I often compare the gym to my work environment. The kindergarten classroom. Just think of it. You can’t use things in excess and must give others a turn (sharing). You have to put the toys back on the shelf when you are finished playing (tidying up.) Just like the gym. Hogging equipment is often frowned upon, as well as not putting free weights, kettle bells and barbells back in their proper place after use. It is an environment where it is necessary to cooperate and be courteous to other members. Just like kindergarten.
A while back I wrote a post about my gym pet peeves. I mentioned a young lady who would use the only bench with an Olympic bar for bench presses to store all her equipment. Towel, exercise chart and devices or use the bench for an exercise other than bench presses. I didn’t find this behaviour kept within the gym etiquette and often had to ask her to kindly move her belongings because I had to do my bench presses, or if I could access the bench when she was using it for ab exercises. The thing is, there were usually at least four other benches that were not in use that she could have used as her “storage” or abdominal leg extensions.
I am now on a new program with my trainer where I no longer do bench presses, but now do cable chest flies. There are two pieces of equipment in my gym where you can attach cables for a variety of exercises. Often they are popular machines, so the rules of kindergarten must be applied. For example, I have to do a super set.(two moves in a row before resting.) First I do my cable presses, then I have to do walking lunges immediately after before taking a rest and moving on to the next set. I usually come back from doing my walking lunges to find the cable machine in use, so I can’t complete my super set right away. No biggie. I can wait and will just work in a set with the other patron when they are finished. Doing super sets can be tricky when sharing the equipment because when you move away from any equipment to do your other exercise, most people assume you are done because you left the apparatus. Again, just like in kindergarten when little Johnny leaves the iPad to get a kleenex or use the washroom. Often when Johnny returns, someone else has taken ownership. You have to figure out how to share the space/toy cooperatively.
Anyway, the funny thing is this. I finished my twelve repetitions of cable flies and went into the big studio to do my walking lunges. The big studio is where group classes take place. This is in a completely different area away from the weight room floor. I like to use the big studio when it is not in use because it has a lot of square footage to do my walking lunges.
After taking a rest, I returned to the cable machine to begin the next set of cable chest presses and then walking lunges. As I returned to the cable machine, low and behold. There was the same girl who would hog the Olympic bench. Guess what? She was not doing any exercise that required cables, but was doing dumbbell bicep curls. Why? There are plenty other areas to do bicep curls. Why do your curls in the one of two places where there are cables. I was going to the other cable machine but it wasn’t free. A lady was using the pulleys to do her back rows. Rightly so. This is the place to do cable back rows, so I didn’t want to interrupt this lady to work in a set when the other cable machine had this girl there doing an exercise that didn’t require cables.
I approached the cable machine area and waited. Maybe she too was doing a super set with bicep curls and a cable exercise. Nope. At rest she just examined her booty in the mirror. Why do people do bicep curls here and look at their booties here? Just like why do people do military presses at the Smith machine when there are so many other areas to do military presses? That’s when I asked her, “Do you mind if I use these cables?” She just sighed and pursed her lips. “No,” she said curtly and moved away. Just as she snickered in the past when I asked to use the Olympic bench. Snicker away my pretty. But in this classroom we must share.
I took a deep breath and attached my cables to do my cable chest presses. An exercise that requires cables for Pete’s sake! However, I will be nice and courteous. I don’t want to end up in the time-out chair.