3 ways to avoid being the 'gym idiot'

Everyone who trains at the gym will come across people who just look like they have no idea what they are doing. The type of people im talking about is the standard gym idiot that we all see around us. Now this is not a derogatory term I use for people who are new to the gym as there is nothing wrong with having a lack of knowledge of training. That is just part of starting a new hobby. However the term ‘gym idiot’ for me refers to people who do silly things, knowing full well that what they are doing is wrong, rude, inconsiderate or unsafe.


You will regularly hear on forums or discussion boards about gym idiots and the antics that they get up to. People who regularly use the gym will complain about these people ruining workouts or just distracting gym goers with the crazy things they do in the gym.


So the last thing that any gym goer will want is to end up being one of these people. How do you avoid this happening? How do you make sure that you are not the person that is getting on everyone’s nerves or being ridiculed by other members of the gym.


Well there are 3 things that I personally would watch out for when training to avoid being the talk of the gym for all the wrong reasons.


The first thing that you will see many people in the gym doing is training with bad form. Now you will often see advanced trainers using a bit of slack form when using really heavy weights or if they are purposely using slight cheat reps to go past the point of failure, however the bad form im talking about is ridiculous lack of knowledge or regards on how to perform an exercise. Some guys will just try to use the maximum weight possible, totally disregarding the proper manner in which to do the exercise. This can lead to injury, or far worse, looking like a total idiot.


Here is a fantastic example of a gym goer using terrible form on an exercise, simply because his ego got in the way.




The second thing to watch out for is using machinery for insane purposes other than what it is designed for. One of the most common things you will hear about in regards to this is doing bicep curls in the squat rack. When you want to do squats and there are guys resting a curl bad on the supports in the squat rack it is very frustrating. There are plenty of places people can do curls (pretty much anywhere in the gym), but there is only one place you can squat. There used to be a man at my gym who would deliberately tip the weights machines to the point of nearly falling over for reps. I don’t know why he did this but it didn’t half make him look like an idiot. So if you are going to use a machine or piece of equipment, don’t do anything silly with it. You only risk hurting yourself.


The final thing on my list of things to not do in the gym is very specific. It is one exercise that most trainers hold in high regard that nearly everyone seems to do badly. It is the squat. Half squats are a VERY common occurrence in the gym and are a source of great amusement for most advanced trainers. If you are going to squat, unless you have a serious injury that stops you going all the way down, make sure that you are doing them properly. Full range of motion is very important and half squats do NOT count as proper squats. You cannot brag about what you squat if you are doing half reps.


Take a look at this video to see what I mean:




so make sure that no matter what level of training you are. When you step in the gym, don’t be the idiot that everyone is talking about for the wrong reasons. Enjoy your training, but do it sensibly.



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