More important than the state of a gym’s equipment, its reputation or even its cleanliness, is the gym’s clientele. Over the years, I’ve grown to despise my gym for its increasing number of douchebags: The gold-chained, back-pimpled, hair-coiffed juiceheads who take “progress pics” with their iPhones every 15 minutes. The guys who, in between poses, manage to rep out a few unnecessarily vocal sets before returning to snapping lat shots with their protein-pounding buddies.
To ensure you don’t join the ranks of this increasingly large breed of douche, please abide by the following code of ethics at your local fitness center:
The 10 Commandments of Gym Douchebaggery.
1. Thou shalt not grunt unnecessarily: Listen closely, attention seeker. We get it: you’re lifting a weight you think we, the general gym-going public, will be impressed by. Alas, we aren’t. What this behavior communicates is that you can’t quite handle the weight you’re attempting to lift; that you aren’t quite ready for that second or third plate you’ve just added to your bench press.
We also worry that you might blow out your asshole and are minutes away from your intestines falling on the gym’s floor.
2. Thou shalt not treat the gym like a country club: The gym is a setting for fitness, for working out—duh, right? Although this seems painfully obvious, a ton of douchebags don’t share this vision. Sure, you might grab a protein shake and engage in some small talk with the gym’s regulars or friends, but that should be the extent of your extracurriculars there. Don’t be the guy who doles out lifting advice when not asked to, and don’t approach women in the middle of her set to flirt. Not everybody views the gym as a bar.
3. Thou shalt not admire their own reflection: We work out to be healthy, sure. But more often than not, we work out to look good. So, from time to time, we might steal a glance from the mirror and take in the results of our hard work. Rest assured, this is completely normal. Who I’m talking about here is the douche who spends more time admiring himself than he does working out. Whether he discretely poses to enhance his puffy triceps by grasping a door handle too hard, or he blatantly positions himself two inches from the mirror and takes selfie after selfie, it doesn’t matter; he is the definition of douche and deserves every word of ridicule he receives. (Behind his back, of course.)
4. Thou shalt not adorn thin-strapped singlets: Whether you bought these thin-strapped tank tops first-hand, or you made them yourself by cutting the arm holes so low that everyone can now see your hipbone, you must cease this unnecessary art project immediately. We don’t want your pits sweating all over the equipment. Put on a t-shirt for fuck's sake.
5. Thou shalt not hog multiple stations: You are not the only person at the gym. While you are probably an egomaniac, others will feel that they have equal rights to the gym’s equipment. They are right. If you want to superset, go to the gym during the quiet hours—10am-noon, 2pm-4pm—and do them then, don’t take over the equipment like some intimidating gym bully.
6. Thou shalt not groom his hair prior to workout: While you may have your hair gelled from work, or some event that occurred pre-workout, it's never okay to gel your hair for the sole purpose of working out. Again, this all boils down to how you view the gym: For fitness or mating? Choose fitness.
7. Though shalt not drop weights unnecessarily: Similar to the first commandment, all that dropping weights conveys to other gym members is that the weight you’ve attempted to lift is too heavy. The gym, and many of its members, find it disrespectful to drop the weights; it is seen as careless and, above all, douchey—you’re no show-pony.
8. Thou shalt not treat the locker room like one’s own bathroom: The gym’s locker room is a public area, not a pubic area. A towel, douchebags, is to be worn around the waist, not over your shoulder—especially when nude. While you may admire your body in the mirror’s reflection as you trim your beard and perhaps even your pubes, your dangling balls do not need to be resting on the countertop. Other men are here as well, and it would be nice to receive the same respect we give you.
9. Thou shalt not leave weights scattered across the gym floor: This, above all else, is just lazy behavior. If you grab the weights and work out with them, it’s then your duty to put them back where they were found. Not on the floor, or to the closest available dumbbell holder. Where's your mom?
10. Thou shalt not prove his strength by using machines incorrectly: These are the assholes who waste their time at the gym and occupy a machine that somebody else could be using properly. Just because you can get out an extra rep or add an additional 10 pounds by using machines incorrectly, doesn’t mean you should. Don't kill yourselves out there.