My very brave friend Shannon had me train her this morning at the gym.
I say she’s brave not because I’m an intense trainer (though that is true… I don’t like lazy and won’t let you do it). She’s mostly brave because it was 6:30 am and I had not had breakfast. And it was not my gym so I didn’t know where anything was. So I was a bit…ahem…cranky.
She was a good sport about it. She knows me well enough to read between my cranky words to get behind what I’m saying.
At one point, we had a little interaction with another woman in the free weights section. She wanted a weight I was using. The thing is… I was using it. She tried to argue this point with me. But the problem was…see…I was using it. And basic weight room etiquette is first come, first serve. You just wait until the person using your weights is done with all their sets before you use it. Especially if they’re mid-set. Using the weight in question. Like I was. Did I make that point clear?
She got a little snarky with me, so I gave her attitude back. Because, see, I was using the weight at the time so, no, I didn’t want to give it to her.
Luckily for her, I saw the actual weight I wanted to use had been returned to the rack (5 lbs heavier than what I was using, by the way…), so I said she could have mine and went to get the heavier. She said she only needed one. I told her I didn’t care how many she needed, I wasn’t using them anymore so just take whatever…I don’t care.
Shannon, seeing this interaction, let me know I’m getting a little “feisty” with her. I’m aware that I’m not the most chipper person 1) At the gym 2) Without breakfast and 3) In the morning (let alone the lethal combination of the three). But there is a standard weight room etiquette. Some things are more forgivable than others. Asking someone to use your weight while you’re using it is just about the biggest faux pas you can make.
About five minutes later, I’m looking over at the girl who wanted the weight and she was doing her “exercises” with the worst form I’ve ever seen. Now, again, I recognize I’m a snob for form. I was lucky enough to be coached on a lot of exercises through sports and weight training in high school and been practicing on and off for years. I’ve studied enough to know that I’d rather do three reps with perfect form than 30 with shitty form because I know those three reps do more than anything else. Anyone who’s done one pilates session knows that focusing on form is the single most effective choice you can make in a workout. Everything else will fall into place if you’re actually doing the exercise right.
Apparently, I made my disgust well known. Shannon claims I mumbled “She has the worst f***ing form I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know why the f*** she’s wasting her time right now or why the f*** she even need that weight, she’s doing herself absolutely no good and just taking up f***ing space in the weightroom where someone who knows what the f*** they’re doing could be…” or something like that. Maybe even more colorful. For the record- I don’t remember saying it. But also for the record, it’s definitely what I was thinking so it wouldn’t surprise me that in my delirious and angry morning state I had no filter on.
Shannon reminded me again to “Calm down there feisty. Not everyone has as much training as you.” And she was right. But people can have common sense. If you look like a total idiot, you’re probably not doing yourself any good (see my previous post that tells you how I feel about the elliptical machine where you really look like an idiot). You’re likely doing more harm than good.
So do everyone a favor and before you get into the weight room with the big dogs and do your research. Look up some weight room etiquette. Bring a friend with you (like Shannon did) who knows their way around a weight room until you feel comfortable enough to be in there by yourself. And for the love of god, look up how the eff to do the exercises you’re attempting.
Otherwise, you’re going to hurt yourself. Or I’m going to hurt your feelings by cursing at you. Either way, you lose.
And- for the love of John, Paul, George, and Ringo- do not ask someone for their weight while they’re effing using it.
That is all. For now.