The "Begin Rust" book

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Miriam (aka @LambdaMom) and I are writing this blog post as a public service announcement, to address a true scourge in modern society. All too often, gymgoers do not know basic gym etiquette:

In response to this pandemic, we move that all gyms institute, immediately, a required exam for gym membership. There shall be no "grandfathering" of existing members; all existing members must submit to the test. Anyone scoring below a 90% should be forbidden from entering the gym until they have taken a "basic human decency in the gym" course.

Gyms: for your convenience, we have provided a set of twenty questions below. This is a multiple choice exam, where each statement can be answered with:

  • Required- you must behave this way in the gym
  • Recommended- this is good behavior
  • Frowned upon- try to avoid doing this
  • Forbidden- you will be ejected immediately from the gym

  1. I'm done chewing this piece of gum, let me put it on this plate Forbidden
  2. I'm done using the bench, I'm going to put all of my weights away Required
  3. Oh look, the weights are all jumbled up, let me spend 2 minutes and sort them Recommended
  4. That person is attractive, I'm gonna snap a photo Forbidden
  5. I just finished a set of tricep extensions, let me lift my shirt and check out how my abs look Frowned upon
  6. Curling in the squat rack Frowned upon, unless someone's waiting to use the squat rack, then your life is in your own hands
  7. Telling someone lifting heavy weights to put them down more quietly Frowned upon
  8. Yelling like a moron for no reason Frowned upon (we'll also accept forbidden)
  9. Running backwards on the treadmill Recommended, assuming you take a video and send to me to laugh at
  10. Doing anything that defies gravity with the cables Same as above, unless someone's waiting to use them
  11. Walking closely to, or talking to, someone mid-set Forbidden
  12. Putting a towel down on the bench/machines Recommended (some say required)
  13. Form checking strangers Frowned upon
  14. Cleaning up after you spill your protein shake Required
  15. Farting while squatting Frowned upon
  16. Laughing at the person who farts while squatting Frowned upon, but perhaps inevitable
  17. Spitting in the gym Forbidden
  18. Cheering someone hitting a PR Recommended
  19. Putting on any form of hand lotion before touching any gym equipment Forbidden
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