When it comes to gym etiquette there are so many ways in which you can make yourself look like an idiot. Some of the most common offending behaviors are things like needlessly resting on equipment between sets, not wiping equipment down when you’re finished, and (god forbid) doing curls in the power rack. I think when it comes to gym etiquette we all have our own personal horror stories.
However, there is one thing that I think trumps all other douche bag behavior I’ve seen in the gym:
Talking to someone in the middle of their set
It literally is the most annoying thing any single person can do in the gym. The fact that this even goes on in gyms completely baffles me. How can guys be so oblivious?
I don’t know about you, but when I’m in the gym I’m there to work and this requires that I focus on the task at hand. For example, if I’m getting ready to do a heavy set of front squats my focus is going to be on that lift and not on some inane conversation you are trying to have with me. In fact, the LAST thing I want is some idiot to be talking to me about the weather while I’m trying to grind out reps; it’s distracting beyond belief.
I will admit, however, that there is an exception to this rule. The only time it makes sense for someone to be talking in the middle of your set is if they are trying to pump you up to complete the lift. That’s it. In fact former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates used to have an old drill sergeant as his training partner. Leroy knew how to get Dorian fired up:
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “What about talking between sets?”
I’ll tell you right now that I’m not big of a fan of that either. Like I said, I’m in the gym to work out and get out. I’m not looking to socialize or make new friends. There are far too many guys I see that do more socializing than actual training.
Don’t be one of those guys.
Since I don’t like to be a huge jerk and tell people to shut the hell up when they are trying to talk to me in the gym, I’ve come up with a fool proof preventative measure:
I’ve found that with headphones on people just won’t bother you. As a bonus your headphones will drown out the crappy music they usually play in most commercial gyms. A win win situation if you ask me.
So if you’re a guy who likes to be a “chatty Cathy” in the gym, cut it out. Not only are you likely annoying someone else, but I can guarantee you that you are not working as hard as you could (and should) be.
But hey, don’t take it from me: