Dumb Things You Should Not Do in a Gym
Part Two

Here are more dumb things you should never do in a gym.

Leave equipment lying around
Here is a rule we all should have learned in kindergarten -- return what you use. There is a reason why this rule is important in a gym setting. Someone can sprain an ankle if they trip over dumbbells or ankle weights that are carelessly left lying around. Unfortunately, some people think that the primary job of the gym staff is to pick up after them so they take no responsibility whatsoever to return small pieces of equipment that they have just used. Not only is this inconsiderate (you use up the time the trainer could have spent instructing other people) but it is also dangerous. Besides, the next person who could trip over that weight belt that was thoughtlessly left on the gym floor by an irresponsible person could be you!

Lift heavy weights without a spotter
Lifting heavy free weights (dumbbells or barbells) without a spotter or safety hooks (available on some brands of free weight stations) is like skydiving without an emergency parachute. If your regular chute fails to open, you are a dead duck.

In the same manner, if you are into heavy-duty weight lifting that pushes your muscles to the limit, you never know when you will experience instantaneous muscle failure. This is a reflex action meant to protect your tendons (connective tissue that connects muscle to bone) from tearing when the body senses that the weights you are carrying are too much for you.

Unfortunately, when this happens the dumbbells or barbell you are lifting will fall straight on your face, chest, or toes. The spotter or safety hooks are meant to prevent you from making an unnecessary trip to the emergency room of the nearest hospital.

Choose your spotter well. Make sure he knows how to properly grab hold of the weights if you lose control. Be sure he is strong enough. Make sure too that he is keeping his eyes on you and not some pretty girl who is working out across the room. If your gymís free weight equipment has safety hooks, for goodness sake, use them.

Be a gossip in the locker room
You never know who is in the toilet or shower as you are yakking your head off to a friend about someone else. More people (mostly ladies) than you can imagine have gotten caught with their foot in their mouth by gossiping in a gym locker room. Be discreet. Whisper if you canít control the urge to talk. If you donít want an impromptu catfight in the locker room, gossip to your heartís delight only when you are in safer territory.

Actually, even on the gym floor itís wise to watch your tongue because you never know whose relative or friend is working out beside you.

Bring your kids to the gym
It is dumb to bring young children to the gym and allow them to run around because a gym is full of machines with moving parts that can easily cut off or smash inquisitive little fingers.

Most gyms have rules about this but I know of many instances when parents get upset at the gym staff when they are told that their kids should not be there. Donít be this kind of parent. The gym is only trying to protect your children from harm as well as protect their other members from getting annoyed and their machines from getting destroyed.

This scenario of kids running wild happens a lot in country club and resort gyms that are situated near the swimming pool. Instructors who work in these types of gyms tell me horror stories about children who come in dripping wet from the pool to fool around with the equipment.

By the way, the greatest number of accidents involving children and gym equipment happens in the home. So if you have home gym equipment, be smart and tell your kids, ďHands off!Ē

Compare yourself to others
Comparing your body or your performance with someone else is a pretty stupid thing to do. I know it is human nature to want what you donít have but you have to rise above this attitude because it is a fast track to unhappiness. It is dumb to compare because someone will always have a better looking body or a stronger/more flexible body than you.

I know of young men who struggle under weights they can barely carry just because an older guy beside them can do it. Some ladies try to copy the exercise routine of the woman they consider to have the most attractive body in the gym thinking that her program will give them the same body also.

Lately, Iíve been hearing about ďyoga jealousyĒ. People feel they have to compete with stronger and more flexible yoga classmates. How dumb can this be? Yoga was meant to make you more at peace with yourself, with your fellow man, and with the whole universe. How peaceful can you be if you keep comparing yourself to the human pretzel beside you?

Hereís the bottom line: Genetics will always play a major role in the way you look and the way you perform. I know itís not fair but thatís life. It doesnít mean that you cannot improve on what your familyís gene pool gave you but you cannot become someone else no matter how hard you try. The faster you accept this truth, the happier you will be.

Exercise without a deodorant
Letís face it. Unless you are one of the genetically gifted few, you will have B.O. if you exercise without using a deodorant. Stop challenging Mother Nature by exercising without underarm protection. Have pity on the people around you who have to breathe the air that you are ďperfumingĒ. Have pity also on yourself because you will have very few gym friends and you will get embarrassed when the gym staff will eventually have to talk to you about it.

The dumbest thing
I remember talking to someone who said that he didnít believe in gyms because he had bought so many gym memberships over the years but he had never gotten fit. Intrigued, I asked him to explain to me what he felt was wrong with the fitness program of the gyms he had enrolled in. Lo and behold but I found out the guy had only gone to each of the gyms once Ė the day he paid for membership. The dumbest thing you can do in a gym is enroll and never show up. Your gym membership card canít make you fit unless you actually go to there and use the equipment.

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