Those gym types! (Pretty funny!)
Newsletter from www.wannabebig.com
People You Love to Hate at The Gym
I was watching a Seinfeld re-run the other night. It was the episode where George urinates while showering at the gym and gets caught, and it got me to thinking about all the moronic things people do at the gym. I'm sure 90% of them mean well and just don't know any better, and that the other 10% actually enjoy what they do. But that's beside the point-all of them annoy.
In each and every gym around the world there are a variety of "colorful" types who irritate their fellow gym patrons while they exercise. They show up like the common cold and, sooner or later, you're bound to come into contact with one and will need to apply the appropriate remedy.
I've compiled a short list of some of these bothersome characters.
Character: Spandex Man.
Super villian to all hetrosexual men, these 'men in tights' are often found parading around the gym and moving from one exercise machine to another while displaying their material. Their workout attire is, basically, a Peter Pan outfit which often includes a matching workout towel and headband. At one time in history, wearing tights indicated nobility and status; nowadays, however, it's a major fashion faux pas. Imagine, if you will, a one-piece spandex suit with an open top worn with a t-shirt, spandex worn with boots, spandex with a tank top and so on. Men are supposed to be manly, grunting grabbing, rearranging dropping, breaking, cursing and wear pants, not spandex or, worse yet, short shorts. If they're into some sort of fetish, then the spandex should be worn in the comfort of home, underneath workout shorts or in bed-not in the gym.
Remedy: Nothing would please me more than handing out atomic wedgies to every Spandex Man I come across, but current laws restrain me. Unfortunately, there's no remedy. . .yet. All we can do is close our eyes, grit our teeth, and lift.
Character: Mr/Ms Bad Advice.
These "lawsuit in the making" folks can be found anywhere on the gym premises-in the showers, the locker room, on the cardio equipment, in the free weight section or on the stretching mats. Their advice is like bad breath. You know it stinks the minute you hear it, and their physiques usually mirror their advice. It's true; a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Remedy: A guru terminology attack tends to throw them off guard. For example, if Mr/Ms Bad Advice approaches you and says," you shouldn't be squatting that low, you know, it's bad for the knees." A simple reply would be something like, "Actually, the linear angle in which the velocity of torque at the patella bone requires the medial upper quadrant of the hamstring to contract at a velocity equal to quadriceps, stabilizies the knee joint and lowers the risk." In other words, get lost.
Character: Babble Mouth.
If there's one thing that can really screw up a workout it's a loud mouth. Five reps into your set and they're still chirping away, unable to see that you're busy and concentrating. This is where it can get a tad nasty. Manners and gym etiquette evaporate and the urge to plant one's fist upon their lips is almost unbearable.
Remedy: While the traditional advice is to wear headphones, I've found unmannerly conduct is the most effective way to overcome this scourge of the gym. Playing deaf or walking away while they're in mid-conversation usually does the trick. Or you could put on your most intimidating pre-workout "game" face before you set foot in the gym. Of course, if you feel that this is downright rude, then do the above but follow through by explaining that your time is limited and you must press on with your workout.
Character: The Dumb-ass.
This half-wit tends to spend the majority of his/her time asking the same question 20 different ways.
Remedy: Usually they're looking for the answer they want to hear and often you know what that is. So, give it to them and move on, regardless of whether it fuels the flames of misconception. Nothing should be allowed to stand in the way of your workout, even if it means handing out a little misinformation.
Character: Larry Lat Syndrome.
This "it's all in his mind" character is easy to spot. With his lats flared and his chest out he roams the bench press and dumbbell rack pumping out biceps curls all the while yelling "light weight, light weight."
Remedy: Occupy the bench or machine next to him and outlift him using slow and deliberately controlled movements. In some cases he may even welcome the challenge and attempt to lift more. He will either injure himself or be publicly put to shame while hurting himself in the process. One way or another he loses, and you lose him.
This character is commonly seen on the Smith machine performing squats and at the bench press doing forced reps with the help of a willing gym patron.
Remedy: Be in the vicinity of this individual when he asks for another spot. Proceed to make him lift the weight all the way through the proper range of motion. For example, for some time I have spotted one gym fellow on the bench press, and it has come to the point where I do not feel like adding another deadlifting session to my workout program. One day, when it came time to spot him, I simply made him lift the weight. At this point he was not impressed, but I explained that it's futile to have someone else to lift a weight and then expect a result from it. A spotter is there to ensure that the weight is lifted not to lift the weight for 4 or 5 reps. Hopefully a light will have come on in their head after this practical lesson.
Character: Belt Man.
This species relies on the help of their weight lifting belts while doing seated biceps curls, triceps press downs and/or any other exercise they do in the gym. It would seem that Belt Man's kryptonite is hidden in his belt.
Remedy: Steal his belt.
Character: Stinky. Need I say more?
Remedy: Someone needs to tell them they stink. That's when a gym trainer comes in handy. Not only are most gym trainers great for dishing out lame advice, but they are a great go-to resource when you have to deal with Mr/Ms stinky pants. I like to call it pay-back for all that hot air I had to endure when I was l squatting 400 plus pounds. . .without a belt.
Character: The Corny Trainer.
They're the Anthony Robbins of motivation and you'll often hear them vocalizing to their clients during their working set - "that's it, one more rep, you got it, come on, I know you can do it, oh yeah! Way to go! You see? You did it, I'm proud of you." Now I'm all for motivation but that's just going overboard because there's no reason why you should have to baby your client with comments that a 10-year-old would find patronizing. A simple, "good job," would suffice.
Remedy: Sad to say, it's a lost cause; trainers will be silly.
When all is said and done, these characters will always be around. However, knowing who they are is half the battle. So, now that I've identified some of these characters it's up to you to deal with them.