The beefcake’s guide to AC etiquette
So you want to get huge? I don’t blame you. Being ripped is the bomb. You look good, feel good and birds land on you because they think you’re a freaking tree. Everything’s a nail, and you are the hammer, boy-o. There is literally nothing you can’t do.
But the journey to beefcake status isn’t easy. Unless you want to stick a needle in your butt, you need to put long, hard, sweaty hours into picking things up and putting them down. Most importantly, you need a weight-lifter’s playground that has plenty of heavy things for you to move. Where at Washington University can you find such a place?
This isn’t a job for the South 40 Fitness Center. You won’t make gains prancing on an elliptical. You need to head over to the Athletic Complex weight room where the big boys play.
Step one is finding the damn place.
Walk through the main doors of the Athletic Complex and swipe through the kiosk on your left. Make sure you bring your student ID. Next, walk down the stairs in front of you. I’m talking all the way down. Once you’re in the basement, take a left, then another left in front of the equipment checkout, then a right. Keep up, this isn’t that difficult. Walk down a long hallway and watch out for raining sparks from the construction above. Once you pass a group of lockers, take a right, and congratulations, you’ve made it to Valhalla. A low ceilinged, pop-music-playing home for warriors of strength and endurance.
For the weight room virgin, it can be intimidating, between football players, 60-year-old professors who can lift more than you and that one girl who can squat 300 pounds. But never fear, our staff of hunky Stud Life sports analysts (emphasis on the “Stud”) will tell you all the dos and don’ts for the AC weight room on mission for the perfect Wash. U. body: pasty, Jewish and moderately attractive. -Aaron “Brick” Brezel
1. Machines vs. Free weights
Sure, those machines may look difficult and scary at first, but they have been a lifesaver, literally and figuratively, for beginners like me. With machines, I don’t have to worry about a trip to the emergency room after dropping a 50-pound weight on my foot because I overestimated my strength. By avoiding free weights, I also don’t have to drag a judging friend to help spot me or catch any side eyes from gym-rats, just because I have the inability to lift the equivalent of a twig. There’s more to life than working toward the traditional ideals of masculinity, OK? On a serious note, make sure to always clean the machine’s seating area. -Nick “The Twig” Kauzlarich
Don’t bother with weights or any other gym equipment. That’s just way too much work! Maybe your arms won’t be super toned, and you won’t be the fittest person around, but it’s OK. Weights are not fun. Weights are not a good idea. You know what’s a good idea? Watching attractive people who are in way better shape than you work out. You still put in the effort to go all the way to the AC, which in and of itself is a feat to be proud of—a lot of Wash. U. students don’t even know what the inside of the AC looks like. So, feel free to spend your time watching those hot soccer players sweat it out while you eat a hot dog. You deserve it. -Ella “Cha Cha” Chochrek
Skip it. -Brick
There is only one dignified form of cardio exercise, and that is jogging at a moderately fast pace on that bastion of industrialized fitness, the treadmill. You may think you have more than one option, as there is more than one type of cardio machine in the room. Do not be deceived. The elliptical may seem appealing, but it will betray you with its hip-swinging motion, and you will find yourself wondering if you remembered to pick up the kids at soccer practice or if you need to drop off the dry cleaning. There may also be some devices whose exact mechanisms are unclear. Do not touch them. Get on the treadmill, shove your earbuds in, stare straight ahead and take steady, even steps. Relish this feeling. You have become part of the hive. -Maddie “Riiiiiip” Wilson
5. Wipe down the machines
You may think you own the gym when you bench-press dumbbells 10 times the size of my arms or you treat the chest-press machine like you are pushing a shopping cart. But behind the massive stack of weights and audible grunts lies a sweaty puddle of disgust. Literally. No one should have to experience warm, smelly moisture on their backs as they lie on the seats. Not only are you endangering the health of future exercisers, but you are also ruining your gym reputation. Do you really want to be known as the sweaty person who drenches the machines like standing beneath Niagara Falls? If you have just experienced a moment of guilt and epiphany, here is your first step: find out where they keep that spray bottle and wipe down the seats! -Nivan “The Truth” Lakshman
6. Re-rack your damn weights.
So you finished a free weight set. Give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back and a flex in front of the mirror. Then you walk away leaving your tools of ignorance lying there on the floor. No! Major party foul! Number one rule of the weight room is to RE-RACK YOUR WEIGHTS. Not only are stray weights an injury hazard, but if your dumbbells aren’t on the rack you are inconveniencing other gym-goers, who now have to go on a quest to locate your mistake.
If you can’t expel the extra effort to put those 15-pound babies back where they came from, maybe you’re lifting too much in the first place. -Brick