20 Types of People You’ll Meet at the Gym

I’ve always said the gym is a culture in itself – as rich as any National Geographic Channel special!

Don’t be fooled into thinking the people you’re working out with just like having big muscles and hot bodies. Underneath the training are a complex set of personality traits and some ritualistic gym behavior.

So for a bit of fun today here’s my list of the Top 10 People You’ll Meet At The Gym… See if you recognize then from your gym, or even in the mirror!

1. The Fashion Designer – I’ve seen this behavior in many muscle guys, but on occasion women also exhibit some scissor savvy, shredding their clothes in certain spots for a particular look – and to show off their bulging muscles!

Over the years I’ve seen guys cut their shirts and lace them up with shoe strings, or tie them back together with knots. And how many men shred the sleeves of their shirts? It seems some people put more effort into preparing what they wear to the gym than what they do once inside.

2. The Attention Getter She comes to the gym, covered up head to toe in baggy sweats, wearing a baseball cap and hood, and singing along to her iPod. It’s truly annoying and a weak, purposeful attempt at getting noticed. Poor girl.

Of course you’ve seen other methods of attention getting from the guys, like dropping weights, screaming and yelling. Don’t give them the attention they crave!

3. The ScissorI know you’ve heard me use this term before. It’s a name for guys with huge upper bodies that slack off on their leg training and hence end up looking like a pair of scissors!

This is a common male condition with many men not willing to put the effort into serious leg workouts, thinking that 4 sets of leg extensions are sufficient. How many guys have you seen that look like beach houses held up by stilts? Are you one?

4. The UnveilerI’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of this behavior in my early days.

The Unveiler is a person who wears long sleeves, or a sweatshirt, and is completely covered up for the first half of their workout. Then when they’re all pumped up after lifting for a while, they unveil and reveal a skimpy tank top to expose their bulging muscles for all to see. It’s kind of like… surprise, look what I have under this shirt! Pay attention next time you’re in the gym and you’ll see what I mean.

5. The Disillusioned - Do you know how many times guys have asked me for a spot while lifting weights far beyond their abilities? Too many to count, that’s for sure. And no, they weren’t performing negative only training.

I actually told one guy “no” last time he asked because it was more of a workout for me to spot him than for him workout! Lift the weight, not your ego people!

6. The Stairmaster QueenShe’s a gym classic; hands facing backwards, arms extended with elbows locked, butt sticking out, taking little tiny bouncing steps on the stepper for what seems like an eternity.

She never looks any better, or does anything else in the gym – except for reading a magazine during her ‘workout’.

7. The Sheet - In addition to being a ‘Scissor’, a lot of guys are also what I call “sheets”. Meaning they look wide when viewed from the front, but when turned sideways they virtually disappear; their body has no depth. This is a clear case of mirror bodybuilding.

A lot of guys only train the muscles they can see, so their chest, shoulders, and arms get great workouts. But the back, upper back, rear shoulder and everything else they can’t see get’s neglected.

8. The Drag Queen Some women come to the gym with full hair and makeup as if it’s a night out on the town. I’ve also seen men put cologne on before their workouts, which just reinforces my view that a lot of fitness facilities are like bars and clubs, just with exercise equipment added in!

I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about your appearance, or put thought into it, but come on, really?

9. The TesterThis is the guy that walks towards you, directly in your path and doesn’t move out of your way. It’s like playing human walking chicken.

They’re gym bullies, if you let them get away with it once you’re doomed. Next thing you know they’ll be giving you wedgies near the squat rack!

10. The TalkerThis is the really nice person that everyone likes and gets along with, but when you say hello your workout is over! They just talk and talk and talk, and then talk some more.

You may get a set in a here and there, but your whole routine will be interrupted. I’ve actually recently changed gyms specifically for this reason alone, as I couldn’t get a workout in without being approached for conversation. They’re good people, they just talk too much!

11. The Runway Model – This person cracks me up. This is the guy or girl who after their workout, takes a shower and gets all dressed up. You know what I’m talking about – full hair and make-up or fitted suit! Then before they leave the club, they come back into the weights room and pretend like they’re looking for someone so that everyone can see them decked out.

It’s actually quite fascinating to watch, because they never seem to find who they’re ‘looking’ for! Ha ha!

12. The Excess Baggage Handler – Have you ever heard of lockers? They’re these little closets that most gyms offer to put your things away. Yet many people carry what looks like a weekend trip’s worth of things with them around the gym, often leaving their overstuffed bag on, or near, certain equipment to let everyone know that they’re using it. How annoying is that?

13. The Water Boy – For some reason guys are under the impression that if they carry a gallon container of water around the gym that it somehow infers they take their training more seriously. But really, who drinks a gallon of water while working out? And ironically it’s never the people that are in shape and fit carrying around the 8 pounds of fluid, so what gives? Me? I bring a big bottle of water and refill it if need be.

14. The Space Invader – This just happened to me. I was in the rack and about to squat. I had the bar on my back and this guy started to do a set of pushups right next to me, and way too close for comfort.

For one, it disrupted my concentration, but more importantly, if something were to go wrong I could have literally dropped the weights on his head! People – give each other space!

15. The Mimicker – Have you ever looked around the gym and seen a person doing the exercise you just finished? It seems like they’re perpetually one move behind you and basically copying your workout.

The only problem is that they clearly don’t know the movements and look like they’re going to get hurt. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I suggest for all of you to learn the form, rationale and technique behind a movement before you try to copy it.

16. The “Know It All” – Okay so a girl in the gym I used to belong to recently started doing CrossFit. BUT as I watched her workout I noticed her form was terrible. I said nothing because I just felt like it wasn’t my place. But wait, it get’s better.

SHE came to me and told me that my Kettlebell swings were wrong and proceeded to show me the ‘right’ way. I of course said nothing and was friendly, but then I watched as she approached many other gym members to tell them that their form was wrong! Being passionate for fitness is great, but if you’re going to attempt to correct people, you BETTER know what you’re talking about!

17. The Jack LaLanne – I’ve seen a guy like this in every gym I’ve been to. He’s usually 60+ years old and in just awesome shape!

It’s a great inspiration to see people like this because it’s proof positive that you don’t have to end up a grandpa with a big ol’ belly and out of shape. This guy in my gym looks amazing and his workouts rock. I truly hope I can do what he does when I’m his age. Do you have a Jack in your gym?

18. The Rambo  – I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t poke fun at people but whenever I see this person I can’t help but laugh (inside of course). This guy is usually in his 40’s and wears a homemade headband a la’ Rambo.

He usually also has a collared short sleeve shirt, knee high white socks and old, I mean OLD tennis sneakers on. AND he carries the newspaper around while he sits on each machine in the circuit. You don’t think this guy lifts dumbbells do you?

19. The Age Teller – You know this person I’m sure! It’s the man or woman who within minutes of talking with them HAS to tell you in some sly way how old they are. And it’s usually for one of two reasons – either they’re in awesome shape and want you to appreciate their age and condition OR they’re in terrible shape and using their age as a reason for it!

Come on, I know you’ve met this person. They’re also usually cousins with the people that rattle of their injuries in conversation!

20. The Performer – This is the person that looks around waiting to make eye contact with someone before beginning an exercise hoping that the person will watch his or her set.

It’s really common with guys who are strong and lifting big weights, or women who are weary skimpy little outfits. But I’ve also seen it in people who are stretching or just doing abs. Boy do they need an audience!

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