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The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

The Student News Site of The Bishop's School

The Tower

Weight Room Etiquette With Charlie Johnson

Coach Charlie Johnson’s “Do’s and “Don’ts” of working out in the Bishop’s weight room
Seth-Joseph Pintar
Located under the Eva May Fleet Athletics Center, the Bishop’s weight room is filled with different kinds of equipment such as barbells, resistance bands, and treadmills.

“If you’re going to use (the weight room) to your advantage to get yourself better, why not take care of the equipment.”

— Charlie Johnson

If you are ever walking by the pool and you hear loud music, along with someone yelling “WOOOOOO!”, chances are you’ve passed by the Bishop’s weight room. Whether they’re bulking up for an upcoming sport or fulfilling a P.E. credit, students go there for self-improvement, solitude, and socialization. 

However, just like any other gym, the weight room is filled with some classic gym pet peeves. These can include people who spread their sweat all over (“the sweater”), people who gather all the equipment into a pile (“the hoarder”), and people who are too distracted by their phones to see someone trying to do a heavy squat right in front of them (“the phone zombie”). 

 One student who feels peeved is Reagan Kilber (24’), who said, “I hate it when people put their weights in the wrong spot, like when people put a 25 lb dumbbell where a 17.5 lb dumbbell is supposed to go.” She elaborated, “It takes me longer to transition between exercises because I have to rearrange all the weights to make sure my weight goes in the right spot before I grab a new weight.”

To get input from someone who is in the weight room every day, I talked to Coach Charlie Johnson who has worked with Bishop’s athletes for years and is a former football player and boxer. I asked about the five things that he hates to see in the weight room (ranked from least hated to most hated) and what you should avoid doing while working out in the weight room.


1. Being Distracted By Earbuds


Music is a great tool for working out. Nothing gets the blood pumping like a favorite song. However, as Charlie will tell you, some people can get too into their music.

“I don’t mind it when other people listen to their own music. I don’t like it when I’m trying to coach and they can’t hear me,” Coach Charlie said. He also mentioned that this could cause a safety hazard, saying, “I’ll go ‘Hey you’re about to trip over that bar. Hey, you’re about to trip over the bar!’ and then ‘bang!’, they trip over the bar.” It should also be noted that if you do end up tripping due to not hearing Charlie, you could risk landing on other heavy metal objects that could seriously hurt you or others.

Charlie says that if you know you need more instruction from him, then you should only have one earbud in so that you can hear him while he’s talking. Additionally, if you do put in one earbud, he says that you should pay extra careful attention while listening to music.


2. Putting On Too Much Weight


The Bishops weight room is a great place to have an ambitious mindset. Almost everyone who comes in hopes to walk out stronger than when they entered. However, sometimes people can be a bit too ambitious.

“Some kids try to put on too much weight… there are beginning steps you have to go through to be efficient and safe,” Coach Charlie said.

Charlie went on to add that before you move on to much heavier weights, you must start light for two reasons. First, if you try to put on too much weight too fast, you can risk having either bad form or loss of progression in your strength. Second, if you try to make your body do something it is not ready to handle, you can risk a serious injury.

For these reasons, he says you must start with light weights while emphasizing good technique. That way, you can get stronger and prevent hurting yourself. 


3. Putting On Too Little Weight


In contrast to the previous point of putting on too much weight, sometimes people can put on too little weight. This can often be the pet peeve that is the least hard to spot (just look at the one face in the weight room without a grimace).

“Everyone here is working hard, but there can be some people who don’t push themselves. Putting in some great effort can help to establish habits that can benefit your health throughout your life,” Charlie said.

The best way to avoid this, in his opinion, is coming in with a great attitude. Charlie believes that if you come in with the determination to try your best, you’ll be able to see some real progress. He also mentioned  that the more progress you make, the more determined you will be during your workouts, which can lead to more progress.


4. Not Trusting Charlie


“You can’t learn to play the piano in a day. Nobody makes the pros without going through the sublevels,” Coach Charlie said about people who try to go rogue during a workout and do exercises not on their program.

Coach Charlie says that everything that he puts into the workouts for each sport is like pieces of a puzzle. They are all trying to make you a better athlete in terms of either strength, agility, speed, or endurance.

Unfortunately, Charlie says that some people who are new to training for their sport ignore his workouts, which is quite unwise considering his experience. “There’s a lot of people who seek out specialists before they become a generalist. You’re skipping to the fun stuff you see on Instagram before you master the fundamentals,” Coach Charlie said.

Charlie himself is not against working with different coaches outside of school, especially if you are at a high level of progression in your sport. However, Charlie is against people doing workouts they got from other coaches and not trying to collaborate with Charlie. Additionally, Charlie wants to make sure that you can keep up with higher levels of athleticism and training by mastering the basics.


5. Not Putting Away Your Equipment


Without a doubt, Charlie’s least favorite thing to see is people not putting away their weights. He says that it is something he sees far too often. 

“First one person doesn’t put their weight away, then another, then another, then the weight room looks like a tornado went through it,” Coach Charlie said. Charlie went on to explain that not only is this disrespectful to the other people trying to work out, but it can also pose a major safety hazard because people can easily trip, fall, or get injured.

When I asked Charlie what he suggested to avoid this, he said, “Once you are done with your exercise, put that piece of equipment away.” He also says that this rule should also be applied to all equipment you use in the weight room such as bands, yoga balls, belts, and benches.

The Bishop’s weight room is a shared space, and it is fair to say that it should be treated as such. As Charlie has explained, not only are these pet peeves very distracting, but they are also very dangerous if people are not careful. I must admit though, my hands are not entirely clean when it comes to this issue. I sometimes accidentally bump into someone else or forget to wipe off some sweat from my bench. 


When it comes to getting those “Gainz”, Coach Charlie is a fountain of knowledge. So if you want his help, he suggests you make the weight room an orderly space so he can work his magic.

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About the Contributor
Seth-Joseph Pintar, Staff Writer
Current Events, Pop Culture, Social Justice, and Sports…the perfect combination. Thanks to America's crazy political climate and Ms. Kelly’s humbling feedback on my essays, I have fallen in love with writing and journalism. Although I am confident that I will continue to create articles and stories that are exciting, I’m still unsure what I want to write about. Do I want to be the next Bert Shuga who will cover the best boxers in the world, do I want to be the next Bob Woodward who will uncover another Watergate? Seeing as how I still have a whole Senior year to write whatever I want, why don’t I take out my existential crisis on the fine editors of the Tower and write a little bit of everything? With that being said, stay tuned for my wild variety of articles. 

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