The Friday Five: Five Signs You’re the WFG in the Gym

There are gyms of all types and all types of people who patronize gyms, but there are a couple very distinct genres of people who are completely and utterly detestable in the gym.  As the cliche goes, if you don’t get one or more of these stereotypes, then you are one of them.

1. The Grunter:  Let’s just get this one out of the way.  Everybody knew it was going to be on here, and though I like to be creative and thus thought about leaving it off the list, I just couldn’t do it.  This is the guy who finds any and all excuses to verbalize his lifting during any physical exertion in the gym.  Racking weights?  A massive grunt is required.   Repping that 225, the minimum weight possible while still keeping 2 plates on each side during bench, a roar is essential during each press.  Spotting somebody else, yes I’ve seen this, not even being a part of the primary lift, simply being a supporter of another person’s effort…  a Serena Williamsesque yelp of effort must escape this WFG’s lips.  Grunting itself is not something I’m entirely against.  If you’re giving 100% of what you got and you get a little extra boost from a little man-cry, more power to you…  What I can’t handle is the Excessive Grunter, the Unnecessary Grunter, and the Attention Grabbing Grunter.  The Excessive Grunter will literally grunt on every repetition of every exercise the entire workout.  The Unnecessary Grunter will grunt even when doing activities that do not include exercise.  The Attention Grabbing Grunter will purposefully put on a massive amount of weight (sure- you’re buff so good for you, I got no prob with that) but then attempt to screech so loudly that every person in the gym essentially has to stop what they’re doing to make sure they don’t have to call an ambulance because the guy’s heart exploded.

2.  The Lazy Guy: This guy thinks being at the gym is a workout.  The worst part is that you know this guy goes home and feels proud of “exercising” and probably treats himself to some Breyer’s French Vanilla, which by the way is best when blended with a little bit of milk and eaten as a semi-milk shake.  Somehow this guy also manages to be “using” any piece of equipment or particular weights that you need.  By using, I mean he is sitting on the one bench in the entire gym and stretching out his arms for five minutes in between sets.  If you know this guy he will also make every effort to talk to you, because in his mind discussing the end of Inception is what he should be doing at the gym, not actually working out.

3. The Under Armour Commercial Guy: This guy shows up to the gym wearing a perfectly coordinated outfit of fitness apparel.  The socks match the shirt which matches the headband.  The shoes are squeaky clean and go perfectly with his shorts.  Never, NEVER will this guy be wearing Nike with Under Armour or heaven forbid anything sold by Reebok.  This guy probably spent a solid hour picking through his dresser before heading to the gym.  There is also a high possibility that he has gel or wax in his hair for styling purposes.  For this guy going to the gym is more about being seen looking cool and less about getting swoll.

4. The Teacher Guy: Everyone has varying levels of fitness knowledge, and a lot of knowledge contradicts itself based off whose opinions you are reading.  The bottom line is that working out is not like math, where there is an actual defined answer.  People workout on different programs based on their goals, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and their mood.  So why does this guy feel he has to correct everything everyone in the gym is doing?  “Make sure you’re pushing through your heels on that squat,” or “Don’t arch your back on that press or you’re just cheating yourself!”  “You should really do higher reps and lower weight if you want to get toned!” This type of utterly unsolicited advice is unbearable.  If you hire a personal trainer to coach you while you workout, then you have expressly entered in to a contract with them that outlines their duties to improve your technique.  This person is a certified instructor, and therefore their opinion has a bit more weight (see what I did there).  If someone you either don’t know at all or barely know is doing the same thing, this is a breach of societal norms and this individual should be shunned accordingly.  The best solution to the Teacher Guy is to put those headphones in, pump up the volume, and avoid eye contact.  This guy will attempt to get you to let down your protective shell of blaring Ke$ha and lure you in to a conversation about the best way to grow your delts.  Don’t do it!  Keep the ipod headphones in and avoid his longing glares.

5. The Stinky/Dirty Guy:  I’m not judgmental about working up a sweat and smelling less than flowery.  In fact, though not its own category, the Smells Like He Bathed in Axe Guy, did make the short list of contenders for this Friday Five.  Nonetheless, there is a distinct difference between smelling sweaty from a long hard workout and showing up to the gym in last week’s gym clothes that have been fermenting under your bed all week.  You couldn’t find a single other pair of shorts and a t-shirt that don’t smell like complete fuck hell? Then you probably shouldn’t be going to the gym.  Get your life together, do some laundry, and then, once you have the basic tenants of being a grown up covered, you can concern yourself with working off that beer gut.

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