Exercise etiquette: Don’t be a bro

As an experienced YMCA-goer I’ve witnessed more workout faux pas than I even want to admit within the past week. Now what could be possibly causing this? Welcome back ASU. And welcome freshman. And welcome to the gym. If we all follow the rules and play nice we might just lose some weight and gain a little muscle while we’re at it. And I might not have to call you out on bad behavior. And sorry if I already have…

The Anti-Bro

I may be a girl, but I still use the weight room. And I usually head to the gym after a long day at work and don’t want to deal with any bro-nonsense. So listen to my advice.

  • Whatever team/sport/club you were the king of in high school is now irrelevant. Our gym should be filled with a collection of Sparky, maroon and gold. Nothing screams freshman more than a football practice tee cutoff. It’s not cool.
  • Actually wear gym clothes and proper shoes. I’m all for sporting a “look” and following trends, but when you come to workout in cargo shorts and Sperry’s, you’re going to get hurt. And not just by my judgmental stares. The right shoes and workout gear can make all the difference. You’re more prone to injury in unsupportive footwear as well, especially if you’re weightlifting.
  • Don’t be that group of bros. I believe in circuit training, but when you come with a group of 6 guys and you all are using the same machine, you’re not working out efficiently and you’re making me wait. Divide and conquer.
  • DO NOT EVER BE THE MIRROR-BRO. If you need to obnoxiously stare at your body while you are lifting weights and make ridiculous faces and noises, you will be exiled. It’s gym social suicide.
  • Wipe down the mats, machines and weights. Seriously. Nobody wants to end up with some crazy skin disorder as a result of your neglect.
  • Flexing with your bros is lame. Save that for your roommate. Or the hottie down the hall. I really don’t care as long as I don’t need to witness it.
  • Put weights, dirty towels, water bottles and equipment back in the right spots. Your mom isn’t here to clean up after you anymore, so do it yourself.

Tossing towels? Come on, bro.

  • Be polite to the staff, the other gym-goers and people who walk really slow down the stairs. We’re all here to improve ourselves, so take it one step further and be nicer as well.
  • Remember that you’re sharing a space with real-live people as well and not just ASU students. That includes adults and children. So the crazy story from your first bro-gathering at ASU should not be shared with the entire YMCA population. We don’t want the details!
  • Play nice with others. When it’s open gym or open swim time, think of every cliché phrase you possibly can and follow them. Treat others as you would want to be treated. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I’ll stop there, but just know that if you don’t, you’ll be as welcome as a skunk at a lawn party.

Follow these 10 simple rules and you, sir, won’t be labeled a bro.