I’ve been a devout gym member for more than two decades now at various gyms in a few cities across the United States. I have had the professional experience of having been a trainer in two of them. It had its ups and downs, its bad and good moments. The Health and Fitness industry has come a very long way since Jack La Lanne. Although there is definitely an obesity problem in the U.S., there is definitely a marked increase in the amount of people who engage in a daily physical exercise routine. That is a good thing, but I’ve noticed a trend over the past five years that I personally find very disturbing. A hefty percentage of people no longer put their weights away.
Although I will accept the label of being a bit obsessive compulsive, I will not accept any assumptions that I am somehow delusional. There were definitely a few individuals that did not clean up after themselves, to be certain, but they were only few in number. Heck, I remember chastising a couple of my workout partners who were dead set (pun intended) on heading over to the next bench or hammer strength machine while leaving a full rack on our current project. I pointed out to them, in no uncertain terms, the sheer rudeness they were demonstrating for the people around them and for their workspace. It also showed major disrespect for the institution of fitness itself.
Putting your weights away is what makes your workout set complete. It helps with firming and stabilizing your lower and middle back and lower and upper abdominal (your core), your glutes and many muscle groups of your legs. Putting your weights away even adds to the cardiovascular aspect of the workout. By not taking that plate off of the bar, or that dumbbell and placing it back on the rack, you’ve cheated yourself out of an extra erg of workout, and you’ve compromised a core foundation of discipline. If you’re not willing to go the extra mile to put away your weights, you’re laying the groundwork to not follow through with going the extra mile inside the set itself. Self-discipline ferments self-discipline. It builds consistency and commitment. Make it a practice of putting the weights away when done, and, if you’re a sweater, make it a practice of cleaning off that bench when you’re done.
One other thing to consider: Not everyone will be as strong as you are. Gyms and fitness clubs have members ranging from the ages of 18 to 65-ish. Would you want one of your grandparents to have to wrestle with a 45 pound plate off of a rack or machine to get to their workout that some brutish lout, probably you, have decided to leave behind?
Think about that.