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Re-racking weights..

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by Reeve, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. Reeve


    Joined: Jan 18, 2004

    Posts: 3,052

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    I recently spoke to the local gym manager about people not racking their weights and how they should be handing out some holidays to offenders. His response was that they don't have the staff to monitor members behaviour and so there was nothing that could be done about it. This seemed like a bit of a poor excuse as effectively they are not enforcing their own rules when they are the only ones capable of doing so, especially when you don't need to suspend all of the offenders, you only need to suspend enough that word travels around that its not acceptable behaviour.

    If you hadn't already guessed people not racking their weights is my pet hate.. anyway I ended up calling someone out recently for not doing as much recently and while i'm not exactly the most persuasive person I wasn't aggressive either. He was surprised and responded that everyone else did it so it was ok, but the way he said it suggested that he thought I was way out of line for calling him out. As far as i was concerned it wasn't, what is out of line is leaving a mess and expecting someone else to clear it up for you. To be fair to him he did end up racking the weights even though he did a **** poor job of it.

    It seems this behaviour is that widespread at my local gym that its only really going to get sorted if the staff enforce it so it looks like i will have to bring it up with the manager again and hopefully get somewhere this time.

    Anyway I thought i would make a thread on here addressing why and how weights should be racked as I would imagine there are quite a few offenders on the forums. Some will probably roll their eyes and ignore me over what they consider a minor thing but i thought it was worth a shot. The offenders will also fall victim to the consequences of the same behaviour and if they had the choice I would imagine they would want to live in a gym where people treated other members with respect. This can only happen if they are also willing to do their part.

    Why you should re-rack weights

    This is probably obvious to anyone thats spent more than a few sessions in a gym but I'm starting to think I just don't get people and maybe things that are obvious to me aren't obvious to others.

    • Difficulty unracking weights - This isn't always a concern but shorter individuals can really struggle to unrack heavy weights especially if they are higher up. I've stopped a bar which was about to fly off the rack because the girl was too short to take off a 25kg plate when the bar was racked above her head height.
    • Tripping hazards - This is generally more of a concern with bars than weights but if theres an area to store the weights in an orderly fashion then its better than leaving them randomly on the floor.
    • You can start your sets faster - No racked weights means you can start off loading the bar instead of starting off by unloading the bar. Sometimes it can be faster if a bar comes loaded but in most scenarios its faster to start off with an empty bar. Theres no telling who will use the equipment next, so unless someones inline and they specifically ask you to leave the bar loaded then the weights should really be racked
    • Ease of finding weights/dumbbells - If weights are racked in an orderly manner it is very easy to load the bar up with the required weight as they're easier to find. If weights are scattered all over the place in singles, left on bars or hidden behind other weights then it can add minutes to your workout when you need to track them down. This applies equally to dumbbells and plates.
    • Signify that equipment is free - An empty bar should signal that the equipment is free for someone else to use. If you leave equipment with plates on another member will either assume that its still in use or they will have to ask around to see if it is free. You can spare them the effort and confusion if you clear up after yourself.
    • Signify that the equipment is in use - The opposite scenario to the above but if weights are left on the bar then it should signal that the equipment is in use. If you are mid set and need to quickly wander off for water then your racked weights will signify that the equipment and weights are still in use. I have been stung multiple where i've been gone less than 90 seconds and people are already taking my plates away.
    • Not doing it is disrespectful - You pay to use the gym along with x other people. You don't own the equipment or the weights and leaving it in a state just means that you are giving other people work and inconveniencing them because you can't be bothered to clear up after yourself. This behaviour would not be acceptable anywhere else and no matter how many people do it, it still does not excuse you doing it to the next person.

    How to rerack weights.

    This may seem like I'm teaching people how to suck eggs here but if it was that simple then people would be doing it right. I don't have to use more than one hand to count the amount of people I see do this correctly, gym staff included. This isn't about having OCD, it's about placing weights back in such a way that the next person is able to go about their business without being hindered.
    • Match weights - Finishing up your workout and then placing two 20 plates in front of a 1.25 & 5 kg isn't helping anyone and it just encourages the next person to add to the problem. Either fix the previous persons mess or don't add to it and rack the weights somewhere else.
    • Match plate design - You would not deadlift using a bumper plate on one side and a standard plate on the other side. This is because the plates are not the same shape even if their weight is technically the same. Use the same logic when sorting racked weights and dont place them together
    • Place heavier weights lower to the ground - This isn't much of an issue if you're average height but retrieving and reracking heavier weights is difficult if you're shorter and thus have to rely on your shoulders to do more of the work. It's also safer if the worst happens and someone fumbles the weight and it comes crashing down on their foot
    • All weights should be accessible when racked - Some weight trees only allow a certain size of plate to be placed in a particular position. If one was then to place a larger than suitable plate above or below then it would effectively lock the smaller weight into position as there isn't the room to remove it. It makes absolutely no sense for someone to do this yet I see it all the time. Don't do it, it makes you look like an idiot.
    • If you have to rerack different plates in the same location, do it with the light ones, these are easy to take off and move about with one arm while being able to retrieve the weights behind them if needs be

    I think that if an increasing minority started to do the above then other gym members would be inclined to do their part. I think half the problem is that people justify not cleaning up after themselves because others do it and get away with it. The problem is when you don't clean up after yourself, it's not you that suffers the consequences but the next person and you effectively contrbute to spreading this cancerous behaviour around as it becomes acceptable.
  2. Somnambulist


    Joined: Jun 17, 2010

    Posts: 9,411

    Location: London

    The Pure gym next to my work has 0 etiquette and I often have to go wandering about to find fractional plates or even a bar.

    The local gym I go to is full of absolute monsters but nearly everyone re-racks their weights and puts things back. The only thing people have done lately to annoy me is break a brand-new Texas Deadlift bar by using it for rack pulls and slamming it on the pins, but I doubt many of them even know what a whippy bar was and why you should only use busted old bars for that (pretty pointless) exercise, so it's just as much the gym's fault for not making it clear what the speciality bar was for as for people damaging it.
  3. Participant


    Joined: May 13, 2003

    Posts: 30,233

    Location: Warwickshire

    That's concerning because it also implies that they don't have the staff to monitor safety and the safe use of equipment.

    There should at least be someone walking the floor all the time.
  4. kaptainmarc


    Joined: Jul 19, 2013

    Posts: 2,540

    Location: derby

    The pure gym is the worst place of earth, I lasted two weeks in that hell hole, took about half an hour to find a matching set of dumbells

    I go to two gyms:

    Specialist strongman / Strength gym : everything is clean and stacked perfectly in order its glorious. if you leave your kit out you will get a warning and then if you continue you are likely out the door. Makes it an absolute pleasure to use the gym

    gym number 2: a well kitted out gym filled with absolute morons. Worst I have seen was a squat rack with deadlift platform with both bars loaded with a decent amount of weight and he just left both bars with kettlebells and bands attached to the rig, go knows why he needed so much kit at once

    it winds me up something cronic, spending the first 10 minute of your session tidying other peoples **** away
  5. Syla5


    Joined: Feb 13, 2012

    Posts: 4,887

    Sorry but that's a massive assumption, and probably way off the mark. The gym rats on this forum aren't your stereotypical Gym Bros. I always re-rack my weights but that comment put me off wanting to read the rest of your post....

    The easiest solution for the gym manager is to make a sign board saying "Number of members suspended for not re-racking weights" and then he just put a number up and change it a few times a week. Start high say 5-6 and then reduce it as the problem gets better.

    People will notice this and will start to re-rack weights.
  6. Steedie

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jun 29, 2004

    Posts: 19,408

    Location: Oxfordshire

    Christ...a thread with that much text about something so simple :D what on earth?
  7. chroniclard


    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 11,438

    Location: Hertfordshire

    Everyone re-racks weights at our local. Just seems like common courtesy to me. :)

    Go to a gym with less scrubs. :p
  8. Skidder

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 28, 2007

    Posts: 11,712

    I have home gym now but until recently was in one which had very conscientious people. Never saw these issues. I would think staff having a quiet word rather than handing out suspensions is all it would take.
  9. Trappi$t

    Perma Banned

    Joined: Oct 30, 2018

    Posts: 320

    huge post for essentially a triviality.

    It is not like the weights are going home with people, 30 secs and you would find the ones you need and carry on. 1st world problems galore, either that or an attempt at alpha dominance, which effectively has failed, as complaining on an internet forum about it, is failure at the first hurdle.

    I'd have thought if you were that bothered you would be having a word directly with the users rather than the staff who are always too busy in commercial gyms like Pure?

    I'd be more bothered by the asian rudeboys who frequent the gyms in little gangs, and scream and shout like its a school playground and generally become a nuisance for everyone else, but even I on this occasion have failed the alpha grade, as the most I have done is roll my eyes and move somewhere quieter.
  10. LiE


    Joined: Aug 2, 2005

    Posts: 18,339

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Don’t you know? If you’re alpha level bro it’s mandatory to not rack weights and slam weights down.
  11. Reeve


    Joined: Jan 18, 2004

    Posts: 3,052

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    It certainly is an assumption and I admitted as much when i wrote it. I'm just going by what i'm seeing and the number of individuals who rack their weights is so small that if i extrapolated out and assumed that a much greater percentage than average re-racked their weights on this forum then I would still be left with a lot of individuals who didn't rack their weights. If you say it put you off reading the rest then i possibly shouldn't have written it but if you're already racking your weights then reading it is probably a massive waste of your time anyway :D

    Are you suggesting the gym manager does not suspend people at all and instead the board behaves similar to how a fake security camera is a deterrent for thieves? That could possibly work
  12. Reeve


    Joined: Jan 18, 2004

    Posts: 3,052

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    You would be surprised. If it was that easy to rack weights correctly then I would see people doing it when im in the gym. I don't and when members of staff(who should be setting an example) don't do it right then it suggests its not all that obvious.
  13. CaptainRAVE

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Nov 21, 2004

    Posts: 30,359

    My gym is terrible for this. Just yesterday someone had left a bench and bar with about 100kg on it in a squat bar. I always put my weights back, although usually only down to the weight that was already left on there to begin with. It is unbelievable sometimes to just see people walk off - usually the part timers to be fair. I generally curse at them quiet(ish) :p
  14. Reeve


    Joined: Jan 18, 2004

    Posts: 3,052

    Location: Cambridgeshire

    It is a trivial thing, but if enough people repeatedly do a trivial thing then it eventually gets on your nerves. The same as if someone kicks the back of your seat in a cinema or someone continually pokes you. It's also a first world problem but most threads on here are first world problems, GD wouldn't exist at all if people weren't allowed to talk about their first world problems.

    I had considered taking it up with the users and i have on a few occasions, this was the most recent occurrence where i had picked someone up for it but when I say the 95%+ of users aren't doing it correctly i'm not exaggerating. To address this properly I'd have to get an airhorn out to get everyones attention and deliver some kind of powerpoint presentation using the gym class projector and those little reebok foot stools for seating. It's simply beyond my ability to police it.

    I've now read a few replies suggesting Pure gym is not doing a good job in this area. I created this thread in response to my experiences in Pure Gym, my previous gym was also Pure. It's very possible that this brand is the worst of the bunch and I guess I can understand that. They're cheap with reasonably good facilities(compared to a council gym) and located in densely populated areas so I guess they see more use by the average gym goer than most.

    I'm sure that some of the guys who lift heavier weights don't put them away because they want to leave it out as some kind of trophy.
  15. Jonnybmac

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 17, 2009

    Posts: 1,652

    Location: Brotton

    Good way to get people to quit is banning them for not racking weights... never going to happen considering gyms need fees.

    Not that I go to the gym as I find them boring and repetative but to each their own, if you called me out for not racking dumb bells I'd probably tell you where to go. If staff aren't willing to enforce it then sure as **** i ain't going to listen to some randomer.

    You will always get these problems with shared areas with a large group of people.
  16. d_brennen


    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,112

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    Why not make re-racking all the loose and misplaced weights part of your workout? Work smarter, not harder :p
  17. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 26,134

    Location: West mids

    I always put my dumbbells and bits of equipment like that away, I don't always totally empty the bar in the rack but then I'm so short that no one else is going to struggle to do it :D
  18. Steedie

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Jun 29, 2004

    Posts: 19,408

    Location: Oxfordshire

    It’s people being lazy, not because they don’t understand how to do it.

    It’s not their stuff therefor they don’t care about it. Gym owners can’t suspend or ban them as they’d soon be out of business

    It’s just part of having a gym membership having to put up with oxygen thieves on a daily basis
  19. tom_e

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Dec 26, 2003

    Posts: 26,134

    Location: West mids

    The suspending or sticking up pictures of serial offenders or whatever works in the sort of good gyms where it's not a real issue anyway. In chain gyms especially 24h bargain basement places like Pure gym then you've just got to suck it up because they won't be suspending anyone and the vast majority of people that use those places couldn't give a **** if someone has a pop at them for being a lazy scrote.

    It's the reason I pay double my old Pure gym membership for a less equip gym, because going to that place was generally soul destroying and I like to enjoy my gym time.
  20. kindai


    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 6,212

    Location: Bromsgrove

    Had 4 rude boys turn up in the small studio gym I use tonight, at the free weight area theres only 1 bench, and the other bench at the bars was being used.

    They tried to all crowd around and "push me off" so to speak by loitering as uncomfortably close as they could.

    Just stuck my earphones in and played around on my phone for 3-4 minutes between sets, until they got so ****** off they left :D