How to be a prick in the Edinburgh Uni gym
Did you really just do a 15k and not wipe down that bike?
Pleasance Gym is a microcosm of University life. Frequented by Instagram fitness models desperately trying to get a Gymshark deal, students who actually play for a sports team, stress-exercising academics and, well, the rest of us.
There are always a few people who have to ruin it for everyone else, though. You may recognise some of their tendencies here, or realise that you, yourself, are a prick in the Edinburgh uni gym.
Judging people who are obviously new to the gym
All of us have to start somewhere and even the fittest people at Pleasance were once first-timers. Somewhere along the way, however, gym bunnies can forget that and it's never more evident than when people are on their New Year grind. Perhaps instead of judging newbies and January gym-goers actively trying to better themselves, you could just ask them if they need any help with the cable machine we've all been intimidated by at some point, or, I don't know, mind your own fucking business?
Not wiping down the equipment
Putting it bluntly, gyms are a cesspool of germs and bacteria. While most of us have enough common sense to wipe down the equipment after we’ve used it, there’s still an epidemic of those who don’t. Sure, sweat itself doesn’t contain bacteria, but the skin sure does, as soon as your epidermis secretes that sweat it becomes contaminated on the surface of the skin. Now imagine all those little sweaty germs having a rave on the treadmill. Gross.
Being completely fucking naked in the sauna
Despite multiple signs explicitly telling you not to enter fully nude, a sizeable proportion of sauna-users insist on showing off their meat and two veg to the people around them in an already slightly too cosy for comfort sauna room. Granted most of the offenders aren’t students, but all too often your relaxing sauna sesh is tainted by the scarring image of being on the receiving end of a face-full of a lecturer’s arse.
Thinking – as a guy – that you have priority in the weights room
It's no secret that gyms across the world are meccas for testosterone-filled men uncomfortable in their own masculinity – where isn't? let's be honest – and Pleasance is, sadly, no different. Forget this new generation of feminist student lads in touch with their feminine side, put them in the weights room and to them you're just a girl, why do you have to use weights? We should stick to cardio and the myGym, right? Never is it more evident than when you're sitting on the lat pull-down machine and being able to see the judgement of the three lads waiting to use it in the mirror, faces somewhere in between bemusement and disgust. Also see hovering over the equipment someone's using.
Hovering over the equipment someone's using
Why do you think it's socially acceptable to be hovering over me while I’m on the leg press? Are you trying to intimidate me? I’ve only got one more set to do and I might not be able to feel the lower portion of my left leg anymore but I swear to god I’ll do more. Go do some rowing, Simon, there are eight billion people on earth and you're the only one stopping me getting an arse like Kim K.
Staring at people on the cross trainer
Apparently there’s an innate sense of camaraderie among those who frequent the cross trainers, sure we may all be on the same sadomasochist level that inspires us to put our bodies through torture, but staring at the person opposite is not okay and needs to be stopped. Braving any sorts of cardio typically results in most of us looking like a sweaty tomato with our tits flying everywhere. The last thing needed is the patronising AF side eye from the Gymshark model across from us, perfectly primed and not a hair out of place.
Trying to lift too much or lifting with terrible form to show off
To people who don’t know how to use the Leg Press: have you not seen the videos? A solid quarter of people that use it lock out their legs to some extent. What you’re doing could result in your legs bending completely the wrong way, with everything you’re lifting tearing it’s way through your knee ligaments. No-one is born with perfect form and almost everyone has slightly questionable technique when it comes to at least one lift. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to learn. If you deadlift more than you can handle, or with bad form, you will ruin your back. It’s a fact. Sacrificing form so you can add 10kg to a one rep max is not worth back problems that could affect you for years.
Having shit plate maths and etiquette
When someone thinks it’s acceptable to use two 10s and a five instead of a 25, it doesn’t just make them look like an idiot, it also means that other people can’t use the right weights, or when the gym is busy, any weight at all. The same thing goes with people who put a 25 on a rack in front of a load of fives. In many cases, someone who needs a five could hurt themselves if they have to pull a 25 off to access the weight they need, it’s not just very inconsiderate and messy, it’s legitimately dangerous.
Huge groups of guys crowding around one piece of equipment
I don’t know whether it’s the overriding desire to get gym selfies with the squad or whether they feel like they need back up to approach the bench press. Seriously though, the groups of five (almost always) guys, who crowd around one piece of equipment: why? There’s no way that all of you need to do the same exercise with the same weight. All you’re doing is ruining your workout by doing the wrong exercises with the wrong weights. You’re also clogging up the gym and forcing tired people to skip around you and your boiiis. We back having a gym buddy, absolutely, but going to the gym with a huge group of other guys is just inconvenient and illogical.