Ah the douchebag, an eloquent contemporary term that’s derived from the language of love — French. Douchebags come in a few different forms but, for today we’ll be touching on the Gym Douche.
These are the few rotten apples that give the whole (fitness) lifestyle a bad name. They make first time gym goers question their decisions, while the rest of us curse and swear in our heads. But, what are the signs to look out for and could you be one?
You can do whatever you set your mind to — I’m going to take a sh*t on that and tell you that you can’t if you haven’t actually been doing anything besides stroking your… ego.
That guy that’s spent years getting strong lift more than double his body’s weight? You think to yourself, “So can I!”. Fast forward to the following morning and you can’t get your own underwear on without your back feeling like it’s about to explode.
Hitting the gym with your “squad”? It sure is nice to train with your buddies, but little do you and your friends realise that no one else needs to know about how seemingly exciting your previous night of drinking was.
If you’re having way too much fun — like catching up with your friends over supper or drinks, then it’s probably a safe to say that unbeknownst to you, everyone else can hear your conversation. You’re probably congregating and blocking someone’s way too. So tone it down, will you?
I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve forgotten to bring a towel on many of my sessions at the gym — hell, there have even been times I just didn’t bother to bring one. But, before you wag you finger in my face, there are bottles of Febreeze and sanitiser at my regular haunt.
So you’ll find me diligently wiping stuff down after I perspire all over it. However, I’ve come across grimy looking patches of semi-dried bodily fluid on everything from benches to the floor.
Once upon a time, when the gym first opened its doors, the different weights had their place. Arranged in an order that made sense — lightest to heaviest and 20kg weight plates on the bottom rungs, while the tiny 1.25kg ones took the top.
But humans will be humans, throwing the balance of every environment they enter into disarray. The heaviest weights now hang on the the upper rungs making it a Final Destination death scene waiting to happen.
You’ve heard of high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) and you’re all about that method of training now. The simpletons at your gym don’t understand! You have really cool muscle confusing training methods. You hog on to five pieces of gym equipment at your disposal for the next 30 minutes, and no one else can hop in for a set.
Then you don’t put the equipment back for a double whammy.
You’ve got your supplement stack sorted and have a different one for every situation. Pre-workout, post-workout, one to get your day started, and five more for a whole host of reasons.
Personally I don’t take protein or supplements, and I don’t have a problem with anyone who does. However, leaving sh*t stain looking patches on benches that you’ve decided to place your bottle on — that’s pretty nasty, and douchey. Why can’t you clean up after yourself?
Yes, everyone has the right to use any piece of equipment he or she desires. Sharing is common, and if you didn’t know, it is encouraged. Grabbing a pair of dumbbells or taking over the whole squat rack just because the person went for a sip of water is kinda rude though.
On the flip-side there are people that chope pieces of equipment. The only time a douchebag seems to use a towel is when they drape it over a piece of equipment they want to reserve. Wait. Why do you even need to reserve pieces of equipment? Where could you be off to? Wherever it is, the douchebags wander off to, they never come back in a hurry, leaving others confused and annoyed often asking one another “errrr do you know who’s using this?”
The floor is speckled with a strange white powdery substance, the bar used for deadlifts coated in it. Did someone do cocaine in the gym?
Oh it’s just chalk… chalk that wasn’t cleaned up by the person using it. I use chalk myself, and as hard as it is to clean that stuff up, I try my best not to leave the place looking like a scene out of Scarface.
A damp hand towel usually does the trick. As for the chalk on the bar, brush it off with a metal bristled brush. If your gym doesn’t have one, it’s time you bought one yourself.
No, this isn’t about dropping or slamming weights, I’m all for training hardcore, but don’t abuse the equipment. Everyone has probably seen someone in the act of it. Allowing cable machine weight stacks to come crashing down, and all that sort of good stuff. A week later that very piece of equipment will be found out of action for a few days at best.
The teacher that no one asked for, or wants to be precise. You go around preaching your bro-science about how deep squats are bad for your knees only because you’re too lazy to do them yourself.
Do such people really exist? Yes… yes they do. I’ve experienced it, and so have countless other people minding their own business, only to be stopped in their tracks to listen to the know it all who wishes to extol his or her training virtues on the unfortunate soul.
Wherever you are in the world, the gym douche will be the same. Even with all the cultural differences, the douchebags find common ground in their distasteful behaviour. Some gyms have signs that’ll tell you what proper (gym) etiquette is. If you aren’t blessed with such a sign, a good dose of common sense usually works.
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