When I go to the gym I’m on a mission. I want to get in and get out, preferably within the hour (45 minutes if possible). Why? Because I have a life to lead. I have 11,500 steps to do every day, which is not as easy as you might think. I have the GRE to study for. I have a house that perpetually needs to be cleaned. I have comics that I am way behind drawing. I have 26,000 words to write every month. So I want to get this shit done.
Accordingly, I have a plan. Five minutes walking on a treadmill, eight machines, two free weights, five minutes on a treadmill, and I’m out. I know exactly which eight machines I will use, which free weight exercises I will do, how much weight to use with every machine, and when I increase that weight. I write down every set, every rep, every weight, and every machine, and I rest five breaths between every set. I have my routine down, and I do not like changing it.
So it annoys the hell out of me when some dude with his shirt cut to show his side boobs/nipples and not-so-inspiring obliques plunks down on one of my machines and starts texting, scrolling, or talking. Is he ever going to use that equipment? Certainly not within the next ten minutes. Never mind the fact that my gym has two sitting areas with couches in addition to the locker rooms for him to use. Never mind that this is a busy time of the night. Never mind that I am using every machine around him and glaring daggers. Dude needs to send texts and pretend he’s working out. Fuck everything else.
I have had dudes sit and text on the same piece of equipment for over thirty minutes oblivious to the fact that this is a gym and that is extremely poor gym etiquette. I’ve had groups of guys do this, shouldering me out of the way or literally shoving so close to me that I’ve hit them with the machine (which I can’t move so fuck you, guy, for getting all pissy). I’ve had guys refuse to move when I’ve asked them to even though they are doing nothing.
Now, I’m not going to claim that this is a dudes-only problem. I’ve seen a few women do it, but women are more likely to be hogging the cardio machines, texting in the corner, and setting up a train on three pieces of equipment with five of their closest friends (which is a post for another day). Dudes are much more likely to feel entitled to the space and not care about spreading out and getting in others’ way. It’s the gym. It’s their area. The rest of us are just passing through.
But ya’ll need to stop it. Need to send a quick text? Go for it. Need to write down your reps? Be my guest. But the leg press machine is not just a weird-looking bench, and the v-triceps machine is not a watering hole. So go lean against a wall or sit on a couch or just fucking leave and let the rest of us get our shit done. Ain’t nothing impressive about you sitting on your ass being a dick.