Meathead’s manifesto: Proper gym etiquette

Welcome to Meathead’s Manifesto. The purpose of this column is to be an honest and straightforward piece of writing pertaining to fitness, nutrition and working out in general. Keep in mind that these are my opinions I am posting and, while some people may not agree with them, many of you will.

It is very trendy to be fit right now. Chances are, there are a few unfamiliar faces at your local gym these days and, while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it can lead to some very annoying interactions with people. There are rules to going to the gym, everyone knows that, but there are also unspoken rules that every serious lifter/runner is expected to follow.

Rule number one: If you’re at the gym, you’re expected to work. The work that you’re expected to do can be anything as long as you’re serious about it. You know what doesn’t qualify as work? Walking around the gym and creeping on people who are there to seriously sweat. The women at the gym don’t want to be harassed by some random stooge who thinks they look good in yoga pants. No one wants to have a philosophical debate with you when they’re in the middle of lifting a few hundred pounds off the ground.

Rule number two: Don’t take up space. Unless you’re working out at a massive gym packed wall-to-wall with equipment, chances are you’re going to be waiting to use some equipment. That’s to be expected. It comes with the territory honestly. But if you’re the type of person, man or woman, who will take a five minute break between sets to check your Facebook status or upload a selfie to Instagram, then you need to move on.

The only acceptable use of a cell phone when you’re using a piece of equipment is to change songs on your music player or to keep track of how much you’re lifting for your personal records. That’s it. No talking on the phone, no updating of social media and no text arguments with your significant other. If you feel the need to do any of the above, move aside and let someone else work.

Rule number three: Don’t mock the people who are struggling. If someone is in the gym working diligently towards a goal, they should be respected, not mocked. Don’t be that person who sits back and laughs at someone struggling to lift a weight or killing themselves to run a mile under a certain time. They’re making progress.

They’re working hard towards what they want while you sit back like a clown pointing and laughing at them. If you can’t respect the work that people are putting into their workouts, do everyone a favor and stay home. The gym doesn’t need that kind of negativity of your idiotic sense of humor.