It’s the start of another year. That means lots of new faces at the gym!
Why this is good: It’s boring to see the same people all the time. It’s great to have new energy infusing the place.
Why this is bad: Sometimes, those new faces behave badly!
Case in point: I was working out on New Year’s when I approached a pull-down cable machine. Yes, you can do numerous exercises on this piece of equipment. But not if other people are waiting!
Dude #1, using the equipment, must have noticed the seven exercises pictured on the front of the machine and decided to do them all, one after the other.
RULE #1 – No one has exclusive rights to any piece of equipment. Think “COOPERATION”!
So, after a couple of sets, it was obvious I was standing nearby, in the middle of the room because I was WAITING! He glanced at me and ignored me.
So, as he puffed through a set of (very poor form) overhead tricep extensions, I said: “Excuse me, I’m waiting to use that too. Is it OK if I work in?”
A nasty look came my way. Actually, that’s an understatement. If looks were fire, I’d be ash.
He continued with yet another excruciatingly long set, but I set my stake to the ground. I wasn’t moving. Finally, Dude #1 moved off the machine. I noticed he went straight to the front desk. O-KAY!
I’d done my best to be pleasant. What more could I do? Postpone my workout for 30 minutes? Waiting doesn’t burn many calories. I did my set and moved on.
A little later, I noticed Dude #1 had moved back to his original, and perhaps only, machine and was once again racking up sets in various combinations. A guy approached him this time.
“Hey, dude, gotta share” was all Dude #2 said.
Dude #1 took off! Ran! Hmmmm. Perhaps I was TOO NICE.
Then, a few minutes later, still moving from machine to machine, I hopped onto another machine only to hear Dude #3, who was very dramatically spewing sweat around the room, say, “Hey, you can’t use that. I was using that.”
Boundaries, I reminded myself.
“Oh, looked like you were doing pushups,” I said, looking DOWN AT THE GROUND at him but not adding the obvious: …looked like you were doing pushups IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM WHERE EVERYONE CAN TRIP OVER YOU!
“I’m supersetting!” he practically yelled, struggling to get up from the floor.
“It’ll only be a few seconds. I said. “I’m almost done.”
This guy summoned his very own personal vicious turn-you-to-ash look. (Perhaps, I thought, he doesn’t like my Yankee shirt!)
“My workout is just as important as yours,” I added evenly, no resistance or vibe to my voice.
“Yeah, dude, share,” came a voice from behind. I looked up expecting to see Dude #2 but it was Dude #1!!!
So, now, he was defending me!
I kind of expect Dude #1 might be back again. I’m not 100% sure – but he might make it past the January 21st cutoff when most resolution-ers have become history. After all, he seemed to be learning something.
Dude #3, who ran out-of-breath from machine to machine and executed every set with poor form? Nah. As I left the weight room, he was doing laps Rocky style with his arms in the air. Very self-important!
And everyone else in the room was giving their eye rolling muscles a workout.
(Tune in – my next post will contain a complete list of gym rules to help in case you are new to the gym!)
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