Oh So Buff (Fitness Etiquette)

Etiquette for fitness buffs:

Smell-Impaired: Please, I beg of you – lift your ban on deodorant. If you can’t smell yourself, rest assured that the rest of us can smell you from a mile away. You might want to consider visiting an ENT because there is obviously something wrong with your sense of smell. And perhaps you should take a shower before you work out. With lots of soap.

Sweaters: You go hand-in-hand with the smell-impaired gym members.  Do you think it’s attractive to walk around the gym wearing a shirt that’s drenched in your own sweat? Perhaps you don’t think that you smell. I am here to tell you that you stink to high heaven!  Is it that difficult to bring a back-up shirt that you can change into following your cardio work-out? Frankly, I’m not too keen on smelling you or using any fitness equipment that you’ve touched before me.

Hogs: OK look. There’s a sign-up sheet for a reason – to limit how long a person can use cardio equipment. It is not my problem if you got on your machine late – I signed up for 30 damn minutes and I fully intend to climb stairs for those 30 minutes. If you can’t respect the cut-off then don’t use the cardio equipment. Furthermore, don’t give me dirty looks, or a disgruntled sigh when I politely ask you if you’re almost done. There’s a clock right in front of you and I’d also like to mention that all cardio equipment have built-in timers. Lastly, no, I will not use another machine. I signed up for #34 and #34 is what I’m going to use. Why? Because I like #34!

I’m in a hurry: That’s nice. But I’m using the leg press right now and no, we can’t alternate sets because I press 90 pounds and you press 300. Changing plates in-between sets will take me more time to finish my sets and guess what? I’m in a hurry too.

Messy Weights: If you feel the need to walk and train, can you please place the weights back where you got them so I don’t have to waste 10 minutes of my time searching for that elusive 15-pound dumbbell? There’s an entire section dedicated to weight training – leave the weights where they belong. I already did my cardio and have no desire to run laps around the gym looking for one dumbbell!

Barely dressed: Do you see any sand or water? No? That’s because the gym is not a beach, so how about you cover your ass up with a decent pair of pants? That means you too boys! I don’t need to see your ass cheeks hanging out of your shorts or your butt crack when I work out.  Same thing goes for the boobage.

Special note to hot yoga chick: While it is recommended that you wear as little as possible when attending a Moksha or Bikram class, I don’t think going braless is what they meant. No one wants to see your boobs swinging in Down Dog dude.

Eyeballers: What I enjoy the most about working out in a gym, is being eyeballed by some random person. I didn’t realize I was performing for an audience.

The Situation(s): Look at me! I can lift 800 pounds! I’m shaped like a light bulb but DUDE look at my abs!

Testosterone City: Is it necessary for all Popeye T-Shirt wearing muscle heads to commune in the weight training area, leaving no one else with the opportunity to weight train? All you care about is your pecs – so just commune around the pec machine and we’ll call it a day.

Etiquette for Gym Staff: As you’ll see, the “trainers” at my gym are lazy asses – and super motivating!

1) Here’s a novel idea: try greeting your gym members when they walk through the door. Smiling helps.

2) If you see that someone isn’t working out correctly or doesn’t have proper form, it’s your job to correct them. Do you realize that improper form can lead to injury? Furthermore, if you know that an exercise will yield better results if performed differently, get off your lazy ass and share that knowledge.  It’s your responsibility to help your members achieve their goals isn’t it?

3) If you’re not interested in the health and well-being of your client(s) at least pretend that you are. Most people who are starting out are nervous and self-conscious – showing a little empathy and listening to their objectives might make them feel better.

4) Following point #3 – not everyone has the same objective, body type or health constraints. Assess the individual instead of automatically pulling out one of your stupid generic work-outs!

5) Lose the attitude. Most of you don’t even have the proper certification or knowledge to train properly. That’s why I create my own programs!

6) There is nothing I find more motivating then seeing a ‘trainer’ who is overweight. Better yet, a gym manager who is overweight. This is what we all aspire to!

C’est Bon!

It’s 7:30 a.m. on a fabulous Saturday morning. And I mean, superb! The sun is shining, the sky is a deep shade of blue. Mother Nature is summoning me this morning so I’ll be heading out for a power walk shortly. Last week I fell into lazy mode and boycotted the gym; on Monday, I had an internal conversation with myself that led to ac-shee-on! I decided that I had to be held accountable for my laziness, and the only person that I can truly be accountable to is myself. It simply will not do to listen to people talk about what they want to do, and what they fail to do because they’re lazy – this is not motivating. In fact, it encourages you to join them in their laziness, which I suppose makes them feel better because they’re not alone in their goal to do a whole lot of nothing. Not so with me! Despite my initial hemming and hawing, I started the week off on the right foot:

Monday: 60-minute hot yoga class

Tuesday: 1-hour of cardio, leg work and Abs

Wednesday: 70-minute power walk a.m./ 1-hour of weight training p.m.

Friday: 75-minute power walk a.m.

Today’s plan of action (POA) is TBD, simply because my power walks seem to be getting longer and longer. It’s a really beautiful morning and I think I’m going to go exploring. I might end up all the way into the city today (OK, this is an exaggeration, as it would take me an entire day to get from my place to the city)! Anyway, the plan is to do my cardio outside and since my arms are still sore from Monday’s yoga, I will skip the gym and do my leg work and Abs at home. Alas, I must forgo arm work again. I should’ve ignored my yoga instructor when she corrected my arm positioning in Down Dog last Sunday – she meant well I know, but I’m hyper-flexible and I’ve been doing Down Dog the same way for 4-5 years, with no pain.  Apparently the correct posture (i.e. not hyper-extending) does not thrill my arms at all.

Right, so believe it or not, the above was not the purpose of today’s post. As you will discover if you read this blog regularly, I get sidetracked a lot. I reckon it keeps the few readers that I’ve got on their toes.

My point today: My morning ritual involves making fresh coffee and then checking my emails and blogs while drinking said coffee. I was so thrilled to see an email from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, notifying me that I have reached my fund-raising goal of $200! You should know that I suck at fund-raising,  and that I actually paid the registration fee in order to participate in the walk/ run (that way I could avoid fund-raising!).  I truly want to thank the fabulous women who so generously donated in support of this cause. There is still time to make a donation – I’ve increased my goal amount! Every bit helps no matter how big or small – it could be you or someone you know. Think about that – and stop ignoring my email!

What’s everyone doing today? And more importantly, who is participating in this year’s run? C’mon now, don’t be shy!

Cheerios & Frosted Flakes!