No, it’s not just you — the last thing some people do in the gym is work out.
As summer draws near, some college students are logging more hours at the gym than the library. But regardless of whether you exercise seven days a week or barely cram a workout into your schedule, there are certain stereotypes at the gym that anyone can spot:
1. That girl
She enters the gym, matching to a tee from her visor to her kicks. Her outfit is the only indication she has any intention of working out, because had you only seen her perfectly made-up face and hair, you’d have thought breaking a sweat was the last thing on her mind. After setting down her gigantic purse and colorful water bottle (also matching), she begins her routine, which mostly consists of cardio, abs and an unnecessary amount of stretching. She steers clear of the heavy weights because she “only wants to tone.” And she apparently has some kind of superpower the rest of us would sell our socks for because when she leaves, she will look EXACTLY the same as when she arrived.
2. That guy
He typically carries an oversized jug of protein powder in one hand and a gallon of water in the other. People suspect he is on steroids, and regardless of whether this is true, the grunts he makes during his workout will lead you to believe it is. He exercises shirtless, so not to deprive the world of his six-pack; however, if the gym requires he be fully clothed, a sleeveless shirt will suffice (that way, his biceps still get some attention.) Unlike “that girl,” he spends all of his time lifting weights for fear he will accidentally lose a pound if he goes anywhere near a cardio machine. A final indicator that you have spotted “that guy” is his catch phrases. He frequently says or tweets things like “Rise and grind” or “Gym swag.”
3. Sweet little old people
If you work out in the a.m., you know exactly what I mean when I say some days I feel like I mistakenly walked into a retirement home. The senior citizens love to hit the gym bright and early. Some of them know exactly what they are doing. They have their routine involving a brief stroll on the treadmill and a couple of light weights followed by a nice long sit in the sauna. Then there’s what I like to call the “coffee crew.” No one understands why they come to the gym, though some have concluded they developed a habit of working out in their youth and still feel compelled to make the regular visit. These are the people who sit around the coffee pot, read the newspaper and catch up with everyone walking in or out of the facility.
4. The newbie
This kid has no clue what is going on. For the purpose of this article, we will picture him as a skinny white male, but the newbie is not limited to any one gender, ethnicity or weight class. He appears to be strangely nervous and may or may not have glasses and a mild sinus infection. He has no clue how to work any of the equipment, so instead of working out, he suspiciously stares at everyone in the room. Eventually he will give himself a pep talk in the mirror and make an attempt at operating one of the machines. It will not go well.
5. That couple
These two are make-you-wanna-puke in love and not afraid to show it. They come in, giggling, hand in hand, and make a beeline for the stretching mat, where things get awkward. He pops her back. She helps him touch his toes. He gives her an embarrassingly suggestive massage. She returns the favor. You get the picture. He then becomes her expert trainer and she his motivational cheerleader as they do every single exercise together. People stare. Blatantly. But the couple doesn’t realize it. In fact, a pack of hippos could crash through the ceiling and neither of them would notice because to them, they are the only people in the room, which is also … awkward.
6. The social butterfly
“Hey, how’s it going? How’s the family? I heard you got a new job. Are you liking it?” While I do not have a problem with any of these questions, they become much more difficult to answer once I’ve been on the treadmill for 45 minutes, but this character does not seem to mind. The social butterfly is that person who flutters through the gym talking to every person they come in contact with. They don’t care that you are in the middle of your workout, nor will they be stopped by your headphones or obvious lack of oxygen. Despite the large amount of time the social butterfly spends at the gym, no one has ever actually seen them work out.
So there you have it — a few of the most common stereotypes to be spotted at the gym. The truth is, all kinds of people go to the gym. It’s cliché to say, but it really is a place for everybody. And at the end of the day, stereotypes are just silly generalizations that do not matter. What matters is that you are putting forth the effort to improve your health, care for your body and have a few laughs along the way.
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