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PTAaron

Gym Etiquette: Putting Away Your Plates

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http://fitnessboard.net/wordpress/rack-your-weights/

Put Your Weights Away!!

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Last week we talked about how to use a dumbbell rack, and I hope that you learned a lot from that lesson. We are going to continue along that same line with an instructional piece on another topic that seems extremely challenging for many people at the gym. That topic is when and how to put away the weight plates you are using.

This could be a really short article if I just say "If you took weights off of a weight rack and put them onto a bar to use them, you must put them back where you found them when you are done" - but what fun would that be? I need my chance to be sarcastic!

Lets start at the beginning... when you arrive at the gym (assuming you go early enough in the day or work out at a gym where people put their weights away) you will find that the weight plates are stored on "weight trees" or "weight racks." Sometimes these strange devices are stand alone objects that look like this:

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Other times it may be a part of the machine and look like this:
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You may be wondering how this mystical piece of equipment works since it is rather intimidating looking. It is actually quite simple despite the complex appearance. You see it is really just a series of metal posts that the weight plates slide on to for storage. In many gyms these posts have numbers on them that match up with the numbers you will see printed on the weight plates! You can play the same "matching game" that we talked about in the dumbbell rack article to figure out where you should put the plates you have used.

You may also be wondering "When should I put my weights away?" While this is a completely idiotic question that indicates you probably have the IQ of a potato lets go through a few examples to help clarify how to handle a variety of situations.

Let's Take a Test:
Situation 1: You have finished doing bench press, and you are going to move on to a different machine. What should you do?

Situation 2: You have just set a new personal record on deadlift! You're now officially a badass and you're ready to head to the locker room to take some selfies and post them up on Instagram. What should you do?

Situation 3: You are doing leg press and have the machine fully loaded out with plates and on your last rep you hyper-extend your knee, hear a horrible ripping sound, the sled crashes down on you, and the gym staff has to call an ambulance to drag your broken bleeding body to the hospital. What should you do?

The Answers:
Situation 1: The answer here is really simple: Take the plates off the bar and put them back on the weight rack! Did you get that one right? I hope so!

Situation 2: This one may be a little tough, because naturally everyone in the gym has obviously noticed what a badass you are and is clearly envious of how amazing you are... You are clearly superior to them, so you probably should just leave the weights there for someone else to clean up right? WRONG JACKASS! Clean up your d@mn weights. No one else really gives a crap how much weight you just lifted, in fact most of the other people in the gym didn't even notice you were there. What they WILL notice is you walking away without putting your weights away... and they won't be impressed. So put your weights away.

Situation 3: This would be one of the ONLY cases where it is okay to NOT rerack your own weights assuming you were unable to stand up after you were pried out from the machine. Of course if you were really hardcore you would ask the EMS crew to roll your gurney close to the machine so you could still take the plates off... but that wouldn't be 100% necessary.

So I'm hoping by now you're seeing the pattern here. If you load up the weights on a machine or a bar, it is your responsibility to put them away when you are done. It shows that you have respect for the other people in the gym and for the people that work at the gym. You see, in the gym everyone is equal - it doesn't matter if you are the head of a company in "real life" with peons taking care of everything for you, when you are in the gym you clean up your own crap when you are done using it. You are not superior to anyone else in the gym - no one gives a crap how special you think you are. The gym staff is not there to be your clean up crew either - they have jobs to do, and that job is not cleaning up after your lazy disrespectful ass.

So let me just summarize this for those that are still confused: Put your weights back when you are done using them!

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HA HA HAHA I would like to forward this to everyone that uses our gym at work. I think I finally complained enough that they got it. The "benchers" that congregate back there at break time seem to not understand the whole "pick up after yourself" mind set. I started just throwing the weights on the floor around the bench when I needed one of the weights that was hidden behind the rest, but that seemed to be too subtle.

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Subtle doesn't seem to work with the morons at my gym...

I'm actually working on a couple of blog posts that aren't just me bitching about lazy people at my gym - should have a couple ready soon.

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I'm actually working on a couple of blog posts that aren't just me bitching about lazy people at my gym - should have a couple ready soon.

Guess it doesn't matter... I seem to no longer be able to create new posts in this section of the forum.

Oh well.

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