Stupid Gym Rules…

Posted: September 4, 2008 in Exercise, fitness, health, Me, weight lifting
Tags: , , , , ,

I went to perform some dead-lifts yesterday morning only to discover that the power rack had a fresh new sign hanging up beside it.  Truth is, it might have been there longer, but this was the first time I saw it.  The sign provided a list of exercises that could be performed on the equipment- about 5 exercises in total.  The sign concluded by noting that any exercise not on the list couldn’t be performed with the power rack due to space limitations.  Guess what, the list did not include dead-lifts as a permissible exercise.  [FYI: The list did include squats, military press, and a few other exercises].

Here is where it gets interesting.  It is obvious from the sign that the rule exists for later in the day when the gym is packed with people.  But when I workout at 6 a.m. it is usually just me and one other person.  However, the gym is staffed by a bunch of college kids who think the rules must be rigidly enforced. It just happened that the guy working the gym that morning wasn’t very confrontational and decided to take an annoying approach by walking into the weight room and reading the sign and then looking at me- he repeated this several times.

So, it might turn out that I will have to add the assisted dead-lift (assisted because it is a few pin lengths off the ground) to handstand push-ups as prohibited in the weight room.  This is a bit ridiculous.  Any clown can risk their spine doing 600lb squats, but I can’t do a dead-lift on the power rack.

  1. says:

    I hate rules. I hate signs with rules on them.

  2. MizFit says:

    and I love deadlifts.

  3. DR says:

    How do deadlifts take up any more ‘space’ than squats or military presses?

    Sounds like bureaucratic B.S. to me.

    I went through a similar situation when I went to university. At that time, they were trying to ban squats for our safety. Seriously.

    I wasted a lot of time arguing with the gym police. Truth be told, on a couple of occasions I just told them to eff off and went back to my workout. Keeping in mind I was squatting just under 800 lbs at the time and was a little bit cranky after being interrupted in the MIDDLE of a set.

    What finally worked for me was going from the gym manager to his boss to the head of the entire Kinesiology dept. Eventually common sense prevailed.

    At least you’re not at a private gym. I recently quit a gym that wouldn’t let me do power cleans. At that place the manager’s word was law and the manager was a devotee of the Bosu cult.

  4. What or how is the Bosu cult? Google isn’t giving me any answers.

  5. DR says:

    Bosu cult members are the people at the gym who believe that “functional” fitness is all about doing squats while standing on a Bosu with their eyes closed. Or kneeling on a stability ball while doing dumbbell laterals – heavy emphasis on the dumbbell.

    They are closely related to the guys that need to do their barbell bicep curls in the power rack.

  6. Justin V says:

    Ahh the Gym Nazi… I got yelled at today for cell phone use which i never ususally do, but any who.. We arent allowed to do Olympic lifting, for safety reason, dumb college kids..

    I don’t see how dead lifts take up more space..that’s really weird.. I couldn’t live like that, esp me, who does dead lifts outside of the rack.. LOL..

  7. Teresa says:

    Our Community Center has all sorts of rules, but they are there mostly to be enforced against trouble-makers.

    If you are not a trouble-maker, you can pretty much do what-ever you want. Especially if you are chatty and friendly with the staff, and they decide that you aren’t the type to do yourself harm and then sue them.

    But there is always the occasional patron who acts as gym nazi.

    And we have some Bosu cultists, but they are mostly harmless. They are really sweet to be concerned that I might injure myself doing “traditional” exercises at my advanced age (40 – LOL).

    Sort of like the people who come to the door to save my soul. I try to appreciate the intent. 🙂

  8. Justin, the gym Nazis would be only a minor annoyance if the folks in charge of the gym weren’t so unresponsive.

    Teresa, that is the problem with rules. We often begin with the understanding that the rules will only be enforced against the trouble makers. Then, at some point, people in the system realize they can get some perverse pleasure out of rigidly enforcing the rules (OR one of the trouble makers complains that they aren’t being treated equally) and all of a sudden you have strict enforcement of ridiculous policies in conditions where they shouldn’t even apply- not to mention situations where folks who wrote those policies probably never even conceived the policy (or policies) being applied in that manner.

  9. Neil says:

    No deadlifts? That makes no sense.

    I just started doing them again last year. I do a power day on Mondays with squats, weighted dips and deadlifts. I love it.

  10. If you get crap again, maybe try this:

    Say, “Look, I’m on a specific training program designed for me, and that program requires dead lifts. I would like to use the power rack to do them, and I would also like to continue being a member of this gym… “

  11. It is a university gym so I can’t get my money back. Plus I couldn’t afford a gym membership anywhere else. I’ll just keep doing it until they say something directly to me.

  12. Gym Nazis are one reason why I don’t use gyms anymore – how irritating.

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  14. Stiletto says:

    Is your gym turning into a Planet Fitness? My oh my. You ought to review them on a site like Yelp. It’s where I’m getting back at people and businesses day by day.

  15. “Is your gym turning into a Planet Fitness?”

    Nope. Just the small cramped school gym.

  16. Rachel says:

    OMG that was so rude of that dude. I would have just kept right on going till he had the nerve to talk to me. lol

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