When I first started working out, I had a gym. I experienced a bit of success but, like I’ve written before, it wasn’t until I actually abandoned my old eating habits that I truly experienced success.
At that time, I wasn’t even working out… just changing the food I ate… but I knew something was missing. I eventually wound up working out at home. Keeping it (sort of) simple, I just filled a couple of half-gallon jugs that I’d had on hand and got to work. I lost a lot of weight that way. A lot.
That being said, I’m pretty attached to the idea of working out at home… but my current [temporary] home could double as Barbie’s Urban Dream House. If I lift a dumbbell, I’m likely to put a hole in the wall. If I do a one-legged downward facing dog, I’m likely to put my foot through the ceiling.
Thank you, New York real estate, for convincing me to get myself a gym membership.
My gyms before were quite small…but now? Huge… which means more people… which means more things to drive me nuts. I’m just sayin’… if you do one of these things, and I catch you… just don’t be mad if you get a hole stared through you.
1) People who are more preoccupied with their cell phones than their workouts. There’s nothing more frustrating than the person who wants to sit on the machine while they’re talking on the phone or responding to their e-mails. We get it, you’re important. But can you take your important ass to the lobby or the snack shop and handle your business, so that I can handle mine on the equipment you’re hogging up?
I know, I know, you’re just waiting between your sets. But friend, if you’re waiting upwards of a whole minute between your sets, you need to just get up and let someone else “work in” with you. In other words, let someone else do one of their sets while you’re waiting. It’s just fair.
Say no, and you might get tossed across the room, anyway. Anything to free up a machine. Just sayin’.
2) People who leave fresh booty sweat on a machine. Man, you and I both see that long strip of sweat on that seat. If you’re hitting your workouts commando or baby-powder free, whatever. That’s cool, I guess. But can you be so polite as to spare the rest of us from your booty sweat? Your back sweat is bad enough, whatever, I’m hitting the showers anyway. But booty sweat crosses the line. It just crosses the damn line!
3) Inappropriate dress. By nature, the gym environment is going to require a lack of clothes, or at least clothing of the “form fitting” variety. So no, this isn’t a rant of the “just because its in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it!” ilk. This is, however, a rant of the “if you have triple Ds, don’t wear only a sports bra as a top to yoga class and share your areolas with your fellow downward facing doggers” type. It’s an “if you’re on the abductor/adductor machine, make sure your shorts can accommodate all your junkage… or at least make sure you have on underwear” type rant. It’s a “for goodness sakes, if you’re going to insist on doing pull ups, make sure I can’t see straight into your shorts when you hang up there curled in a ball!!!” type rant. And yes, I’m too busy working out to be gawking, but it’s amazing what you get a glance of when you get up from one machine to move to the next.
4) The conversationalists. Chile, I can’t talk to you. I’m too busy trying to not have the greatest treadmill fall of all time… all time!
I mean, I get it. You’re warming up, you’re not “in your zone” yet, okay. Cool story. But… I am! Go watch the TV, shuffle through your iPod or talk to a gym staffer or something. Don’t interrupt me while I’m focused because you’re not. That’s not my problem!
I’ll never forget this big hulking dude interrupting me while I was on a lifting machine in the middle of a set to ask me when I’d be done… and had the audacity to get mad when I ignored him. Just because you think my weight is penny Annie compared to what you lift for breakfast doesn’t mean it’s not challenging for me. Show some respect! You were scrawny once, too!
5) The slob. You know what, I hate you people the most. You’re the jerks who leave your towels on the equipment – so that you can walk around during your “rest time” instead of staying your ass put or letting someone else “work in,” instead – as a means of keeping people off of it because you know that leaving your towel somewhere is soooooooo disgusting that it’s a great way to ward people off. I hate you with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns. Hate.
There’s also you awesome people who leave your towels all over the benches in the locker rooms. Hell naw, I’m not about to sit there – the towel you just dragged through between your legs was just all sprawled out on that bench! And can we talk about people who literally do the dance while they drag that towel through between their legs? And did you just put that towel on a communal space, not directly in the towel bin? Gosh, and I thought I was country. (And no, I’m not looking, but seeing someone wiggle from side to side while they do that makes it much more identifiable in your peripheral vision.)
I get it – if you pay enough for a gym, it absolutely should feel like home. But…this ain’t your damn house – you share it with other people, who you have to consider in your regular actions.
There are, however, five actions that drive people nuts at the gym that I’m generally not bothered by:
1) Makeup girl. Hey, boo. I see you. You look cute… you didn’t do that for the gym, right? Usually, not. “Makeup girl” is, more often than not, coming from some place where she needed to wear that makeup, and didn’t have the time necessary to wipe it all off. This may not always matter, but it does if you’ve only got, say, an hour to get it all in.
Now, don’t confuse “Makeup Girl” with “Flirty Girl,” who comes in both the “make-up” and “no make-up” models. She is another pain in the hind quarters entirely. And we all know why.
2) Sweat on the equipment. I know, I know, I’m contradicting myself. I know… but I firmly believe that booty sweat is a-whole-nother level of disrespect. Sweat on the equipment can come in any form from hand sweat on the weights to neck sweat on the bars to back or chest sweat on a lay-down. You have to be proactive about dealing with sweat, which falls right in line with being considerate. Get yourself a nice towel and wipe down any equipment before and after you use it. Repeat after me: “I will wipe down equipment before and after I use it.” You’ll thank me later.
(Oh, and if your gym doesn’t have spray bottles or wipes with cleaner to keep the equipment clean? Consider leaving a sugestion in the “suggestion box.” Every. Day.)
3) The resident Alpha Dog. There’s always one. Cut-off shirt, peacock strutting, halfway pretty and halfway scumbag? There is absolutely always one. It’s considered a privilege to be able to ascend to that level. Don’t watch them, watch yourself. You might not want to be that hyper-confident, but you want to be confident… and some day, your confidence level will wind up looking like you’re Alpha Doggin’ it across the room. Sometimes, the swag… it’s uncontainable. Even when it’s mildly annoying.
4) People who ignore the cardio machine limits. Why? Because I understand. Someday, it’s likely that this’ll be you. Just… it’s frustrating, but go easy on it. Find something else to do – jump rope, jumping jacks, mountain climbers – to bide your time until it’s your turn. (Orrr you could just go to the gym during off-peak hours…. Or find a gym that doesn’t have cardio limits… they do exist, and thank goodness.)
5) Grunting, dropping of weights, and ugly faces. I’ve already shared I’m a proponent of the ugly face. It’s just… it’s a marker of “I’m ridin’ ’round and I’m gettin’ it” that everybody understands. However, the grunting and the weights dropping frustrates people just because they throw others out of their zones. I mean, don’t get me wrong – nothing scares me more than hearing a big husky voice growling behind me…but have you ever had to do the kind of lift where it’s so heavy, you drop the weight at the end? The kind where your face turns red? It’s not as easy as “if the weight feels that heavy, you need to decrease it” for everyone, and I think that’s fair. Just like the ugly face is a marker of “gettin’ it,” so is that grunt and so is that drop. (Provided the gym has a floor that accommodates weight dropping, in which case that’s an issue the gym’s management will take up with the culprit.)
Either way, when you hear that grunt or that drop, snap back into your zone and start going so hard that you might find yourself growling a time or two, yourself! (Maybe not growling, so to speak, but maybe close? How else are you going to get those fit booties?!)
What drives you nuts at your gym? What bothers others that you’re generally not affected by? Let’s hear it!