One of the big incentives I have for going to the gym is to observe the wildlife there. I have collected some data about the people I am likely to see, and today I will present my findings.
You can mostly find these people around the weightlifting area. They lift about 500 pounds and then just pace around for 30 minutes until they approach the machine and nearly kill themselves lifting again. Then they go home. Although I don’t usually lift weights at the gym (I heft a 13-pound weight around the house all day long, thank you), I can’t imagine that this is an optimal fitness plan.
2. Friend Makers
At each gym I’ve been a member of, there has always been a guy who wants to strike up a conversation and make friends with any warm body available. Perhaps he wants to become king of the gym? I don’t know, but he does very little exercising and instead just bothers everyone who actually is. No matter how engrossed you appear to be with your book or iPod, he will target you and it’s hard to shake him if you engage him. This guy at my current gym kind of looks like Weird Al so whenever I see him moseying up to some unknowing person, I imagine him asking them if they’d like an accordion lesson or to hear the story of how he used to be fat.
3. The Ill-Dressed
There are a number of sub-species of this particular nomenclature (ie, girl who wears only sports bra but shouldn’t, 40-year-old man who still wears his high school track shorts, etc.), but I am focusing on the people who don’t seem to understand that corduroy pants do not proper gym attire make. Old people are really bad about this. In their travels through life, some of them never learned that button-down oxford blouses, khaki pants and Tevas with black socks are not optimal exercise apparel. But it’s not just old people. My younger brother always wears jeans, a wife beater, and Timberlands to the gym. No. Just no. I can’t even.
4. Gum Smackers
It is extremely easy to come off as a douche at the gym, even when you’re not. This is because very few people who are at the gym actually want to be, so they (and by “they” I mean “me”) spend their time there judging everyone who seems to be enjoying themselves/not having trouble. Thus enters the gum-chewer. If I am dying during Zumba and you are flying through the routine while still chomping your gum and barely sweating whatsoever, you are a douche. Plain and simple. You are also likely to be wearing shorts with “PINK” or “JUICY” across your butt. See # 3.
5. The Bored
Not to be confused with Pacers, who ought to be bored if they aren’t already, these are the people who come in with every iDevice available on the market, plus an e-reader, plus a hardcover book. Each are set up in its own little spot on the treadmill, where the Bored will walk for maybe 45 minutes. I can’t even justify bringing that much crap on a transcontinental flight.
6. The Fake Fish
At health clubs with pools, you will find people who swim only with flippers and fins that make them go faster. Why? Just why? You’re not racing anyone. Again, I’m not a swimmer so maybe there’s some secret real usage for these that I’m not aware of, but they seem like the equivalent of running with shoes with springs in them. Sorry, but the more unnecessary equipment you use, the doucheyer you look.
And last but not least:
7. The Coerced
You can always tell the people at the gym who are there because their doctor ordered it and their spouse found out and made them go. They do everything to counteract the health benefits of exercising. At one gym I used to go to, there was a group of 350-pound men who would stake out the stationary cycles where they’d drink coffee and talk about football. Occasionally they would pedal. Occasionally.
That’s all I’ve got for now. I’m writing this on Thursday, which is my off day at the gym, and I’ve already thought far too much about it.
Do you have any pet peeves about exercising at the gym?
I enjoy when someone arrives late to a fitness class and decides that my spot is suddenly meant for two and exercises almost directly on top of me.
That is the worst. That actually happened to me just last week and I ended up just moving to the back corner because it drove me so crazy.
Never let them win! You should have just “accidentally” gone the wrong direction and plowed them in the face ;)
Oh my god I hate that too! And then they try to edge you out of the way!
Emily, this is so funny and so true. Not sure what type I am. I guess the one with an iPod stuck in my ears, not making eye contact with anyone so I can get it over with. What about the slammers? The young guys that pick up weights far too heavy for them and then throw them on the floor near you, thus shaking the entire floor while emitting a loud grunt? You gotta love them.
You sound a lot like me at the gym! The slammers are great too. Who are they trying to impress, their family doctors? They always sound like gorillas to me when they grunt.
I get thinking of what I think was an old SNL routine where they stand up trying to lift way too heavy a weight and their arms come off!
Yes! I totally remember that one! Oh, classic SNL!
I used to belong to a gym called Planet Fitness and they had a policy against the slammers of the world–seriously, if they heard grunting or weights being thrown around an alarm would sound throughout the entire gym. It was hysterical.
Nice! I need to find out if they have one of those in my town. Thanks for commenting!
I would say I am a mix of the two! :)
This is hysterical. I just started working out at the gym too and have seen all of these people. There are also The Socailizers who talk and cut up through all of the classes they take. They meet their friends for a class and sometimes take two in a row. I wonder why they don’t just meet at a cafe rather than disrupt everyone. They clearly are not after a good workout.
Yes! I have seen them and they are so annoying. They will also park themselves on machines and just chat away while there is a line of people waiting to actually USE the machine. So rude and ridiculous.
Ha! I haven’t been to the gym in so long that I am not even qualified to answer that question, but I guess anyone who’s on the machines I need is the object of my disdain. Also, the guy who told me I was running too slow to be in the inner lane of the track. Sorry, dude.
What a douche. I fart in his general direction. :P
Emily, you’ve given me an incentive to go back to the gym ! I know these people. Now when I see them I can chuckle to myself. Most hated…..The Slammer …..
Whatever it takes! One of the only reasons I go to the gym is for blog material. That and my spare tire.
Excellent and so true – don’t forget “The Cardiac Arrest Newbie”
LOL…that would be me. It always cracks me up when someone gets on the treadmill and turns it up to its highest setting and then tries to keep up with it. It would be too high even for Usain Bolt.
HA – so love this post! And the silicone frog fins are a new one on me; my gym doesn’t have a pool.
Thanks! The place I go to now doesn’t have one, but my old health club did and I could never understand the purpose of these fins. I guess if you run out of junk to spend your money on, you just buy them.
Love this post, I fit into many of your categories! I was a competitive swimmer and was a HS coach (past three years) and I have never seen those hand fin things. I have seen gloves that are similar and swimmers use them to increase feel in the water and strength. Same with fins. However, unless you are a competitive swimmer I’m not sure they are necessary…I never used them until my college swim team.
You have just reiterated seven reasons why I exercise in the privacy of my own home. :)
You are indeed a wise woman!
Much like my hat-wearing blog-buddy Carrie, I also work out at home. The social aspect of health clubs exhaust me before I can even break a sweat. My limited experience in gyms has included a sub-group of the pacers, known as “the grunters”, also known as “the I think that dude just crapped himself trying to lift too much weight” tribe.
I work out at home, too! The thought of exercising in front of strangers terrifies me. I have never gone to a gym, but my husband does and he is going to love this post when I show it to him…as soon as he gets back from there.
I used to be really shy at the gym. Then I realized that everyone there has looked like an idiot at one point or another, so there’s no reason for me to be ashamed when I eventually fall on my butt or throw up (which I have, sadly, several times.) Thanks for your comment, Impy! :D
My wife brings home horror stories from the gym where she works out. That’s enough for me.
The grunters crack me up. I kind of get it; being able to lift so much is difficult and you have to tap into your primal self to get there. However, their dependence on iPods and iPhones to get through the workout sessions belies any sort of primalism.
Thanks for your comment, 1point! Just followed your blog several days ago and have been enjoying it.
Glad to have you along for the ride!
Hahaha! I love this. I hate the loud cell phone talkers. You know, the ones who hop on the treadmill right beside you and gab loudly about that one girl at work who talked crap about them, like ohmygawd. I swear, I can never turn my music up loud enough to drown them out.
Loud phone talkers are bad no matter where you are. My mom is incapable of speaking below 100 decibels on her phone at all times. This mortified me when I was a teenager.
The fact that you haven’t burned the joint to the ground speaks volumes about your restraint!
There have been a few times I have been tempted and only the presence of children kept me from doing it.
I loooooove Zumba. I was addicted pre-baby. I had a douchebag in my class with a long brown ponytail and neon colored “workout wear” that was more suited for the tennis court or possibly a pole somewhere. She had obviously decided that the class was too easy for her, so she would make all the moves as high impact as possible by jumping around and overexaggerating everything. I hated her.
Recently, I decided to take a Cardio Dance Party class to shake it up again when I started going back to the gym. It was basically jumping, squats, and planks set to music. This is neither dancing nor a party in my opinion. I nearly died.
Um, I think that same girl is attending Zumba classes at my gym. I want to punch her every time she is at class because she gets up right in front of the instructor and over-exaggerates EVERYTHING. She grunts through everything and I swear she had an orgasm once during cool down. Plus she hardly ever breaks a sweat and yet she strips down to barely nothing. NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR SPORTS BRA AND GIANT BOOBS, LADY. Ugh. I hate her.
I hate the gym. I do everything to avoid the gym. I’m a runner and being at the gym means it’s WAY (106, anyone?) too hot, too icy (I can handled the cold down to about 15-20) or I’m injured. So, I’m either on the dreadmill or in the pool, both of which bore the snot out of me PLUS I’m probably pissed off ’cause I can only run for an hour so I can’t get a long run in. Hence, I am quite visibly a wretched bitch. No one talks to me. No one nears me. I like it that way. February, I’m back outdoors and feeling pretty happy. I just joined a new gym with towel service, and indoor track and a therapy pool. That might make life in the gym more bearable come winter.
That place sounds pretty great. I wish I could just work out outdoors, but it ranges between 85-100 degrees here during the summer and I would kill myself running around in that heat.
Yeah, we’re at 85-100 this summer. I run in the morning or evening (a new pleasure) and try to make myself go slower. I’ll let you know how the new place is.
Hi there. I think exercises like those described in my post ‘bodyweight-training, the dangers’ will help you run for a lot longer. Like your enthusiasm though.
Ahahah! Emily this was so funny because you just described my gym to a tee. I could easily fall into a wandering category. Unless I go in with a plan – usually stick with one piece of cardio and go home… I just walk around and do a little of this and a little of that– none of which effectively burns calories or sculpts my body. I guess if I were to be totally honest I am first and foremost a skilled observer of all the douchery you speak of. Haha!
Hey, at least you’re moving! I think I maybe burn like 400 calories per visit, tops (and that’s on a good day). That doesn’t do a whole lot to sculpt me either! But it gets me out of the house, which I’ll take!
The clothes! Either gross or inappropriate. Too true. I can’t say I’m an avid gym-user (the equipment scares me b/c I don’t know what I’m doing) but I do go to yoga. And I totally judge how stretchy the other moms-to-be are. Which is wrong, I know. But secretly so satisfying that the only thing holding me back from folding completely in half is filled with a baby.
Dude, what is a class for if not for judging the other participants? This is horrible, but I like to go to classes and look around and think, “Well, I am a chunk right now, but at least I have the whole I-just-had-a-baby excuse.”
I avoid gyms, but I vividly remember all the types you speak of. I also hate The Narcissists—the ones who have to look at themselves in the nearest reflective surface. They’re usually the ones who also walk around naked in the locker rooms way longer than they need to. Get your business out of my face, lady.
My husband wanted me to include the locker room nudists in this list. Their level of comfort with their nude bodies matches my level of discomfort with them. When I lived in Korea, I sometimes went to bathhouse saunas where everyone was 100% nude in the bath areas and I could never, ever get used to it. They would all just waltz around in all their glory, and often they’d want to practice speaking English with me. Um, NO. Just no.
Someone who is incredibly unfit yet is constantly in the gym and all the classes, messing around and talking to people because they’re lonely. Yes, there really was someone like that at my gym.
There is someone at like that at the class I take. I don’t really understand her mentality. She gets right up at the front, blocking the view of the instructor, and then doesn’t do anything. NOTHING. I mean, I would get it if she just wanted to go to the class to move around and not necessarily follow the exercises, but it seems as though she’d want to be near the back so that other people who actually want to follow the instructor could see her.
What about the guys who load the Hammerstrength machines up with 400 pounds, lift them once (halfway with chicken legs) and then walk away. Because, like, everyone wants to lift that much, right? Or put it away for them.
Our gym has a lot of hard-core bodybuilders, but surprisingly they are not the worst offenders, although they draw a lot of attention to themselves (one of them uses his teenage son as a caddy). The worst are the grunters who don’t re-rack their weights.
My mum used to teach aerobics and eventually gave it up because of general Gym Stupidity. At least 75% of her class didn’t want to TRAIN. They wanted someone to MAKE THEM WANT TO TRAIN. Yikes.
Also LOVE the people who stick their old gum in the elliptical cupholders.
Actually, gyms are antithetical to everything I believe in.
OMG, my husband really wanted me to include the guys with the huge upper bodies but then tiny chicken legs in the post. But, hey, if that’s the look they’re going for, what-evs. General Gym Stupidity will be the death of me. I’m impressed your mom stuck with it long enough to teach classes, LB.
You should see our gym–it’s Meathead Central. Love it when they decide the existing equipment’s not good enough, so they take a bunch of assorted stuff and improvise their own “machine” that’s both dangerous for them and destructive the the gym walls/paint/other patrons. LOL, the gym is a neverending supply of weirdness.
It really is.
I can not stand the gum chewers in and out of the gym! Ultimate douchebaggery like they think they are Val Kilmer playing Ice Man in Top Gun. I want to smack it out their mouths.
Yes! I knew you would get this one! ;)
This is hilarious cuz it’s true lol I never saw the “fake fish” that’s just weird! This was good read can’t stand the “juicy” and “pink” booties lol
Thanks! My husband swims laps and he was the one who pointed the Fake Fish out to me; I would have never really noticed otherwise!
I guess it comes down to “do you want to work out, or do you just want to be entertained” ? It’s a lot like watching a train wreck. I try to stay away from gyms as I find them actually discouraging rather than encouraging. It’s the same laugh I get walking through Wal-mart, One eye closed or covered, stomach turning and trying hard not to laugh at the ridiculousness. Please check out some of the humorous stories I’ve told in my last e-book, I think you’ll really appreciate them. http://secretsofabartender.wordpress.com/
I think you and I would get along extremely well as your thoughts on Walmart are very similar to my own. I will check out your book! I also have some experience in the restaurant biz (recently wrote a post comparing waiting tables to parenting) so I’d love to hear your take on it! Thanks for commenting.
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I see so many people with the coerced look at my gym.
There’s another category—the weight watchers! These nimrods stand on the weighing scale before and after a round on the treadmill, which they don’t wipe down after they’re done.
Do they really think the scale will reflect their one session on the treadmill? Sheesh. If only it were that easy.
I hit the gym at night. Being a gym, it is indoors. Indoors. Night-time. And yes there is always – ALWAYS – the same guy next to me on the treadmill wearing a sun visor. WTF?
WTF indeed. It kind of grosses me out that he wears the same hat every time he works out, assuming that he doesn’t wash it in-between sessions. But why? Why a visor, indoors, at night? Questions for the ages.
Hilarious :D Follow me back :) http://fourletteredword.wordpress.com/
Congrats on FP! Have you seen the, I carry a gallon jug of water to the gym because I’m really thirsty and only drink ionized water, guys? They are usually wearing the latest bright orange/pink tennies. Great post! I was laughing the whole way through!
Thanks! And yes I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about. My husband really wanted me to include those guys in the post. There was this one guy who worked out at the gym we went to in Chicago who would fill up two – count ’em – TWO used grape juice containers of water. Since they were too huge to fit in the cup holders on the elliptical machines, he would have to put them in up-side down because the tops were more narrow. It was hilarious because in addition to his two gallons of water, he also had a CD Walkman (this was only like 4 years ago) for his tunes, so he had that balanced between his water containers along with a wallet with his CDs. It was ridic.
I could not have possibly put this better, myself!
Well thanks! :)
This was so funny! What about the free weight lifters who do it while staring at themselves in the mirror? Or the women in the locker room who blow dry their hair and do their makeup while completely nude? Is it toouch to ask them to put a towel on???
I know, right?! I get it that they love themselves and all but I just feel like a pervert having them in my line of sight.
Regards the gum-chewers, someone should tell them that if their butt is big enough to accommodate legible decorative text, it may not be the feature they want to draw attention to. >_<
Amen, fireandair! Couldn’t have said it better myself!
Hilarious. I’m a people watcher and if I went to a gym, I’d spend way too much time thinking bad thoughts about annoying people. I just exercise at home and have two annoying children to deal with, taking up my space, laughing at my attire and commenting on my technique.
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! (I’ve just realized you haven’t been showing up in my reader!)
Haha! Once my little one gets big enough to critique my exercise habits, I will probably be too frustrated to even want to work out! My mom recalls a moment years and years ago when my brother (who at the time was like 6) told her, “Mommy, you look like you’re going to have a little bitty baby!” Nothing belittles you like a kiddo.
I changed my URL several weeks ago, and it appears that even though everyone is still technically following me, my new posts aren’t showing up in their WordPress readers :/ Try unsubscribing and then resubscribing; that should fix it! Thanks for commenting!
nothing short of AWESOME!
Hey, thanks! :D
I hate it when I’m in the day-use locker area, it’s fairly empty and someone comes in and decides to use the locker right next to me–even though there are plenty of others available.
So, so annoying. I don’t know if I’m ridiculous for feeling this way, but it even annoys me when I’m using a public restroom and someone chooses the stall right next to me when there are a million available. I’m a big fan of personal space.
hahahahahahahhahhahaha!…i tend to sometimes catch a glimpse of eye candy to notice the nutters but well done! That sort of sums things up
Thanks! Glad I could give you a chuckle :D
I hear ya! I have all of those people at my gym, too. My favorite are the women who spend about half an hour on their hair and makeup in the change room before heading into the gym, obviously not intending to work up any sort of sweat. I also think you can extend your Fake Fish category to include people who go to spinning classes decked out in expensive riding gear like they’re about to compete in the Tour de France.
Agreed! I’ve never been to a spinning class because I’m 100% sure I would permanently harm myself. I should go to one though so I can write a Part 2 to this post.
Thanks for commenting!
Now I’m going to be so paranoid when I go to the gym lol
I’ve been so psyched to get in shape with the campus rec center, now I have to remember to not be a douche accidentally on top of breathing, remembering my swimming cap, and not dying
LOL I have a feeling you’re good ;) If you have any grain of self-awareness at all, you are more than likely nothing like the people I’ve described here. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Not really the type to go to a gym, but you just made me soooo grateful I don’t! :)
On the other hand I do not exercise like I am supposed to and a gym would definitely help…
I guess I’m not really the type to go either. I just go because where I live, it is way too hot to exercise outdoors during the summer. I can’t wait until it cools down. Thanks for reading, Scribbler!
Hahahaha! I am definitely one of the improperly dressed. I usually show up at the gym in jeans, sandals, and a t-shirt. However, the gym I use is a small community affair, so often enough no one is there to judge me :D.
Well, as long as it’s not a three piece suit ;) Thanks for reading!
I’ve been to a spinning class where a grunter was present. Everytime the intensity increased, she would grunt louder. It made me feel uncomfortable- like I was interupting something. :)
Ugh, so gross. I’m sure the grunting serves some purpose, but I have yet to determine what it is.
I love this post, I hadn’t noticed quite a few of these types before but I’ll definitely be keeping a look out now. I think this will provide me with much amusement…
Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Keep your eyes peeled and let me know if you discover any more types to add to the list.
okay, did you just get freshly pressed MUTHAFECKIN’ AGAIN??!!! Good lawd, girl, you are on fire. And you had a baby??!! I can not keep up it is too much….LOOOOOOL. Congrats, lady friend, it is well deserved. Much love, SM
Thanks, moms! It is a little ridic, especially since I’ve been tweeting trash about WordPress all week. But I’ll take the traffic! I can’t wait until all the new subscribers find out this is basically a mommy blog.
loooooollll, i have the same reaction when people realize my blog consists of gayby thoughts and the ramblings of a comedian…nutso. regardless, the fp is well deserved. the piece is great and funny. xoxo, sm
Ha! And here I thought that I was the only one who watches people at the gym ;-) I can’t help it…they’re just so darn funny!
I know, right?! They are partially the reason that I even go!
They are definitely what keeps me motivated haha ;-)
Quit the gym a few years ago. No question I felt better when I went. Who knows? maybe you will inspire me!
You forgot the Pervs. 99 times out of a hundred, guys, that are just there to check out the ‘Pink’ and/or the ‘Juicy’.
I had quit the gym until a few months ago when I had a baby. Now I need to shed the weight so off I went to sign up.
Pervs at the gym are so creepy. It makes me uncomfortable when I see them checking out girls. Some of them are so open about it. Gross! I once went to a gym where several women worked out in burkas. I was taken aback by this at first but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea.
This is brilliant. I work at a leisure centre with a gym and I can definitely identify all of those types you’ve named out here! Best post I’ve read in a good while :)
Thanks, Conor! Will be checking out your blog once I get all this FP stuff under control ;)
I became a runner in part to stay away from the gym, but when I went regularly, there were these lanky blonde girls in terrycloth short shorts and flip-flops who would sip coffee coolattas while languorously rocking on the elliptical. WTH?
That seems counterproductive, not to mention a bit reckless and unsafe. As much as I love my coffee, it doesn’t exactly replenish one’s electrolytes.
Thanks for commenting, SJ!
Great post! I live near a very small military base, and, as an Army dependent, I get to go on base and work out. There are two gyms: the new one and the old one, which is rarely used, which I like! Nevertheless, it never fails that I’ll be pounding the treadmill and will look up to see a bunch of “douche bag girls”, dressed in, like you pointed out, Juicy sports attire, clearly working out to lose weight (which I don’t–I do it to maintain health due to cardiac issues), GLARING at me and making snippy comments about “anorexic women in their gym.”
Sigh. Can’t we all just sweat in peace?
Amen to that! Everyone has their own reasons for being there and they don’t have to be written on their foreheads. Perish the thought that someone works out to actually maintain their health rather than restore it. Plus, insinuating that you’re anorexic isn’t even remotely clever or funny.
Absolutely. I think the gym should be a place where, ironically enough, we’re all striving towards some sort of well-being, not where people are judging each other.
Oh, I know. Number one, it’s offense because I DO have a health issue that makes me unnaturally thin but not by my own choice, and number two, I cannot imagine how it must feel to be a victim of anorexia or bulimia and have people cackle at you like that.
Thanks for the laugh! Totally LOVED this.. I’m the one that doesn’t go to the gym for years and then goes back and goes hardcore thinking I’m still in as great shape as I was in high school… then I don’t go back again for a very very long time because I’m mad that I can’t keep up to myself!
Thanks! I think I am a lot like you. I just went back to the gym after having a baby and I am quickly realizing that my 30-year-old postpartum body bears little to no resemblance to my 23-year-old, burn-600-calories-an-hour body.
HA! Then we’re totally alike! Age, kids and all!LOL
I’m the worst kind of gym person in that, I used to go…got fed up and stopped. I now have a weight set at home (didn’t cost the earth and doesn’t need a bench) and I cycle to and from work each day. Failing the cycle commute, I have a cheapish fold-up exercise bike under my stairs. I hate gyms as it puts me off and I actually feel less disciplined with all the distracting, sweaty humans around me! :)
Great post that highlighted all the reasons I fled!
I used to work out in our spare room at home. Then I had a baby and the spare room became her nursery. My husband still works out in there but I don’t know how he can find the space! Thanks for commenting!
I’m one of those people that simply refuses to exercise at the gym. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid I might become one of your above described characters. :D No, the great outdoors and my little room work just fine for me.
Exercising outside is the best! I am really looking forward to the fall when it’s not 95 degrees everyday and I can start exercising outdoors again.
Thanks for reading and commenting!
2012 Mid-Summer Gym Rules
1. If you’re a dude, I don’t give a shit how big your muscles are you should never wear purple or neon green Under Armor. Extreme colors by default draw attention so unless you are in top shape DO NOT draw unnecessary attention, save the bright colors for the chicks.
2. For men if you take a spin class…after the class never unzip that SOB three-quarters of the way down to cool off. You’re not Channing Tatum so stop trying to entice the ladies with grey chest hair and sweaty nipples.
3. If you use a towel to wipe off your sweat and then lay that same towel as your imaginary “towel sweat barrier”. Please don’t give me strange looks if I wipe the machine off after you leave, maybe I will start laying my Wet Wipes down on the bench and lay on top of that…lol
4. Ladies avoid provocative stretches. Toe touches are fine…Doggy Style toe touches not so much.
5. Dudes stop wearing daisy duke shorts…I don’t give care if you have nice legs.
6. Don’t show off your gymnastics skills with regards to pull ups. You just look silly!
7. Don’t eat snacks while working out, this is counter productive.
Yes, yes, and YES! I especially love #5. When guys wear track shorts that are ultra short, they are just flirting with disaster. I so don’t want to see ANYONE’S junk. Eww. Just ewww. Awesome comment, Mike! :D
Wow, this is a great description of people at the gym! However, I haven’t been to a gym in about two years. I do all my training at home and on the road/trails now! Though I’m sure I’ll get to the gym much more often in College!
I always said I would work out more when I was in school, but once I got there I was too busy partying :/ It took me getting old and chunky to motivate me to go. Hope you have more motivation to go than I did, College! :D
I’ll be on the tri club and I already have a marathon on the schedule for the fall and a couple triathlons for the spring… so I have pretty good motivation to keep at it :)
At my old gym I came across a male gym-goer one morning lifting weights wearing…wait for it…a shirt and tie, along with a lovely pair of gym shorts. I’ll give him credit, he was health and safety concious as he had tucked the tie into his shirt to prevent it flapping in the way of the weights. I spent the rest of my workout watching for him exiting the changing rooms as I really wanted to see whether he would leave for work wearing the same shirt and tie. He did.
this is such an awesome post!
I have seen every single one of these people either at the gym or in a fitness class. I have one more type that you didn’t name!!
8. The Inappropriate Starer (i looked it up starer is a word)
The person that will stare, without blinking, at someone elses, but mostly their own, jiggly parts….
That was kind of a confusing sentence so I will give you an example. In my zumba class last year there was a woman-child that me and my gym buddy refered to as Yellow Shirt, this is because she always wore a yellow shirt. She had no coordination and you had to watch out for her flailing limbs so you did not get clubbed. The inappropriate part is when we shimmied our chests in the class she would stare directly at her own breasts and bend as far forward as possible and shimmie with all her might so that she could watch her own breasts jiggle….. It was a little disturbing when I figured out what she was doing….
And thus the inappropriate starer was born…
I’ve had my ins and outs with being a gym rat…currently out. But for me, paying money to piss and moan about the people who piss me off at the gym, just doesn’t make sense. I have enough pissing and moaning to do with my own daily workout. After having lived in the sticks of Maine and having to cut down trees, then chop and stack them as well as, weed-whack, shovel the driveway, mow a one acre piece of lawn…by hand…and plant and weed gardens seems to be more of a workout than any gym could offer. But that’s just my opinion.
This post was awesome!
I have seen every single one of these types in the gym or a fitness class at one time or another, but i think you missed one….
8. The Inappropriate Starer (i looked it up, starer is a word)
The Inappropriate Starer will become mesmerised and stare at someone else’s. but mostly their own, jiggly parts. As that sentence was kind of confusing I will give you an example. Last year I was in a zumba class and there was always a woman-child in attendance that my gym buddy and i had dubbed Yellow Shirt, this because she wore a yellow shirt everytime she came to the class… surprise. Anyway she was extremely uncoordinated and you had to watch her flailing limbs to make sure you did not get clubbed. The inappropriate staring part is when we were supposed to shimmie our chests in class. She would stare directly at her own breasts, lean as far forward as possible and shake her chest with all her might to watch her own breasts jiggle. It was very disturbing when I figured out what she was doing as, more often than not, she would stand directly infront of my gym buddy and I….
And thus The Inappropriate Starer was born.
Charming read! Aye, the gym is indeed an adventure riddled with all kinds of species. As for the fins bit, I bet that is build up even more resistence/also possibly training for dives. I am a bit of a dive-nut myself, and cramping is not too fun when you haven’t flippered in a while. I never thought to drag my flippers to the pool XD I’m an ocean swimmer. Thank you for the entertaining read, fabulously done!
I have met and I have been all types
I am the “What? It has only been 10 minutes? I’m going to die” type.
OMG, Anita! This is pretty much the most awesome comment, ever.
Haha whenever I’m on the treadmill, my eyes are glued to the “time elapsed” display. The digits seriously don’t change fast enough -.-”
This post reminds me of why I avoid the gym. I’d like to limit my interaction with these types of people as much as possible, thanks!
Love this. Would add the ‘gigglies’ the two girls that do nothing but giggle together. On the machines, on the floor talking to guys, even in classes for heavens sake. Will try and read some more of your stuff.
For myself it would be the women who put on heavy makeup and perfume BEFORE working out. I don’t know or care who they’re trying to meet or impress but just don’t stand near me where the smell of sweat and perfume mix together. YUCK.
Also I like to keep to myself, and the gym I frequent early in the morning has a really big treadmill area. When most or all of the machines are empty why, why, why do these unattractive, creepy looking, 40ish guys have to climb on the one next to me? I could tell that they want to have a conversation but I keep my head straight and my music up high.
I come to the gym to workout, leave me alone and go talk to the chick wearing too much makeup.
Great post. I try to go to the gym 3 times a week (but am lucky to go 1 time a week to play basketball). We used to have a testosterone-infused “grunter” at the gym who would lift 300+ pounds and scream with every repetition.
My doctor once told me it’s better to lift 10 – 15 pound weights than to blow out your shoulder (or knees) and go in for surgery!
I feel like we might go to the same gym.
My gym has sign up sheets for all the cardio equipment. You’re allowed to sign up for two 15-minute slots and can go over if no one is waiting. We have sign up sheet abusers who sign their names to a whole bunch of machines and then, when they see you looking at the sheet and notice that no one is running or whatever, they turn to you from their machine and say “oh, I signed my name, but you can use it,” like they are being such a nice guy for letting you use the machine that they signed up for. Because otherwise, they were going to use two at once.
Ohhhhh the gum chewers. That is my one BIGGEST pet peeve, it does not matter where they are chewing their gum. I suppose chewing gum is fine but must people snap it? This sound is like nails on a chalkboard to me! It is called chewing gum for a reason!
Did you perhaps forget:
8. The Non-attendee
Serial offenders who sign up for a one-year membership and then only attend once or twice. Naturally, they’re quite hard to spot. I used to fall into this category hence the first-hand knowledge about the species.
Thank you for your observations, insights and humour. I loved them. Kim*
Love it! You are spot on! These people are at every gym, no matter where you live. There’s a woman in my aerobics class that is 1-2 beats ahead of everyone else and I want to trip her every day of my life. WTF.
Im the type on the treadmill at 6am muttering to myself “why the fxxk are u here dude?? U should be in bed” …. Im pretty sure they have nicknamed me mr grumpy… You forgot to mention the cheery assed fitness instructors….hate em!!
Its been years since I went to the gym and i cannot think of a more anti-social past time except maybe civil war. It has got worse since the invention of IPods, MP3s, etc, etc… Why don’t these people go play a sport with other people, mix, interact a little maybe. If they are really shy, start off with a sport like squash or tennis or badminton (so there is only 1 person to interact with) and then move on to mid range multiplayer sports, (5-a-side, tennis doubles, bowls) before coming out completely and playing something like hockey, or soccer or ……….. Hey gym bunnies, exercise your mouths, minds and bodies.
I’ll be honest, I usually try not to get into threads like this, but I have to comment here. When did it become wrong to be introverted? Why does everything we do have to be social? I for one would be less motivated to train and exercise if it was always in a group. Exercise is my release. My time to think about everything and think about nothing. I relish being able to get away from everything (cell phone, computer, other people, etc) when I’m in the saddle or on the trails.
Some people may like exercising in groups or playing sports but saying it’s for everyone is wrong. Just like saying exercising is alone is for everyone. It’s okay to be introverted.
Aye, you’re right; I didn’t think I was saying it was wrong to exercise on your own. I do however, feel that society is becoming less and less social and the fact that people go to the gym and wear headphones is evidencing that for me. When you play team sports you can’t really wear headphones and still participate. When you are out on your bike do you ignore everyone you come across or do you say hi or give a nod or some form of acknowledgement? You’re on your own, exercising and still being sociable.
Really entertaining! I haven’t seen the fake fish people yet. I will have to look out for that. The strangest thing I have seen so far is someone jumping into the pool with feet fins.
Oh, the gym!
I haven’t gone to a gym ever, but my sister and I often walk by one and we can see all the different type of people you mentioned. One time we walked by and there was this guy with one of those balls, he was just laying there on the floor looking at the ceiling, that is the type of workout I like.
ohhh boy … what am I in for. I am in good physical strength form, but far from the hulk. I smoke like a trooper and figured the gym might help me slow down and build up the old stam-in-naaaaaaaaa. But after reading this ….. sounds like a circus lol. Great Blog – I Love It I will be doing the gym thing soon and expecting them all. Thanks for the heads up
These are some funny observations. I’ve also seen people work out in house shoes (or what look similar to crocs) and flip flops!
As a former swim team member, I do have to say I think those frog fingers are kind of cool. I think I would even try them out for a few exercises, but not swim with them the whole time.
Congrats ! Congrats!
Well deserved !!!
Thank you ;D
As a girl, one of the things that annoy me the most are the girls who come to the gym all primped up: cute little outfit on, perfectly done hair, make-up, etc. Why? I sweat as much as I can because I am there to work out, not to look good. It especially annoys me because those girls usually walk on the treadmill slowly to look like they are working out.
This happened more when I was at college than it does at the local Y.
Great post. It made me laugh. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
At least they pretend to exercise. I knew this one girl who would literally just walk around to every guy she could find and chatter up a storm! haha don’t they have websites for dating?
I think I’ve fallen into all of these categories at one time or another during my adult life. My favorite gym rats were guys at the Bally’s Total Fitness in Pasadena, California, who all wore black T-shirts that said “Torture Chamber” in Gothic script. The back of the shirts read: “If you don’t put in the work, no big T-shirt.” They all bench-pressed at least 315 pounds for reps; max-out reached 500 and bent the bar. Thanks for reminding me about these guys; I’m going to write about the Torture Chamber guys on my next post!
I haven’t been a long-time gym member for several years, but when I was there was one thing that I always found confusing. Women who wear make-up and have perfect hair when they go to the gym. And they do their best to maintain both as perfect as possible. Why??? You’re at a gym. You’re supposed to sweat and get all mussy from the exercise! And yet I can guarantee you will always find at least one woman like that in every gym.
Bahhrhahahaahah great post, had me in laughing out loud.
The Germ Spreaders – they are sniffling and sneezing, and should just stay home, but instead, they opt for sharing at the gym!
I have given up the gym for cycling on the road and skiing in winter – far fewer colds and flus!
Overly sweaty guy who doesn’t clean off the equipment when he’s done.
I avoid gyms at all cost. I’d rather chase my cats up and down the stairs or go jump rope with a 7 year old.
Great post, pretty much spot on, I am sure I have fallen into a few of those categories a time or two,
A note on the fake fish, the frog fingers give you extra purchase in the water, you end up pulling more water with each stroke, increasing the resistance, its a good way to warm up for a distance swim, or to maximize your pool time on a short day.
Great post! Totally hilarious.
What I’ve noticed are the “Cardio Champs” who do nothing but run on the treadmill and other cardio exercises for their entire workout. I’ve got nothing against cardio, but at least change it up a little! I would get so bored if my entire work out routine consisted of running in a stationary position for 45 minutes while watching CNN. At least try to lift a weight or two every once in a while!
Bahaha! Hilarious. I just may have to think up my own ‘gym types’ for a poat on my blog now…
great post!!! absolutely hilarious!!
Great article, I’m over 50 and go to the gym 4/5 times a week, BUT I’m fairly sure I don’t fit any of the above, phew :)
So very funny and certain descriptions so very true, will have to look again tonight when I go to the gym
A great post, well done
Hahaha… the fake fish. I wonder about that back then and didn’t get the answer, you got me curious again. Very funny post by the way yet very true. I had fun reading! :)
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Reblogged this on strutdogg and commented:
every one of these stereotypes hit the nail right on the head
You forgot the guys (like me) who are making everyone irritated by lowering the load while everyone else is strong enough to pull 10 times as much ;-p Good job!
Congrats on being freshly pressed!
Haha this is great! I could imagine I’d probably be the one with the book/iPod – I can’t exercise for long without getting bored! :) your blog is really good !
Brilliant blog post and so true!! I’m going to be keeping an eye out for the ‘types’ in the gym tonight. That will stop me from being ‘The Bored’!!
So true, nice article, had a good laugh while reading. Thanks for posting!
Have to say, I can’t like this post, but congratulations on the Fresh Pressed. Your about page was lovely by the way. I go to the gym, but am not looking for anything I have lost over time, just want to hang on to the well being I still have. Couldn’t find a spot for me in the post, which is just as well! I see people trying to recover from heart attacks or avoid them, look good so girls or boys will notice them, or just have an interest in their health. Perhaps a post about all those who should go to the gym and how they should behave when they get there?
This is HILARIOUS!!!!
Ah I loved this post!
I tend to go to the gym on a weekend evening if I’m not going out because there are less of the douchey pretend gym goers there around then but mainly I’ve given up with the gym and prefer to go to spin classes instead. Everyone gets their own bike, its loud so no one has any conversations, you get told to work out hard core so no one is prancing around pretending to go to the gym when in fact they’re just loitering, weeds out majority of the above pests haha. It definitely beats going to the treadmills and seeing any of the above types of people around (the wannabe gym king is the worst kind in my opinion… I do not wish to make friends at the gym, that’s what pubs are for). I also hate going swimming when all the older women hover about at the edges of the pool having a mother’s meeting and swim one length in the space of the hour. That’s not swimming last time I looked it up in the dictionary… that’s just one communal bath is it not?! …Not cool lol :-P
Great post haha! Definitely made my morning! :)
Phew! I’m glad I don’t fit into any of those catagories!
Hilarious!! i have one more type to add to your list- The Preeners.- these guys will lift a weight and then go check their muscles in the mirror if they’ve become any larger and the cycle continues which results in half their time being spent in front of the mirror..:)
hahaha! right you are!
Hee hee – good observations ~ which is why I avoid the gym and just excercise in my own realm.
Great post! These are all things I notice when I go to the gym everyday…. I obviously have my own pet peeves about the place but won’t go into that here, it would become a huge rant.
Hahha. You just made me literally LOL. I just got home from the gym, so this was a welcome read this morning!!! My pet peeves about the gym include all of yours, but I also can’t stand the trophy girl! You know the type… the girl who wears a super cute little outfit, full makeup and hair done complete with perfume, and just stands around looking cute while her wanna be body builder boyfriend lifts. I just don’t understand… do you not have anything better to do with your time? Like, maybe, actually, oh I donno, workout? ;)
All so so true! My ex husband is a pro bodybuilder and I would always laugh so much about him and his buddies being knuckle dragging ape men because they would grunt and huff while pacing so much in order to psych themselves up for their next big lift. Still after all these years makes me roll my eyes and snicker a little to myself.
Tell your brother I need a picture of him in his jeans at the gym – for my website dedicated to it: JoggingJeans.com.
As a gym rat, I truly appreciate this post
the creepy guy- that decides to hop on the elliptical right next to you, when there are 12 others open,
the smelly guy– what did he eat 2 week old diapers that had been sitting in the sun and then roll through a broken down garbage truck?
the “im-faster/better/buffer” than you- that seems to be competing. Dude! Eff off..I’m just trying to dump enough calories so I can drink a beer or two later. lol
Omg this is funny!! So true ..
Emily… Gym Types is too funny and too true. If a team of sociologists studied Gym Types, they couldn’t come up with more accurate observations. I was a gymrat for many, many years, now I just run and cycle, with myself, my kids, my grandkids, and whoever else is bold enough to be seen in public with me. I also stuff my face. My daughter lovingly calls me “Fatboy.” She’s sooo funny. I write about running, cycling, and generally writing and goofing off at http://www.rite2run.wordpress.com Stop by anytime, and keep up the witty stuff.
Girls who come with a full face of makeup and jewelry and park themselves on a machine where they can best be seen… but barely workout.
I remember this elderly woman at our yoga class, years ago. She was really nice, but two other women were mad at her because she wasn’t doing the same exercise as the rest of us, she was doing only some of it, and the rest of the time she was doing what her doctor told her to. She was doing no harm, but those two women were so mean to her that she finally left. Too bad. Why can’t people mind their own business? (I know, this is not exactly gym, but I suppose there are such people in the gym too, being mad at you for not doing what they think you should be doing)
As for those fins, they look fun. I’ve never tried them, but swimming fast can feel physically great and is a lot of fun, so maybe some of them are doing it because they enjoy it?
I’m soooooooooo familiar with ALL these types at my gym! It’s RIDICULOUSLY annoying at times, thought I forgive most of the girls since they are so cute lol.
What bothers me most are those arrogant, loud-mouthed grunters who attempt to put on a show that nobody cares to watch.
LOVED reading this… So true!!!
So true! I can add one more- my pet peeve is the person who competes with you while running on the treadmill- they have one eye on running, the other on your screen!
Congrats on being freshly pressed!
HAHA! I see you touched on the douche, but you forgot the Super-Douche. The guy who puts his keys-on-a-lanyard on the weight bench, his sweatshirt on the leg crunch thing, and his spare running shoes on some other odd contraption to keep them all “occupied” while he does frog jumps over large boxes. I hate that Super-Douche.
Just got back from the gym and this post made my day! I think I saw every single one of those offenders
Very funny post indeed – thank you! I would add the ‘wannabe pros’ to your list – kitted out in all the latest running gear and expensive trainers, but don’t really seem to break a sweat.
I signed up to the gym about a month ago due to high blood pressure and wanting the discipline to lose weight. I didn’t really notice any of these types as I only went a few times (Lack of money, it wasn’t not wanting to go!), but I can totally imagine them all. I’m probably a combination of The Pacer and The Coerced to be fair.
LOL…love this topic. Perhaps this chick falls into your “douche” category, but I swear she does her hair and make-up just before coming. I have to try not to look at her so I don’t punch her in the face, because I have yet to see her wear a pony tail. She seems to prefer her long curled tresses falling down her barely sweaty chest so when she bends over…?!? Seriously. I probably fall into the Douche category, so she needs one of her own. How about the “Miss America Beauty Contestant” category? I bet her farts smell like blueberries.
Love the post! Except my gym doesn’t have have the Friend Makers (and I am relieved) because going to the gym is how I stay in my bubble and destress. Although I’ve resorted to doing workouts at home now and the gym is only useful for the rowing machine.
My pet peeves are people on cell phones and man, do they talk loud! I usually can hear them through my music. I usually just observe the Pacers and wonder if what they are trying to achieve at the gym.
Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
LOVE this. I will mos def keep this in mind when I visit the gym. I wonder what type I am? :)
[…] know how I feel about the gym. Unless I can get a good blog post out of it, it’s dead to me. So physical fitness is not exactly high on my priority list. But […]