Thread: Etiquette Question
04-04-2002, 09:05 AM #1
I have posted a couple of times before ranting about gym etiquette. Well, yesterday has to take the cake. I was just about finished for the day and I went to the dumbell rack looking for some 30's to do some tricep kickbacks. I couldn't find any on the whole rack. I looked around and saw two guys each using a pair of 30's. In the middle of the room there were a bunch of dumbells scattered all over the place. There were a pair of 30's there but I didn't want to take them in case someone was using them and just went to get some water or something. I waited about a minute and kept looking around to see if anyone would make eye contact with me saying "hey buddy, I'm using those". Nothing. So I took them - putting one back on the rack and used the other for my kickbacks.
Well, I'm into my second set and some guy comes charging over, looking at the the numbers on the dumbells everyone is using. He then goes to me "HEY! Where's you get that dumbell?"
I told him I got it over there with the mess of other dumbells. He says "Who said you could take that? They were my dumbells."
I said "Sorry man, I looked around to see if anyone was claiming them and I thought they were just left out."
See, I actually apologized to the guy. But this guy was steaming at me. He told me that ALL of those dumbells over there were his (there were 6 or 7 pair) and that "no one touches them until I SAY they can touch them."
What's with this guy? I can go on in more detail, but to make a long story short, he threatened to kick my ass. That surprised me as he seems to weigh about 165 and I'm 290. I apologized about 5 more times until he just pissed me off so I sort of threw the dumbell at him as I gave it back to him. The guy next to me just finished with his pair, so he gave them to me.
First of all, I know this guy is an asshole as I apologized several times. But I have a question. If I see dumbells in the open floor again, what actions am I obliged to take before I take them?
04-04-2002, 09:09 AM #2
Another reason for me to expand my home gym. That type of attitude from people is horrible. I don't think you did anything . He has two hands, how can he use 6 or 7 pair at the same time. You should be able to get in some sets while he is messing with the other pairs.
04-04-2002, 09:10 AM #3
i use the 3 min rule if no one uses them w/ in 3mins there fair game
04-04-2002, 09:14 AM #4
On this low carb diet i would have probably planted the 30lber into his forhead. I had a little punk come take the leg extention the other day, i was super setting with sissy's..... i was kinda mean to him, but there should be sheet or something newbie's should have to read before they sign up at a gym about this type of thing.
04-04-2002, 09:21 AM #5
The only thing you should have said was "Sorry, you weren't using them and since the only thing written on them is your IQ and not your name I took them." Then let your size speak for you and continue the workout. 290 versus 165-ish should have been a moot issue.
04-04-2002, 09:24 AM #6Associate Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
devilsdeity thats a good call bro. i think the 3 min rule should b incorporated at every gym.
04-04-2002, 09:25 AM #7
My buddy was watching from across the room and said he was surprised I didn't make him eat it. Actually, so am I.
Would you believe that since I wrote this post 5 minutes ago, the manager of my gym just called me - at work - and said he heard what happened and said that was unacceptable. He said he's telling that guy not to come back again and for my trouble he'd like to give me a free month. He also said there would be some free stuff waiting for me in the pro shop when I go in today.
04-04-2002, 09:34 AM #8
Sounds like a good gym
04-04-2002, 09:40 AM #9
It can all be summed up...
...in one word:
To answer your key question first, you are obliged to take no actions. Middle of the floor with no one using them, dumbbells are fair game.
But there are a few variables that you didn't provide. What kind of gym was it? How big? How many other people were there at the time? Is it the kind of gym where behavior like his would normally be tolerated? If you had whomped his ass, is it the kind of gym where that would have been tolerated? All of these are pieces in the puzzle that are needed to complete the big picture.
Now, for what it's worth, here's how I would have handled the situation (and, in fact, how I have handled similar situations successfully).
1. Never blow your cool, but never offer more of an apology than a quick, "Sorry, man."
2. If the other guy acts like a jerk, never take your eyes away from his eyes. Looking directly at a person who is making an ass of himself can be very intimidating in itself. It shows that you have the self-confidence not to avert his looks.
3. Regardless of the truth, make him think that you're able to kick the shit out of him - whether you are able to or not doesn't matter, what he thinks you are able to do matters. But never blow your cool.
4. Make him think that you're more psychotic than he is. But never blow your cool. Do it with style.
5. Do not hesitate to threaten him with arrest or expulsion from the gym. But once again, never blow your cool, and do it with style. Am I being repetitious? Yep. Because most of you who are reading this are immature hotheads that can't begin to fathom the consequences of a real fight. Except bad_man, who somehow managed to keep his cool.
6. I hate to quote Patrick Swayze in Road House, but I've never heard it put better. When you're dealing with an asshole, "Be nice. Always be nice." Do what you need to defuse the situation but, even if you have to kick ass (and in 99% of these case you should not have to do so), be nice.
If it gets to the point of potential physical violence, and only if it gets to that point, you have two choices. One is to walk or run, and the other is to face it down. If you decide on the latter, never blow your cool, and play it with style.
Remember that guys who want to fight or who are willing to fight are, by nature, fighters. And they're probably good at it. So here is how to defuse them. Say, "Look, bro. You're bigger than me [if that's the case], and you're probably faster and stronger. You probably know how to fight pretty well, and I don't. But that means that you're gonna be pulling punches, and I'm not. Because I'm more psycho than you. And I don't know how to pull a punch. You you have to think carefully: Is it worth going to the hospital? Because if you want to follow this through, you're gonna have at least one broken bone. No bullshit, bro. You need to think carefully about whether it's worth it."
While you're saying this, you are looking directly into his eyes the entire time. You are saying it quietly and with confidence (even though you might be shitting while you say it), and while you are overtly calm, you are communicating that your adrenalin is rising even as you speak. And when the guy backs down (and he will, if you've done it right), make sure you communicate that there are no hard feelings and that you're really a nice guy. Let him save face, because it's the right thing to do, especially if you are really a nice guy. And during the entire time, if there are others around, take all steps you can not to embarrass teh other guy, or you will have backed him into a corner (which you should never do) and he may become more psycho than you.
Here's a fact: Most of the guys on this board who say, "I'd kick his ass" are under 21, and they'll hopefully grow out of it. (If they don't, the most eloquent thing they will ever say in life is something like, "Would you like fries with that burger?") Those guys who threaten violence and who are over 21 are on their way to being such piss-ant, immature failures in life (not job, status, or finance, but life itself) who wre so insignificant that you don't have to be bothered with them. If you are better than they are, you don't have to be bothered with them. And if they force their way into your life, get them out in any way you can, first nonviolently, and then making sure you cover your ass legally (because they may actually be shrewder than you in the end run).
As for the gym, if you don't like the assholes, change gyms. Seriously, you can whine about them here, and you may even achieve a little catharsis (look it up). But they'll still be at the gym when you go back. So either have their butts kicked out of the gym, or change gyms. It's that simple.
04-04-2002, 10:24 AM #10
Great call TNT!!!...hits the nail right on the head
04-04-2002, 03:05 PM #11
I love TNT's posts. I definitely agree with #1. Only apologize once......
04-04-2002, 03:11 PM #12
TNT's post is excellent but my question wasn't really how to handle an asshole in the gym (or elsewhere). I can pretty much take care of myself and prefer to verbally quash any problems before fists start a' flying. And besides I got a free month at my gym and over $100 in supplements out of the deal.
My question was...
Let's say this guy wasn't an asshole. Is there any standard rule that I should follow so that I don't take someone else's equipment while he was in the middle of something? For example, what if I jumped on the leg press while eye_candy was doing his superset? Should I bring a bullhorn and announce to everyone that it is my intention to use a piece of equipment? I like the 3 minutes rule and am wondering if anyone else has an opinion.
04-04-2002, 03:19 PM #13
The 3 minute rule seems to be the best way to go. If all else fails, just ask......
04-04-2002, 03:41 PM #14Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2002
good question, and some good posts (TNT as usual of course). I train in a college gym and it often overcrowded. This and the fact that the management does a poor job of organization leads to a mess. Sometimes its not so bad, sometimes there will be 5 open squat racks but no clips to hold the weights on the bar because someone stole them to use on preacher curls (probably because someone stole theirs as well.) So i hear ya man.
On a related note> I ran into a guy the other day who I had never seen at the gym before. He was talking to someone between spotting sets for his buddy. I needed to borrow a 10lb plate from his station (which by the way had like 4 or 5 10lb plates) so I walk over and reach for the plate and say "hey, do you care if i steal this from yall for a few mins?" and the guy stares at me blankly and half nods his head as to say "how dare you talk to me". He was about 2 inches taller than me and maybe 190 lbs by rough estimate... not sure where is getting his attitude from. I just grinned and said "thanks !" and walked by to my station. Just as TNT said, being nice is the way to go regardless of how ignorant and rude the poor guy is, in fact being nice can almost be like a legal slap in the face because they have nothing to fuel the fight with when you are being nice to them.
This doesn't answer your question about etiquette though, sorry.
04-04-2002, 03:55 PM #15
If it looks like itmight be in use I ask the guys working out if they've seen anyone using the equipment. 99% of the time they say "no" and I take it over.
If someone does come back when I'm working and tells me they were there I tell them "Sorry. No one was around, but you can work in if they want."
I never leave and let them have it all to themselves once they've been gone long enough for nobody to remember seeingthem there.
04-05-2002, 03:08 PM #16
fuck that guy man. I have people do shit like this all the time to me. It's like they go to the gym to prove they're a hardass. i wouldn't have any problem with it if you beat the shit out of him. I always ask if someone is using DB's or a machine or something. There is no reason for people to act like that.
But back to the question I think if they are just sitting there they are fair game. It's not fair to reserve the whole rack, other people gotta use equipment too.
04-05-2002, 04:52 PM #17
So many guys in my gym think they are such hardasses. I mean I know I dont walk around the gym all smiles eitherr (shit im working out, I need to get sorta pissed off) but when I do interact with other people I make sure im really polite. I rather be friends with everyone, but if someone acts like a dick to me im not gonna sit back and kiss his ass. I hate when people act like they own the fucking gym.
But what TNT said.. heh.. if you have that mentality you better realize there is nothing good that can come out of a physical altercation, be prepared for some broken bones and blood or worse...This isnt TV. My roomate used to fight at the drop of a hat until a few months ago when he ran into some weirdo who bit half his ear off. I told him it could be worse, and its true-- you never know what kinda person your dealing with, its best to diffuse the situation and only fight when there is no other options.
04-06-2002, 02:30 AM #18
TNT, excellent post as always... I gotta try that soon. I especially like number 4, it's got potential as a signature...
Make him think that you're more psychotic than he is. But never blow your cool. Do it with style.
They gym, I believe, also has soem responsibility to have somebody watching the floor and available to jump in defuse disputes.
I must admit, I have it pretty good where I work out. We have a 'coach' employed by the gym that sits in the weight room and makes sure that people are using the equipment efficiently. If you need to use some gear, he will rotate you in or get somebody else to double up--or tell you to wait--then slip you in as soon as the equipment is free. The guy is very laid back and friendly and everybody respects him, I have NEVER had any problem in the gym and that is 100% becasue of this guy.
I think a lot of gyms could take take a clue from this. It makes my workouts WAY more efficient--and I am willing to pay for that...
04-10-2002, 08:48 AM #19
Well, it got ugly.
As you can see from my original post, I tried my best to quash this situation. Well, yesterday I walk in to the gym and that dude was at the front desk. He was visibly agitated and was speaking (yelling) with the manager. I walked up to scan in my card and he starts yelling at me. something like "THIS asshole comes over and steals my equipment, and I am the one getting kicked out?" The manager looked like this had been going on for some time. I just started to walk away, heading for the locker room. He starts yelling after me, asking me where i was going, what kind of lies I'm spreading about him, and on and on.
So I pretty much lost it. I headed back and asked him what his problem is. I said that we have a pretty good gym here and we don't like assholes like him fucking up the atmosphere. I told him he can take his mullet haircut and clown pants to some other gym. His only response? "Fuck you man!" and I said "No....fuck you AND your wife slash sister."
Well, then comes the obligatory punch - thrown by him directly on my jaw. It was weird. Everything pretty much went into slow motion. That's when I noticed that the whole gym was silent. It didn't last long - maybe 15 - 20 seconds but he didn't turn out very well. I'm pretty sure I broke his nose.
That was my first fight since college and I'm not looking for another one too quickly. I just wonder if TNT thinks I handled it with style.
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