There are many different reasons people join a gym. Mostly, members are looking to improve markers of health, wellness, and are just looking to better themselves overall through physical exercise. This post is not about the majority. This post is about those personalities you run into that take their own fitness on with a psychopathic intensity that would make most serial killers stop and say: "Hey, are you ok?" So, this is actually a public service message to get you to look at yourself in the mirror and, via deep self-introspective reflection, ask yourself: "Am I that guy?"
1. The Washed-Up Meathead- He may have played his last down in high school 30 years ago, but he is still training for the pros. Be careful when making eye contact with him because if you show even a mild amount of interest, it may start him off on a diatribe of all of the accolades he received during his sporting career. Take note how the exact same story can take on larger and larger significance as the events described grow to mythic proportions. Like how that touchdown pass in that state championship eventually turns into the game winning score. Then the story shifts to him having to throw the ball with his non-dominant arm because an asteroid hit the field and he had to launch the football around a giant flaming space rock while it was colliding with the Earth on the 50 yard line.
2. The Faux Trainer- With most of his exercising being done laying/standing on and a large inflatable exercise ball, this guy learned everything he knows from every fitness magazine on the shelf. No matter what exercise you are doing, he will loudly exclaim to you that you are doing it wrong. Then he will aggressively share with you why his results on his self-created exercise routine are better than your own results and why you need to start doing exactly what he is doing. When asked why he is not a trainer at the gym, the typical response is something to the extent of his methods putting the actual certified professional trainers out of a job and his staying out of the fitness industry is an act of kindness to everyone already involved. In reality, he is currently studying for his 20th attempt at a personal training exam.
3. The Over-Enthused Workout Lady- She is very easy to spot because she appears to be everywhere at once, doing every exercise, and using every piece of machinery in the gym. Her workouts will appear to be fueled by smiles and gallons of coffee. She is definitely the best person to talk to in regards to any group fitness classes offered at the club because she is enrolled in every single one of them. Be wary of her, though. As easy as she can be your greatest ally, she can just as easily be your greatest enemy. Question her methods or break any of the rules in her beloved fitness center and you will be marked for life.
4. The Contender- Regardless of there being a heavy bag, speed bag, or enough room to safely throw punches, this guy will storm into the gym, blast his favorite song on his iPod, establish a spot in front of the mirror, and have an imaginary world championship contest against his reflection. Always be on guard when he is in the gym. It is only a matter of time before an errant haymaker knocks someone off a circuit machine or until he get so "in the zone" that he mistakes you as his pretend opponent in his make-believe boxing ring.
5. The Miscellaneous- Always with a clear view of himself in the mirror, you can spot the misc’er by him wearing a shirt with the least amount of sleeves possible. Stuck in some strange in-between nexus, this club member will never quite decide exactly what it is they are doing at the gym. One day, he will be talking about calorie counts, "cutting" weight, and bodybuilding. The next, he will speak of cheeseburgers, "bulking" up, and strength training. The only constants with this individual is that he will be angry all the time, will finish every workout with bicep curls, and will have mixtures inside his protein shaker that would confuse most old world alchemists.
By: Mike Hedlesky, MS, CSC, CF-L1, USAW.
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