6 Unwritten Rules of the Gym

Another Relevant T-Nation Article

Frickin clown at the gym today was standing soo close to the dumbbell rack I’m surprised his pecker wasn’t stuck, if in fact…

I’d just read an article here; The 6 Unwritten Rules of the Gym Yesterday and it was screaming thru my brain when I felt like toppling this a*hole to grab the dumbbells I needed on time for the next set (someone recommend EMOM so I’m trying it).

Another thing, teenagers should have some sort of training requirement before being turned loose in the gym. I’m constantly astounded by some of the stuff I see the younguns doing.

The good thing about this for me is that it keeps the “pissed off” fuel tank full for my workouts, and provides a good topic to gripe about in the forum :slight_smile:

Just politely say excuse me and grab the dumbbells you need. Problem solved!


Ahhh, I just looked at the boy till he stepped back and then grabbed them :).
Still fires me up a bit. I mean that’s just an inconsiderate place to stand cause ya gotta know other people need the dumbbells you’re not using.
It’s not a big deal, just a consideration thing.

–common courtesy is the phrase I was looking for.

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Oooh you big tough guy. So powerful. So intimidating. So manly.


I always put plates away. A lot of people don’t agree . They think the staff are paid to collect the plates and put them away(that includes some more seasoned lifters). I would pay a premium if someone loaded and unloaded my plates for me.
They are meant to do regular checks to do this but often do not . It gets dangerous fairly quickly.

Blocking the mirror was more amusing, get real. It’s a gym . I do use a mirror (to my shame) to check the height I have pulled but not complain about someone blocking it.

I would strongly disagree. If you can’t load the plates yourself, you sure as hell shouldn’t be lifting them.

Well, what do you think those training requirements should be?

I have a bunch of unwritten rules in my head collected up over years of irritation and being self consumed.

Some of them even make sense. The rest of them just make me look like an asshole.

Hell, I even have specific criteria for the uniform thickness of peanut butter and its ratio to the thickness of jelly.

THATS WHY you don’t use a butter knife with those useless little serrations on the upper half.

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Ben, you don’t get strong by loading plates or putting them away. It seems ominous putting plates away after a deadlifting session by yourself. If you are lifting in a group, it is so much easier. It often puts my back in bad positions straight after lifting a heavy load.

I think you misunderstood me. I didn’t say “glared at him,” it was more of a “could I grab those dumbbells in front of you?”

Definitely not into intimidating anyone. I wouldn’t like it so I don’t try it with anyone else, unless of course it’s some clown getting out of line trying to flirt with my wife. THAT is a dangerous move.

My first gym was a nautilus. The management started me out by taking measurements and running me through circuits, teaching me form and tempo before turning me loose.
They also designed a program for me and I guess I was just responsible enough to ask questions if I didn’t know how to do something properly.

I see people doing stuff with such incorrect form and ROM that it’s absurd.

I dunno what a gym should actually require in detail, but figure a new member should get a basic rundown of the equipment and free weights, instead of just handing them a membership card and turning them loose.

But then maybe it’s the individuals who should be sure they have proper instruction. A little bit of common courtesy would go a long way as well. For instance, the guy up against the dumbbell rack blocking 12 dumbbells while using 2, with a space full of other people using them 4+ feet back. Dude had to realize he was in the way but just didn’t care.

Some people are just oblivious to their surroundings.

My thing is pinch points in hallways, doorways, etc. It seems that people will congregate and create congestion at very inconvenient places to pass through without a second thought to anybody or thing around them.


Yeh, “condition white” = oblivious, like walking down a sidewalk with one’s face in a smartphone, headphones on, etc,

Maybe people kids should get training for that in kindergarten,

Pinch points - ugh. Being that I had my hand pinned onto a hot electromechanical actuator and slow cooked through the index ray because a frickin guy wasn’t paying attention I have a lot of disdain for that too!

I don’t work for a gym but I always put plates back. Any plates I see laying around I put back, it’s like extra sets of farmer walks for me.:smiley:


The gym I used to go to before switching to the one I am in now, used to really upset me. It was just a lot of passive aggressiveness. I understand I’m vertically challenged but I respect the code of the Iron Church, and I would hope others would return the hospitality. I guess people don’t expect me (or women at my gym in general), to squat anything heavier than the bar or a couple of 10s, and I’ve had some people come up and take 2 45s off of a 315 I was squatting. I’m not particularly mean or even loud spoken, unless severely provoked, but a simple, “hey are you using this?” Would’ve sufficed. But I can live with it.

The worst are women who take multiple equipment at the same time and DONT wanna share

I usually ask them to share, they don’t want to, then I go on and on very calmy and politely that they have to share while they are not using, that bench are not there to deposit their phones but to work on, etc

Then they leave, plus there os nothing worse for a women to talk to man they dont want to talk to.

Guys are usually more reasonable but if they are self absorbed little trashes and don’t want to I do the same or just mog those idiots

Those are just little stories, I am not that immature but I always laugh when some women who is totally in the wrong goes to her boyfriend and say “make him go away” or “he took my equipment” expecting him to retaliate for her and the guy just stay there with a blank face knowing she’s just not reasonable

Oh yeah, mechanical pinch points! I guess I meant bottlenecks before, but I have a few stories about heavy industrial pinch points that make people sick.

Oh me too - worked in paper mills for 5 years. Nasty stuff.

The worst thing for me is when someone unnecessarily interrupts the workout or asks me innane questions between sets. If you really want to ask someone a question wait until the workout is over.


I had a dude ask me WHILE I was doing a set how long I rested between sets. I just waited till after the set to reply. A tad distracting but whatever.