Weight room etiquette pleases other gym patrons

Weight room etiquette pleases other gym patrons

I like to use the University Recreation Center regularly to stay active, healthy and make women jealous they didn’t marry David Hall at the 10-year high school reunion.Futuristic revenge fantasies aside, the weight room is a great place to muscle up for the Iditarod/World Series of Scrabble/Bear Wrasslin’ Championship or whatever event you’re planning to gain strength for.

Machine after machine bears likeness to a medieval torture device, just waiting to tear your muscles to shreds, only to build them up bigger and stronger than before.

It’s a shame, however, that some people don’t know the proper etiquette.

For starters, towels should always be used on machines. While the Rec Center runs out of them on rare occasions, they’re usually available in exchange for your student ID.

You just let the nice people at the front desk hold your ID card hostage while you work out.

Then, you return their precious towel, get your card back and everything is hunky-dory again. Simple as that.

Nothing is worse than laying down on a weight bench and feeling like you’ve landed in a bowl of cold, residual Ramen Noodle water.

The pool of sweat is a great way to spread drug-resistant bacteria to the entire campus faster than you can say “super-staph.”

Invest in a towel.

Standing in front of the machines and chatting up your friends is annoying to others trying to get a workout in.

This usually manifests itself in the form of two muscle-laden jocks with the equivalent IQ of a pack of Starburst warming up with a medicine ball in front of about six machines, presumably in an effort to keep the ripped biceps and jacked pecs to themselves.

They remain there for a good 15 minutes, talking about big trucks and “that one hot chick who sits next to me in my two o’clock.”

It’s a weight room, not a social club.

If you really need to talk for more than the universally accepted “30 seconds for pleasantries,” there’s a massive lounge just a few feet away.

Grab a smoothie while you’re at it.

Loud noises are also highly discouraged.

Sure, a fair amount of exertion is necessary to get the maximum benefit from lifting, but grunting like you’re trying to birth an aircraft carrier sideways is probably a sign that you should take it easier.

Lastly, always remember to rerack your weights. People still think a station is in use if the weights are left on it. Nobody is impressed by the trail of breadcrumbs you left letting everyone know how strong you are. They just think you’re a jerk. So, before you go admire your huge biceps in the mirror (while completely ignoring the beer belly that has formed from years of exercising nothing but your arms), rack ’em up.

TCU takes serious pride in student health, and that’s great. It’s much better to spend your college years toiling away in the gym than eating Cool Ranch Doritos and watching “Party of Five” reruns as you slowly turn into Jabba the Hutt.

Just be courteous while you’re there.

David Hall is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His column appears Wednesdays.