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Gym Rules – Read Them, Learn Them, Live Them

March 6, 2009

I think I take my education for granted.

I’m not talking about the type of education that results in a piece of paper that is framed hanging in my office.  I’m talking about my “street” or “common sense” education I have picked up so far in my journey through life.

Perhaps one of the best lessons I have learned is how to be a good gym member.  I dabbled with weight training in high school when people thought that adding bulk would jack up baseball swings.

At UCSD, I started working out pretty hard with my buddy Mike (I gained 20 lbs. in 12 months).  Mike is still my best friend and currently lives in Diamond Bar.

(Scott & Dave K (not Mike) at Lake Havasu, circa 1992)

Anyways, Mike and I were fortunate enough to train at Gold’s Gym Pacific Beach (PB) which was later changed to a World’s Gym.  The owner was Rich Stephenson – perhaps one of the coolest guys ever (and he looked liked Olaf’s long lost brother).   A quick side story – one junior year, I slept in and missed one of our early morning workouts.  Mike had Rick called me at home to F with me.  Rick pretended he was a cop and that Mike was arrested.  I was told I had to go and bail out Mike…

When I took off to law school, I trained at Malibu Gym and Gold’s Gym Venice known as the “Mecca of Bodybuilding” (whatever).  Here I worked out side by side with some of the most drugged out (steroids) bodybuilders around (even more so than in PB).  I frequently saw guys like Magic Johnson, Rick Fox, several Mr. and Ms. Olympias, etc.

That being said, Gold’s PB was where I got my gym education and now I’m going to share it with you.


Let’s do this:

1.  ALWAYS put the weights (dumbbells, plates, bars) you are using back.   Do NOT leave them on the floor.   It doesn’t matter if they weren’t on the rack when you found them.  They need to go back to their home.   Do not, under any circumstances leave weight on a bar or sled (leg press machines).   I was drilled a few times by Rick and his boys.  I learned my lesson.  That’s why it pisses me off to no end when I see weights thrown all over the place at the dives I work out at now (LA Fitness, mostly).  If someone is waiting for the bench/bar, ask them what weight they want and help them get that weight on the bar.  Trust me, you will instantly make a new friend.

2.  If a girl is wearing headphones, she doesn’t want to talk to you.  She’s at the gym to workout.

3.  If a girl is NOT wearing headphones, she still doesn’t want to talk to you.  She’s at the gym to workout.

4.  Wipe your sweat off when you are done with the equipment.  You don’t smell as good as you think.

5.  If you are girl, put your cleavage away regardless of how big, small or nice it is.  While in law school, I once saw Pamela Anderson at Malibu Gym.  She was hanging out all over the place.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s hot, but my workout was ruined the moment I saw her.  I turned around and went home.

6.  Be courteous to others.  I don’t care if the guy (or gal) is covered in Nazi tattoos.  Be nice.  Why? Because once, I wasn’t and almost got killed.  Long story short – Mike and I were working out at Gold’s PB when this big African-American man came up to me and asked me how many sets I had left.  I said, in a smart-ass tone, that I had 20 sets.  He got PISSED and proceeded to challenge me to a fight.  Anyways, Mike stepped in with his mulitple black belts and helped diffuse the situation (Rick came running over too).  Turns out this guy, Jerry (about 6’4″, 300lbs, with no fat), was a world class boxer  – so bad ass that he had trouble finding sparring partners in San Diego… I still owe Mike my life.

7.  Under no circumstances, should you walk around naked in the locker room while holding your towel.  If you have a towel, cover up.  No one wants to see you naked.  You are not as hot, muscular, good looking, or skinny as you may think.

8.  The hair dryer is for the hair on your head.  The head that is on your neck.

That’s it for now, I’m sure I’ll be adding to this…

Feel free to make suggestions.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. chuck permalink
    March 6, 2009 8:44 am

    9. Don’t hog the flat or incline dumbbell benches. Using it for working out is cool. But using it to rest your weights and your towels while doing standing exercises because you are too lazy to bend down a couple extra feet is not.

    10. In the locker room, try not to hog the entire 8 feet bench while you are changing. Especially when there are 2 other guys next to you trying to get to their lockers.

    11. Will and I just talked about this one a few days ago… if you are the second swimmer to get into a lane, talk to the other swimmer before you get in so you guys can work out the logistics. One time I was swimming, this guy just jumped in without asking and started swimming. I narrowly avoided him when we crossed paths the first time. So I thought we would just split lanes, but he thought we are doing lap swim. So next time we crossed paths, I accidentally decked him in the nose pretty hard. And no, I did not apologize, not even a half-hearted one.

  2. paddlesports permalink*
    March 6, 2009 8:46 am

    Solid, Chuck!

  3. Dennis permalink
    March 6, 2009 9:19 am

    12. Use weights appropriate to your strength. It isn’t impressive when the spotter is getting a better workout than the lifter.
    13. Please learn the correct technique for each exercise. Swinging-oblique-to-bicep-curls is not innovative. It’s dangerous, inefficient, and ignorant.
    14. People who clank dumbbells and/or hurl them recklessly in multiple directions after an “intense” set. Treat the equipment with respect, tough guy.
    15. Cell phones- leave them in the locker or in the car, kthx!

  4. paddlesports permalink*
    March 6, 2009 11:55 am

    Re: 12: Is the guy you “think” is spotting actually spotting, or is he doing deadlifts? And is the person you “think” is benching actually spotting the deadlifter? 😉

  5. Phil permalink
    March 6, 2009 1:14 pm

    talk about coincidence… I just picked up the Costco $299 24 Hour Fitness membership

  6. Dennis permalink
    March 6, 2009 1:32 pm

    @ Phil. Nice, I’m getting the 24 hr pass this weekend, too. Now you can take pictures of me while working out. =D

  7. lori permalink
    March 6, 2009 3:43 pm

    When a gym offers towel service, use it. Don’t sit your naked arse on the chairs or benches.

  8. Phil permalink
    March 6, 2009 4:47 pm

    I’ll just attach weights to my camera and snap photos for each time I lift it.

    Dennis, make sure you stand in front of some hot chicks!

  9. lil permalink
    March 6, 2009 10:17 pm

    16. the gym is not where couples should go to grope all over each other. you could’ve just stayed at home to do that…

    17. wear the appropriate gym attire! margie and i were at yoga once and the girl in front of us (newbie) was wearing low risers… needless to say she spent the majority of the class not doing anything cuz everytime she bent over her crack showed. *barf*

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