I used to be a gym rat: spinning before work, circuiting in my lunch hour, collapsing by dinner. Three years ago I jacked it in, but this week I’ve signed up again at my local gym and you know what? It doesn’t matter where the gym is, the same personalities turn up time and time again. Let’s take a look at the runners & riders…
1. Treadmill Trojan
You’re waiting for the treadmill. There are lines forming to use it. But Treadmill Trojan is onto his/her 14th mile and godammit, they’re going to run a marathon tonight! Hup hup! You might as well can it and use the rower instead.
2. Sweaty Betty
You know the guy (it normally is a guy): he lives to SWEAT. You know, I’m not against people sweating in a gym – you are supposed to be working out after all. But please clean it up and don’t leave it for me to sit in or grasp with both hands. Eugh.
3. Naked Lady
Look, just because I like the ladies doesn’t mean I want to see them all naked. I know, even I’m surprised at that sentence. But Naked Lady is a particular type of woman: she’s usually slim, tanned and likes to moisturise her legs slowly (in the buff) before drying her hair in the long mirror, swish, swish, swish. Stark naked. This is not normal behaviour.
4. Weight Jilters
You know the type: they gather half the weights in one corner, use them one at a time and then simply walk away, not replacing any of them back where they should be. I have been known to follow these people with a shaking fist and “Why I oughta…” slipping out of my mouth.
5. Grunting Guy
Grunting Guy exists to mark the air with his presence. “Eurrrgghhh!” he goes as he pushes an overhead, veins popping out the side of his head. “Aaarrrrggghhhh!” he expires as he pumps that bicep. Just be thankful you don’t have to have sex with him.
6. Freaky Older Guy
There is always one, you just wait. I didn’t spot him in my new gym until day four, but then there he was. Freaky Older Guy has been going to the gym for 487 years and he has the bizarre muscle tone to prove it. He is also normally perma-tanned and grizzly. Be afraid.
7. Phone Junkie
Some people come to the gym to work out. Some come to watch TV. Some come to read their favourite book on the treadmill. And then there is phone junkie who will no doubt be chatting about his/her week on the machine you’re desperate to use. Why wouldn’t you come to the gym to chat?
8. Fitness Expert
“I just thought I’d point out that you’re not squatting low enough – you need to extend your butt more.” There are some who come to the gym to give friendly advice. They are normally insurance guys who spend all day surfing gym sites with a burning desire to be a personal trainer. They never will be though because they are too creepy.
9. Preening Poser
These people like looking at themselves, shooting themselves winks and pistol hands. The gym has oodles of long mirrors and shiny lights. It stands to reason that Mr or Mrs Poser is going to love the gym – not so much the working out bit.
10. Considerate Guy/Gal
They come to the gym to lift some weights, run a couple of miles, cycle up a hill. They wipe the machines down after use, are happy to share and don’t take three hours to refill their water bottle. It’ll never catch on.