It’s truly remarkable how many obnoxious people there are that show up to weight rooms. One list simply couldn’t contain all the irritating people that confidently strut into our gyms every day. Honestly, I think someone is purposefully sending these people out into the world and we are all on a hidden camera show.
Few gyms actually have an Intimidator. Consider yourself lucky if you haven’t run into this character. The Intimidator isn’t just big; he looks like a waxed gorilla. Intimidators make your normal gym monsters look like your little niece when she throws on her princess dress for a tea party. All those dumbbells over 100 pounds that no one even touches, yeah, those are for him. These guys walk into the gym wearing a weight lifting belt, and proceed to monopolize so much of the free weights that everyone else is forced to talk to The Inventor just to figure out a way to exercise with no weights. Do they wear weight lifting gloves you ask? Hahahaha. Intimidators lift so much weight that they have to strap it to themselves with leather wrist wraps and coat the bar with, what I assume is either powdered sugar or pure cocaine. While the regular ripped guy at your gym apparently can’t wait to get home to drink his protein shake and carries his bag of protein powder with him, The Intimidator eats an entire rotisserie chicken during his lift and downs it with the gallon milk jug full of water that never leaves his sight. The worst part about The Intimidator is that he is so focused and intense that you’re scared to death to enter a 50 foot radius of him to get any weights. And every time you catch him looking at someone exercising, you can feel the shame and embarrassment radiating off of him that he has to lift in the same building as such weaklings.
Rule of Thumb: Intimidator, please, don’t take this the wrong way. While you may be a giant, steroid infused teddy bear, you scare the bejeezus out of all of us.
Captain Morgan. Every gym unfortunately has to put up with this guy. Captain Morgan uses the weight room as his own, real-life match.com. Spot an even remotely attractive woman in the gym, and there he will be – one leg propped up on a bench, arms crossed over leg, junk hanging in the breeze, stupid smirk on his face. The girl could be drenched in sweat and sprinting on the treadmill, but Captain Morgan doesn’t get the hint. He will sling one leg up on the side of the treadmill, lean in and work his magic. God forbid a woman ever foolishly makes her way into the stretching area. She might as well have slathered herself in syrup and stumbled into an ant bed. Captain Morgan will make his move.
Rule of Thumb: As awesome as I’m sure you look in your head while propping that leg up and going to work all over the gym, you not. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone in the gym despises you.
Some people will do seemingly anything to avoid actually lifting weights. Well, Inspector Gadget is the guy that actually believes you can get magazine-cover ripped in “only 15 minutes a day, 3xs a week!” Inspector Gadget takes extra naps during the day so he can watch infomercials at night. There he will be in the stretching area, day after day, laying on a giant, pink ball and letting the Ab Roller work its magic. Who needs to bench press? Inspector Gadget has the Perfect Pushup. What’s that overwhelming funk you smell? It’s not sweat. It’s the newest fat-burning lotion being marinated into Inspector Gadget by the newest, supersonic, shockwave ab-belt. While the rest of us waste our time brutalizing our bodies day after day with heavy weights, Inspector Gadget is getting huge shaking a giant stick and letting the electronic dumbbell do the work for him.
Rule of Thumb: If you don’t see the chiseled guy in the gym using it, it probably doesn’t work.
The Dalai Lama:
The Dalai Lama is truly one of the most baffling characters in the gym. There you will be working out and two or three sets later, something catches your eye. The Dalai Lama hasn’t moved. Not only has he not moved, he hasn’t opened his eyes. There he sits holding his weights in a complete trance. I’m not one to tell someone how to workout, but meditating before each set doesn’t seem to be helpful. It’s even worse if you are waiting on his holiness to use a machine. As he is summoning upon his ancestor’s spirits to help him crush that 30 pound leg curl, a line of people longer than a woman’s restroom at halftime is forming.
Rule of Thumb: If you think you may need to take a nap during your workout, pop a caffeine pill or slip under the covers.
The Wife Beater:
Fortunately, this has nothing to do with domestic violence. Who are we kidding, this guy isn’t married. The wife beater is a little like a terrorist because you never really know when he is going to strike. Everything can be completely fine in the gym, then BAM! The Wife Beater burst into character. He decides it’s time to strip off the over-shirt and admit us all to the gun show. And without fail, The Wife Beater is one of two people: a) the fat guy who is testing the limits of an elastic shirt or b) a super-douche who apparently has convinced himself we are going to strike up a conversation with him about his “sweet pipes.” You will also notice that both the fatty WB and the douchey WB constantly glance at themselves in the mirror without being obvious. They don’t usually flex and pose. They enjoy creepy self-admiration. It’s a never-ending string of quick peeks and double-takes at themselves followed by quickly looking away anytime they feel eyes admiring them. Better not anyone catch you checking yourself out, they might think your way too into yourself.
Rule of Thumb: You aren’t fooling anyone. We all see you checking yourself out. Can’t we just all keep our clothes on and stay on task.
It’s a proven, scientific fact you can’t spot train fat, but don’t try to tell that to an Absoholic. Absoholics are almost always chubby to morbidly obese, and simply convinced that pounding out thousands of crunches is the way to a rippled physique. There they are clanking the weights on the ab machine like an ADHD-stricken, 8 year-old with a drumstick. When the noise dies down, you turn around to see them wildly swinging around from the pull up bar like a spider monkey. They test the weight limits on those giant, Swiss balls for hours on end. Do they ever attempt cardio? No need. They have a decline bench with their name on it. Why run on a tread mill to burn fat when you can plop down on the ground and do seven thousand crunches that look like shoulder shrugs all while eating a protein bar?
Rule of Thumb: It’s NOT working. Take a gander in the mirror, it’s NOT working. All those modern-day torture devices you see called cardio machines wouldn’t exists if your fit plan worked.
“He’s in the Zone”:
Nope, not a workout a zone – a TV zone. There is always that guy that steps into the gym and instantly gravitates to within six inches of the TV screen. “He’s in the Zone” hasn’t even put his bag down and he is locked onto whatever is on TV. If you’re lucky, your “He’s in the Zone” is the fat guy just standing on a motionless treadmill until his show ends. At which time, he wipes his, inexplicably, sweaty brow and heads home. However, the most severe examples of “He’s in the Zone” stand directly in front of the dumbbell rack and force you to get uncomfortably close to his manhood just to grab a weight. I have attempted lifting dumbbells that far exceed my ability just trying to avoid such an uncomfortable situation. God forbid he snaps out of his tv coma at the exact moment I am grabbing the weight he is resting his package on. Those few seconds of us awkwardly locking eyes would put me in therapy for years.
Rule of Thumb: If you must come to the gym to watch TV, please stand in a corner out of the way. That girl on the leg extension machine that you just stood directly in front of, at an uncomfortably close distance, for the last 1o minutes may file a restraining order.
I think we all appreciate the benefits of circuit training and HIIT, but is it really necessary to sprint from machine to machine, station to station while other people are trying to workout? Is there anything more nerve-wracking then some scrawny, 50 year-old man wearing yellow short-shorts, a headband and jogging in place while he waits on you to finish a set? Road Runner is so schizophrenic with his routine that you never know where he is going to shoot off to next. It makes it impossible to avoid the guy. Even if you do manage to get to an exercise that didn’t make it on his hit list of exercises, you still have a full grown man darting around the gym like a kid all jacked up on Mountain Dew.
Rule of Thumb: If you must circuit train when large numbers of people are in the gym, try avoiding the whole crack addict in a moonwalk routine.
I haven’t figured out if someone told The Grunter that making loud, echoing, constipated noises during a rep is like hitting the power up button in a video game, or if there is some study that suggests projecting the noise “Uuuggggghhh” in times of stress will release a burst of testosterone-induced super strength. I do however know for a fact that bursting into a warthog mating call makes everyone very uncomfortable.
Rule of Thumb: If you are lifting so much weight that a strong possibility of you dropping a deuce on the gym floor develops, you need to pull the reigns back on the weight a bit. Which leads us perfectly into . . .
There is really nothing worse than an act of terrorism, especially in a weight room. However, Chemical Ali makes it his daily goal to clear out the weight room with gas attacks. I’m not sure if it’s all the inevitable grunting and straining of weight lifting, or if Chemical Ali is deliberately executing these chemical attacks, but it is difficult to stay focused and lift while surrounded by the thick haze of butt spray. And it’s hard to pinpoint the true terrorists now-a-days. Sure, it would be easy to discriminate and racially profile all the fat guys sucking down Taco Bell on their way to the gym. Unfortunately, we live in complicated times. With all the vegetarian diets, high in fiber, or the protein-exclusive fads running rampant in gyms, it could easily be the skinny guy on the treadmill or the chiseled guy pounding out pull-ups that just frapped all over himself. Most of the time it’s just too difficult to trace the leak back to its source, but one thing is for certain, there are no winners in weight room gas attacks. We are all victims.
Rule of Thumb: If you even have a little rumbling warning you that a shart is possible during your set, get up immediately, calmly make your way to the restroom and diffuse the situation before you put the rest of us in harm’s way.