Making a commitment to one’s own health and physical fitness is a thing that should always be commended. However, when you’re signing up for that new gym membership, there are some things you should know about the gym.
Like any other club or institution, there are a host of unwritten rules about the gym. If you’re a seasoned veteran, then you likely already know what they are. If not, then do yourself a favor and read up so you can avoid embarrassing and painful pitfalls.
We’ve identified 12 workout routines often spotted at the gym ranging from the merely awkward to the downright dangerous. If you’re new, avoid these absurd workout routines at all cost. And if you’re a gym-going pro, then enjoy having a laugh about some things you probably see all too often!
1. Mr. No-Stretch Armstrong
Maybe it’s the mark of an amateur, or maybe it’s just the mark of a certain kind of person. In many ways, there’s something similar between the kind of person who doesn’t wear sunscreen at the beach and the kind of person who doesn’t stretch before starting a workout routine. The first is going to get badly burned and miss a week or more of beach time; the second is going to get injured and miss a week or more of gym time. (Or maybe that person will never return…)
2. The Selfie Curl
Here’s a workout routine you see far too often. First, the arm bends and the hand rests inside of the pocket. Then, a moment later the arm pulls out of the pocket and extends outward in a curled motion. The pose is then held for a moment, while the muscles of the face are contorted into the classic “duckface” pose. Finally, the thumb presses the capture button on the smartphone screen, and the selfie curl is complete. This might be the most absurd workout routine of them all!
3. The Phone Breather
As they are in virtually every other human sphere, smartphones have become the curse of the gym existence. And it’s not just in the form of “The Selfie Curl,” either! We’ve also got “The Phone Breather” to contend with.
This one isn’t an exercise routine so much as it is a controlled break. Here we’re talking about the people who finish their reps on the machines you want to use, and then sit there for the next 10 minutes texting God-knows-who about God-knows what…
4. The Impromptu Circuit
Anyone who’s incredibly serious about his or her physical fitness will tell you that circuit training is an incredible thing. There’s not a person alive who would argue otherwise! But, just because circuit training is great doesn’t mean you can take up one-third of the gym to accommodate your routine. If you’re polite about it, then that’s one thing, but if you’re going to get huffy every time someone gets in your way, then we’re going to have a problem, brah!
5. The Crossfit Acolyte
It’s a funny thing, isn’t it, that there are literally places everywhere you go wherein one can do the whole Crossfit thing. Despite this, though, it seems that many Crossfit types just don’t want to go to a Crossfit gym… Instead, they want to do their whole Crossfit thing in the commercial gym that the rest of us are using because it’s, you know, a commercial gym.
If you like Crossfit, more power to you — just keep your Crossfitting to a Crossfit gym!
6. The Copy Cat
Even in the most “judgment free” of commercial gyms, the spirit of competition is alive and well. And that’s a good thing, as competition can push us all to do things that we never thought possible. But, there is a limit – and the Copy Cat goes beyond it.
In their effort to seem as mighty as other gym-goers, some people will attempt to copy the strenuous workout routines of others who are clearly more physically fit than they are. It can be funny to watch… Until the injury takes place, that is… (Turns out you can’t deadlift 300 pounds like that other guy!)
7. The Kettlebell Swing
Have you noticed that everyone and their mother are doing the kettlebell swing these days? We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with this awesome exercise. However, we are saying that there’s something wrong with doing it incorrectly. (Funny that, huh?)
For many, the kettlebell swing is performed like it’s some kind of absurd “weighted yoga” pose… but it’s not! Like any other exercise, it requires proper form and execution. Simply put, if you’re going to do the kettlebell swing at all, then learn do it the right way or you’re going to hurt yourself.
8. The Dumbbell Rack Dummy
When you’re weight training, one-arm rows are a great thing to be doing. If you’ve got a dumbbell rack at home and you’re doing them there, then more power to you.
However, when you’re in a gym surrounded by other people, many of whom would also like to use the dumbbells, then the dumbbell rack isn’t the appropriate place to be doing your one-arm rows. It’s just common courtesy.
9. The Early Cardio
When it comes to adult beverages, there’s an old saying that goes, “Beer before liquor, you’ve never been sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear…”
Something similar could be said for cardio and weight training. When you push yourself on the treadmill for a good half-hour and then set your sights on the weights, you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position. Your exhaustion is going to lead to poor form, and that poor form is most likely going to cause injury.
10. The Toe Tapper
There are some people who just love working out their toes while they’re at the gym. You know the type! You’re hitting it hard on the machine, and then you look up to see some dude hovering over you, waiting for you finish up. But, you’re not even close to being done. Still, that dude remains, doing “The Toe Tapper”!
A friendly bit of advice to all gym-goers. Rather than waiting for one particular piece of equipment, why not go do something else? That’s what the gym is all about after all, isn’t it?
11. The Gum Flapper
Some days at the gym, it seems like people are more interested in flapping their gums than they are in hardening their bums. Sure, there’s always a time for a little chitchat when you’re at the gym, but it should only be a little chitchat.
How annoying are those people that stand around, blocking access to equipment, all while they chat about some inane thing or another? Those people are super annoying. Don’t be one of those people. Please.
12. The Balancing Strength Trainer
You’ve got to hand it to the people that make exercise equipment; They’ve done an excellent job of designing each particular piece of equipment to be used for a specific purpose. There are treadmills for running, stationary bicycles for cycling, bench presses for bench pressing, and so on.
For whatever reason, though, this doesn’t seem to stop certain people from using the balancing equipment for strength training. You wouldn’t use the treadmill to do squats, so why would you use the balancing equipment to do the same? Come on, bro!