the middle if you feel like you are tired, or could go heavier, or you want to try something new.

More random gym thoughts from me, who'da thought :)


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