For the first time in months I dared myself to the gym, where I have not been since the Covid-19 pandemic hit us in February. I like to go in the morning if I can as there is usually not many people training even in normal circumstances. Already in the parking lot you get an indication if the gym is crowded or not. It is a bit of a contradiction that many take the car to the gym to run on a treadmill indoors when we have so much nature all around us, but as I wrote in my blog about tourists it is a lethal hazard to run on our narrow roads even off season. In the gym there were only a few persons tormenting their bodies and only one on the treadmill making that special pounding noise. The gym owners had done their best to make it Corona safe by marking up for keeping safe distance, washing hands and disinfect machines after use. I decided to take the risk, change clothes and started to train. The muscles woke up from their dormancy with a big surprise so lifting the same weights as I did before was out of the question. Go easy on the weights and add more repetitions was the strategy. I use noise canceling headphones as I get very frustrated with the “work-out music” they pump out in the speakers at the gym. I prefer to listen the heavy metal, punk, blues or rock. Today’s playlist consisted of Social Distortion, Rise Against, Sum 41 and Mustasch. As everything takes a little longer waiting to make sure you keep the distance and disinfecting machines I started think about the stereotypes you see in the gym.
First there is the Pectoralis Major guy. He spend most of his time doing bench press, lifting under loud moaning so everyone can hear how heavy his lifting and how strong he is. He takes a stroll between every set flexing his muscles in the mirror and in front of the girls pretending to drink water, he might actually do, before he prepares the next set adding more weight to the bar by slamming them on for everyone to hear. He picks out a stranger to “save” him if he does not manage the last rep or better he has his mate, the other Biceps guy there cheering him on. “Come on, you can do it, push, push, a little more, yeah he shouts glancing to see if anyone is looking at the two Adonis!
You will find the Biceps guys in the corner, always a corner, with the dumbbells (according to Google translate dumbbells is also a synonym for idiot but I mean the weights). With the experienced guys their arms are twice the size as my tight. It is a bit scary to go there for the 12 kilo dumbbells when they use 24 kilos or higher. There is a mirror so you can sit there and admire your muscles flexing and the sweat poring from your forehead. Here it is a bit more discrete moaning, it is all about the visual. You very rarely see women here and then only if they can be there alone. I am always amazed with the ingenuity the display for new ways of working the dumbbells.
There is a clear Dress Code so let me say something about this also. The beginner can come with a used up T-shirt and some old training trousers and look a bit confused as they randomly tries out the machines. This type will probably still come after a few months but then with upgraded wardrobe. New Years Eve Promise type you will spot instantly in February with their new high fashion training gear, even if they leave a baggy sweatshirt over so to not show the love handles or trying to hide the beer belly. Why in February and not in January you may ask? They purchased their membership card the first week in January, this is when gyms take in 80% of their income for the year, then they find out that they has nothing to wear. So the next three weeks are spent in the sportswear shops falling for the salespersons every trick to spend more on the outfits and shoes than what the membership costs. The style changes as you train and the more successful you are the more skin is showing, or I might say muscles. The gym is a stage for the exhibitionists.
The Gym is My Living Room type spends most of their time in the gym not necessarily training. Talking to friends, all friends are at the gym, checking the phone for social media, friends in other gyms, and only occasionally do some lifting just to keep the seat. These guys have comfortable training clothes. The vending machine is their refrigerator where they can get a snack or a substitute for dinner in the training bars and energy drinks. Even if there are some fruit, banana and apples they never buy it.
We also see the Wellness type that is usually older and even retired. They like to train in the mornings like me! Yes, I fit into this category even if I still have a few years to retirement. Movements are slow but very effective, no time wasted watching the phone. Low weight, many reps and maximum of two sets. Often found by the water station talking memories or who was related to who in 1850 or something. The most enthusiastic ones combines memory talking with the exercise bike, slow low gear, got to save the breath for the talking. Before leaving they always squeeze in some complaints about the loud music and the bad smell of sweat.
Last we need to give some notice to the Efficient type. Like a phantom they sneak in, put their headphones on, noise cancelling, and with surgical precision performs his or hers program. No noise, no moaning, no slamming, just efficient training and suddenly before you even noticed their arrival they are gone again.
What stereotype fits you? Did I forget any type? Please let me know your thoughts by commenting. I hope I have not offended anyone, specially if you belong to the first two types. Check out my site for more posts https://ullehaddock.com/. If you like my writing please like and subscribe for more.