Rules of the Weightroom


I am all about creating the right training environment. In order to do that you have to have rules. Athletes may view the rules as restrictive but, there really is a method to the madness. What follows are the weightroom rules I’ve developed over the years. We use this both at BU and at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning.

Rule 1-Treat people the way you want to be treated. They don’t call it the Golden Rule for nothing.

Rule 2- No lifting gloves. I hate lifting gloves. To be honest I hate all weightroom paraphernalia. Gloves, long pants, workboots and flannel shirts have no place in the weightroom. I hate gloves because I actually hate guys who don’t want callouses. Calloused hands are the sign of a worker. I want workers. My upperclassmen used to love when a new guy shows up with gloves. They are such sadists that they let the poor kid come into the weightroom with his gloves on just to see me tell him to put them back in his locker.

Rule 3- No IPOD’s.  I used to say no Walkman’s, how old am I? I still occasionally use the term Walkman when referring to an IPOD and get curious looks from my players. Why no IPOD’s? I want unity and interaction, not each guy jamming to his own tunes. I also think they are unsafe. Some guy blaring Pearl Jam may not hear you when you say “look out I just dropped a really heavy dumbbell”.

Rule 4- No music that contains obscenities, racial or sexual references. I had trouble figuring out how to make this point clear. I knew the words I did not want to hear I just needed to be able to express it. I felt like the late George Carlin with the Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV.  I came up with this. No derogatory racial terms ( that eliminated one word easily) and no reference to sex with family members ( that eliminated the other, use your imagination). I tell the guys, “you want rap or hip hop, download the clean version at ITunes or get me Walmart rap”.

Rule 5- No tank tops for males. Yes, this is an incredibly sexist rule. Women can wear tank tops, but men can’t. We actually had a little fight over this at work and this is how I explained myself.  First, yes I know this is a double standard. I’m not stupid. However, males in tank tops spend too much time trying to catch a look at themselves in the mirror. Plus, if you allow males to wear tank tops they will continue to cut them down until there is barely any shirt left.  With females, tank tops are all about empowerment and confidence. I want the young women who train with us to be confident and like the way they look. There are far too many negative messages about body image in their lives. This is not the case with males hence the rationale for my double standard. Some of my coaches didn’t like my stance. I had to remind them that the name of the gym is Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. When they have their own gym they can have their own rules.

Rule 6- shorts must cover both ends of your ass. This is a unisex rule but applies differently. I think it is great that a young female feels good about her body however, I don’t want to peak at her underwear every time she bends over. Exercises like hip lifts and 1 Leg Straight Leg Deadlifts become too adventurous in these cases. The opposite is true for males. For a young female we are covering cheeks for a young male we are avoiding the jail look. This is simply my old fashioned coach persona at work. Pull up your shorts and cover your underwear. Truth is you look like an idiot with your hat on sideways and your underwear showing. Old fashioned, maybe  but as above, I get to make the rules.

Rule 7 -Don’t be an _ _ _ hole. I have no use for big timers. If you want to yell and scream and throw weights, go somewhere else.  The big impression is made in lifting the weights, not in putting them down. If you lift heavy weights I promise people will notice. You don’t need to yell.

Hope you find some of this humorous and some useful.

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13 Responses to “Rules of the Weightroom”

  1. I just spit out my coffee reading this. This is hilarious. I find your stance on tank tops interesting. I am one of those females that get encouraged by looking every now and then in the mirror (who am I kidding. I love the mirror…) and it helps me push harder when I notice I am seeing results. Some may find that rule sexist. I think it’s pretty brilliant, and at the same time I want to say: What do you know about female empowerment? But then I look at the results you produce. And then it’s pretty brilliant, again.

  2. Weldon Cheung Says:

    Good call….tank tops on guys are just a fashion disaster anyways!!!!!!!!!

  3. That’s why I love you Michael. More people should learn the art of respectfully disagreeing. If colleagues always agreed, how would we learn!

  4. mboyle1959 Says:

    You know i love you however, I respectfully disagree.

  5. Hi Mike. I like the rules. Been using them for many years. I do have to respectfully disagree with the tank top rule. As a female I have never been empowered by wearing a tank top (and I’m one of the few women who wanted to be bigger). None of the female athletes with whom I have worked have been empowered by tank tops either. However, we have been empowered by the strength and ability we’ve demonstrated. And isn’t that the point? Tank tops for girls become smaller too. I do not want any females in my presence to be looked at inappropriately. (I am well aware it does happens in general) If I can minimize the inappropriateness I will. Younger boys notice a developing female. Boys of the same age notice a developing female. Men notice a developing female. Not all 15 year old girls are created equal. We’ve all seen it.

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