Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tales From the Gym

I enjoy going to gym and getting my 'swoll' on a few times a week. I’m lucky to be on a military base because we have a pretty good gym and it’s free to use. The only drawback is that I’m forced to share it with Army guys. Personally, when I go to the gym, I like to just keep my head down, do my workout and get out of there. Unfortunately, there are just too many characters in the gym. I just can’t help watch them sometimes. Here are some of the observations I’ve made over the years…

First, you have the guys that are there because they’re small and want to get bigger. The problem is, they get there and realize that they’re going to have to put in a lot of time and hard work. When they realize that they can’t just show up, lift a few weights and go home looking like Ah-nold, they give up.

Then you have the show-offs. They’ve got all the newest gym gear and they love to look at themselves in the mirror. Doesn’t matter if they’re big or not. They walk around like they own the place. These guys make me cringe because they always put on more weight than they can lift correctly and then they flail about like a contortionist just to squeeze out 3 reps. Then it’s back to the mirror to see how much bigger they’ve gotten in the last 5 minutes.

Perhaps the most annoying ones are the grunters. We’ve all seen – and heard – them. With ever single rep, they let out an animalistic “RRRAAHH!”. We’ve got a couple of these at our gym. I want to just go drop a 45 lb plate on their heads.

Another thing that cracks me up are the guys who work out in wifebeaters. Now, I love wifebeaters. I own several and wear them pretty much everyday. But they’re undershirts. You don’t wear them to work out at the gym. Guys who do this are trying desperately to look like tough guys. We get a lot of these on base.

You have your socializers. These guys don’t come to work out, they come to lift a few weights and spend the rest of the time talking to their buddies. One of my pet peeves is people who talk to me while I’m working out. When I’m there, I just want to focus on what I’m doing and get out of there. So if you ever see me in the gym, just nod hello and keep walking. I promise I won’t be offended. If you try to talk to me in the middle of a workout, I will be forced to thrash you.

The weight hog. This prick loves to grab all of the weights and hoard them for the duration of his workout. When you ask if he’s done with, say, the 25’s, he replies with a snarky “No, I’m using those”. What he means is, he will be using them eventually and doesn’t want anyone else to touch them until he’s finished. These guys are few and far between but they’re out there and they’re pricks.

It’s easy to see why many people start going to the gym with best of intentions but end up giving up after one or two visits. Someday I want to start my own gym so I can make the rules and force people to follow them. Then there will be no more of the people I described above. If I see some in a wifebeater, I’ll tell them to go home and change. If I hear someone grunt more than 3 times, I’ll tell them there’s a 3 grunt limit. If I see people talking for more than 2 minutes at a time, they get a warning. If it happens again, they’re out. And for the love of all things holy, if I see ANYONE hogging the weights, they will forever be “persona non grata” at my gym.


Rik

13 comments:

Ed Abbey said...

I've spent a fair time in a gym and I must say right on! Another group that really annoys me are the sweaters. I mean the ones who litterally leak water like a sprung fire hydrant. When they leave certain pieces of equipment, they leave behing butt shaped pools of sweat. Bring a towel!

In the gym at my former place of employment they had a radio and CD player so that you could brng your own music. I used it quite often if there wasn't anyone but me but sometimes there would be a room full of people already listening to the radio. In times like that, they were there first so I just dropped my CD and listened with them. However, occasionally some guy would come in, put his CD in without asking anyone, crank up the volume and listen to some gangster rap. Now if a room full of middle aged white men and women, it normally isn't the workout music of choice.

I picked up a new bowflex for $100 at a garage sale several years ago from one of the New Year's resolutions that lasted just a few days before turning into a contraption to hang laundry. Now I just stay home, listen to my own music, work in my own sweat, and don't have to worry about any of those things you mentioned.

Rik said...

ED - How could I forget the sweaters? They're disgusting. People who use the equipment and don't wipe them down should be slapped silly. I've gotten in the habit of using the sit-up mats upside down now since people don't wipe them down.

Rik

eThib said...

Hey, I work out in a wifebeater. So what if it's an undershirt? Methinks someone is a wee bit sensitive...How could you mention that and not the queers? These days you can't go to a gym in a decent sized town without being cruised. It happened again 2 weeks ago in Mobile. He followed me into the sauna, "rubbing" himself in there, then got a spot in the shower where he could "catch my eye" repeatedly. I ignored him, then turned him in as I was leaving. That's Mobile....don't even ASK about New Orleans...

Rik said...

e - Well, that kind of stuff just doesn't happen in an Army base fitness center. Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Ed Abbey said...

*Snorts* That just never gets old.

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

OMG Rik, how can you forget the GAYS!? The gym is their hang-out! Especially in the shower room haha!

I was a member of Mandarin Hotels Health Club back in Manila. I almost never made it to the work out scene, I just spend my nights in the sauna. Then I moved to my last flat in Manila, the one in my blog, the pic "Where I used to live". It has the tiniest gym, so didn't bother. I am lazy anyway, but they have a pool and a sauna (2 saunas separate for men and women), so I ended up there most of the times.

But I must confess, I not a gym person.

eThib said...

Sometimes, it's nice to go just for a soak, a steam, then a sauna...i.e. the "Jewish workout"

eThib said...

Sometimes it's nice to just go for a soak, a steam, and a sauna- i.e., the "Jewish workout"...

Anonymous said...

Arrgghhh,..I keep double posting!

schatzli said...

when I went back to athens I could not find the tel no of my gym so I tried google.
Oh dear , it was linked to some gay sites ;-)

anyway there is this girl at my gym whom I call LOLLYPOP HEAD, she either is anorexic or what such a skinny body with huge head.

Ihate those sweaty men who do not wipe the machines!!!!

DL said...

One thing with working out is you shouldn't stop but keep up the regular schedule. Our muscles tighten up as you start the regimen but they're (muscles) also elastic that they become loosed once you stopped working out. I used to work out in Manila and noticed how my arms became flabby when I stopped for a while. But the glow of my face when I was into gym was superb. You can see the great blood circulation going on that the inner health satisfaction transforms into beautiful skin.

Now, I wouldn't even look at the mirror. ha ha ha


The disgusting moment though when I was with gym in Manila was one of the guy was so loud that every stretch he made he was also releasing a huge loud breathe that you don't only hear the annoying Ahhh.. uhhh.. but smell the breathe.. That's probably the reason why there's not much attendees that time.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget those guys who ogles and make you uncomfortable. I just couldn't focus and I decided to quit.

Nam LaMore said...

i started going to the gym only a couple of years ago; before then, i enjoyed jogging along the beach cliff or on the beach itself.

my basic routine is not to socialize; i'm there for the workout, it's not a bar scene. i put on my headsets and tune out the world. my mp3 is loaded with lots of high-energy tunes (in a way, i am at the bars/clubs!). from years of jogging outdoors, i find that i spend most of my time on the treadmill, though i'll use the weights, eliptical cycles, etc just so i feel that i've got the full use of my gym membership .. i have got to stop 'faking' myself into thinking that i actually like the stairmaster.

and, yes, GYM = GAY CHURCH