Etiquette Guide: Dodge Fitness Center

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Be proud of your Dodge, even if it sucks.

As we’re starting to feel the first chills of fall, it gets harder to live that “casually active” lifestyle you’ve been rocking all summer. This means dealing with the smells and interactions of our own Marcellus Hartley Dodge Fitness Center. To prepare you for your descent to Pupin’s not-so-seedy underbelly, Bwog has compiled an etiquette guide to help you navigate the sweatiest part of campus.

The Weight Room

  • Re-rack your weights. At the end of your workout, replace them on the rack so people can tell you’re finished. It’s easier for everybody to find weights, and nobody will trip over loose weights or take a dumbbell to the chin. See: efficient allocation of scarce resources, or something…
  • If people are lurking by the bench or rack you’re using, offer to let them use it—hint: they’ll decline. Do the same when offered so as to build a culture of community. Or just take them up on it. Be that guy.
  • Leave either nothing or one plate on the bar when you’re done. Not a 35, two 5s, and one 2.5.
  • Use collars whenever you’re working with a bar so if something goes badly you don’t drop a plate on the toes of the guy next to you. Leave collars by the bar when you’re done so the next person doesn’t have to spend ten minutes looking for them.

Those Cardio Things

  • Sign up for the machines, even if you get there at the start of a 30 minute block and it’s free.
  • Don’t sign up for a machine in the middle of a block if somebody’s on it. People will go this low.
  • Recognize that some people like to run for more than half an hour. What’s wrong with signing up for two? Plus, if you use different initials, no one will ever catch you. Might we recommend RAB?
  • There is another set of cardio machines on the lowest level that are always emptier. Use them.
  • Wipe down the machine when you’re finished. No one wants to have to touch the buttons you frantically mashed with your sweat-soaked hands when you realized you couldn’t run three 6-minute miles in a row.

Reality Check

  • Be okay with seeing wrinkly, naked old people in the locker room. Or at least fake it well.
  • If you’re filling up a water bottle at a drinking fountain and someone wants a quick sip, let them go ahead of you.
  • If you’re grabbing a fill before you leave the gym, walk up to the top level. Those fountains are in less demand than the one on two, and they taste better, too.

Loving Dodge via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Anonymous

    there's a free alumni gym membership? are you sure?

  2. alum  

    Gym membership is NOT free for alums.

  3. Pretty sure  

    That Columbia only keeps charging you after you leave

  4. Omg

    I totally take up two sessions everytime I run on the treadmill!!!

  5. No, don't  

    sign up for two treadmill sessions at once, unless the gym is really not crowded. But if it's a busy time of day (which is usually), signing up for two sessions means someone else can't go at all. That's not nice.

    • Disagree  

      I'm at Dodge nearly every morning and I would never, ever kick someone off their second cardio slot (which some a**hole did to me a few days ago). I hate bikes and treadmills, for example, but if the ellipticals, striders and arcs I like to use are all taken, I will take a bike or a treadmill-- it only happens a couple times per semester, and it's certainly better than messing up the workout of a person who, like me, feels that at $60K a year Columbia owes them that 45 straight minutes on a piece of cardio equipment.

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