Let’s Talk About Cleaning Up After Ourselves…

If there is one thing that makes me crazy in the gym, it’s people who do not put their weights back where they belong when they are done using them. But that’s not what this post is about.

I want to talk about using good judgement when you are cleaning up after yourself. Namely, being aware of the people around you and thinking about the impact of your actions on the people around you.

So, this morning, I went into the gym, ran about 6.5 miles (this was actually about twice as much as I thought I’d start with … but I felt really good this morning, so I just went with it), then made my way back downstairs for a little bit of light leg and shoulder work. One of the last exercises that I chose to do – mostly because I know I don’t do it enough – was the leg press. So I loaded up about 250 lbs., settled myself in, and got working on a three-exercise circuit (wide legs for 15, feet together for 20, then a little calf raise for another 20). About halway through, the couple on the machine next to me finished up with their exercises. Surprisingly, they started unloading the machine before they went on to their next exercise (let’s be honest … if there is one machine that people never unload the weights from, it is a leg press).

Which is where the little pet peeve of mine reared its ugly head.

One thing that I’ve always been really careful about is only returning plates to either the free-standing racks, or, if there isn’t one nearby, onto a machine that is not currently in use. Which of these did this couple decide to do? Neither. They decided to put them on racks on the machine that I was using.

Now, keep in mind that my gym is huge – and they take advantage of as much of the space as they can. Meaning that there are plenty of other machines with open racks on which to return plates. At about 10 a.m. on a Saturday, maybe 15% of the machines in that general area were actually in use (yes, this is why I LOVE a gym on an early-ish Saturday morning). So I fail to understand why my machine, albeit the closest to the one they were using, was the one they chose.

Here’s the thing … it wouldn’t bother me so much had the machine not started SHAKING as I was mid-press. It’s unsafe. How do they know that something couldn’t happen as a result of the shaking to send the 250 lbs. atop the machine down onto my significantly less heavy body? I could have been crushed. Luckily, I wasn’t, but still … I couldn’t shake the thought that the shaking machine would bring me to my untimely death (okay, that’s a little dramatic).

Bottom line: be aware of the people around you when you are cleaning up after yourself. You never know when your actions could lead to another person’s injury. And as always, put your weights back where they belong! Trust me, taking two seconds to keep your gym clean makes a  world of difference to everyone.

11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Cleaning Up After Ourselves…

  1. People are also notorious for not only switching weight plates to other machines, but also leaving their sweaty body residue as well–that is always the best combo pack you can get lol:))

  2. That IS rude. I’ve never had that happen before in my gym. The one that got me yesterday was the policeman that came in during my set and then assumed I wasn’t using a particular machine. When I politely asked if he minded if I changed his weight he looked at me weird. Then I said..I’m in the middle of MY set. He lifted LESS than me…thus the tude. Sounds like your gym is much larger. i like early mornings, too.

    • I think there are one of two types: the ones who never even think to ask when you’re clearly in the middle of something, and the ones who ask you if you’re using something when you aren’t even near it. I’ll never understand either one. That guy was definitely embarassed that you were showing him up … sadly, I get great joy out of outlifting the guys around me 😉

  3. I hear ya! I don’t understand what the heck is wrong with so many people. Like nobody was ever taught to be courteous to others and people only care about themselves. One time when lifting with my buddy he was doing standing bicep curls and a guy decides to squeeze between him and a bench even though there was plenty of space on the other side with nobody there. Bumps into him mid lift, doesn’t say a word and keeps moving. It took every ounce of self control for me not to go chasing after him and yell at him. He’s probably the same guy who lifts weights while standing directly over the rack. I should do a blog about these people some time. Oh wait, I already have! LOL “Don’t be that guy!”

    • Seriously. I’ve definitely had people get questionably close to me before, but really, don’t touch my maching while I’m using it! I don’t get the guys who block the weight racks, either.
      I LOVED your “don’t be that guy” post – hilarious!!

      • Haha thanks, just so many frustrating things that happen at the gym! Seriously, what is going through someone’s mind when they touch your machine while you are using it? Ridiculous!

    • I think I’m just at the point that I’ve seen it all. But yeah, all I could picture was the weight crashing down on me … I don’t think people even think sometimes.

  4. There is a place for everything. Use it put it back. As for you… They better not hurt you. I wouldn’t have you to do girly things with 3 times a year. I taught you the look. I’m sure you have used it there 🙂

    • I mean, it was good that they were putting things away like they should – it just annoys the heck out of me when I’m on the machine they choose to put their weights away on.

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