I usually walk into the gym expecting to be able to complete my workout without being impeded from doing so to any great degree. I have my space in which I’m working, you have yours, and everyone is going to get along fabulously provided we honor this understanding. If you’re a lifter who spends too much time on the internet or a lifter who pretends you don’t spend too much time on the internet, you may have heard the phrase “my bar is an extension of myself.” If you’re a lifter and you don’t think this way, you should. Once you’re moving the weight loaded on a barbell for your chosen lift during a given workout, thinking of it as just another appendage you have to quite literally keep in line helps you respect it as a member of your corporeal team to a greater degree.
This is why it is a pretty serious breach in gym etiquette to go anywhere near anyone’s bar as they are preparing for or executing a lift. To do so is comparable to passing roughly four inches from someone in a drug store in which there are, at most, two other shoppers, and those two are somewhere over in the incontinence section. You do not do it. Common sense and social cues tell you not to do it. So when I’m setting up to do, say, some Pendlay rows, and someone walks onto my platform and passes my bar by a few inches, I’m going to get irked. My last rowing workout involved a lot of taping so I could watch my form. Before one of my sets, my camera caught this:
I don’t care if you have never stepped foot in a gym and are a total newbie at it. If you see someone who looks like they’re lifting or looks like they’re about to do so, stay the fuck away from them. If you have entire aisles that are clear behind and on the sides of the platform that is located in the path you’d like to travel, USE THEM. It’s called goddamn personal space, and bad things happen when you get in someone’s share of it.
In other news, I managed to bench 115 lb for three reps yesterday. That weight is more than I weigh and a PR, and it suggests that my 1RM (one rep max, for those of you non-lifters) has increased. The third rep was ugly as hell, but I locked it out. I did this for my final set of 5 working bench sets for that day, too, so I imagine I made this effort with a bit of fatigue going on. Yeahhhh benching!