Everywhere you go, there always seems to be clueless people doing their best to irritate the rest of us. Anyone who has stepped into a weight room for any amount of time has experienced these all-to-common characters. If you haven’t, then you are probably one of them.
Did you learn that on the mean streets?
Who doesn’t love that guy standing in front of the dumbbell rack shadowboxing? Nothing is quite as intimidating as a scrawny guy/fat guy/douche bag throwing combos at an invisible enemy. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to have one of those punching dummies or a punching bag in your gym, then you have seen the Champ at his finest. He undoubtedly throws a weak elbow or an awkward kick at the bag every time he walks past it. Watch out UFC, The Champ is training.
Rule of Thumb: Unless you workout at an actual MMA academy or have Kimbo Slice-esqu videos of yourself mauling people on YouTube, just lift weights or mix in a treadmill.
Really!?! You couldn't find another route through the gym to go get that?"
There you are channeling all of your focus and energy into not collapsing during your squat, or concentrating on using perfect form during a military press to avoid your shoulder erupting from its socket, when The Wanderer makes his way right in front of you and your view of the mirror. Few things can ruin a lift like some joker strolling around the gym, making sure to pass directly in front of the mirror. Sure there is plenty of space to walk around the people that are actually lifting weights. However, The Wanderer will never take a path that does not give him the best view of himself in the mirror as he goes to get another swig of his Route 66 Sonic drink.
Rule of Thumb: If you have an emergency and need to leave your lifting area for any reason, go behind everyone. Hop on the treadmill with your “Big Gulp” if you really want to walk around that much.
"Take a look at what I'm wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it. You think anybody thinks I'm a failure because I go home to Starla at night? Forget about it!"
Arnold Look-a-like – 80’s Style:
You know the guy – late 40s or beyond, past his prime, but still living the dream – and rocking the same gear. He either sports the colorful M.C. Hammer pants with elastic waistband or squeezes into some skin-tight Pony baseball coach shorts. This will always be accompanied by the old-school cut off shirt that resembles a baggy, women’s halter top. Of course, the white socks pulled up to his mid-calf tops of this classic workout outfit. All he needs is a little face paint and arm streamers to pass for the Ultimate Warrior.
Rule of Thumb: Unless you can out lift everyone in the gym, please save that costume for Halloween.
We all love listening to some vein-bulging tracks when we are in the gym, but most of us prefer listening to the guy that made the cd. Sir Mix-a-Lot shuts out the rest of the world during his lifts and turns his workout into a Sing-a-long. Song after song, he belts out those beat, and if you’re lucky, he will throw in some sweat air-drum solos. Between his iPod and that N.O. Xplode he guzzled before his lift, Sir Mix-a-Lot puts on a concert we all wish we could forget.
Rule of Thumb: As much as we all appreciate good workout music, maybe save all those moves for Guitar Hero with your boys.
The love-child of Thomas Edison and Richard Simmons, this guy can turn any piece of equipment into a circus act. Jumping jacks while holding the cable crosses, rowing the bench press machine, bicep curling the leg curl machine, these are all possibilities with this guy. Call the ambulance anytime this guy picks up free weights. If he doesn’t destroy something on himself, he may awkwardly ram some unsuspecting girl in the face with a curl bar.
Rule of Thumb: If you don’t know what exercise to do, ask. It’s better to sound dumb than look dumb.
The Douche is almost always the stereotypical dumb jock. Douche-McGee will make sure he attempts his max at the end of every exercise and then proceed to leave 400 pounds on the bar for the next guy to rack. You will see this clown walking from station to station in the gym leaving ungodly, heavy dumbbells and bars filled with 45s everywhere. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to this guy since we are the ones cleaning off all those 45s so we can lift with just the bar.
Rule of Thumb: Watch out Douche, one day you will fail to rack your weight around The Champ.
Male groupies are closely related to The Douche because they idolize him. The Douche never hits the weights without his posse of high school or frat boys to stroke his ego. Male Groupies have rarely been seen actually lifting weights. Their main job is to give The Douche ridiculous spots and loudly proclaim how much The Douche just lifted over and over again.
Rule of Thumb: If your workout consists of high-fiving people, wiping sweat off of other dudes, getting more weight for someone, and updating your Facebook status about how much The Douche just lifted, you need to get a life.
Remember that game Risk and how you tried to conquer as many countries as possible before you got annihilated by someone. Yeah, well the “Risk” Taker goes around the gym taking up as many stations as possible before someone snaps and knocks him out. The “Risk” Taker scatters his phone, water bottle, towels, shirts, and gloves all over the gym. You will find him getting a leisurely drink at the water fountain when all of a sudden he yells, “Hey bro, I’m on that!” Of course, he is also on the Preacher curls, bench press, Smith Machine and cable cross also.
Rule of Thumb: Don’t treat the gym like your living room and if you don’t want to lose a station, don’t get up!
Nope. Still not big. That mirror isnt magic.
Flex spends more time working on poses in the mirror then he does actually lifting. It’s one thing to check yourself out in the mirror during your exercise, but it is an entirely different one when you start working your show routine in the middle of the weight room. It’s simply an abuse of mirror privileges. I guarantee you; no one in the room is impressed with your abs. Do you hear all those guys in the corner gossiping about how you got that sweet six-pack and bulging biceps? No, you don’t, and you never will because we really just want you to stop making everyone uncomfortable.
Rule of Thumb: If you don’t lube yourself up and trot out in a Speedo on competition day, then you have not reached the point where anyone appreciates you flexing in our mirror.
"I got some Speed Stick in the car. Maybe you could mix that into your routine?"
For whatever reason, there are human sasquatches roaming the earth, and god have mercy on your soul if they workout at your gym. Sham-Wow sweats like he is being interrogated and no matter how much of that juice he rubs on the equipment, his body keeps on squirting out more. Luckily, Sham-Wow, much like his namesake, retains an extraordinary amount of sweat and stink. So, he will make you feel like you just got hit in the nose with a basketball every time he walks by you. If you’re lucky, he will start his workout with some cardio just to get the faucets loosened up.
Rule of Thumb: Please. We beg of you. Wipe off the equipment when you’re finished, and invest in some Extra Strength Mitchum.
The Unwanted Partner:
This is inevitable, especially if you must lift during busy hours, but you will hear those six words we all dread, “Hey bro, can I work in?” Of course, this isn’t actually a question. You have to let the guy workout with you or risk looking like a jerk. For the next hour, you are then stuck with some random dude spotting you with his junk over your head. No doubt he will begin asking you personal questions and offering unsolicited life advice. There’s nothing you can do to avoid this except working out early in the morning or late at night.
Rule of Thumb: Really? You had to do this exercise at this exact moment. Unwanted Partner, go do another exercise until you see me finish. There are hundreds of exercises and plenty of muscles for you to work while I am using this bench.
"Hey bro, you should really use a wider grip on those pullups and try mixing in more beef at breakfast."
There is a Coach Theo in every gym. This is the guy that knows everything about everything. You need a new exercise? He is the guy to talk to. You don’t need a new exercise? Don’t worry, he will come to you. Coach Theo will always make sure everyone in the gym is using perfect form. Wandering from station to station pretending to spot you as he explains what you are doing wrong. Working Chest and Triceps on the same day? Hahaha, not with Coach Theo around, he will make sure you lift all the proper muscle groups on the same day. Coach Theo almost always has suckered some girl into listening to his bull. There he is explaining to her proper running form on the treadmill, drafting a low-carb diet for her, and making sure she “loads up” the bar on squat.
Rule of Thumb: Just avoid anyone wearing a whistle in the gym.
Cursing at the top of your lungs is what truly seperates the men from the scrawny pansies
Hope you brought your iPod to the gym, because Mr. Testosterone will ruin your day. This guy spontaneously erupts into dumb jock mode right before every lift. With every slap of the head and yell of “Whoooa” or “Yeah, Yeah let’s do this,” Mr. Testosterone gets a little stronger. Get ready because he will definitely drop F-bombs galore when he can’t finish a rep, and of course, if he can finish a rep, he will drop celebration F-bombs.
Rule of Thumb: Pull the needle out of your rear-end buddy, your making us uncomfortable.
"Don't worry bro, WE got this."
In the military, your battle buddy is the guy that you never let out of your sight. You would give your life for him. In the weight room, Battle Buddies are the two guys that tag team every exercise. Most of us have spotters. Battle Buddies take spotting to the extreme. Sure there might be 300 pounds on that bar, but a good Battle Buddy never makes his buddy lift it alone. In fact, a buddy may only be able to bench 150 pounds with a spotter, but with the help of a Battle Buddy, that 150 pounds turns into 300 pounds tossed up three times, and that Battle Buddy makes sure his buddy knows that he “crushed it.” The best part about a Battle Buddy is that he gives you credit for all 300 pounds because he knows his buddy is about to return the favor.
Rule of Thumb: As much as we all love watching you two guys over there tag teaming a curl bar, I really don’t want you to mess all over the floor on squat day if your Battle Buddy can’t be there.
How much you wanna bet I can throw a football over them mountains?... Yeah... Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.
Remember Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite? The past-his-prime, ex-high school football star that just can’t come to grips with the fact that he didn’t “make it big.” Uncle Rico rarely if ever picks up a weight. He just walks around waiting on someone to mention an exercise, or even just a number, so he can remind you of how much he used to lift. You just benched 185 pounds. That’s nothing. Back in high school Uncle Rico could bench 300 pounds, 10 times, after running stands for 3 hours. Don’t even try to avoid him by just not saying numbers or the names of exercises either. Uncle Rico has no problem telling you how much he used to squat as you are trying to not drop a deuce in your pants while squatting. And never forget how good Uncle Rico was out on the gridiron. He will be sure to relive his entire catalogue of highlight reel plays while you workout.
Rule of Thumb: Unless you have video evidence of your “never since been done” high school feats, please shut up and lift. On a side note, I’m sorry you reached your peek in high school and have nothing to look forward to in life.
Just because you own a pocket knife doesnt mean cutting the sleeves of your shirt is a good idea.
If you live up North, then you are lucky to avoid this guy. Down in Hickville, USA, at least one person in every gym is apparently required to lift weights in skin tight blue jeans, cowboy boots or work boots, a “No Fear” t-shirt and a “Git-r-dun” hat with a fish hook on it. You spend half your workout hoping he doesn’t spit his chewin’ tobaccy out during a rep or that his Stranglers don’t cut of his leg circulation. The other half of your workout is trying to ignore his rants about killin’ deer, catchin’ the big one, and bringin’ down the gov’ment.
Rule of Thumb: I know that’s Budweiser in your water bottle. Why do you even lift?
You will be completely focused and cruising through a set when all of a sudden, “CLANG, CLACK, CRASH.” You have to stop immediately because apparently someone, somewhere is trapped under a bar with 425 pounds loaded up on it. To your surprise it’s some kid benching the bar and a 25 on each side who just slung the bar back up on the rack. Even better is the guy doing tricep pull-downs and just releases all the weight at the end of his last rep. And who can forget every attention seeking schmuck who has ever attempted a dumbbell exercise? If you didn’t know, it is apparently a rule that you must toss your dumbbells to the ground at the end of each set. Whoever makes the most noise gets a prize.
Rule of Thumb: If you can’t put the weight back down without making us think you just knocked over a China Cabinet, try a lighter weight.
I bet you almost outrun the treadmill when you get caught up in all the excitment of Harry Potter battling Voldemort
I can’t really think of another way to describe this guy other than The Outfit. The Outfit comes in many shapes and sizes and has a wide variety of “workout gear.” He has recently been spotted lifting weights in dress pants, polo shirts, flip-flops, loafers, Crocs, sandals, blue jean shorts, various vests, long sleeve dress shirts, and even khaki shorts. I’m not sure if this guy just got off of work and forgot his workout clothes, or if this dude just got an urge in the middle of his World of Warcraft game to try out this thing called exercise. Whatever the explanation is, it’s not good enough.
Rule of Thumb: This is easy. Athletic shorts, t-shirt and athletic shoes. I’m really confused how this even gets messed up.
There he is on the treadmill. Incline – 0. Speed – 2. TV – On. Book – In Hand. If you can read and comprehend a novel while doing cardio, are you really doing cardio? I must confess, one time I tried riding the exercise bike and reading Muscle and Fitness. Within 5 minutes, the magazine was covered in my sweat and I was reading the same page over and over again. I think the moral of the story is that cardio-time is no time to multi-task.
Rule of Thumb: If you can read and do cardio at the same time, I guarantee you are not in your “Fit Zone.”
Either this guy’s lats are invisible or he thinks simply holding your arms out wide and walking like you just rode a horse into town makes you big. I know mommy always told you to walk with your chin up high and your chest out proud, but Invisible Lat guy takes this to an extreme. If you need Exhibit A, go to YouTube and check out that dingle berry Levi Johnston in his Pistachio nut commercial. Embarrassing.
Rule of Thumb: Unless you are a professional bodybuilder or a stingray, it’s very doubtful that you have a V-shape that forces your arms to never make contact with your sides.
Asshat (noun): Someone whose head is so far up their ass that they wear it as a hat.
The Asshats are a group of guys that will display any and all of the previously mentioned behaviors. They are closely related to the Male Groupies, but The Asshats actually workout. These guys mostly fall into the 16-34 year old demographic. They always travel in packs and resemble what is known to junior high girls as cliques. The Asshats always congregate in one area doing exactly the same exercise. Need a bench. Good luck. The Asshats have the market cornered. Need those 25s. Sorry, The Asshats will be using those for the next half-hour. However, one cannot truly join the league of Asshats until he has learned to talk as loud as possible, laugh at stupid jokes, grunt during reps like a constipated donkey, congratulate each other like they just won gold medals, wander aimlessly around the gym (always in front of the mirror), and talk about any female in the gym at an uncomfortable volume.
Rule of Thumb: I really wish The Champ actually knew what he was doing so I could pay him to get rid of these guys.