Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Gym: Deconstructed

Last night was my first night back to the gym. The 4 months that I trained for the marathon, I used running as an excuse to NOT go to the gym. As I do with running, I also have a love/hate relationship with the gym.

I LOVE lifting weights and doing cardio besides running and all the other "gym things." I actually worked at a gym for 5 years, which perhaps contributed to the HATE part. The thing that irritates me the most is that there are OTHER PEOPLE there too. If I could just have the gym all to myself, it would be perfect. Or even just some free weights, maybe a bike or Precor, oh and a sauna and jacuzzi.

Anyway, back to the OTHER PEOPLE. I was observing them last night and I have a feeling that most gyms have similar "annoyances." Let's walk though some of the basics and perhaps some of the more unique:

FRAT BOYS - These young fellows are commonly found in the free weight section, typically lifting dumbbells improperly and staring uncomfortably at your breasts while you do lat pull downs. Easily identified by their "Delta Delta Delta Beer Bong Bash 2006" T-Shirt.

STEROID GUY - Easily identified by his unnatural ginormous muscles, back acne that seeps through his too-small tank top and loud grunting noises/weights banging on the ground. Steer clear of him, don't ask to 'work in' and don't fill up your water bottle at the drinking fountain if he is waiting in line. He doesn't just look mean - he is mean and might snap at any minute(blame it on the juice).

SORORITY GIRLS - These gals usually linger in the cardio room. You will typically find them on the PRECOR machine on level 1 with their US Weekly magazine. Their short shorts tend to have "Juicy" or something similar sprawled across the butt and I've noticed a resurgence of knee high socks. They workout in pairs and TALK loudly to each other about Jacobs party last night and how Lisa is a total whore.

P.S.N. - Also known as Plastic Surgery Nightmare. These are very common in Newport Beach, but can be found in most big cities these days. Not really fond of the treadmill due to too much bouncing, they usually stick to the bikes or aerobics rooms. Even though they are at the gym for 1.5 hours, they leave with not a drip of sweat on them. The protruding cheek bones, swollen lips, fake blue contacts, dyed blond hair extensions, full make up, perfectly carved abs and extremely large 'pectorals' will cause all heads to turn. Some heads will turn in interest, some will turn in curiosity but all will be unsure whether she is pretty or pretty creepy.

NIGHT CLUB GUY- (Or Wanna-Be) These are also common in Newport Beach and are easily identified once you know what you're looking for. Generally a decent looking breed with muscles. Tattoos and spiky hair, probably an "Affliction" T-shirt. Dark circles under eyes from partying the night before, probably has a stuffy nose from the night before, too. They are very important and will want you to know how important they are by answering their 30 phones while on their 20 minute cardio session.

COUGARS - Cougars exist all over the world, however they seem to flourish in the OC area. They are not easily identified because you can not usually guess their age. These women are often in the gym because their bodies totally rock and you can tell ALOT of work has been put into getting those skinny triceps muscles to pop. You might find yourself not only jealous of her body, but also her couture wardrobe, her young model boyfriend and slick new Range Rover/Mercedes/Lexus. However, although her body is hot, she really should not wear that white mini skirt because, well she is 55 years old.

There are a few more, perhaps we can talk about later.
* 80's Rocker Chick
* Fat Personal Trainer Girl or Guy (my all time fav)
* Personal Trainer who smokes behind the building and thinks nobody can smell it Guy.
* Sweaty guy who doesn't use towel
* Forgot-To-Use Deodorant Guy
* Cell Phone Talking Person

This is all just in good fun. I am not generalizing people - I was simply describing SPECIFIC people that saw last night. Maybe my PMS made everyone seem more annoying than they really were, but probably not. They're just irritating.

Did I miss any???

Song of the Day: Shake That (feat. Nate Dogg) by Eminem


Nancy said...

I think I recognize some of those people. I used to work in retail so I pretty much hated everyone, I'm slowly coming down off that :D but sometimes people do still annoy me. My personal annoyance is personal trainer guy who inserts himself into everyone else's business because he is the 'expert' - he creeps me out.

I don't think I am represented here, chubby mom trying to unleash runnerbody and thinks she has a prayer of doing this? :D

Ian said...

Nice Post! I was always annoyed by the I'm-using-that guy. You know the one who's working through a circuit of machines and doesn't want anyone else using the machines until all his reps are done.

Sarah Jo Austin said... really nailed down those descriptions! I would add one thing to the frat guys description (and it probably applies to others, too)--finishes a set of reps, then stares at himself in the mirror for three minutes before doing another set. Doesn't have the courtesy to get off the machine while he isn't using it said three minutes.

Love your blog!

My Life said...


The two types I loathe are *The Working Out to Pick-Up Guy* and *The I'll use This Cardio Machine For As Long As I Want Because None Of You All Matter Girl.*

The Cougar and P.S.N.s - forgot about those. We lived in Monarch Beach for a bit in 2002 and our gym there was a glossed up, glammed up, lipsticked up side-show.

RunnerGirl said...

Gotta love the Cougars!

Unknown said...

Perhaps it's because I work out in the early morning, but fortunately we don't have many of those types. But every once in a while we'll get someone -- I hate to say it but it's typically a woman -- who will pick up some weights and do a couple of REALLY fast reps (not using proper form, of course), put them down and call it a day. There was one woman who actually interrupted our cardio class to do that! (It would be one thing if she were to join the class, but she'd just go in the back of the room to perform her "exercises." Fortunately the instructor finally booted her out!)

Jess said...

The population missing from your post but very present here in South Florida is the elderly. I'll paint you a small picture: frail, dainty boned retirees in khakis and keds on the treadmill going .6 miles an hour while they watch CNN on the overhead TVs. That, or they're positioned near the cafeteria -- that all gyms now seems to have -- sipping coffee.

I don't want to be the one to break their hearts to inform them that they can sit in front of Starbucks every day for much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

You got a Haiku
I could never forget you
Check day twenty-two


SoberMommie said...

You totally hit it on the head! I go to the gym at lunch a few times a week and see ALL of these people there. I agree, it does get worse later in the evening. I seem to get those guys that jump on the treadmill next to me and try to chat. I just point to my headphones and say "I can't hear you!" I know, I know...what a biatch! Well -- I am there to work sweat as much as possible...not chat about that day!
Thanks for posting this....totally made my morning =)

Gotta Run..... said...

Love your gym list. We recently went from training at the local YMCA to a Sports Club and I am getting a kick out of the difference in people from one to the other.

What gets me going most...

**Fat Personal Trainer Girl or Guy **Cell Phone Talking Person

Be a role model and lose some weight!! Read the signs and leave the phone in the car!!!!

wow... I feel better now :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

Marcy said...

OMFG!!! HAHAHHAHAHA ROFLMAO! A most excellent post and the EXACT reason why this Momma does NOT go to a gym. I hate "other" people.

Laurel said...

Hahaha...I think we work out at the SAME gym! Southern Cali sounds VERY similar to Miami in a lot of ways!

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog, and it's really quite funny! You sure nailed it with those descriptions -I particularly liked the frat boy sorority girl ones.

zanne said...

i wouldn't know if you missed any -i hate the gym & avoid it at all costs, but that is one of the funniest posts i have read in a while!

Reluctant Runner said...

It's not PMS, P.O.M., hell is actually other people. Haven't been to a gym for a while but how about magazine-reading-guy, who works out for about 30 seconds, then reads a magazine for 5 minutes then goes to machine #2 to work out some more?

As for the cougars, I'm only 10 years from that. Now I have something to aspire to ... :-)

RunToTheFinish said...

Do you also have the women that look like men? I go to Gold's and some of them scare me!

akshaye said...

that was a great post! Every gym has all those characters. Um.. what about the people that actually do workout!

J said...

HA HA! OMG, I was totally cracking up! (and a little scared a description of me would come up...which it didn't). You are too funny!

Razz said...

Might I submit the "hangers on". Those are the ones that hang out with Steroid Guy. Maybe they're hoping to bulk up through their admiration of the juicer