The 5 Unwritten Rules of Lifting

Anyone who has been lifting long enough can relate to these common frustrations we must deal with when training at our local globo gyms. Though there are no posted signs to make those unaware of proper gym etiquette, it doesn’t take much more than your everyday common sense to not look like a complete tool while training. In no particular order, here are my five unwritten rules of lifting.


If you back squat less than you bench press and don’t have a serious knee or back problem, you best get under that bar and do work! Forget the old saying “suns out guns out”. Its all about the “sky’s out thighs out!” Proudly revealing two meaty, bouldering thighs should never be an issue for you. Get squattin’ son!


Also, don’t ignore the glutes and hams! RDL and glute ham raise your face off and watch those striations pop up. Give the girls something to look at when you’re walking away.


Don’t wear it. Just don’t.


It won’t make you bigger, faster, or stronger. You’re not fooling anyone into believing that you’re training for the NFL combine. And you certainly don’t need to be concerned about wind resistance affecting your speed, considering you are inside a gym. So please, change your training wardrobe. You look like a human condom.


I wasn’t aware that Mt. Everest was now hosting powerlifting meets!


Seriously though, if you think your anti-breathing device makes you look more hardcore, it doesn’t. And if trying to resemble Bane in the gym is what you’re going for, nice try. At least we can make out what he is saying behind that muffling mask over your self inflicted suffocation. But we get it, lifting without a mask is only for sub par human beings who require normal oxygen in order to meet their pathetic survival needs. If you’re so concerned about your conditioning, then work harder and stop trying to make your training look more important than it really is.


Unless you are in a box gym that for some reason encourages their members to do a gazillion power cleans in a training session, you can take your piss poor form and grunting elsewhere. You’re not setting world records, you’re just using really bad technique with light weight so you can tell your Facebook friends how you rank on today’s WOD. And you’ve looked like this since your fourth rep…


By the way, the exercise was invented to be a POWER clean…not an ENDURANCE clean.


You would think this one would be a no-brainer, but its a never ending battle. If you can curl the weight, you sure can deadlift it. So take a barbell from elsewhere for your little secondary exercise and make use of the open space in front of the mirror where you can still stare at yourself. This applies to shrugs as well.


Questions or suggestions? Did I hurt your feelings? Drop a comment!

Published by Nick Knowles

Nick is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength & Conditioning Association who has worked with hundreds of individuals around the world and coached a wide variety of clients ranging from special forces, active duty, first responders, law enforcement, paraplegics, mixed martial artists, powerlifters, endurance athletes, large group classes, rock climbers, high school and collegiate athletes, youth teams, general population (weight loss), and clients with special needs. Education being at the forefront of his approach, he has been a guest speaker at corporate wellness events, college job fairs, and has also taken on a handful of interns who have found successful careers in the fitness industry. He is also a former NCAA division 1 wrestling and competitive powerlifter.

4 thoughts on “The 5 Unwritten Rules of Lifting

  1. Dang it. Is Monday not Chest day any more? Now I’m confused. 🙂 Seriously, when you do parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 to this, I’ve got some material (not that you need it). Good stuff!

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