Saturday, 13 March 2010
I go to a college that charges a $10 fee to use the gym. We have two Nautilus circuits and treadmills, elliptical, and the like. After going for a year and running on the same treadmill, I’ve compiled a list of some of the various types of people you see at the gym.
1. He-Man and She-Ra
These men and women are at the gym to work, and nothing else. They’re the ones who tend to go for free weights because they incorporate more muscle groups than machines do. They are either ripped beyond belief or well on their way to becoming it. He-Man wears ripped shirts or serious workout gear, and She-Ra opts for either a ripped shirt and sports bra or just a sports bra. Not that it matters, you could cut a diamond on her abs. These are the ladies and gentlemen whose faces stay contorted in all sorts of expressions of mainly strain, and they aren’t afraid to grunt or breathe heavily when the going gets tough. After their workouts are complete they like to exchange sweaty, shaky hugs and stumble out of the place like they’ve just survived a Saw movie.
2. Average Joe and Average Jane
I fall into this category. These are the people who are working toward a fitness goal or maintaining one that doesn’t give them night terrors. Crossfit is a foreign concept, but Joe and Jane can run at a decent pace and their doctor isn’t dropping any more hints about laying off the sweets. They know their way around the gym and have been exercising for awhile, but aren’t drawing attention to themselves or trying to one-up the guy lifting weights beside them. Their Wii Fit “actual” age is pretty damn close to their biological age. Most importantly, they’ve been going long enough to know which machines are cursed by Satan and don’t work properly.
3. The Biggest Loser
While it is in no way meant as an insult, the Biggest Loser is...well, big. Really big. And usually morbidly obese. They are the people well on their way to becoming Joe's and then eventually He-Man if they're up for it, but right now they've just started their journey. They exercise furiously, as if Jillian Michaels were in front of them and the fires of hell were behind them lapping at their cankles. They perspire more fluids than you've drunk all day and will be at the gym for hours and hours. These are the people there at 6 in the morning and always go, even at the obscure hours when the gym is only open from 1-2:45 p.m. in the afternoon. They're running on a treadmill and Death is holding the stopwatch while Diabetes sits cross-legged in the corner. They've woken themselves up to the medical reality of their particular situation, or a heart attack has done it for them. Either way, they're determined as hell and not going to give up easily.
4. Sorority Row
This type is named because sorority girls travel in herds. Sorority Row will take up an entire section of the gym at a time with her sisters, most notably the treadmills and elliptical. She tends to do the mile-high haystack/bird nest hairdo instead of the traditional ponytail. The look that this type of person wants to achieve is a lean, toned look, or even just a skinny one, limo legs and all. The anorexic/borderline girls look at the calorie counter on their machines with a laser-focused stare that could put a hardened drill sergeant to shame. Sorority Row likes to stay in a clump of her sisters, where she can loudly chatter away about what a “fattie” she is and how many calories she’s taken in that particular day. Between not eating and going to Greek events, Sorority Row’s calendar is full and soon everyone in the gym will know it.
Mime is called such because these people literally behave like mimes. They skulk about on the outskirts of the gym and try their best not to be put in a position where they have to talk to anyone. They often wear dark clothing and will go so far as to wear long sleeves and long pants out of some form of self-consciousness, as if they can’t see all the half-naked bodies around them writhing about in all sorts of ungodly positions. They typically fall into one of two categories: The overweight person who’s finally decided to get in shape, or the rail-thin person who’s never been pressured to go but nonetheless would enjoy some muscle tone. Mime will tentatively go up to a machine and poke it or sit on it. They will make large, exaggerated gestures as if they need to justify to everyone else that they’re “testing” it or “just trying it out.” Mime may venture over to the treadmills with a questioning look on his or her face, but usually won’t stay more than fifteen minutes, or two minutes if they can’t figure out how to turn it on.
6. Vanity Fair
This is the equivalent of Fashion Plate (see below). Vanity Fair sprays on a gallon of cologne before hitting the weights, as if anyone cares that he smells like an A&F model’s thong. He typically wears what appears to be pre-shrunk workout gear from Baby Gap and an Anatomy & Physiology student could literally point out the definition of every muscle group through the fabric of his clothes. For any prospective A&P students, while this may seem like a good way to study, try not to inflate Vanity Fair’s ego any more than it is. Vanity Fair is occasionally combined with He-Man, although Vanity Fair is in a perpetual pissing contest with the guy next to him to see who can lift the most weight. If he’s lifting a light amount he will do many, many repetitions, and he will do them extremely quickly which much grunting and apparent concentration.
7. Fashion Plate
Fashion Plate is not at the gym to work out, Fashion Plate is at the gym to see and be seen. While most of us throw on whatever pair of pants that smells the least bad, Fashion Plate wears coordinated “outfits” to the gym. I wear my middle school band camp shirt that has more holes than the plot of Back to the Future, and Fashion Plate’s earrings match her shoelaces. She spends more time on her workout makeup than you or I spend getting ready for a formal banquet, and none of it is smeared by the time she leaves. The last sentence section isn’t a sales pitch for Maybelline’s waterproof mascara, it’s a testament to how little Fashion Plate actually exerts herself. Sure, she knows her way around but she isn’t going to do anything that too closely resembles actual exercise. Fashion Plate knows that the Army boys come in on Thursday’s and she has no interest in Friday’s, when the un-beautiful senior citizens make their weekly excursion. Fashion Plate tends to get in the center of the mats and stretch in the most pornographic way possible. If she has a boyfriend she will only distract herself from her solo Jenna Jameson fantasy to suck face directly beside the machine that you, dear reader, were probably planning to use next.
Does your gym have any of these kinds of people? What other types of people are there?