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gym rules

Stop screaming & farting & selfie-ing

10 Gym Rules That Should be Punishable by Death


Here are the new gym rules which you must abide by or writer Matt Charlton will kill you (or at least frown to himself about). Let's try and make the gym a better, and less stinking, place for everyone.

Well look at you, standing there in all that glistening Lycra, adorned with more swooshes and stripes than any man could dare hope for. You’ve bought all the right clothes, even though this sweat proof fabric already seems to be chafing your nipples. Those fly-knit trainers were expensive, yes – but they were worth it, because now you belong. You can swipe your card and pass through into those changing rooms with an air-cushioned swagger in your step, and some utterly insufferable commercial dance music in your ears.

One thing before you go on to the gym floor though, don’t be that guy.  You know – the guy everyone grumbles about to their friends and other halves after they’ve finished their workouts – the guy the personal trainers secretly laugh at during their weekly team-building bouldering outing.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help… sort of.

  1. Go easy on the noises

Weights are heavy.  If that last sentence was a revelation to you, then you’re probably not ready to go to the gym. Hell – you’re probably not even ready to enter society yet… in fact are you reading this or do you just see random shapes?

I’ve read a book, and apparently lifting heavy things produces noises from orifices – hopefully the mouth – the noises acting as a sort of pressure valve. These noises come in the form of sighs, light grunts, and sharp intakes and outlays of air. These noises do not come in the form of orgasmic cries in time with your reps which resemble something urban foxes do on warm spring evenings. You are not a silverback gorilla marking out your territory. You’re Mike from Human Resources in a singlet.

  1. Sharing is caring

As nice as it is to imagine you’re Bruce Wayne or (insert ‘MTV Cribs’ episode of your choice here), this is not a gym in your house. You do not have monopoly on the equipment, and, if you just pop that little noise proof Bose bubble of yours for ten seconds, you may see a nervous someone loitering, too afraid to ask you – you, with your man nipples and your ‘never eat more than you can lift’ T-Shirt – whether they can work in with you. There’s a world happening outside you Bastille playlist – drink it in.

  1. Odour

However, if you want to maintain your own little circle at the gym where you will not be disturbed, the best thing to do is make sure that your personal hygiene is such, that even before you commence a workout, you bring into the room a scent which would make even Pepe Le Pew stop and wonder whether some Lynx Africa might be in order.

Then, not content with going this far with the skunk analogy (one of my favourite 90s bands), you mark every piece of equipment you use with your unique whiff, failing to perform a wipe-down with that towel of yours which, evidently, is purely ornamental.

  1. Don’t give advice

 Well done, you seem to have perfected a deadflip, or a blick-black, or a lunging thrustmunger or whatever the hell it is you’ve chosen to put your body through. But look over there – someone’s doing it differently. Surely, as the seasoned gym-goer you are (it’s been almost three weeks now) it is your Gymic duty to go over, tap them on the shoulder, and tell them how they’re doing it wrong. Surely? SURELY? No. no it isn’t.

  1. Selfies

Here’s something which happened quite recently in a gym that I’m familiar with, in that I go there.  A man and a woman, a couple you might say, came in, fully kitted out, went on the cross-trainers for about 5 minutes, and then, for the next half-hour, proceeded to go around various machines taking couples selfies, inevitably to share to all their Facebook friends who they aren’t aware have already unfollowed them due to all their smug gym selfies.

People do not like being caught unawares on camera most of the time, let alone when they’re a blotchy, shiny, puffing mess. It is not a good idea to annoy me this much when I have immediate access to several heavy, blunt objects.

  1. Leaving weights out

Do not, on any account, be this guy.  People don’t want to build themselves up to a workout and then discover they have to move your detritus before they can commence pumping metal… or something. Talk to anyone who works or has worked at a gym, and they will tell you that this is what makes them want to hurt you the most… and they could hurt you – they do some serious lifting, bruh.

  1. Feel free to laugh at the bros, but not to their faces

They’re funny aren’t they, the guys with the man-nipples peaking out from their inexplicably designed ‘vests’; the ones who defy physics with their tiny, tiny legs supporting the large side of beef above their waistline, the ones who have to sidle sideways down the supermarket aisle for fear of knocking over the hob nob display.

But Gym bros at a gym are kind of a given. In fact, much like the ravens at the Tower of London, I’ve heard that the day Gym Bros leave the gym then the gym will fall, and you don’t want that – where would you listen to shit dance music if that happened?

So, remember: yes – they’re funny, but, also, quite a lot bigger than you… and probably quite angry because, y’know, steroids.

  1. Don’t stare

 You know how conspicuous you feel when you’re in the gym?  Times it by a factor of about 100 and you probably have how most women feel when working out.  Yes, they look better in the stretched material than your sad spindly meat limbs do, but this is no excuse to make their deep lunges into a spectator’s sport.

And no – you’re not being subtle about it, that little trick you think you have which involves looking at them in the mirror so they don’t know? They know.  If you can see them, they can see you.

  1. Going full frontal and backal.

Okay, at some point, if you choose to get changed at the gym, genitalia is an inevitability (I suggested they have this emblazoned as a slogan above the door at my gym and now I’m banned).  A quick flash of gonad here, a left cheek there… all of us have to go through the transition from towel to undergarment, and mostly this metamorphosis is far from graceful.

But there is a difference between that and going on some kind of nude parade – letting everything hang free – as you bend over to pick up your bag; as you check Instagram; and, horror of horrors, as you give your protein shake one last vigorous jiggle.

Not only this, but your nudity is somehow emphasised by the sliders you insist on wearing into the shower, towel slung casually over your bare shoulder.  Congratulations, you’ve just made at least ten other people pretend to look at their phones. Shame. Shame. Shame.

  1. Do not evacuate your lungs (or anything else) in the shower post workout

Tough workout, bro, but those gains and pumps and man-nipples will be worth it.  Now to shower down.  It was a thirsty hour – your mouth is dry, your lungs mucused up to the max, but while that warm water is running over you, here’s a solution, why not clear your wind bags by making noises that sound like Satan himself is attempting to escape from your oesophagus to wreak bloody vengeance in these, the final days of humanity? That’ll be good – that’ll be lovey for everyone else in the changing room trying to pretend that they can’t hear your viscous inner-liquids circling the plug-hole.

But what do I know, bro? Losers complain, champions train.



Would you like a better bottom? Course you fucking would. Here’s our guide to kicking your glutes into shape.

David Birtwistle

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