It’s hard enough for overworked, tired, and excessively caffeinated students to build up the courage to go to the gym. Once you’re there, there are always people who decided to make life that much more difficult with their lack of gym-etiquette. In doing so, they remind you why you never visit the weight room in the first place. To make everyone’s lives easier, here are the five commandments of the weight room that, yes, even Varsity athletes should adhere to.
1. Thou shall not spend copious amount of time staring into mirror
The mirrors in the weight room are supposed to be used to make sure your form is correct, not to stare at yourself and take ‘mirror selfies,’ which is a fact some people may ignore. Although your social media feed is probably full of them, mirror selfies at the gym shouldn’t be the only proof that you go to the gym — your gains should speak for themselves. If you do decide to take a mirror shot, please, for the sake of everyone else in the gym, make sure the flash is off and limit it to one photo. It really is distracting for those that are working out.
2. Thou shall let me work-in with you
It’s always good to keep in mind that you don’t own the weight room. Yes, you pay ancillary fees, along with every other undergrad — but these fees ensure that you don’t pay for a membership. They don’t mean that you own a part of the gym itself. So when someone asks politely if they can work in with you, don’t act as if they’re making an unreasonable request and respond by ignoring them or begrudgingly storming off to another machine. We all know that there are only about seven bench presses on campus, so let us work in with you! We just want chest and arm gains, not your first-born child.
3. Thou shall not use the squat racks for bicep curls
This is one of the biggest transgressions an athlete can commit. The squat rack is one of the most sacred pieces of equipment in the gym — especially if you’re in Goldring, where there are a limited amount of places one can squat, once the Varsity players dominate the top floor. There is absolutely no need for you to be there because there is no way you are curling heavier weights than someone can squat. See the free-weights racked in the corner? Those are how you develop arm gains in a safe and considerate way.
Thou shall always re-rack weights
If simple math escapes you, have no fear — the free-weights are labelled with numbers that correspond to the same number on the rack. Therefore, putting your weights back in the correct spot shouldn’t be a chore. There is nothing more frustrating than scouring the gym from end-to-end to find a dumbbell. This also includes those that do not know that putting two 10lb and a 5lb plate on their bar is the exact same as a 25lb plate. Keep in mind that some of us need those smaller weights, and that more plates does not equate to more gains.
Thou shall not hover
There you are, feeling very proud of yourself for finally making it to the gym. You’re feeling great as you run on the treadmill at a steady pace, until suddenly someone decides that the machine right next to you is their favourite. This is understandable during peak hours, but down right creepy when you’re the only two people in the Hart House cardio room. Hovering also becomes an issue when someone, who doesn’t want to ask to work in with you, waits right beside your machine (while you’re using it) so they can snatch it as soon as you finish your last rep. Please don’t hover over me while I’m bench pressing — I’d rather you tell me that you want my machine than just awkwardly staring. Chances are I’ll even let you work in with me (see commandment two).