• Thu, May 5 2011

Gym Rant: Respect the Weight Training Line, Please Don’t Cut It

Today’s Gym Rant is less of a rant and more of an amused observation. You know the circuit weight training line at the gym? The one where there are nine or so circuit weight training machines arranged in a particular order that target specific major body parts? It’s one of my favorite things to participate in at the gym. The idea here is to get in as efficient a muscle-building workout as possible in the shortest amount of time. During off-peak hours, you can use the circuit weight training line however you please. (Stay on a machine as long as you like; skip two machines in a row; only use the arm machines, etc.) But, at least in my gym, during peak (and clearly posted) hours in the morning and evening, you have to follow the rules. And here are my gym’s longstanding rules:

1. You must follow the circuit weight training line. That is, you must use the machines in order. (They’re marked from one through nine on the floor in front of them.) So if you can read numbers, you’re golden.

2. You must not stay on any one particular machine for more than five minutes at a time. This is so things keep moving during busy times when there are lots of people trying to cram in a quick, 45-minute workout. So, the circuit weight training line isn’t the ideal place to check your email, reprogram your iPod, or take a nap.

3. You cannot “save” machines by hanging your towel or personal belongings on them, or double-back and use any machine for a second time, even if the machine is free. This rule sounds harsh, but again, it only applies during peak hours. And it applies to e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e.

Over the years I’ve watched a lot of people break gym law when it comes to the circuit weight training line, but the one rule people most like to violate is #1. Which in layman’s terms translates to: Don’t cut the line, jackass!

And yet, the jackasses continue to cut the line. (Okay, maybe this is a rant.) They skip around on the machines, even when they know they’re damn well not supposed to. This is not a game of sweaty musical chairs, people. But here’s where things get as tricky as enforcing a weak smoking ban in China. Who’s really going to report said jackasses to the gym management — the personal trainers who are supposed to be monitoring the circuit weight training line? Doubtful. They know that everyone here is a paying member, and I’m guessing they’re not encouraged to alienate or aggravate any guest, rule-breaker or no. Hidden cameras? Don’t think my gym has any, and even if it did, the hidden cameras would have far better things on which to be spying. Fell0w irate gym members? Yes, please. Would you mind confronting the jackasses about their inconsiderate and “unlawful” behavior whenever it occurs? You tell them that I said they need to respect the circuit weight training cardio line. Boom.

Because if you don’t, I guess that just leaves me. Which is a problem because, although I love to rant about the gym, I don’t usually like to confront the jackasses who make my gym rants possible. (One recent exception is this rant-worthy guy in the pool.) So, let’s make a deal, my fell0w circuit weight training devotees: I’ll rant about my gym issues, and you fix them.

Got a good gym rant? Tell us about it in our comments section, below.

photo: Thinkstock

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  • Nicole

    I lift free weights as they’re more effective for weight loss and strength development than stationary, isolated lifting. However, because of some past injuries, there are 1-2 machines in your circuit that I have to use as an alternative to be able to strengthen the area without putting too much stress on it. Have some compassion.

    • Christine Egan

      Hi Nicole.
      Thanks so much for commenting.
      Totally understand, and I do have a lot of compassion. In fact, I use the circuit weight machines in much the same way you do, just not during busy times. As I mention in the post, my gym has rules about the way the circuit weight training line should run during peak hours in the mornings and evenings. (I don’t make the rules; they do!) I just think it’d be a nicer experience for everyone involved if everybody followed those rules during those specific times.
      Best of health,
      Christine (Editor-in-Chief)

  • Caitlin

    I think your gym should abolish those rules. It makes absolutely no sense given that everyone has different weight training goals and needs to use different machines. When you see a personal trainer they are likely to write a specific plan for you and it’s unlikely to include every machine. In fact, I’d wager that the majority of people don’t want to use every machine, so why should the rules dictate that they either do, or that they must use the gym at an inconvenient time?

  • dragonmamma/naomi

    Really, that sounds like a ridiculous rule to me. Then again, using nothing but machines on the circuit sounds ridiculous to me, so carry on. I’ll stick to the free-weight area.