posted on June 12, 2011 23:17
Oh, the things you will see at the gym if you stick with it for a while. A social studies class will unfold before your eyes, and its subject matter will be as diverse as the flavor-of-the-month fat-burn fads and diets being discussed by fat people not exercising.
The female regulars are fascinating. They promenade to the treadmills and elliptical machines, gently padding their brows with soft, color-coordinated towels, wearing those blessed yoga pants...
We forgive you, but there is no way that all of your asses are that hale and hearty.
But regardless of the garb you sport, as I understand it, men are not even supposed to be looking. No matter how you bounce, or saunter, or stretch, or bend, or how you switch your sexy hips back and forth.
We get it. You’re there to work out. Whatever.
Beyond that gentle jab taken mostly out of the sexual frustration men are forced to endure, I will leave them alone. Hell, they’re pretty much the only reason men exercise in the first place. Safe to say we covet their being at the gym at all. Get a few perusing about and – I swear to God – I get ten percent more weight up on everything I do. I stay longer, too. Maybe get the leg work in I might have otherwise skipped.
But today I want to focus on the guys. And not just any guys, but the guys we must take special care to not become as we embark upon the temperamental world of fitness.
Take a stroll with me into the locker room of suck.
The Diva. You sexy, bitch, you. Your hair, molded with the precision of a wedding ice sculpture. Your skin, bronzed to perfection, as if the Grecian sun paid homage to your every repetition. Your scent, fully accounted for, via whatever aerosol body spray personified your sweet swagger that day. For the gym is your place to shine. And you will not be stopped.
But you should be.
You look, and smell, like a jackass. And, frankly, if you are a straight man without any tropical destination on the near horizon, you should not be tanning.
The man-children of Jersey Shore are not cool. They weren't even intended to represent that which is considered cool. They were a spectacle fabricated to be mocked for the entertainment value of those existing in reality, as opposed to reality shows.
Cool equals calm and self-assured, nonchalant…perhaps even a bit indifferent. The effort you are putting into your appearance suggests that you are anything but these things...that you have identified the gym – not as the place to get your fitness shit done so that you can have an enhanced, healthily-supplemented, well-rounded life – but as the core of your very existence.
Which is just sad.
The Socialite. For shits sake, do you ever shut up? Do I even know you? Honestly, anyone who talks as much to strangers as you do I pretty much assume is trying to sell me Amway or something.
Suffice to say that your mouth is the fittest part of your entire body, and that you could stand to focus your energy elsewhere…which I might have suggested had I wanted to talk to you.
Cues that I do not wish to continue extraneous conversation may include, but are not necessarily limited to:
1. Not responding to you with recognizable words, instead opting for nods and grunts
2. Repeatedly attempting to reinsert my ear buds mid-conversation
3. Aloofly walking away
Look, nobody wants to hurt your feelings because hurting peoples’ feelings sucks. But if you don’t take your one-way conversation elsewhere, I am going to embarrass us both.
Better yet, go talk to The Diva. The Diva could use a friend.
The Neanderthal a.k.a.The Grunter. Seriously, and I know I have said this before; you have got to breathe when lifting. But if your method of breathing requires you to bellow out like you’re trying to coax Leviathan from your bowels, then you, sir, are either lifting too much weight or taking the whole thing way too fucking seriously.
I can hear the meatheads now…
“I can’t help it, brah! I get into it, brah! I’m getting’ jacked/swoll/yoked/etc, braaaahhhh!”
You’re at fucking Club Fitness, brah. You need to settle down.
Personal Trainer Guy Who Isn’t Actually A Personal Trainer. There is a saying that those who can’t do, teach. Sadly, this is often the case. Those who can are often busy doing.
Still, you have got to admire this guy. So much enthusiasm…so inspired…brimming with knowledge that he is eager to share.
His heart is in the right place. Unfortunately, there are only two scenarios in which case unsolicited workout tips are acceptable:
1. You see someone clearly frustrated, visibly and obviously struggling with a particular machine or motion that you are familiar
2. You see someone endangering themselves or others around them
That is it. Otherwise, you simply must curb your enthusiasm and carryon on the solo tip.
Slider, You Stink. And so, from The Diva, we now come full-circle.
You are going to the gym to sweat. And you are already a bit ripe from a long day. Showering beforehand would be impractical, right?
In theory, yes...yes, it would be.
Yet, while you have had the entire day to grow accustomed to the stench emerging from your bacteria-laden pits, the rest of us have not. The thought alone of someone with hygiene as poor as yours touching the same dumbbells, barbells and doorknobs as the rest of us is disgusting and possibly threatening to the immune systems of those just reading this.
The bottom line is that there is no indoor, public setting whatsoever where others should be forced to smell your funk. Ever. This goes for hippies, too. Patchouli is not an acceptable substitute for cleanliness.
To my less odiferous fitness connoisseurs, it is your duty to thwart such offenders by speaking up. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but you damn sure don’t have to be a pussy about it either. The fact that a person might be offended by another person mentioning that said person’s offensive odor is offensive is ridiculous.
We all have the right to be comfortable at the gym.
And that’s what this is all about, isn’t it? Being comfortable enough to do what you need to do so that you can live the best life possible? It is hard enough to be healthy and fit without making it harder for one another.
So consider your actions and be a positive (or neutral) factor for the good people around you, and try your best to not creep out the hot girls. Contrary to the d-bag in the winter stocking cap gawking at his own glistening, hairless calves, that’s what the mirrors are for.
Justin Adams is a writer and certified personal trainer. Follow him on Twitter @Intangiball or send your questions, comments, training inquiries or general talk of smack to firstname.lastname@example.org. He welcomes it. Like your mother welcomes him home with a hot plate.