People Watching at the Gym
We’re coming up on beach season (not to mention the ongoing wedding season), so the people who survived theirNew Years Resolutionsare probably trying to make the most of their gym time to look and feel their best. So if you are like me, you run into an assortment of people, and they mostly fall into one of a few categories. Since people watching is a fun pastime, let’s take a look.
The Speed "Lifter"
You can substitute the word “runner” or “biker” if you like, but the point is: this person is all about the speed.
There are a couple minor details that change between them, but the speed thing isn’t a testament to hard work; rather it’s a testament to the lack of it. You know who I’m talking about. That person who spends 15 minutes total doing physical exercise. They’re not hurting anyone, of course, but what’s the point? Just stay home and do some activity there, rather than waste the gas it took to drive here. Bonus points if the person spends more time walking around aimlessly, talking to people who are actually working out, or taking gym selfies.
Person Who Uses the Equipment Incorrectly
I have mixed feelings about this person. They’re not always a problem: as long as they are out of the way, or using a machine that’s not hotly contested, more power to them. Although sometimes they look like an injury waiting to happen so I do feel bad for them. That being said, the people who go all in on something dead wrong with a popular machine or station are a pain in the ass. We’ve allseen the videos,and some of these cases are definitely good for a laugh, but when they put themselves or others at risk for serious injury it’s a problem. One of my favorite instances of this person I saw just a few weeks ago. The scene: a woman doing her leg workout, using the Smith Machine (Pictured here). This is fine, assuming you’re doing squats, lunges, calf raises, etc.. But she was using it in the most peculiar fashion. That is, she was laying on the floor, with bare feet, essentially doing leg presses. Why? Use the leg press or hack squat machine for that!
Person Who Kicks Ass at the Gym
It’s not all negative (or comedic). There are plenty of people who show up and straight up kick ass at their workout. No nonsense, no small talk (small talk is fine as long as you aren’t interfering with someone), no breaks. This person often has headphones on and is a nonstop lifting dynamo. I have a ton of respect for them.
Guy Who Tries to Hit on Every Girl in Sight
This dude is the worst. There’s nothing wrong with flirting at the gym if that’s your thing, just make sure the person you’re flirting with is down to flirt back. The guy I’m talking about (you can picture him as you read this) is a jerk who’s going to do his thing whether you like it or not. He makes no secret about it either, as he bounces from target to target, disregarding every hint, subtle or not. He’s basically these guys
He even hits on women from the previous category that has headphones in, which is almost beyond belief. One day I hope to see her crack him upside the head and keep lifting.
Girl Who Does the “Toning Circuit”
Bear with me everyone, I’m not knocking people who are in the gym just to get/stay healthy and fit. I’m talking specifically about the subclass of girls who look like they’re auditioning for a leading role in a strip club. Scantily clad, suggestive “exercises”, curious choice of lifting locations. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s funny when you see who gets caught up in the show (we’ve all gotten caught up in the show), but it’s not really the ideal location for all that. Also, somehow Aggressive Flirting Guy and Toning Girl rarely seem to be there at the same time, like some sort of weird Fight Club trade-off system.
No not like an actual professional competitive lifter (although they can be part of this class). I mean someone who shows up to do their thing. They can be expert or amateur, they can be quiet or social, the point is they are a step below the true believers like the Kick Ass gym goer, but more serious than the clowns in the other sections. Hopefully your gym mostly has these people, since they’re your average person who is serious about working out.
Guy Who Gives Clearly Incorrect Lifting Tips
This guy. He’s sneaky dangerous, because if you’re an amateur trying to learn and improve the right way, you’re susceptible to him. He comes in many different forms: the kindly father figure, the jacked guy who you figure had to know his stuff to get there, the guy who is suspiciously doing no lifting himself but has a lot to say on the topic. There are some legitimately knowledgeable, helpful people you’ll meet at the gym, but you should be wary of the ones who aren’t or you’re sure to hurt something.
Bonus: The Guy Who Needs the Equipment You Are Using
It’s inevitable if you are at the gym during a busy time that someone will probably ask when you’ll be done, which is fine as long as everyone follows gym etiquette. That person should be courteous when asking, you should be courteous and finish up as fast as you can within the constraints of your workout. I stumbled on a rare case just the other day, where someone came up and asked insistently to use the rack I was on a couple of times, despite my telling him how much longer I would need it, and reassuring him I would come tell him when he could have it. I even cut my last set just to get it over with. He promptly revealed himself as a hybrid class of gym guy, spending the next ten minutes hitting on a woman who was trying to finish her workout and he then did one light set and left. Fuck that guy.