Dear New Year’s Resolute

Welcome to the gym! I doubt you’ll be here long, but even if you only make it to Valentine’s Day, this will come in handy.  It might seem a tad rough, but believe me, it’s better than pissing off some guy who’s already on the verge of a serious ‘roid rage and is just looking for any excuse to Naomi Campbell your ass.  You’ll thank me later.

A few rules ~

30 minute limit on the cardio equipment. 30 minutes.  That’s it.  That sign.  Taped to the mirror.  Right in front of your face?  The one that says, “30 minute limit on the cardio equipment”?  In gym-speak that means that there’s a 30 minute limit on the cardio equipment.  And may I be blunt?  You haven’t broken a sweat since TiVo eliminated the need for you to scurry back into your living room.  You aren’t going to lose that 40lbs in one manic 5 hour cardio session.  You can set the Stepmill to Kilimanjaro and grunt to your pasty, near-unconscious delight.  You can Lance Armstrong the stationary bike in your Hefty Bag sweatsuit until you are a ball of hyperventilating pulp.  You can white-knuckle the treadmill until you collapse and get spit out like a baseball at a batting cage.  But the truth is this: if you were built like soft-serve in a condom when you got on that machine, you will be built like soft-serve in a condom when you get off that machine.  Your goal can not be accomplished in a single session.  You are going to have to come back and do this again.  Dedication, not dehydration, is the key to altering your body.  So get the hell off the machine and don’t give ME a dirty look when I ask if I can use it after you’ve been on it for 90 minutes.  Dedication.

The answer is “Yes, you can work in with me.”  Here at the gym we do a little thing that we like to call sharing, maybe you’ve heard of it.  (If you haven’t got the foggiest idea what “working in” means, look it up.) (If you haven’t got the foggiest idea what sharing means, get one of those Chicken Soup for the Soul or Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten books.  I’ve never personally read either of them, but I’m gonna bet they might help to clarify things.)  Sharing.


Do you have to do your set right in front of the weight rack?  No.  No you don’t.  Step away from the rack!  So that you aren’t – I don’t know – blocking every.  Single.  Other.  Person.  From using the weights.  It’s just common courtesy.  You are not here alone.  And, not for nothin’, if it’s too heavy to carry four feet, then it’s too fucking heavy for you to exercise with.  Courtesy.


There is just absolutely no need to gyrate and thrust and make yourself look generally silly in order to lift the heaviest weight at the gym.  Much in the same way that wearing a zero when she’s an 8 makes Mariah Carey look fatter than she actually is, lifting with a weight that’s too heavy doesn’t make you look strong, it just makes you look like a douchebag.  Momentum is not your friend.  You’re trying to build muscle, not a pyramid.  So start with a weight you can manage and work your way up to that Arnold weight in the corner.  Dedication.

Re-rack your weights!  Courtesy.  Douchebag.  Too heavy.

Flip flops?

Clearly you’re excited about the sweating (Not since TiVo!!!), but you know, we here at the gym indulge in a little accessory we like to refer to as – a towel.  We sweat.  We love to sweat.  And we pretty much sweat on everything.  And then we wipe that shit down before moving on or before we allow someone else – learning curve in action – to work in with us.  Sharing.  Courtesy.  Douchebag.  Wipe down.

That bench?  It’s not a park bench.  Neither is it a coffee table, mantle, footrest or phone booth.  (Hang up!)  It’s a bench.  Which we use.  To lift.  And when we’re done, we wipe it down and re-rack our weights.  And sometimes, if the gym is crowded, we let someone else work in with us.  Sharing.  Courtesy.  Douchebag.  Wipe down.  Park bench.

To recap:  Dedication.  Sharing.  Courtesy.  Too heavy.  Douchebag.  Work in.  Wipe down.  Re-rack.  Soft-serve.  Condom.  Park bench.  Hang up.  Work out.

I think that if you follow these few, simple rules, you’ll find that the gym is a great place to be.  And you might find those mean gym-rats to be all warm and fuzzy.  And maybe you’ll stay past the first really cold day.



All The Gym-Goers Who Are Annually Annoyed By The Sudden Influx Of The Resolute Yet Clueless

Posted on Jan 3, 2012 by Ian In: Inside Voice
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