Before you hit the gym to grow, there are a few things you should know. Follow these unwritten rules and you will save yourself a lot of grief and gain plenty of bro-respect. Ignore these unwritten rules and you might find yourself without a spotter when you need one most.
1. Re-rack your plates and your dumbbells. Never, never, never leave 645 pounds on the leg press or your dumbbells rolling around on the floor waiting to be tripped over.
2. No curling in the squat rack. The squat rack is for…squatting. Never insult someone who actually trains legs by invading their sanctuary with a bro-curling session.
3. Perform a sniff test before entering the gym. No one wants to smell your skanky armpits, or the dried sweat on your clothes from yesterday’s workout. If your gym attire stinks, do an about face and slip into something that isn’t offensive.
4. Wipe sweat off the machines you use. No one…and this includes raving lunatics and squat rack curlers…wants to train in a swimming pool of your body secretion.
5. Speaking of sweat, don’t jump in and spot someone on the bench press if your forehead is dripping with sweat. No one wants to taste the fruit of your gym efforts when they are in the middle of a PR attempt.
6. Don’t walk in front of someone who is training and facing the mirror. Even if you find the practice of staring into a mirror repulsive, no one wants to see your big watermelon head in 3D while hammering out reps.
7. Speaking of mirrors, don’t start hitting double bicep poses next to someone who’s actually training. It’s disruptive.
8. The dumbbell rack….there is no good reason to curl right in front of it. Other members need dumbbell access too. Show some respect and back your booty away from the rack.
9.Wearing a belt for every set of every workout makes you look like a doofus. Please take note.
10. There’s no real reason to obnoxiously grunt. No need to let out roars with every rep.
11. Men, stop staring at female gym members. Show some respect and think with your brain instead of your genitals.
12. Don’t rush over to spot a female lifter on the bench press unless she asked you for help. She does not need “your boys” swagging inches away from her forehead.
13. Wearing gloves is seen as a sign of weakness. Calluses are hand trophies.
14. Train your legs, no exceptions!
15. Your shaker cup must contain more than water. A shaker cup is for shaking; combining water with a supplement powder of some sort. Note this and respect this.
16. Never unload a barbell unless you are 120% certain that no one is using it.
17. Never re-rack dumbbells or move a bench station unless you are 121% certain no one is using them.
18. Moving another member’s gym bag, shaker cup or towel is not allowed, under any circumstances.
19. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Even if someone “is doing it wrong”, it’s none of your business. They will ask you for advice if they want your advice.
20. Make sure to remain a safe distance away from someone that’s in the middle of a set. Walking within inches of a moving barbell is a good way to distract another lifter and get them injured.
21. Don’t stand right behind someone who is lifting while facing a mirror. It’s creepy and awkward.
22. Please, avoid telling a stronger lifter…”I used to squat 650 and bench 450 in high school before my tragic injury.”
23. If you aren’t sure how something works, ask someone. Period, end of story. You don’t want to end up wearing a dipping belt holding two 45 pound plates while on the assisted dip machine.
24. The Smith machine can only be used for inverted rows. Benching and squatting on a Smith machine does not count.
25. Bouncing bench press reps off your chest is not an efficient way to train. Man up, learn proper form, and save your shoulders some wear and tear.
26. No 8-station circuit training during peak gym hours.
27. Stack your plates correctly. There is no need to bury 5s and 10s behind a couple of 45s of the plate tree.
28. Don’t aimlessly linger next to a machine you aren’t using. Someone might mistake you for a lifter that’s actually using the machine.
29. Use 45 pound plates.Loading up a bar with 5 or 10-pounders to make a paltry weight look heavier isn’t cool.
30. No kettlebell swinging, burpees or jumping rope in high gym traffic areas.
31. Never, under any circumstances, try to talk to another gym member who is wearing headphones. They will not hear you, and you will end up looking silly.
32. If someone asks to work in, allow them too when possible. There is plenty of time for another member to work in a set during your rest periods.
33. You are never allowed to talk to someone who is right in the middle of a set. Never. That means never.
34. Never approach a swole gym member and ask bro, what supplements are you taking?
35. No farting. Take it to the locker room.
36. You are not allowed to talk to other gym members while you are nude in the locker room.
37. Don’t use the gym’s major walkway to perform walking lunges.
38. No texting while sitting on a piece of equipment. If you want to text, go text somewhere where you aren’t annoying other gym members. Stop hogging gym equipment.
39. Don’t bother strangers. People are at the gym to workout, not to listen to your random stories. Keep conversations with strangers brief. If they want to talk with you, they will let you know.
40. Spotting? Don’t disrupt a rep by unnecessarily touching the bar. You are there to help a lifter if he/she fails, not to help them lift the weight.
41. If you tend to sweat like a pig in a sauna, bring a towel along with you as you lift.
42. No spitting allowed in the water fountain.
43. Don’t slam the weights in an attempt to sound alpha. It’s ok on some exercises to make noise. That’s normal. On the other hand, if you are trying to make noise on purpose it’s time to stop.
44. If you are a smoker, make sure you don’t smell like an ashtray as you walk into the gym. Bring a fresh change of clothing. No one wants to smell cigarette stench while lifting.
45. Blue-toothing in the gym is a no no. That awkward moment when other gym members think you are talking to them, and realize you’re not.
46. Never try to spot someone who’s deadlifting.
47. Never make eye contact with someone using the adductor machine.
48. No selfies. Ever.
49. Don’t come to the gym with stuff hanging out. Cover yourself appropriately.
50. Do not perform dangerous exercises in high traffic areas. If you want to squat while standing on a bosu ball, take it to the corner of the gym.