You don’t need to go very far in life to come across things you have never seen before. Often times people engage in activities so farfetched that it leaves those watching either in awe or dumbfounded. When looking around your gym, I’m almost certain you have seen for yourself a variety of events that go against any and all common sense or people who continuously go against the grain even when they shouldn’t. No need to make a statement by being so different you end up falling under one of the following categories; all it will do for you and your reputation is tarnish any and all hard work you put in each day and negate the gains you’ve been able to accomplish. Even if you are new to the gym there are some things you just won’t get a pass on by the veterans. If you are one of the vets at your gym and you still continue to practice bad habits, it may be time to take stock of the fact that your presence may be impeding other’s progress or you’re the laughing stock of your gym without even knowing it.
Regardless of how you look at this, here are five commonly seen malpractices at the gym that you have undoubtedly witnessed at one time or another.
How many times have you seen someone at your gym load up a barbell or machine with enough weight that would make a strongman jealous when they have no business doing so? The set up was perfect; the intensity levels were at an all-time high and then the trainer proceeded to bang out a few half reps finishing up with a couple quarter reps to really burn it out. That person then got up, looked around for approval, felt good about the lift then added even more weight. Here’s the thing; everyone wants to be able to say they can lift X amount of weight on certain exercises. It all comes with the idea of commanding respect from your fellow lifters and establishing your dominance. However, when you do things such as using more weight than you can properly handle not only are you setting yourself up for embarrassment or 2 faced comments, you are also putting yourself at risk of injury. Instead, be confident in who you are and what you are doing, use the appropriate weight to initiate whatever it is you want to have happen, take your time to build up to those impressive lifts and be safe about it. Your credibility and health depends on it.
I am inundated constantly with people seeking the answer to the age old bodybuilding question; how can I get huge and ripped all at the same time? This question usually comes up mid workout after the person has taken a look around at who else is training and they start feeling inadequate about their physique. They will go on to tell me that every workout they start out with a half hour to forty five minutes of cardio, then slam the weights for an hour or until they burn out. Well, here’s the thing; those out there who put more emphasis on their cardio rather than the weight training component of this game, will almost always be disappointed in the end. Nothing works better for gaining size and getting lean like lifting weights and general resistance training. The more muscle you have the more fat you will burn at rest. The EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) will also be far greater than compared to cardio which means you’ll burn up more calories while at rest for a longer period of time. If you still feel you need to incorporate weight training and cardio in the same session, my advice would be to hit the weights first and the cardio second. If you can split these two sessions completely that may even be your best bet. Work on going all out on one energy system at a time and give yourself a better chance at gaining the muscle you desire.
This malpractice is irritating, aggravating and detrimental to anyone who is at the gym for a specific purpose and has a game plan they need to follow to the tee. How often have you seen someone do a set on a bench, for example, and then sit there for the next five to ten minutes checking their phone or chatting it up with one of their friends? It’s completely annoying; in the time they took to put together their plans for the weekend, most of us could have gotten in at least two, maybe even three productive sets but instead we had to wait around or do something we hadn’t planned on doing until that piece of equipment was finally freed up. For a long time I never really let it bother me too much and instead I looked around, wasted my time looking for another option and simply kept an eye out until they were done on what I wanted to use. Now, I call them out on it in the hopes they’ll speed up or at least be respectful of the fact others may want to use what they’re not. This may not be the best approach for everyone and I’m not suggesting anyone take this opportunity to pick a fight or anything, but you can use it as a friendly reminder.
This is a gym citizen’s arrest. Put your hands where I can see them and step away from the fanny pack. You all know what I’m referring to here; from the old school throw back zubaz pants, to mesh tops, bandanas and sunglasses all the way forward to your club tight v necks and barely there homemade cut offs. Despite what you think, work boots in the gym don’t make you look tougher than what you are. Leave the spandex to the ladies, unless you’re wearing compression or core shorts underneath a normal set of shorts, do your best to avoid too much layering for the sake of looking bigger than what you actually are and jeans, while still in fashion, have no place on the gym floor. You may also want to consider washing your gym gear every once in a while. No one wants to smell a week’s worth (or more) of your sweat when nearby and regardless of what you think, your stench will leave a trail. Leave the flip flops for the beach, the camouflage for the woods and the too tight t-shirts for the club.
It’s very understandable that depending upon the training principle you are using for the day, you may need an assortment of weights to effectively employ your chosen training strategy. Multiple sets of dumbbells may be needed or a couple of carefully loaded barbells to complete what you need to do. If that’s the case then great, power to you but for the sake of the other patrons at the gym and also for safety, please put your weights back where they belong when you’re done. It’s very frustrating to find only one of the two dumbbells you need at the rack and having to do a full scale search to find its match. It’s also very upsetting when you make your way to the leg press and it is still completely loaded to its capacity by that guy who was doing the quarter reps we talked about earlier. Listen, I don’t want to waste my time putting away your weights and I wouldn’t expect you to put away mine either. Let’s all just do each other a big favor and put our weights away, where they belong when we are done. This will go a long way with gym staff and owners as well because they don’t want to put your weights away either.
Everyone makes mistakes at one point or another and upon reflection most of us would change past events if we could. The five common gym malpractices mentioned above are easily fixed with just a little bit of positive guidance. To save yourself any type of embarrassment or disarray, pay close attention to what is and is not acceptable at your gym. Secondly, use some common sense and finally be respectful of others.
Remember, practice makes perfect; malpractice makes memes.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, ENDEVR Brand Ambassador, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.
Online training: http://customtrainingpro.weebly.com
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