Friday, January 27, 2012

Gym bunnies

This morning, I went to yet another Pump class at the gym. And it served to remind me of two things:
1. I will always hate the shoulder tracks in Pump classes; and
2. People at the gym tend to fall into certain pigeonholes, most of which are a little weird.

So here I present you with a (totally not maybe a little very judgemental) list of People You Will Encounter In Gym Classes:

The Grunters
You know, the ones who channel an Olympic weight lifter/Rafael Nadal, and grunt with exertion during everything they do. At my gym in Canberra, the weights room got so bad that they had to put up a sign asking people not to grunt so loudly because they were disturbing other patrons. Apparently that just meant a bunch of them migrated to the Pump classes, because we had an increasing number of grunters there by the time I left Canberra!

The Ones Who Can't Count
This occasionally goes hand in hand with the above. They're lifting more weight than they should, so they can't do the controlled "three counts down, one count up" like the rest of the class. So they go "123...wait for everyone to catch up" instead. But a lot of the time, it seems like people just suck at finding the beat in the song.  And it's not exclusive to Pump. I've seen people doing exactly the same thing in pretty much every class on offer.

The Oompa Loompas
I'm pretty sure there's one woman in every gym class who is not only bright orange from all her fake tan, but who's actually put on a face full of make up just to hit the gym. I've actually seen women standing in the change rooms and touching up their make up before they go into a class. Just a note, ladies: if you wipe your face, and the towel ends up orange? It's probably time to lay off a little...

The Ones Who Don't Listen
Sure, if you have a medical reason to do something different to what the instructor is saying, I completely understand. But when there are people who go "Hmm, that seems a little bit hard. I'll just do my own thing instead."? Hell no. Especially when a lot of them end up doing exercises in a way that'll just result in injury. I've had a couple of instructors who've actually had to tell them to please do what the rest of the class is doing. Awesome.

The Ones Who Stand Too Close
Does anyone else get to the gym, stand around waiting for a class, and then two seconds before the class starts, someone turns up and stands RIGHT NEXT TO YOU? And by right next to you, I mean get-the-fuck-out-of-my-personal-bubble close. I kind of want to make a t-shirt to wear to Combat that says "If you stand in my bubble, I take no responsibility for accidentally hitting you"...

The Instructors Who Don't Need to Breathe
I've found this one applies mostly to Step instructors. They're always indescribably cheerful, and even on days when it's 35 degrees C outside, they insist on doing all ten tracks without a break. At least one has glared at me for daring to require oxygen and a drink of water during their class.

The Ones Who Dress Inappropriately
At the gym in Canberra, there was a woman in her 60s who used to come to a few of the same classes as me. She was an Oompa Loompa type, and every week without fail, she would turn up in short shorts. My former work wife and I had a nickname for her: Vagina Shorts Lady. Because when she bent over for any reason, NOTHING was left to the imagination. People would actually pick up their stuff and move across the room when she stood in front of them. And today, a woman at the gym had shorts so short that her undies were sticking out the bottom of the leg holes. Similarly, there was a woman at the gym in Canberra who always turned up to Zumba in jeggings. And there's one here who turns up in a leotard and a lace top. No. Just...no.

The Pains in the Butt
The ones who hold everyone else up because they decide to put half their gear away in between tracks. And who basically stand on your face to do so. I always feel slightly smug when they pack up while everyone else is getting a drink, and then the instructor says that you'll still need that piece of equipment that they just put away. They're also the ones who get there half an hour early, set up their stuff in the primo spot under the air conditioner, then go off and "warm up" by walking at 4kph on the treadmill, and then run into the class at the last minute.

The Conversation Joiners
We had one of these in Canberra too. We called him Talks-Too-Much-Navy-Guy. You'd be in the middle of a conversation with a friend and he would appear out of nowhere and join in with bizarre personal details that no one asked for. I'm all for striking up a conversation with the person next to you. About *gym* related things, until you know them better. Not about whether or not you think your boss is going to give you a pay rise.

The Instructor Who You Think Is Hot...For a While
We had one of these in Canberra. We called him Hot Scott. There may have been quite a lot of giggling from our corner of the room when Hot Scott was teaching. And then I realised that he checked out his own muscles while doing bicep curls, and it was all over. He was officially resigned to Douchebag Land...

And finally, we have this:
The One Who Sings Along Under Their Breath To All The Really Awful Pop Songs
Um. Guilty as charged... It doesn't help that a couple of the instructors I've had over the years have encouraged people to sing along. Once you've started, it's really hard to make yourself stop...

Which of them have you come across? And - more importantly - have I missed any?
K xx

23 comments:

  1. Haha! My gym is full of very well put-together ladies. I always feel like such a loser in my tshirt. They have coordinated outfits from Lululemon and always look so perfect.

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    1. I was standing next to a GUY today who was wearing head to toe Lululemon. And he was a grunter. And a conversation joiner. I kind of wanted to punch him in the head... Anyway, my point was that I totally understand feeling like a loser in comparison to the Lululemon brigade!!

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  2. Love the categories! I was thinking of doing a post on just one I noticed. The follower. This is the person who comes with their friend and does everything in sync with them. Even if they have a minute to go on their cycle, because their friend is done, they'll press the stop button. And even though their friend has to finish at a certain time because they shower at the gym, they will stop at the same time, just to walk back home! Sometimes I'm tempted to ask her if she has a mind of her own! And I've seen the oompa-loompas and the ones that put on a whole heap of makeup...can never understand that!

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    1. As I pretty much exclusively use the gym for classes, I restrained myself from the groups in the cardio and weights areas. But YES - the follower is a good one! I've never understood that either. Are their conversations SO important that they can't finish the extra 30 seconds on the bike before they switch to the treadmill?! Crazy...

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  3. Hahaha oompa loompas! That is a good description. There is one such lady I've seen, who must be at least 60, similarly orange and with lots of makeup, but also dresses like she's just come from a hip-hop music video. We dubbed her 'ghetto granny'.

    Also last week I went to boxercise, and there was a woman there who put in ear plugs and just kinda danced/jumped around instead of following any instructions. It was a bit confusing since she had to pay to do the class - why bother?

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    1. Ghetto Granny is a genius name! And why would you spend money to basically do something you could do at home?! Weird...

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  4. I love this, I think that a lot of people go to gym to be fit and healthy for their social lives, while others see their gym as their entire social lives, hence the oompa loompa faces;P Nice post xx

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    1. EXACTLY!! And they always seem to be the ones who don't put much effort in. I just sit there thinking "If you're going to come to the gym, at least get some benefit from it!" But no, that would ruin their make up!

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  5. I can see now the "no grunting" sign.... too great! Unfortunately, I don't go to the gym that often. With all of my medical issues - there aren't really any classes I can take and most of the equipment is too large for me to use. So I just do my own yoga thing at home. However I can totally picture all of this in my mind and it makes me want to go to the gym so I can laugh all of those calories from my chocolate cravings away. And I would totally be the one singing along. Guilty as charged.

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    1. I meant to take a photo of the "Gym Rules" sign before I left, because there were a couple of others on there that were pretty hilarious too. But I forgot :( So glad I'm not the only one who sings along!

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  6. The Competitor: He gets on the cardio machine next to you, checks to see what setting you're on then sets his machine one higher. His goal is to still be going when you're done although he inevitably stops a minute or so later.

    The Machine Hog: Even though the gym is packed and people are lined up waiting to use equipment, even though signs are posted in numerous places throughout the gym, the Machine Hogs ignore the "30-minutes per machine" rule and hog "their" cardio machine for an hour or more. Some will reset the timer at 30-minute intervals, while others take a 5-minute break after half an hour, leaving their towel, water bottle, book, etc. on "their" machine.

    The non-Exerciser (a sub-class of the Machine Hog): They're the ones who "work out" for 5-minutes on a machine, then (leaving their gear behind, water bottle, towel, etc.) will go use the bathroom, get a drink from the water fountain, walk around the gym, etc., before returning to their machine for another 5-minute workout, followed by another 5-minute break.

    You'll also sometimes see the body builder/weight-lifters doing this, leaving their sweaty towel on a bench or weight machine while they go for a walk. Sometimes they'll even just sit on a machine, staring off into space or talking to a friend. They're usually big, buff guys so they do workout, they're just not doing so right now. To be honest, I've never actually asked if I could use their machine (they're big, and scary) so maybe I'm just stereotyping them. Maybe they'd actually be very courteous, and not only would they let me use the machine but they'd give me pointers and make sure I'm doing the exercises the right way.

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    1. Oh, yeah. You get The Competitor in classes as well. They're a total pain! And good call on the others. I never understand how the Non-Exerciser gets any benefit from it. Because the Pump instructors always say "time under tension equals results". So if they're not spending the time, they're not going to get results. I guess they're just thrilled to have discovered steroids ;)

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  7. I was going to say the same thing as John: The Competitor. In classes, they always look down their noses at you, and are doing everything in their power to just do it better than you.

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    1. I have to admit, this has VERY OCCASIONALLY been me. Not so much the looking down my nose at people part. Just the doing-it-better part. It's usually when someone steals my spot. #totallyabletodealwithchange #lies

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  8. Ha ha ha. Too funny. And too true. Perhaps forgot the show-off? In yoga, there was a lady who would continue hanging out upside-down on her head and twisting around after class was over and everyone was packing up to go.

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    1. Yeah, I definitely should have included the show off. I think I neglected it because in Pump classes, they tend to be the ones who've put too much weight on their bar, and have to rush through the exercises so they just look like morons!

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  9. The Oompa Loompas freak me out the most! I can't imagine how disgusting it must feel to sweat *through* makeup O.o

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    1. I knoooooooooooooooooooow!! *shudder* If you've come straight from work, that's one thing. But to actually touch up your make up before going into the gym? WTF??

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  10. This is hilarious! I haven't been to a gym in a long time (I do Wii Fit at home) but I can totally imagine all of these people.

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    1. Thanks! I must admit, despite the fact that all these people drive me totally bonkers, they're part of the reason why I keep going back every week.

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  11. Sad that Sweaty-Step-Man didn't get a name mention nor the fact that we re-christened Hott Scott, Just Average Scott and yes, I do believe it was Hott with 2 Ts - good times!

    *loser coughs self*

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    1. Sweaty Step Man kind of belonged to the "Instructor You Think Is Hot...For A While" category. Except that it was more we thought he was a vaguely nice guy to start with, and then realised he was dumb as a box of hammers and completely vile due to the waterfalls of sweat that poured off him!

      And it was Work Wife who decided that Hot Scott needed the 2 Ts in 'hot'!! Damn that Less Than Average bastard... ;)

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  12. This whole thing makes me very glad all of my exercising occurs at home!

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