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The Gym Isn’t Your Studio: Stop Ruining the Gym Experience

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

I often get asked how I can train at my home and not miss the commercial gym atmosphere. It’s quite simple, go to any major gym out there that would be a meathead’s heaven, and you’ll find more tripods and cameras than barbells and plates. Add in the fact that anything I would need at a commercial gym I have at my home, and you’d fully understand that I have zero interest or need to go to an overcrowded commercial gym ever again.

But this article isn’t about me and my insane home gym (humble brag). This article is about the annoying trend that has been a cancer to gyms across the nation for well over a year now. The only reason I’m making this article so late in the game is because the trend of videoing yourself in the gym has now completely gone toxic and confrontational.

Disclaimer: This article is my opinion (and somewhat of a rant) based on what I’m seeing in gyms today and the nonsense this industry is promoting online through social media.

The Gym Isn’t Your Studio

I totally understand the fact that the gym is where you work out. You don’t have gym equipment at home or even the same lighting for your video production. But the fact that you’re setting up tripods in the aisles between equipment is annoying, and it’s forcing people to walk around your equipment (or accidentally knock it over) just to get in their own workout.

The piece of this entire trend that no one seems to be talking about is the fact that in many membership contracts out there, in the fine print is a cellphone policy that tells the person signing on the dotted line that they are not to be using their cellphone while working out or taking photos of themselves or others on the gym floor or in the locker rooms. Well, how’s that working out?

If you need to post a selfie or video every day of yourself at the gym, are you doing it to prove that you actually showed up or doing it for shameless self-promotion? I mean, let’s face it, if you need to take a photo to show people you actually work out, then you must be too focused on taking photos than you are on building your physique because if you have to prove to people that you actually exercise, you’re clearly doing something wrong — they should be able to tell by just looking at you.

You recording yourself and taking selfie after selfie for social media is doing nothing more than interrupting someone else’s workout. To me, that’s inconsiderate and selfish (which is another reason I refuse to pay for a gym membership). I’d be the person who drops a dumbbell on your phone or camera just to give you a hint that it doesn’t belong on the gym floor. Sure, I understand people have music on their phones, but the endless photos, texts, and non-essential gym tasks are extremely annoying.

People Confront Others for “Walking in Front of Their Shot”

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how many videos I see only and that are sent to me of people nearly getting into fistfights at the gym because some “influencer” (that no one has ever heard of) got in someone’s face for walking in front of their camera when they were recording a workout video. Listen, “director,” you’re not the only person paying to use the gym and equipment, so simmer down.

When you record yourself or take a photo, you’re clearly not going to be holding your phone or camera while doing the set, therefore, you either give the camera to someone else or you set up a tripod (douchebag move). The issue arises when those individuals think they have the right of passage to do whatever they want uninterrupted in the gym. That everyone should stop and wait for the recording to be done before walking across the gym to do their own set.

Confrontation kicks off, and some fights have even started by an influencer telling someone off for continually walking through their shot, and a pushing match ensues. What gives people the right to think they own the space? Why do they think it’s acceptable to set up a tripod, take up multiple pieces of equipment, and then take up space by posing between sets for the camera? I’m just going to say it, you’re a complete douchebag if you do that.

Women Are Putting Men on Blast for Nothing

Ladies, you have officially taken the cake when it comes to the stupid things people do in the gym. For starters, when you walk into the gym in tiny shorts with your butt cheeks hanging out and a top so tiny that your tits are about to explode out and knock someone unconscious, don’t think that guys aren’t going to notice. Heck, even dudes who are into dudes are probably going to look your way — so get used to it. If you don’t like the looks, then stop wearing revealing things to the gym (the whole reason for doing so is for attention, otherwise why would you wear such things?).

But things have taken a turn for the worst, and there is now a trend of women recording themselves working out and then calling out men in their video for looking at them “like a creep.” I don’t know about you, but even when I’m working out alone, between sets, I’m looking around (AND IT’S JUST ME IN MY GYM). Do you realize how easy it is to look around when someone is filming and have the camera perceive you looking at the woman in question?

Don’t flatter yourself, sweetie, not everyone is looking at your or is bending you over in their head. You taking videos and “calling guys out” for looking in your direction is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. Even if a guy was looking at you, who cares? The whole reason you exist is because some guy looked at a chick, did some bedroom cardio, and produced you. People look at people all the time in everyday life, but it doesn’t mean anything other than they glanced your way. Do you make a video of someone looking at you in a meeting at work? After all, what’s the difference?

The nonsense in gyms needs to stop. People who don’t work out already have anxiety about going to the gym, and then you have all this ridiculousness going on from the people who should be setting an example for all those who are just starting out. But as this generation has already proven to us all, they are only worried about themselves and their clout online.

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