This message brought ot you by People for a Jackass Free Gym

This PSA brought to you by people for a jackass free gym


Ah it’s the New Year. Resolutions are made, some are already broken, and the gym is full of people who don’t know a free-weight from an elliptical machine. We call them the "New Year’s Resolutions" and it’s common knowledge that it will take 30 minutes to get a treadmill for the next two months and then, like the gym-locusts of last January, most of them will be gone. If you are one of these people, then I applaud you for taking steps to be healthier. That is awesome. I’m glad you are here.  If you also happen to be a big person, I’m SUPER glad you’re here because there aren’t enough of us.  Rock. On. 

That being said, kindly try not to be a complete Jackass.

Even if you’re doing the "Body for Life" program, you don’t need to get six sets of free weights at once. The words "Can I set in?" mean "Can I please use those weights that you aren’t using?" or "Can I please use that machine while you’re resting from your set?". The answer to this question is always yes.

Look around before you just start grabbing things and moving benches around. Think of it as a new job, you learn the office etiquette before you start playing your radio, trying to make coffee, taking breaks etc. (You do that, right?). It’s the same at the gym–figure out what’s appropriate before you re-arrange furniture like it’s “Trading Spaces–the Weight Room Addition”.

A piece of advice that could save your life: if you are going to take a group exercise class the teacher is glad that you are there. Many of the students are not. It’s neither your fault nor theirs. Stick around and you’ll become one of them. Regardless, in order not to get killed, hang out and wait for people to set up their spots. People have specific spots in the class where they like to be. They’ve earned the right to stand in that spot because they’ve been coming to the class for a long time. It’s just how it goes, and I know that it’s not entirely fair. Deal with it–it’s the culture of the gym. While I’m at it, look around the class and see how much space people are giving each other. Don’t set up your step 3 inches from someone else unless you want to tell your grandkids about the time you got kicked in the head in step class.

We’re glad that you’re here, stick around and become one of us or leave in late February with the drove of people never to be seen nor heard from again. But whether your stay with us is brief or extended, please don’t be a Jackass.

Thank you.

Published in: on January 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm  Comments (9)  

9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. how often do you go to the gym usually?

    • I am in the gym between 5 and 6 days a week, twice a day 3 days a week. That’s a lot and I wouldn’t necessarily use it as a recommendation. I’m a professional athlete and I have a really specific training program.

      • wow that is amazing!!

        it really calls to question the stereotype that large people never go to the gym. i had a bbw roommate who was working out all the time too, and once she was on a date, and the guy told her to take better care of herself.

        • That kind of crap happens all the time. In the face of a huge amount of evidence people still assume that you’re a beginner, that you don’t know how to work out etc. I’m about 3 inches away from having my splits and yet I’ve still had people ask if I’m worried about “mobility issues”. For me, I just try to remember that these people are reflecting their culture, and treat these like teachable moments 🙂

          • I haven’t been going over the past few months because I’ve been stuck in revision hell (getting a book ready to send out to agents is like a full time job).

            Prior to that, though, I would go 4-5 times a week and was known as the queen of the stairmaster.

            My size ranges from 18-22.

            • I do the machine that is actually a set of stairs that rotates, but the stairmaster and I have never been friends. Rock on and congrats on the book 🙂

  2. Now that the book is about ready to go out to agents, I want to start working out again. I’m dreading it, though, because the gym in January is an exercise in frustration.

    Also, for those just starting out (and for old pros who could use a reminder) please wipe down the equipment after you use it. It only takes a few seconds.

    • Amen sister! There’s nothing like getting on a machine covered in sweat to completely ruin your gym going experience 🙂

  3. I wipe down the machines before and after, especially in cold/flu season, simply because I never know what the last guy did.

    My biggest gripe are the people in yoga class who want to put their mats six inches behind mine or right next to me, especially when I was there first and there’s plenty of room.

    I have long arms and legs. I used to ask people to move over a bit but I got sick of the stink-eye. Now I just stretch out and if they get hit, it’s on them.

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