Gyms are strange places. For some they become almost like a second home; a world of positivity and hard work where people endlessly try to better themselves to the point of obsession. For others they’re tantamount to hell; where occasional guilt-fuelled visits are met with deep fear and sadness.
One one side of the room you have some chiseled fitness model wearing a vest bought from a children’s clothing store, on the other a man nonchalantly stretching as he stares at the clock, desperate for the seconds to pass so he can leave. And amongst the eclectic individuals that span the vast spectrum of gym-goers there are the really annoying ones, those that you glance across at with a sort of confusion and bewilderment.
The Slow Changer
If you go to the gym in London you’ll know they can get pretty busy. Scarily busy in fact. Sometimes you come back into the changing room, desperate to jump in the shower and get changed in order to return back to your desk on time. As you turn the corner you see someone stood rummaging around in the locker above yours wearing nothing but a pair of socks. I’ll give him a minute, you think, let him put some pants on at least. You play around with your phone for a couple of minutes as he pulls out his bag from the locker, gently placing it onto the bench. He turns back to the locker again and stares at it for a bit, he lifts up a sock and then places it back.
After four minutes you walk over. “Excuse me,” you mumble. He looks surprised. He moves out the way slightly, still pantless. You squirm towards your locker and open it up, quickly throwing in your clothes and pulling out a towel. “Cheers,” you say before locking it and heading to the showers. After a few minutes you wander back to find him still there. Yes he’s got his pants on but that’s all, he’s now rummaging around his bag for something before turning back to look at the locker again.
There’s no time for waiting. “Excuse me,” you repeat as he looks at you surprised. You pull the contents of the locker out and wander over to another bench. He’s taken up the one next to the locker with what appears to be the entire contents of his gym bag. You change yourself, spray some anti-perspirant and put your jacket on. Turning around you notice him pulling on one leg of his trousers.
The Air Dryer
A similar beast to the slow changer but with a far stranger habit. As you towel dry yourself – a tried and tested method of drying yourself since childhood – you notice a man stood in front of the mirror completely naked. He pulls out the hairdryer from its holster and turns it on. But he hardly has any hair you think to yourself. The hairdryer isn’t for his head though, it’s for every other part of him. Literally everything.
You avert your eyes as he begins the long process of hair drying a whole human body. His body contorts to reach the various areas, each appendage covered in careful detail and then interceded by a long lustful look into the mirror.
The Weights Collector
We’ve all seen them. Those people who like to have enough weights around them to cover every eventuality. You wander over to the weights area to find nothing but a couple of 2kgs and a 40kg. Where the hell is everything you muse, there’s hardly anyone here. You look around for a few moments and see the cause. Sat on a bench in the corner is a man, a cascading set of weights surrounding him as if they’d been poured over him from above.
He clocks you looking at him then turns around, picking up a pair of 20s. You wander over and wait for him to finish. “How many set’s have you got with the 14s?” you ask in a sort of confused way that makes you feel ridiculous for even bringing it up. He looks up at you. “Probably about four more. I’m done with the 8s though.”
You look at him, trying to understand how a grown man thinks this is acceptable behaviour. He smiles then turns around and starts on his next set.
The Social Media Manager
We live in an age of social media, we know this, there’s no getting away from it. People take pictures of their food, their dogs, their knees, it’s pretty much unavoidable. Hell, we do it as well, it’s 2016. Live with it. There are few social media trends worse than the gym goer though.
On one side you have the validation crowd. “I’m in a gym!” their pictures declare. “Here’s the proof. I’m sweating and everything!” Cheers, not really bothered, but thanks anyway. Fine, if it makes you happy, go for it. It’s the other side of the scale that’s worse, those people in the weights area carefully taking pictures of each other with the sort of careful planning and composition you’d expect from a National Geographic photo shoot.
Mate, take whatever pictures you want, hell, make a feature-length film if you want. But I’m actually here to do some exercise in my lunch break and I’d really like to use that bench. Are you just putting filters on that picture whilst you’re sat on the smith machine? Seriously?
The Aimless Wanderer
We know that there are beginners at the gym. We know it takes a bit of time to get your bearings and learn how to use the machines. Good on you, everyone starts somewhere. But for the love of all that is good, understand that there are people there that actually do have plans. People that pay for the gym and want to use it.
Hmmm, I wonder what this machine does. It looks quite comfortable, I’ll have a play on that for a bit.
Ooooh, that looks fun, I’ll have a walk on that for a bit whilst looking at my phone. I’ve got half an hour to kill anyway before I need to get back for work.
Seriously pal, get a PT session or something.
Picture Credits: Pond5