OPINION: Want to see results at the gym? Leave the phone behind.

Nobody likes a weightroom full of time thieves


Irina Slutsky/CC BY 2.0

A phone set down on a treadmill at a gym. There isn’t a problem with this, except when you end up sitting there using your phone when someone else might want to use that equipment.

Brittney Delgado

Don’t you hate when you’re at the gym, fully hyped off that C4 and getting ready to move on to the next machine but you look over to see a bro sitting there on his phone not even using the equipment? I sure as hell do.

It’s ever so often that I stumble upon one of your kind.

Recently, I was finishing my cardio at The WELL upstairs and wanted to use the leg press in the weightroom. I saw a girl using one and was actually trying really hard. You could see the pressure on her face from the weight she was pushing.

On the other side was a guy sitting on his phone, barely breaking a sweat. I moved on to go use one of the thigh extension machines. It took me about six to seven minutes to do six sets of 30 reps with 45 seconds to a minute of rest in between and an extra minute to wipe down the equipment after I used it.

I made my way back towards the leg press and he was still there. There was an awkward exchange of eye contact and he probably figured out I wanted to use it. He didn’t wipe down the equipment after he got up either. He started walking away with his eyes still glued to his screen.

Why should we have to compromise for your laziness? Somewhere in your mind, you told yourself that you wanted to go to the gym to (obviously) workout. I know that if you had the willpower to even go to the gym, you can do it. I can guarantee that after a good workout, you’ll feel refreshed and good about yourself.

I understand that sometimes you need to look at your phone or you have to change the song because the one playing isn’t fitting your mood. Good music can be the key to a good work out, but once I catch you sitting there for more than five minutes doing nothing, it is time for you to go.

There are different explanations on what the “best rest time” is depending on what type of strength you’re trying to gain. I get that when you’re putting in the work and lifting heavy sets, you need a longer rest for your muscles to recover. However, if someone is barely trying on those sets and spends way more time sitting there on their phone, then it becomes a problem.

If you do this, you’re a time thief. Stealing time from my muscles to keep pumping iron while you scroll through your social media.

And you’re not helping yourself, either. In fact, you could be possibly increasing your chances of injury.

If you rest for too long, your muscles start to cool down and your heart rate lowers, which can lead to you straining or pulling a muscle if you try to start up again. You may even have to warm up all over again.

I try to give some people the benefit of the doubt. I’ll do a walk around, maybe grab some water or move on to work on something else. If I finish with those reps and that person is still there, I’ll go up to them and let them know there are people that also want to use the equipment.

Gym time is no place to be on Instagram or Snapchat. Gym time is for the body and the soul.

It makes no sense to go to the gym and waste your own (and other people’s) time. If you go to The WELL like me, you know that thousands of other students are trying to use the very limited amount of equipment there, so really you’re making yourself look like a jerk.

I dedicate different days of the week to different workouts. One day will be leg day, another arm and back and so on. If you’re at the gym solely focusing on your arms, you know that the arm section upstairs is always full. So, it is very annoying when you go upstairs and you see a Chad on the machine you want to use lollygagging away.

Not to say all Chads are bad, but you know a bad Chad when you see one.

You just have to remind yourself that in order to get results, you have to want them. If you don’t care about those results, stop going to the gym so that those who want to get a good workout in can have the opportunity.