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Gym Rat- Manya's Gym Etiquette

Courtesy of Our Game Magazine and  Manya Makoski

Lifting weights is not just for body builders anymore. Resistance and strength training is a crucial part of any football player’s workout regimen. Through contractions, muscles complete movements. The stronger the muscle and the more forceful the muscle contraction, the quicker, faster, stronger, and more explosive the player can be.

A male-infested gym, especially the free-weight area, can be intimidating and quite a turn off for some female athletes. As a self-professed gym rat, this is not the case for me. It is fun to laugh at the brewing bromances crowding the bench press.

But there are some things that get to me. Hence, here are the rules of my MM22 Gym Rat Etiquette for everyone to follow:

*Do not check yourself out in the mirror while flexing, or pretend you are a MMA fighter and throw a few quick jabs in the air, or pretend to wipe the sweat off your forehead so I can ogle at your delicious six pack. You look dumb (except for the abs part), and everyone can see you doing this. Wait until you go home when you are in privacy to show off your buffness. That is what I do.

*I have headphones on and my “Double Deuce” workout playlist blasting for a reason. Do not bother me or talk to me. I am a hot, sweaty and intense mess in my zone. Despite the social belief most meatheads have, I am not at the gym to be hit on. Worst pickup line I have been told? You do not even want to know.

*To the chicken-legged guys who look like they pumped up their traps with air: yes, I am squatting more than you can. And yes my legs can crack your traps in half. Please do not be jealous.

*I may sweat more than the average male. OK, I sweat a lot more than every male. But at least I remember to clean up after I beast out a superset on the bench. No one wants to lay down in a pool of your protein-infested sweat.

*If you are decked out like you are going out to the dance club, male or female, just leave. Like right now.

*It is okay to get into your workout. Maybe bust out a few dance moves. No shame. Rock on.

*Just do not get too into it. You are not as good of a dancer as you think you are.

*Unless I am trying to bench more than twice my own body weight, no I do not need a spot.

*Please know how to operate machines and use free weights properly. I frown upon poor lifting technique.

*I do not care who you are. Do not correct my form. Ever. I know what I am doing and have been doing it for over 14 years.

*Tone it down with the grunting and screaming. You sound like you are giving birth to a porcupine. Learn how to breathe properly.

*And oh, stop it with the whining. Gyms are not for people who do not want to work hard. The weights are not going to pick up themselves.

*Reading any literature on a cardio machine is a big no-no. I once saw a girl fly off her treadmill and totally eat the floor. A fat, bloody lip and a black eye is not a cool look.

*Buying a gym membership on January 2? Just do not even bother. Because if I have to wait for you to figure out how to use the squat rack to do my workout, I am going to be fuming.

*Do not be rude. Just re-rack your weights when you are done.

*Yes, I am a female. Yes, I am an athlete. Yes, I am in shape. Yes, I am attractive. Yes, I am lifting weights in your gym. Do not stare at me. I repeat. Do not stare at me.

FAQs

Why do I need to do resistance training and lift weights?

Here is an article from OneResult that gives five good reasons why football players should lift weights:

How many times a week should I be doing resistance training and lifting weights?

I believe there is no set number of times a week. It depends on your goals. However, in order to build muscle, the intensity of your workouts do need to continuously progress.
Your best bet is to speak with a certified personal trainer to put together a resistance training program.
 

Our Game Magazine Performance Section contributor, 90Strong, has numerous exercises geared towards football players on their website: www.90strong.com.

When should I use free weights and when should I use a machine?

I like using free weights more than the machines because I am in more control of the weights. Also, it makes me focus and be more aware of my body movements and posture. In a lot of my weight workouts, I choose free weights so I can work on whole body movements.

If you are a beginner, using machines may be less intimidating and easier to use. However, they can be limiting in that they only offer resistance on just one muscle. They also do not allow your body to work naturally because of the fixed position of the weights, cables, and pulleys.

At what age should I start resistance training and lifting weights?

Recent medical research has shown that resistance training and lifting weights is safe for children. Here is aNew York Times article from 2010 that talks about the benefits of weight training for children: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/phys-ed-the-benefits-of-weight-training-for-kids

 

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