More Fun From Around The Globe

February 8, 2007

At this point, I’m pretty certain it’s not just me.

From a thread at

I was training the other day doing a set of lying triceps extensions on a flat bench. I was just sitting on one end resting between sets when all of a sudden my bench starts moving. I look behind me and this guy had taken up position on my bench back towards me, I guess to do some concentration curls. It was even more bizarre because there was a completely free bench right next to me.

And the all important #1 tip for gym etiquette from the online version of the Tallahassee Democrat:

TIP NO. 1: Leave your towel in the locker so that it will be clean for you tomorrow.

There’s no need to lug a towel with you from one piece of equipment to the next. After all, somebody else who has not yet broken a sweat would appreciate getting to sit or lie in a pool of yours!

Save Me Some Bordeaux

January 22, 2007

I learned a great line out on the golf course recently. To the incredibly slow foursome ahead of us, a guy in my group yelled out “Save us some brie!” Get it? The foursome was moving at such a snail’s pace it was like they were having a picnic out on the fairway.

At the gym, I come across similar folks who plop down on a piece of equipment like it’s a leather couch at a dinner party. Today, I watched a guy take up residence on an incline Hammer Smith machine for about three-quarters of an hour. (This is not an exaggeration – there is a clock directly above the machine.) I’m sure it was quite relaxing: the back rest allows you to recline at a slight angle, the handle bars provide a great place to prop up your arms. He also received several visitors during his morning of leisure, where they considered the current issues of the day. Other than when he first sat down, this guy did not perform one set on the machine.

As I walked past the confab on my way to the locker room (I had completed my entire workout) I muttered, “Save me some Bordeaux.”

The Entire Facilty Is Not Your Personal Gym Locker

January 20, 2007

A serious pet peeve of mine is some people’s need to rest their workout gear – water bottles, towels, training logs – on top of nearby gym equipment rather than on the gym floor. Is this some form of unfathomable laziness (after pushing out a set of dumbell presses, you’re so depleted you can’t bend over to grab your water)? Or is this an irrational hygiene issue? (The floor might be dusty, but it’s not warm and sweaty.)

In either case, regarding each piece of gym equipment as an extension of your own gym locker is astonishingly self-absorbed. Stuff on a piece of equipment is, not surprisingly, the international fitness sign for “item in use.” Just because no one is currently using that incline bench doesn’t mean that someone very soon wouldn’t like to use that bench.

This equipment-as-hatrack issue has reached such crisis proportions that I have taken on the role of equipment vigilante. I have stopped pointing to junk on a machine I want to use and asking politely, “is this yours?” Rather, depending upon the size of relevant junk owner, I either gently remove the offending items or roughly sweep the stuff onto the floor. Almost always, people get the hint.

Today, I was ready to use the gym’s ab bench. An older man sitting in an adjacent machine had decided his gym bag was simply too special to leave next to him on the ground. He had looped the bag’s strap over the ab bench’s elevated footrest so that the bag dangled safely above the gym floor. I unhooked his gym bag, dropped it onto the floor, and settled into the ab bench. Looking confused, this guy scooped up his bag, walked it over to a neighboring back machine, and crammed it between two of the machine’s metal posts.

I give up.