Every now and then I will post some gym rants that are less instructional/informational, nor specific to training approaches and exercise instruction/selection geared towards the wheelchair lifter. Today I will jump into Part 3 of Gym Douchebags from the perspective of the wheelchair lifter or just a normal human.
There are some people at the gym that are either completely oblivious to Gym Etiquette or just oblivious to basic human decency and consideration towards others. These people are either self-centered, selfish, inconsiderate to others or some combination of all of these. In the world of a Gym I classify these people as Gym Douchebags. These people either dress, do, say or emanate something that is annoying, distracting or inconsiderate to the normal humans at that gym.
In Part 1 I focused on the douchebags that leave their weights and equipment EVERYWHERE!! (As Elaine would say DOUBLE EXCLAMATION). In Part 2 I focused on people who do not unrack their weights, if you are strong enough to load the bar, you are strong enough to strip it back down.
Today I will call out people that hog multiple machines. Training in groups is quite common and normal, it is even encouraged to have a gym partner to help motivate and push you. What is NOT intended when you train with a partner or group is to use up multiple machines at once and cycle through. And this is an especially douchy move if you are using up the PRIME equipment such as the Bench Press and Squat Racks. These are usually somewhat limited in number per the amount of people that want to use them at peak gym hours.
If you are benching with a partner and the gym is busy enough where there is only one other bench open, stick to one bench. If you have to adjust the weights for every set because your partner and you are at different strength levels, tough shit. Do not be a douchebag and use up multiple benches to save you a few seconds between sets.
Disclaimer: Now if you train in the middle of the day when the gym is dead, go ahead and do a cycle through where each person flips back and forth as you are not affecting any others. Especially on machines that are not always in use such as some of the specialized leg machines.
Squat Rack Shrugs
One night at the gym I was planning on coming in and using a squat rack. My gym has an outside, garage area with two squat racks and a smith machine so I know I can always make small tweaks to certain workouts to get on one of the machines almost instantly. On this night when I enter the garage I see all three taken up, which was a bummer but I adjusted and flipped my workout order, no biggie. However, it did not take me long to realize that the three machines were being used up by only three people who were rotating between each set. These people were working out together and rotating between each rack, which had different weights, Heavy, Medium and Light-ish. I start to get nosy.
This is extremely douchy no matter what these three jackasses are doing, but if they were doing Squats or Deadlifts or some advanced complex that was a mix of exercises that required the safety and protection of a rack, I could at least see their side. No. These bozos were using up three racks to do Shrugs. SHRUGS! Shrugs are one of the most over-used exercises in the gym. People use them to build their traps and they get to put a lot of the weight on the bar so it makes them feel HUUUGE. But I will let them in on a little secret, unless you are doing heavy deadlifts or heavy high pulls, your traps will stagnate. Doing 10 sets of shrugs is a waste of time.
Once I figure out what they are doing I go up and ask one of them "How much longer are you guys gonna use up 3 racks for F-ing shrugs?" I got a deer in headlights stare and then a response of they are just wrapping up. If you encounter something similar at your gym YOU MUST say something. I have learned over my many years of gym-time that these people do not even realize they are being inconsiderate to others. Many people form their gym habits in high school or early 20s, and nearly everyone is a moron until about 28 years old, myself included. Normal people that encounter this MUST say something for the greater good.
Benches and Squat racks are at the top of the list of gym equipment to not attempt some crazy circuit or complex as these are often in low supply and other people will get angry. If you absolutely must do some machine combination do it on the weekend, or go into the gym at a dead time (in the middle of the day, or at the end of the night). Do not Machine Hog during peak gym hours of 4-7. And if you witness this behavior you MUST say something.