Flex Wheeler is widely regarded as one of the best bodybuilders of all time. Which means that when he speaks on what you should and shouldn’t be doing in the gym, you listen up. And that doesn’t just extend to proper form and technique when lifting. In a recent Instagram post, the four-time winner of the Arnold Classic and all-round IFBB legend laid out his “unwritten rules of the gym you must live by.”
Wheeler’s advice is pretty spot-on, and aligns closely with the top pet peeves identified in a Men’s Health survey of over 1,000 gymgoers who called out several of the same areas as the most annoying training habits.
First and foremost: Put your shit away. “This is a shared place with others,” Wheeler wrote. “DBs and plates need to go back to their proper spots, bars back to their racks. Don’t be lazy.”
Secondly, Wheeler advises against flirting in the gym, and especially to avoid hitting on people who are either half your age or clearly not interested. “Many of us might have found our last significant other at the gym,” he says. “That’s still not it’s intended purpose. If she has her earbuds in, hat pulled low, avoids eye contact…leave her be. She’s there to get her workout in.”
Other guidelines in Wheeler’s rulebook include not blocking the mirrors, and never, ever distracting someone else when they’re in the middle of a set. “Don’t rack plates on horns of a bench or rack that some is mid-set on,” he says. “Don’t grab attachments from under someone exercising. Don’t get too close to anyone squatting, god forbid you might bump them. Don’t distract or be distracting. LASTLY, don’t assume someone is cool with you working in with them.”
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Overall, Wheeler recommends treating the workout space and changing room like you would your own home. “Try not to break things, be careful ending sets and don’t slam equipment,” he says. “Wipe things off…no one wants to deal with your sweat.” And finally, something that really should go without saying: Don’t steal from your gym!
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