Social etiquette is very important throughout day to day life. It helps to determine how people perceive you and in turn, how people will behave towards you. And let’s face it, most of our mothers would prefer that we behave in a socially acceptable manner rather than the alternative. No one wants the douche bag kid. With this in mind, we must remember that while social etiquette does exist, so too does gym etiquette.
Of course there is the gym etiquette common to most average gym goers such as re-rack your damn weights, clean your odorous sweat from that machine/bench that you just leaked all over, and of course don’t leave your towel/water bottle to guard a much coveted bench while you are off gallivanting about the gym. Don’t be the gym douche! There are of course numerous other tid bits that you will learn of which will enable you to become the gym etiquette elite, however some of these must be learned with experience.
One such gym etiquette conundrum which I have encountered is exercise ignorance correction.
I term exercise ignorance as…
- Performing an exercise in bad form
- Not working the muscles that the exercise is intended to work
- Looking completely foolish as you attempt an exercise which you have not researched enough to know the proper way to perform it so that you don’t look like a gym fool (see 1…and 2 for that matter).
I realize that this may sound harsh to any readers who are not avid gym goes. But fear not friends because exercise ignorance can be treated. The mystical powers of the internet have come to the rescue. Seriously though, almost every time I want to incorporate a new exercise into my routine, I will do a quick bit of research to find the proper way to perform it. DO NOT just copy what someone else at the gym is doing. You don’t know their skill level and the last thing we want is the blind leading the blind. Next thing you know, there will be an epidemic of slipped discs and ACL tears. On second thought…this string of injuries would reduce the competition for the much coveted benches. In that case, carry on gym fools.
I went off on a bit of a tangent there, but my point is that I struggle with exercise ignorance correction. I term exercise ignorance correction as the act of correcting an individual who fits into category 1, 2 or 3 listed above. The conundrum lies in the fact that correcting the gym fool will help them to improve their technique and therefore enhance their training, while the flip side is that you may come off as a creep, a douche, a gym snob, or a big ol’meanie. I struggle with this because if I see one more person F-ing up a bench dip, A BENCH DIP FOR GOD’S SAKE, I might shit a brick. It’s an exercise for your triceps, not your LEGS! I so desperately want to tell them they are doing it wrong and correct them of their madness, but I fear I will come off as the gym bitch. I worry that regardless of how nicely I spin it, all they will hear is “Fool, you are doing that shit all wrong! You’re welcome.” And you can forget about me trying to correct a man. If a woman were to correct a man, his testicles would immediately invert right back up into his body. After he relocates them, his self defensiveness would be off the charts and no one wants a raging bull with recently descended testicles all up in their grill. So, instead I work out in silence and simply cringe at the exercise ignorance. I wonder what is appropriate gym etiquette in this instance. To correct or not to correct? That is the question.