How To Lift Like A Bro - The Gymtalk Guide To Gym Etiquette

How To Lift Like A Bro – The Gymtalk Guide To Gym Etiquette

Every gym has a set of ubiquitous rules which have been passed down from generation to generation, not through words, but through looks of approval or disapproval.

It used to be that the only way to find out these rules would be to break one and be the scourge of your gym.

But fear not, young Padawans!

Gymtalk has finally decided to break this sacred vow of silence and lift the lid on these unspoken laws.

Now YOU can be king of your gym and lift like a true bro, wherever you are in the world.

Entering the changing rooms

Before you’ve even set foot on the gym floor you need to be vigilant of the changing room rules.

Follow these commandments and you’ll be ready to get into your workout hassle free.

1) As soon as you enter the changing room the shirt you arrived in comes off

Only then can you get your gym gear out of your bag, make you pre-workout shake, drink you pre-workout shake, change your shoes, put your shorts on, and do just about any other thing you need to do before you’re ready for your workout.

hulk hogan shirt ripped off

Only put your gym shirt on the second before you step out of the changing room, as this maximises your shirtless time and, as we all know, this small factor will make your training at least 10% more effective.

2) Keep your eyes on the prize – the prize being the floor

Never, I repeat, never, make eye contact with anyone.

People will see this as aggressive behaviour and will purposely mess up your workout by using all of your weights and not spotting you.

3) Use the mirror for watching yourself drink shakes

Form is everything when knocking back the pre-ban Jack3D, increasing its efficacy tenfold if done correctly.

Using the mirror for anything else is simply unacceptable and if you’ve followed rule #1 you’ll also get some time to check out the perfect physical specimen that you are.

4) Avoid ‘the changing room guy’

Every gym has one of these personalities.

changing room guy naked

He’s always walking around butt naked – but, strangely, you’ve never seen him on the gym floor.

Liberally apply rule #2, for if you do make eye contact with him he’ll tell you all about his weekend at this great car-park where you can pick up women.

In the gym – cardio

If a bit of cardio is on the cards today, or you’re just going to warm up, these are the rules you need to abide by:

1) Cardio is low intensity only

Girls hate is when you’re all sweaty, and, besides, less work burns more fat right?

No-one is busting their balls on sprints when you can get more work done walking.


pimp on treadmill walking

2) Rule #2 is the loophole for rule #1

If someone jumps on the piece of equipment next to you be sure to start working faster or harder than they are.

If you’re on the treadmill, just 0.1kph faster is all that’s needed.

Never ever let someone go faster than you, as this will send you flying down the pecking order and even though only you and one other person can see your speed everyone will know that you were slower.

3) When approaching machines, adopt the same rule that applies to pub urinals

Never, I’ll repeat, NEVER use the treadmill/bike/cross-trainer directly next to another person.

They will immediately think you are socially inept and you will be forcing them to end their workout early to avoid any awkwardness.

Also, just like at the urinals, you might get ‘stage fright’, in this case it involves cramps, excessive sweating and bizarre grunting caused by trying to go to fast.

Don’t run the risk kids.

4) Even if you don’t know how a machine works, use it anyway

You won’t look at all awkward while your limbs are flailing about like your hair is on fire.

Just keep cool and feel the burn.

gym fail

Weights Room 101

1) When entering the temple of muscle, survey what equipment is free and use it immediately

So it’s chest and triceps today but the benches are all in use.

Then do biceps curls, obviously.

Had shoulder press in mind?

Not anymore, the cable stack is free so go and do some rope pull downs.

Who cares about compound lifts first, right?

Lifting is lifting!

2) If you do decide to wait for a bench you MUST use the same weight or more as the person who just finished

You’ll never get that pro card otherwise champ!

It doesn’t matter that the 120kg Polish bloke just finished benching the moon, get to it!

Everyone is watching you remember.

3) Seeing as you’ve followed rule #2, you’ll need to find that Polish guy to come spot you

Always get the biggest guy in the gym to spot you.

How do you think the pros got so big?

Arnie, spotted by Reg Park.

Lee Haney, spotted by Arnie.

Dunno who spotted Dorian Yates, that’s the odd one out, but you can bet Ronnie Coleman was spotted by one of those guys.

That’s how you get gains.

Like those fish that are attached to a shark, you can feed off their size and add it to yours.

4) The weights room mirror is for mirin only

Unlike the mirror rule in the changing room, the mirror in the weights room is to be used solely for mirin’, either yourself or someone else, but never admire someone’s physique without using the mirror!

mirin gif

That is super weird and you’ll be severely frowned upon.

For some reason it is fine when using the mirror though.

5) Criticise everyone’s form… so long as they are smaller and/or younger than you

That giant 50-year-old guy who seems to be able to squat a baby elephant even with his arthritic knees can talk to anyone he wants because of his age.

The steroid monkey can say whatever he wants to you because he’s bigger and clearly knows best.

Who cares if they look like garbage/a sock full of snooker balls.

Just follow their lead!

6) Like the law of the jungle, he who roars the loudest is the manliest

This is a well established fact.

You can bet the guy screaming through every rep of his preacher curls is going to have the most testosterone coursing through his body.

Bro-science has shown that volume of grunts is directly correlated to gains.

Fact bro!

7) Always drop your weights after a set

Performing a heavy set on bench press?

Male sure you chuck those dumbbells on the floor, son!

Finished that drop set of lateral raises with the 5kgs?

You better be dropping them down!

The closer to another lifters’ foot the better, as it shows you mean business.

I mean, you had to pick them up, hoist them onto you chest and into position, get your reps done, and then they expect you to be able to put them back down again?


That’s not what you pay your membership fees for.

On that note, also be the first to complain when dumbbells and weight plates are breaking.

It is clearly someone else’s fault anyway.

8) Following on nicely from rule #7, NEVER re-rack your weights

This is a task left to only the smallest and puniest of gym users.

People will realise you are a complete hero when you leave your barbell loaded with 100kg in the middle of the floor.

So the next person can’t lift that much?

Get out the gym then!

Honestly some people…

rerack your weights ain't nobody got time for that

But seriously…

Follow these rules and behave in the right manner and everyone will be referring to you as that “legend with the strong bench press” instead of that “Justin Bieber looking guy who doesn’t deserve a membership”.

Got any other unspoken rules of the iron you’d like to share with us?

Post them in the comments section below!

Please note that this guide is strictly for humour purposes only.

Gymtalk takes no responsibility for any injuries caused by fellow lifters becoming extremely pissed off with you or for any insults/projectiles thrown your way.

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