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July 2, 2006
Gym Rules
by Jay Cascio

I’ve visited a handful of gyms in my time, even managed to have been affiliated with 4 gyms in the last 3 years . . .

If I’ve gained anything at all from bouncing around gym-to-gym, if not even a change in muscle size or tone, it would be a unique appreciation for a well-maintained gym environment.

I’ve seen some good gyms, and I’ve seen some bad gyms. But what I haven’t seen in any of them are the GYM Rules . . . you know . . . the real Gym Rules.  Sure, there are some rules posted by the front door or listed in your contract upon signing up, but they’re not the REAL RULES.

Without further adieu, and on behalf of all gym owners (those who give a shit about their own business anyway), I present to you, the gym member, the Real Gym Rules:

Gym Rules:

1- Put your weights away after you use them!
I'm tired of you leaving your weights wherever the hell you want - only for other members to either trip over or get stuck scanning the entire radius of the building in search of a 50lb dumbbell. Rack ‘em! (See Previous Article)

2- No old school cologne!
If you wear Old English, Chaps, or anything else from the era of acid-washed jeans - please invest in something new. You smell horrible, and your "Macho Man Randy Savage" beard and tight jogging pants with your shirt tucked in doesn't make you look cool at all. Leave your 30 gold neck chains in the locker room. You have an outdated stink about yourself and need some new gym attire. Public malls are open all week long.

3- No oversized water jugs!
To all the wannabes whom insist on carrying an Entire Gallon of water around during their workout: who exactly are you kidding? One, there is no way you can drink all that water within a reasonable hour and twenty minute workout. Two, it doesn't impress anyone - especially if you're on the heavy side. Three, I notice how you leave it out in the middle of the floor for all to see, as if you're using Jedi Telepathy to let us all know "how much you're into lifting weights and that you have so much more diet knowledge than the rest of us."

You’re impressing no one, and your jug is in the way of others returning heavy dumbbells to the rack. If you love water that much and insist on consuming massive quantities, just walk around with a small bottle (.5 L) and refill it when necessary - that's what water fountains are for. Don't be shy. Don't be embarrassed. After all, it’s water.
What? Do you really think all of us in the gym really believe you invest in a new one-gallon jug of Poland Spring every day? Not with those old sneakers and same gym clothes you're not. Put the pride to the side and sip from the fountain when need be. Most of us do.

Not now, not later, never.
Crying for the wide-open sea to part and create a path for you during any of your lifts means nothing to anyone in the gym but you. You suck. We hate having to listen to your mindless moaning, and we wish you would shut up.
One day, you’re gonna heave a weight you have no business lifting in the first place, and you’re gonna holler your ass off, and somewhere between rep numbers 8 and 10, your colon is gonna skeet shoot out of your ass. Cut the crap already. No one cares what or how much you lift.
“Ahhh!” “Uhhhhh!” It’s so damn annoying!

5- No Judging!
To all the assholes looking around to see who’s lifting more than whom - stop it. Seriously, please, stop it! What the hell does it matter? Showing appreciation and respect is one thing, but when you stare too long and try to deduce the accomplishments of the individual lifting impressive poundages, you look like nothing more than a fool. Not every guy who can put up more than 275lbs on the bench is on the juice – so stop assuming it! Stop staring! One day your ‘eyeballing’ is either gonna get you in trouble –  or get you an offer for a ‘tall stack of Johnny cakes’ . . . if you know what I mean (but certainly not from me – yuck!).

To all the bozak’s that watch UFC or WWE on Monday nights, then come to the gym eyeballing other men on Tuesday mornings - because you think you're some kind of tuff guy - stop it. Stop it now. You seriously must learn to separate fantasy from reality.
This message applies to all gym members big and small. If you don’t watch out, you’re gonna end up staring down the wrong guy.

Real fighters are usually found in real gyms (aspiring UFC competitors, Karate experts, and Boxers), and real fighters, especially those whom fight for a living, are generally good at it. Furthermore, many of these real fighters are not in the gym to attempt a 495lb squat -> they’re mainly there to put in a good, old fashioned workout - nothing more. Imagine a guy who can bench 405 getting bitch-slapped by someone who can barely press 185. Pretty odd picture, huh? There's a big difference between strength and fight skill. It’s time to understand that now. So stop pretending you’re Chavo Guerrero getting ready to take on the Big Show . . . or Arnie getting ready for his showdown with the Predator . . . or Rocky looking for payback again Drago . . . or . . . well, you know what I mean!

“Ahhh!” “Uhhhhh!” . . . oops, I’m sorry . . . I’m still thinking about the idiocy of Rule # 4.


All gyms have a list of rules posted here and there: is it possible people start complying with them? Don't bother others while they're working out; wipe your sweat from the bench after you use it; don't leave your garbage (empty bottles, used paper towels) laying around after use.
If you don’t know how to clean up after yourself or show common courtesy to those around you, then you don’t belong in the gym. Go home. Mature. Come back when giving a fellow gym member ‘a spot’ isn’t such a pain-in-the-ass thing to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen: you are there to sweat and get a good workout. Stop showing up to the gym dressed like you’re about to hit the club. Put your hair in a bun (ladies), leave the black boot/denim combo at home (men), come in, work off that bag of chips you chowed down last night, and go the fuck home. That's all.

The gym is not a fashion show, and when you stop to chat up some schmuck, all you're doing is hogging equipment and taking up space for those of use who are there to actually WORK OUT. So annoying. 'Social workouts' only waste time - yours and ours. Stop complaining about your girlfriend/wife/boyfriend/husband/job/kids and credit card debt already and get on that damn leg press machine! 4 sets of 20...lets!

Who gives a flying rats’ ass how much creatine or horse-sized amino acid pills you’re swallowing before you even warm up? Really, who cares?

If the pills are that important, couldn’t you just pop ‘em before you drove/walked to the gym? Wouldn’t that make sense? Really, in all seriousness, the only thing you should consume before and during your workout is water (and make sure you’re using the .5 L bottles – not the damn gallon sized jugs!).

Oh, did I already mention this one? I’m sorry; I just have the unfortunate luck of working alongside 1 or 2 of these kinds of individuals on occasion. I notice the hollering gets louder when an attractive female is nearby. Sometimes I notice it when someone’s looking for a short or tall order of Johnny Cakes. Regardless, it is annoying, and I’m refraining from using the profanity I’d really like to use to describe these dum-dum’s. Please, can’t you just stop it? The majority has ruled. You sound like an ass. No one wants to hear it.

There you have it – the Real Gym Rules.

But make no mistake – new rules will be added as I continue to gauge and scrutinize the stupidity I see on a day-to-day basis. You can count on that!

“Ahhh!” “Uhhhhh!” . . . so annoying

© 2006 Jay Cascio



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