I will try and sound less judgmental than I feel about this subject; I don’t know if the name, “Squat Rack,” is misleading to some… that maybe it isn’t specific enough and leaves its purpose open to interpretation, but there seems to be some confusion.
The squat rack, is for squats. Despite having a few variations, squats are a pretty specific category of exercise. When you perform an exercise in the squat rack that doesn’t require the actual rack structure, you are using a very in-demand piece of equipment to perform work that you could do in literally any corner of the gym. (I’m honestly, at this point, trying to think of the negative comments I might receive for this… “Bicep shaming?” I don’t even care…) This equipment is limited and experienced lifters perform their exercises in a specific order. This is why people become a little testy when they see people using equipment for things other than what it was meant for.
Now, I don’t actually judge a person for doing this, I just find it to be very frustrating that our routines have clashed at this moment, and it’s inconveniencing me. I am at the gym every single day, for 2 hours, and that’s because it’s the maximum amount of time I can (or want to) have my son in child care there. So, being the anxiety-ridden person that I am, I am usually staring at the clock praying I will finish my workout in enough time to wash my face and pick up my kid. A wrench in my plans, such as your bulging bicep, can really squash my pre-workout buzz. At the very least you will find me pacing nearby, scratching at my tingly skin, and trying to formulate an alternate plan.
I know all the reasons why you need to be where I want to be right now; you need a specific weight increment not otherwise available, for example. I get that. And it’s not that serious. I really do feel like we, as “gym people,” are a little too picky and judgmental about how each other act in the gym. I don’t think it’s fair to assume other people know they are inconveniencing you, or to even expect people NOT to inconvenience you. But you should know that if you load up the bar in the squat rack with 5-lb weights, do a single set and then walk away, I probably hate you.
I’ll get over it, but seriously, stop it.