Monday, June 2, 2008

Let's talk about the gym

I spend a good 5-8 hours per week at the gym. I don't say this in order to get any kind of reaction because anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much eat like crap (I'm 28 and I really like candy. What.) and effectively counter act all the so-called work I do at the gym. I say this because that 5-8 hours is a weird combination of isolation and pretty much complete sensory overload. On the one hand, I have my head phones on/in and so does pretty much everyone else so there's not a lot of normal person-to-person interaction. And yet on the other hand, there's about a billion people at the gym when I'm typically there (5pm-ish) which is about a billion more people than I typically see during the rest of my week which is mostly spent in my office or at home. With all that said, I can't help but make some observations as I silently tap my fingers to Nineteen by Tegan & Sara on repeat while on the stair climber ...

Let's talk about the guys that wear those tight fitting Under Armour shirts. I mean, you dudes would pretty much rather be naked, right? If you could attend the gym in just your skivies in order to show off every inch of each bicep, tricep and pec, how happy would you be? They should have a clothes-optional gym just for these cats.

Let's talk about the people that really really use the mirrors. I think the main idea behind the full length mirrors is so that you can check your form on your given exercise. I don't think they're intended for you to check your complexion from 2 inches away. Do you know I can see you examining your face as though you're checking your sunglasses for scratches?

Let's talk about the ladies that wear their sunglasses all the way up until they get on their cardio machine of choice and sometimes even wait 'til they get it rolling. Are you hung over? It's not THAT well lit in here. Don't wear your glasses through the gym, all the way up the stairs and right up through choosing your speed on the treadmill. You look weird.

Let's talk about the dudes that don't wash their hands after using the restroom. Do I really need to say more here? Just cuz you're sweating doesn't mean I'm interested in sharing a barbell with your dirty friggin' hands.

Let's talk about the people that lock their arms on the stair climber. Or the people that get on the treadmill, set the incline to 99% and then pretend like they're water skiing? Isn't the idea of these cardio machines to imitate an actual exercise that you'd do outside while NOT on a machine? If so, I've yet to see a set of stairs where the guard rail moves and you can just hang on while moving your feet up and down. And I've never seen a running path or a hills course with a rope pull. Take your hands off those rails every once in a while.

Let's talk about the dudes that drop their 100 pound-plus free weights after a set. First of all, it scares the crap out of me. Second of all, you seem to be strong since you just did a nice little 10-rep set with those weights. How 'bout you continue your strength training by nicely lowering those weights to the ground before letting go?

Let's talk about people that are wayyyyyy too into their music while on the stair climber. This one guy at my gym pretty much has choreographed routines that he executes while virtually climbing 50 floors. First of all, props. You clearly have some coordination, dude. Second of all, though, come on, man. We're all just trying to get in, sweat our asses off in public while also somehow not reaking and get out. Do you have to make everyone around you uncomfortable?

Let's talk about the really really fit females that wear those spandex pants that also have belt loops. Really pronounced belt loops. But then they don't wear a belt. Where do they get those pants? And then why don't they wear a belt? Also, did they get first and then feel as though they earned the right to wear the pants? Or did the pants somehow give them the 'juv they need to take their fitness to the next level?

Let's talk about how absolutely none of the spinning class instructors appear on the surface to be in good shape. It's as though they permanently wear their Clark Kent sunglasses even while they're virtually going Superman as they spin like mad on max resistance for 2-4 hours a day. I honestly have yet to see a spinning instructor where you'd point at them in the mall and say "I bet he/she is a spinning instructor". Can't be a coincidence. What's going on here?

And finally, let's talk about listening to funny podcasts while working out. This is a personal problem (and a new one) for me. What can I say? I find Adam Carolla's rants to be really really amusing and I can't help but smile. And yet I feel compelled to sort of duck my head down and try to hide my smile. I guess my worry is that someone will see me snickering and think I'm snickering at them and/or inexplicably laughing at Nineteen by Tegan & Sara on repeat. Which would in turn be as weird as wearing my sunglasses way too long ... or wearing belt loop pants with no belt ... or choreographing my stair climbing. And I don't want to be that guy.

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sealionwoman said...

You know...I've been contemplating a gym membership...the equipment at our apartment complex "fitness center" consists of one of those you get off the infomercial where they are all controlled by one pulley. Can't be ideal.

This blurb, however, has made me reconsider. And laugh.

Anonymous said...

I see you mentioned the tight shirt guys, but you left out the no shirt guys. Are there none at your gym?

Like the hairy, hedgehog looking, sweaty and a little fat like they need two memberships shirtless guy. None of 'em?

You're a lucky man, Luke!

Ando said...

Let's talk about the dudes who, somehow, have nothing else to do besides hang out at the gym, ON ONE PARTICULAR MACHINE (usually the bench press), for hours on end. What do these guys do for a living? Anything? How can anyone who doesn't actually work at a gym hang out at a gym for THAT long. And do they think they're actually getting a workout? Sweat is not involved...and resting for 20 minutes in between sets isn't exactly burning fat or tiring your muscles out. These guys also always seem to have odd gym friendships with the random older chick who is kinda in shape but really shouldn't be wearing what she's wearing. Eff these guys. I wanna use that bench.