The gym is an environment of constant highs and lows. Sometimes you’re lifting more weight than the world has ever seen, other times you go too hard and you find yourself throwing up in the stalls.
This is the gym lifestyle, it takes everything you’ve got – and more. It’s a tough line to walk, and sometimes the bad stuff is just unavoidable.
But don’t worry, we’ve put our ear to the gym floor and sourced out the most bro solutions that’ll help you solve any situation by combining both alphaness and aesthetics.
These are the most common problems, and how you can go ‘full bro mode’ to handle them.
#1 Failing a Lift – and being resuced by a Stranger
We’ve all been there, but that doesn’t your ego doesn’t get shattered into a thousand pieces across the gym – because it does.
Getting crushed under the bar is one thing, but having some good Samaritan dash out and pull the weight off like he’s opening a bag of marshmallows really salts the wound.
If you’re lucky you’ll escape with a ‘No worries bro, glad I could help’, but if this guy’s really into himself you’ll be getting a lecture about how you shouldn’t be training like that and proper form etc – Bonus points if they’re smaller than you.
How to handle it: Tell them they’re biceps are too small and you needed a way to encourage them to train them – and that they did okay on the spot but the form was a little off. They have a long way to go before they’re at your level.
#2 Forgetting “That Guy’s” name
Working in with ‘some guy’ in the gym is usually okay. Most of the time you’ll both keep to yourselves and finish your sets – but every now and again, they want to talk to you.
It can be about training, that hot girl on the treadmill, how they used to look like you, whatever – and somewhere in there, they’ll have told you their name.
Then every session you see them next, they’ll be trying to give you a quick 5 minutes of bullshit that you definitely don’t want to hear – and all you think about is what the hell are they called.
Every session the conversation gets longer, and so does the crippling awkwardness.
How to handle it: Call them bro repeatedly until they forget their own name – in a similar way we imagine Chestbrah got his name.
#3 Waving at your friend and them not noticing
When you’re in the gym and you see your friend but you don’t want talk, a good method to waste as little gym time as possible is to send them a quick acknowledgement.
It’s a wave, a nod, a wink, whatever, but if they don’t see it, it’s awkward as f*ck – and even worse if someone else does.
Recovery can be even worse if you go for a second attempt. Just leave it till later bro.
How to handle it: Turn that wave into a sweet Zyzz pose, and wait for them to admire your form. They’ll notice then. They’ll all notice.
#4 People small as fuck that give you advice
This one’s actually pretty hilarious, but it can be difficult if you’re a courteous bro.
When you’re working in with some guys, they take it on themselves to tell you ‘the secret’ to getting big. They’ll talk at length about articles they’ve read and results they’ve seen, despite the fact their physique reflects none of that.
How to handle it: Repeat after me:
#5 Long Awkward Eye Contact with Someone After a Set
We’re all well aware of gym creepers, but accidentally being one yourself can be a harrowing experience.
It usually happens just after a set. You’ve just threw everything you had at those tricep extensions, and now you just want to stare into space and hope you don’t have a heart attack.
You’re too in your own head at this point, and not paying attention to what you’re looking at – and most of the time it’s the guy in front of you.
The longer you don’t realize, the more awkward it becomes.
How to handle it: Wink suggestively, ask if they are “Mirin’ brah?” and watch them break eye contact immediately in fear of you knowing about their jealousy of your sweltering gains.
#6 Someone throwing a bitch fit when you ask to work in
Working in isn’t as bad as most people make out. If anything it can speed up your session as you’re only resting for as long as the other guy is putting in his set.
But some guys aren’t into it – like at all, and it can awkward AF when you need to use that equipment.
It’s never a good conversation, especially as there’s no real reason as to why you can’t work in – apart from the fact that they’re selfish. Watching them give reasons why you can’t can be hilarious, but it’s also horrendously cringeworthy.
It’s even worse when you’re looking for the squat rack, and they’re using it to curl.
That’s the equivalent of not letting someone use the toilet, because you’re currently using it as a chopping board. Get real, bro.
How to handle it: Show them you’re serious. March over the preacher curl station, throw it on your back and start squatting it. They curl in your squat rack, it’s only fair your squat on in the curl rack.
#7 Blasting raw farts
We’ve all been here. You lift heavy, pressure builds, explosions happen, people notice.
This really tests the ability of your poker face – and timing is everything. If you don’t ‘drop the bomb’ during the toughest moment of the lift, everyone’s going to know.
And they definitely will if you’ve been upping your protein content recently.
How to handle it: There are too many options to choose from, so much so we’ve written a guide on it.
#8 When your water bottle rolls away
You know you’ve got problems when even your water bottle wants you to start doing cardio.
When you take a water bottle to a workout, two things usually happen:
- You need to refill it
- It’ll take you on a tour of the entire gym
When the second one happens it’s dire. As soon it topples over you find yourself being dragged across the gym through as many people’s sessions as possible.
You get serious awkward bonus points if it manages to crash into anyone’s foot.
How to handle it: If you love something set it free, it belongs to the gym now. If you still need to drink while making gains, rip the water fountain off the wall and start curling it.
#9 When someone talks to you when you have headphones on
Like seriously who does this?
When you’ve got headphones in, you’re in a totally different world. No one else exists, it’s just you and the weight. It’s a great atmosphere, and perfect for getting a hell of a lot done.
Until that all comes crashing down when someone wants to ask you where you buy your chalk. But you don’t know that, you don’t even know for sure if he’s talking to you.
It’s awkward. Since when did your private gym time become less important than their time-wasting small talk?
How to handle it: Choose from one of the following options, they’ll get the message:
#10 That guy who tries to talk to you while you’re in a set
Who doesn’t hate this guy, and why does he think it’s a good idea to pull this move in the first place?
When you’re lifting a heavy weight, the last thing you want is any form of distraction – especially if you’re squatting.
Now you’re unfocused – and you still have three more reps to go.
Well done asshole, not only does the person you’re talking to not care what you have to say, they now resent you as well.
How to handle it: Remind them that mouth is not a muscle you can train at the gym. If they want to make gains, they should actually train, rather than talking about it.
#11 Cringeworthy Form
Bad form is a cringefest. Watching someone tear themselves apart for no real benefit is mortifying, and you won’t find anything worse than watching someone murder a deadlift.
The level of cringe depends on how rounded their back is, and the longer you watch the worse it is.
Not sure what we mean, take a look at this:
“Yes, one ticket to snap city, please. No, I don’t need a return ticket.”
How to handle it: This is a car crash, just sit back and watch it scar you for life. You’ll never pull a poor deadlift again.
#12 That guy who runs laps in the gym
It’s okay to be passionate about cardio, but throwing it in everyone’s face is another matter.
For some reason every gym has that one guy that loves to run around the gym floor.
Not only is it distracting as hell when they’re clomping around during your set, it’s totally unnecessary. What’s wrong with a treadmill, or running outside?
How to handle it: With the Flash running round it can be hard to keep your space. Create a fortress of dumbbells around yourself – lifting weight is a cardio-junkie’s biggest fear – use it to your advantage.
#13 Overhearing bad advice
If you’ve forgotten your headphones at the gym, it’s only going to get worse.
That’s because the gym is full of bad advice, everyone’s an expert and they want everybody else to know.
‘Surprise your muscles!’, ‘Eat as much protein as possible!‘, ‘Low fat is always the best option for getting shredded.’
We’ve gone easy on you here. There are far stupider statements out there.
How to handle it: Don’t get sucked in to their Broscience, and be thankful that you’re not on the receiving end of that conversation.
#14 Getting shit for a loud deadlift
This is major one, especially if you’re in a commercial gym.
Let’s get one thing straight, when you’re doing a heavy deadlift nothing else matters. All you want to do is pull that shit off the ground, hold it and put it back down.
However, if you’ve got headphones on, and you’re going hard, chances are it’s going to make a noise when you put it back down. And the more the lift took out of you, the louder that’s going to be.
You can’t help it, and depending on how well you did, you’re going to be too satisfied to care – but the staff will, and they’ll bust your balls about it.
How to handle it: Kindly explain to the staff that this is a gym not a library. If they’re worried they’re concrete plates might break, they need to invest in more durable equipment.
#15 When you drop your phone and your music goes on blast
It hardly ever happens, but when it does, it haunts you.
Pretty much everyone listens to music in the gym, listens on their phone. It’s simple, it’s easy and you don’t need to carry any extra equipment – unless you’re headphone jack falls out – then the worst happens.
Whatever your listening to blasts around the gym and the secret to what’s been fueling your monstrous workout is totally exposed.
How to handle it: Pick up the phone, higher the volume and assert your dominance by performing the best improvised rave the world has ever seen. Depending on your form, no one would dare call you out on it.
#16 The asshole that screams every time he touches a weight
If you haven’t seen this guy in the gym before you’ve definitely heard him.
Every weight, no matter how heavy, needs to sound like a struggle. Even if you have headphones in it’s unbearable to listen to.
How to handle it: If you can’t beat them, join them – and then beat them. Stand next to this guy and unscrew your water bottle while screaming at the top of your lungs. Intimidate him with your much louder shout, for far less physical effort to remind him where he stands in the pecking order.
#17 Overprotective Spotters
This is essentially everything that we mentioned that happened in the first point we talked about – failing a lift. However in this case you didn’t fail, but a spotter jumped in anyway, grabbed your bar and threw it back on the rack.
Who do they think they are these people?
They’re literally stealing your gains right from your own two hands.
How to handle it: Use your incredible gains to reverse it on them, start dragging the bar back towards you – gravity will be on your side until they physically can’t spot you. Then start pushing back up – now you’re helping them, you are now the spotter and you’ve saved face in the process!
#18 When plates slide off the bar and you die inside
It’s always useful to put cuffs on your bar. However if you haven’t realized that yet, you might not be doing that – and you may be one of those ‘learn the hard way’ types.
If you lose your balance during a lift, (usually towards the end of your session) one side of the bar comes up before the other, and that can drop mad plates EVERYWHERE.
It’s awful and potentially dangerous. Case and point:
How to handle it: If you really want to try and save face. Act like you meant to do it. Now that you have just the bar without any weight, it’s time to do some light high rep stuff. No one will know… probably.
#19 Falling off the treadmill
This is the classic gym comedy moment, and the only people who will know about this are cardio bros.
If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew when doing a long run, the machine can bite back, throwing you behind it and crushing your ego in the process.
How to handle it: Actions speak louder than words, so I’ll let this video show you the perfect reaction to this problem:
#20 Hitting your head on the overhead cable
Bros who superset know exactly what we’re talking about here. When you’re using 2 pieces of equipment, one above your head, and one below it can be difficult to keep track of what’s where when you switch exercises.
That’s when this happens. If you’re doing a sweet bicep curl, after you put the bar down you could headbutt whatever you’re using for tricep extensions when you come back up.
It happens to everyone at least once in the gym, and you’re not alone if you can’t go session without it happening.
How to handle it: Take control. You banged your head – you meant to do that. Bite down on what you headbutted and start doing some sick neck curls. Everyone in the gym will be none the wiser to your shameless mistake.