Nearly every day for the past four weeks, I’ve been going to the gym. Even on days like yesterday, where I probably sweat more just walking to the gym than I actually do inside the gym, I will go.
While I go at nearly the same time every day, I’m in my own little iPod-induced, magazine-reading bubble for most of my workout. So I rarely, if ever, recognize people who work out with me on a regular basis. In fact, the only person I’ve recognized at my gym wasn’t a regular, but rather Judah Friedlander. He’s kind of hard to miss. And yes, he works out with his trucker hat and glasses.
I don’t notice the same people day after day, but I do notice the same types of people. So I present to you a Field Guide to fellow gym-goers:
The Equipment Hogs: You will forever hover around a piece of equipment that these creatures refuse to give up. They are determined to complete their 10 reps without any interruption. Unfamiliar with the terms “work-in,” they will sometimes mistake your impatience for affection, and therefore suffer constant disappointment.
The 30-Minute Rule Breakers: Similar to equipment hogs, these peak-hour visitors are best known for their cardio addiction. Unlike the equipment hogs, they are fully aware of their blatant violation of rules, and will direct a “death stare” as a defense mechanism toward any gym patron eager to point out their rule-breaking.
The Spectators: They stand around more than they actually work out. You can never be sure if they’re taking in the scenery, or just consider standing part of their workout routines. When they do seek out equipment, they spend as little time on it as possible, or are completely dumbfounded by how it works.
The Business Casual Lifters: Often found immediately after work hours (although I’ve seen one on a Sunday afternoon), these creatures inhabit the free weights in button-down shirts and slacks. Their busy lives inhibit them from changing into gym clothes. Pssh, running shorts are for losers.
The Male Ellipticalists: Appearing to be outside their natural environment, these rare creatures inhabit the elliptical machines, apparently more concerned about hard thighs and buttocks than big muscles. In most cases, they are overweight, gay, or both.
The Geriatric Cruisers: Older but still in halfway decent shape, these seniors will parade around the locker room without clothing, hoping to prey on men half their age. They have little to no success. Their mating rituals generally involve the sauna and steam room, so a safe distance should be kept when they enter these areas.
The Nudist Colonialists: Apparently not keen on decorum, these creatures seek the establishment of a nudist colony within the locker room. While they defy clothing, they do not always defy footwear – some wearing socks and high-top sneakers. They are often rotund, and have no regard for their fully-dressed collegaues.
This, of course, is a male-oriented version of the list. Your experience may differ. Beware of these creatures, but please… respect their habitat.