Gym Etiquette- Grunts and Slams

March 21st, 2009

To finish off this series on gym etiquette I will discuss a topic that will probably elicit different responses. However, I think that my view is probably the majority view so please take that into consideration while reading. Every now and again there will be someone lifting weights in the gym who makes terrible sounding grunts and groans. There are also those people in the gym that feel it is necessary for them to drop or slam their weights to the ground. Both of these actions are annoying and the second is potentially very dangerous.

Grunting, moaning, or yelling while lifting weights is partially understandable; it gives some people that extra motivation or exertion to push harder and lift the weight. I do not think there is any scientific data that supports this idea but many people believe it does give them an advantage. While this may or may not be true, it is still not necessary and not appropriate for a public gym setting. Try to keep noises within while working out; it is highly distracting when you have a person working out next to you expelling sounds reminiscent of a dying animal. Even excessively loud breathing can be highly frustrating when trying to work out. Again, just try to not make a lot of needless noise.

A scenario that often occurs in the gym is a thunderous crash of weights slamming against the floor. Why? This happens when people are obviously trying to lift weights that they are incapable of lifting safely because they cannot even put them down with any semblance of control. I do not buy the argument that someone would drop the weights out of sheer exhaustion; this certainly is possible, but I have only seen a few people in my life who would qualify for this classification and none have been in the gym. A more likely explanation is that people want to draw attention by declaring with the sudden, sharp noise that they are lifting a weight heavy enough that people should look at what they accomplished. Rarely have I seen someone lift an inspiring amount of weight and those people who do lift a mountainous mass of weight are usually able to put the weight down in a controlled manner. Letting go of weight carelessly is also a safety hazard for not only the person dropping the weight by also those who are nearby.

Consideration for other people in the gym is the reoccurring theme that I have tried to emphasize in this series on gym etiquette. When in the gym you should focus your efforts on yourself but your efforts should not interfere or distract others from theirs. So next time you are in the gym, remember, try not to make any weird sounds, meaning anything except breathing, and absolutely refrain from dropping weight, it is really not that heavy and you are certainly not that tired and if you want attention, get over yourself and learn to be humble. After all, the gym is a great place to learn humility.

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