Ninety-eight, ninety-nine … one hundred. Oh yeah, feel the burn. Or not.
So, yeah, I haven’t lifted weights in a while. I’ll admit it. I’ve been a little lazy. A few push-ups here and there and I’m done. I used to frequent the ARC on a regular basis, but not so much anymore. And while I do miss making time for free weights, full body mirrors and spandex, I almost don’t miss the ARC. The ARC is no doubt an impressive facility, but the people who occupy it are not so impressive, and I’m not talking about the guy in the corner benching the bar (that could be me, so stop laughing). I’m talking about the lack of what can be appropriately labeled ARC etiquette.
Go ahead and call it complaining, but I’ll think of them as ground rules. After all, just as there are rules for calling shotgun, there should really be an unwritten code for the ARC.
First of all, the towels are there for a good reason. And sorry, guys, it’s not for hanging around your neck when talking to girls. ‘Please wipe down equipment after use’ or something like that. It’s a written rule, nicely laminated and stuck to almost every cardio machine. But honestly, this falls under the spectrum of the unwritten ARC code. It’s just a good idea to leave things dry, cardio machine or not. There’s no excuse for leaving a nice gloss of perspiration on a set of barbells. Just grab a towel and wipe it down.
That also doesn’t mean grab a towel for each set, casually grabbing a towel with every pass of the counter trying to look incognito. I’ve seen you. It’s not cool.
Besides, I don’t enjoy coming in at the beginning of a workout only to find that all the towels are gone, leaving me as ‘the nasty guy’ who gives the machine a nice glimmer and glow.
And while we’re talking about sweat, I know you can’t control it, but if I may share a word of advice: A good anti-perspirant and deodorant (there is a difference) are as essential as your tube socks and headband. Treat them like the kids that sit next to you in lecture; get comfortable with them, introduce them to your friends and, above all else, use them. Then people might stop gagging every time you walk by.
You also might want to consider putting an end to that nasty little habit of yours. The staring at the people in the dance classes. Yeah, get over it. I have a sneaking suspicion they don’t appreciate it. Just because they’re behind glass doesn’t mean they can’t see you gawking (unlike the person on the treadmill you were mesmerized by earlier.)
Another serious issue is the idea of a ‘group’ workout. I’d like to think that two or three guys or girls trading off on a machine is a nice way to get things done. Some groups grow to have four to seven people, with a few added on for moral support. And you know, that’s fine; everyone needs to feel loved. But when the support starts to jump in and grab a few sets and completely inhibit anyone else outside the orgy of weights from using the machine, you’ve gone too far. Do your sets, do them well and go talk about X-Men and nanotechnology somewhere else.
The most heinous of ARC etiquette infractions is ARC intimacy. There’s always that couple that has to proclaim their love at the completion of every set with a nice big smooch. Sweat and kisses don’t mix, people (at least not in public). I don’t care how much you love that person. You just don’t do it. Resist the urge for their sake if not for mine.
So please, consider this a UCI public service announcement. Heed these warnings and I might just be ready to put the spandex back on.