Those of you who know me, know that I attend the gym. This happens on an (almost) regular basis, although the resultant bodily improvements I achieve are the subject of much debate.
However, my muscle gains are not the subject of this blog. Instead, this blog post reads more like a guide to the Who’s-Who of the gym. I feel obliged to warn all you gym-virgins of the various specimens you will no doubt encounter on your first visit to the ruthless jungle known as the gymnasium.
So, here goes:
THE KEENO – Being a member of this exclusive club requires a very particular uniform to be worn upon every visit to the gym, no exceptions. Gym gloves so as not to aggravate any existing verrucae are a must, as are glowing white Asics running shoes, sweat bands on the forehead and at least one, if not both, wrists. A Lucozade-branded suction water bottle comes as standard, whereas only elite members don the excessively short shorts, which of course must be colour coded with the tucked-in t-shirt.
THE SCREAMER – This gym cretin feels an obligation to gives us all a little preview of his vocal tendencies in the bedroom, as well as a rendition of his ‘if I was giving birth’ playlist. Every repetition must be accompanied by a shriek at full volume, which complements the extremely red face on show. Veins must be pulsating and popping out of the skin. A simple way of spotting this gym type from afar (if you cannot yet hear his screams), is by looking out for the man with the very worst technique on show, which, of course, has been sacrificed in order to lift the maximum weight possible.
THE HOGGER – At least two machines/benches/dumbbells will be on the go at once. A small circle of dumbbells will often be surrounding them, and a fierce stare will greet any innocent passer-by who dares ask how many sets The Hogger has remaining on his equipment. This animal is the most likely to remain a wanker outside of the gym arena.
THE LOOK-AT-ME – This character type is often split by gender. For guys, the kit of choice includes a fluorescent vest with a not-so-exotic holiday destination branded across it, such as Magaluf, Malia, or Dorset. Hawaiian Tropic Sun Tan Oil must be lathered on all skin that is not covered, and at least one tattoo and one piercing is a given. Furthermore, the tattoo will most likely be written in some sort of Oriental-style hieroglyphics that the owner could not possibly know the meaning of. Most of their time will be spent tensing their ‘muscles’, staring and pouting at the mirror, fixing their hair, and texting on the phone. On the other hand, the female strand involves overly-tight spandex shorts, bleach blonde hair and an orange fake tan. These seducers often congregate on the cross trainers located in the most central position, so as to attract the most attention possible. Their belly button piercing will, naturally, be flaunted at every occasion.
THE DO-OR-DIE – Hands smeared in chalk, spikes on the underneath of shoes, and accessories including a weights-belt and Velcro-strap; these characters are arguably the most wankerish of all gym wankers. They spend almost all of their time penned in the free weights room – God forbid they should ever do any cardio. Protein shake must be no more than a stone’s throw away at all times. The item that defines them is no doubt the small notepad and pencil that they insist on scribbling in after every set, as if their lives depend on it.
THE PACK – This is split into two sub-groups: Eastern European men over the age of 40, consisting of gym veterans and seasoned ‘strong men’ who often have a bald and wrinkly head, with a styled moustache. Alternatively, late teens/early 20s all with same hairstyle, designer stubble and same ‘lads holiday’ vest. Music will be blaring at full volume, with the playlist including drum and bass and heavy dubstep.
THE NOVICE – This is the group who will be intimidated the most by all of the aforementioned gym veterans. The Novice will not be getting in shape for anything in particular; rather, they are going to the gym to improve their strength/fitness, so that they are strong/fit enough to get through their next session. This cycle is seemingly never-ending, and they will show no noticeable signs of gains or improvements.
A special mention must be reserved for THE INSTRUCTOR, who somehow becomes, arguably, the biggest gym wanker without even using the facilities of the gym. The Instructor seemingly has a set routine; relentlessly repeat protein shake sales pitch, flirt with the Look-At-Me Girls, say hello to every person in the gym without fail, put weights back on the rack in the correct order, offer to ‘spot’ everyone so frequently it verges on harassment, shout ‘COME ON’ or ‘BE STRONG’ at randomers in a failed attempt to motivate. Repeat.
Alas, above is your definitive guide to all those who inhabit the gym. Read and internalise this manual in order to accurately typecast each member of the gym – then avoid them.