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Gym Dandy

You read the love article. You're health conscious so you join the local gym to be around like-minded folks. Now you're wanting to know how to act within the fitness community. You've come to the right place.

Now, I'm no bodybuilder. I'm not going to give Governor Schwarzenegger a run for his pumpatude by any means. But I do try to head down to the gym a couple times a week, and I do know what's annoying. You don't want to do annoying stuff.

Grunting is annoying. Nothing creates awkward tension like a guy making noises like he's passing an anvil or copulating with a wildebeest. Last I checked you lift weights with your arms and legs, not your vocal chords. And even if it were possible to summon additional strength by making an ugly sound, shouldn't you just have to do it on your final rep? Just like restaurants have smoking sections, gyms should have a place specifically for grunters, and it should be out back by the dumpster.

To make matters worse, the grunt-makers often add to their shame by using improper weight lifting form. The only body parts that should be moving are the parts you're exercising. If you have to bend your back to do bicep curls, you're using too much weight. Swallow your pride and use weights you can move in a smooth, controlled motion. Hernia is not an exotic vacation destination.

Another thing I will never understand is when large hulking masses of men ask little guys for a spot. I have never once been the biggest guy in the room and on multiple occasions I've been asked to help a guy bench-pressing what looks like two-thirds of a U-Haul. Do you honestly want to put your life in my spaghetti arms?

For those of you who just stick to the cardio equipment you should have learned the most important etiquette rule in kindergarten: Share the toys. If the gym has a posted twenty- minute limit on machines, only use them for twenty minutes at a time when people are waiting. I think we should all be able to point and laugh at treadmill hogs.

Another one that should go without saying is: Wipe off equipment after use. Yeah, this one's on signs everywhere but that's because it's true. If you're not on something for long and you're still dry when you're done, fine. But if you're the type of person who turns a recumbent bike into your own personal rain forest, please clean up when you're done.

Since, for the most part, we go to the gym to improve our outer appearance, we close with a 100% superficial suggestion. Please wear attire appropriate for your physique. I'm a little fella, so skin-tight clothing doesn't compliment me. If you're on the not-small side, be comfortable but please don't be near-naked. We beg of you.

On the flip side, if you've put a lot of work into your body, and you're lookin' good, by all means show it off. We really beg of you. Not only does it give us mere mortals something to strive for, but it adds to the general aesthetic beauty of the club. I promise not to stare.

Get down the gym, be safe, get healthy, and have fun. I'll save a dry treadmill for you.

Disclaimer: Scott Terrell is just a scrawny guy with a membership.
Pump up at your own risk.

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