Jared Fialko

The Fialko Gym Manifesto

Posted August 9, 2013
Updated August 12, 2013

It may be the down time of the year; too late for beach body training, and too early for the New Year's "Resolutioners" as I like to dub them, to clog up the weight-room, but seriously, gym etiquette should always be in season.

First off, I don't consider myself a "meathead" by any stretch of the imagination, I think of myself as pound-for-pound, moderately strong for a 5'9" (5'10" on a good day!) 200 pound guy. By the way, If you're unfamiliar with the term "meathead," think Ogre from "Revenge of the Nerds."

Yeah, don't be that guy. And don't be "that guy" at your local YMCA, Planet Fitness, Gold's Gym, or whatever joint you choose to pick things up and put them down. "That guy" comes in all shapes and sizes. "That guy" seems to be oblivious to the fact that, indeed, other people occupy the same workout space. Here are a few of my least favorite mannerisms of "That guy."

- "That guy" who circuit trains every piece of equipment in the main and auxillary rooms. Admittingly, I'm not into circuit training, I prefer to do one exercise at a time before moving onward. I certainly won't fault someone for switching it up, however, don't give me the stink eye if someone wants to work in or dares to take the bench you haven't sat on for the last 30 minutes while on your rotation.

- "That guy" who crowds the weight rack. I'm fully convinced that every gym needs a warning track or a police line at least six feet from the rows of dumbells. Grab your weights, step back, and do your exercise, the extra step shouldn't kill you. Sure, who wouldn't want to stand around because "that guy" is going to town on those hammer curls right on top of where you'd like to return the 70 pounds on each arm slowly draggging you through the floor. Which leads me right into:

- "That guy" who fails to put weights back in their proper spots. It's not hard. Their numbers, left-to-right, top-to-bottom, they get larger as they progress, adjust accordingly. Although maybe not as annoying as:

- "That guy" who refuses to put weights back at all. Because the only thing more fun than lifting weights at a gym, is going on a full-fledged adventure to find them! If I wanted to play "Where's Waldo," I'd buy the book from Barnes and Noble.

- "That guy" who doesn't return free weights. Hey Hercules, if you have the strength to put them on the bar, you have the strength to take them off. a) If someone sees a bench that's not clean, they'll generally assume it's in use and now everyone's time is wasted. b) If you're trying to leave a lasting impression, no one's jaw is hitting the floor about that 135 pound press you just finished.

- "That guy" who takes 20 minutes per machine. You get a mulligan if you're lifting the whole rack, if not, stop checking your phone and hurry the heck up.

- "That guy" who lifts up his shirt to check his abs in the mirror. Hey, Narcissus...No. Your cries for attention are going unheard by everyone, no matter how good, I mean, really good, you actually look.

- "That guy" who walks around while air drying in the locker room. No....for the love of all things holy, no.

Now, don't get me wrong, I know the gym can be a very intimidating atmosphere for newbies and at the same intimidation can be a deterrent for people not to come back. For those who fall into that category, don't let it be. Here's the thing, no one generally pays any attention to anyone else in the gym unless they are blatantly doing something dumb. Worried because someone will laugh at you for benching only 95 pounds? No one cares. Everyone's been there. People will only judge you if you start acting ridic, like so:

I once had a friend stand backward in a calf stretch machine, lean back, and fall flat over while wildly flailing his arms trying to grab on to me or anything else to break his self-induced trust-fall. Steer clear of making a scene and nobody (that's a decent human being at least) will even snicker at someone for showing up and putting in work, no matter how heavy or light weight it may be.

Oh, and to the YMCA's and Gold's of the world, if you can go ahead and avoid playing this song ever again in a weight room, that'd be just great:

Currently listening to: Justice - "Stress" Certainly not for everyone's tastes, but a helluva pump-up song considering the nature of this blog.


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  • Hammerhead Aug 11, 2013

    ^..get wet, etc...........not wet my pants.

  • Hammerhead Aug 11, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I prefer to wet, sweaty, dirty and scuffed up when I "work out".

  • StunGunn Aug 11, 2013


    That's why I work out at home. But I get your point, Hammer:-)

  • Hammerhead Aug 10, 2013

    This stuff is easy to avoid. Don't go to the gym.

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