The 10 People you’ll find in any gym


Here’s a great blog entry by Chris Sparling from

Step in any gym in any city in any state in this entire country andyou’re sure to find the same people. Of course not the exact samepeople, but the same types of people. Though their accents may differwhen they yell their rep count out loud and their music selection mayvary as it blares through their oversized headphones, these same peopleseem to magically appear in every gym throughout the nation. Some ofthem work out hard, some don’t work out at all, and some do exercisesso bizarre that it’s clearly not safe to be within a fifty-foot radiusof them. Who are the people in your neighborhood gym? Pretty much thesame as those in everyone else’s.

1. The Gamma Radiation Victim – While they aren’tgreen (yet), these guys are so large that they look like they couldeither live forever or die any second. Their clothes fit them likepaint and their veins practically form roadmaps on their arms and legs.Fortunately for them, if they ever get lost on the way to their steroiddealer’s house, they can use their bodies like a AAA Trip-Tic. Theseare also the same guys that you should never ask to spot you, becauseif you are struggling to bang out your last rep with what you believeto be a respectable amount of weight, they will simply lift it off youwith one hand … and then beat up your dad with the other.

2. Thomas Edison – Staythe hell away from this guy or girl, or else you’re bound to get hurt.There’s truly nothing scarier in the gym than the people who feel theneed to invent their own exercises. As you and everyone else go aboutyour daily grind, these people are rolling around on a physio-ballwhile balancing a soft-spoken Peruvian child on their head. A commonexplanation for the purpose of their whacked-out maneuvers is that thisnew exercise is great for working their ‘core.’ The truth? It doesn’twork their core at all. In fact, it doesn’t work anything…except tobring utter chaos into a weight room. Get these people on a treadmilland that’s when things really get dangerous.

3. Sparkle Motion – Remember the girls in collegewho used to get dressed to the hilt for an 8:00am class? Well, tenyears later these same ladies are still going for cosmetic gold,primping and teasing their early morning glamour for a pre-work trip tothe gym. The hair, the nails, the matching pink running shoes/zip-upsweatshirt ensemble, and even the unabashedly applied glitterlipstick…all at 5:30 in the goddamn morning. Most people with even aniota of sanity are still asleep at this hour. These glimmering gals,however, are already into their fourth cup of iced coffee andforty-third minute on the elliptical machine by this time.

4. The ‘A Bit Too Personal’ Trainer – Signing-upfor a gym membership in itself can be a rather daunting process forsome people. When you factor in a personal training session withsomeone who feels the need to tell you about all of their lifeproblems, things can quickly go from uneasy to downright weird. “That’sit…one more…good…you can do it….good…… mother died fromadvance stage syphilis.” Uh…what? Who needs to hear that? And how isthat possibly motivating? I may be wrong, but I don’t recall a singlescene in Rocky where Mickey told Rocky that the reason why his skinlooks so healthy is because he refuses to poop after 8:30 at night.

5. Bob the Builder – Fancy health clubs may be theonly place where this guy doesn’t show up, but for the rest of us whoseannual gym memberships cost less than the price of a new Nissan Maxima,this unfashionably coarse fellow is a staple (Puns, kids. That’s whatthey’re called.). Sometimes it’s a pair of work boots and jeans, othertimes it’s a pair of overalls, and on some occasions it’s a line ofclothing seemingly purchased from the Paul Bunyon collection on QVC.How do these people work out in all those layers? The grunge epoch mayhave ended in the late nineties, but flannel somehow managed to survivethanks to carpenters whose parents clearly never made them put on their’play clothes’ after school.

6. The Unworthy Screamer – Although it is true thatthe huge guys do sometimes yell while they work out, it is most timesthe mostly-fat-but-partially-muscled guy who feels the need to gruntand groan at the top of his lungs each time he curls a thirty-fivepound dumbbell. Even worse, when it turns out that the dying moosesounds you hear emanating from the far corner turn out to be theHerculean cries of a one hundred and fifty pound man wearing Pumasweats and a Riptide headband, banging out his last two reps of tricepsextensions. Feel that burn, you annoying S.O.B.

7. The Teen Titan – Obesity rates for youths andteens are at an all time high, which is why you see less and less fatkids getting picked on today (fat is the new skinny, or at least itwould seem). So, to see any teenage kids in the gym is, in and ofitself, a good thing. Problems usually arise when a group of four offive teenage boys collectively decide to dive head first into a workoutregimen that would make Ronnie Coleman sleep in. Their form is all outof whack and they do their best to shove around as much weight as theirbarely post-pubescent bodies possibly can. All goes to hell once a 45pound plate slides off the side of the bar during an attempt at a onerep max bench press and the other side comes crashing down onto theirspleen. Even worse is when they use far too much weight on the cablecrossovers and end up being violently yanked backwards like Sweetchuckin Police Academy 2.

8. The Doctor of Style – Look, we all think it’svery impressive that you work at a hospital. You’re clearly a veryintelligent and noble person. And, depending on your particularoccupation, it’s likely that you probably make some serious money, too.But, is it still necessary to wear your powder blue scrubs to the gym?These people work all day long in these draw-string pants and v-neckshirts…don’t they want to change out of them? They may be comfortableand they may “breathe,” but that’s still no excuse for wearing yourwork clothes in public. Do the world a favor and pick-up a pair ofshorts and a T-shirt, will you please?

9. Scarface – Though he’s not a cocaine drugkingpin, this guy is still to blame for leaving the weight room lookinglike the backroom of a bakery. Despite the fact that the signs clearlysay that “Weightlifting Chalk is Not Allowed,” this dusty fellow clapshis hands together with pride before each set, leaving everything andeveryone around him covered in a layer of white powder. Only makingthings worse is the industrial size weightlifting belt this guy strapsaround the waistband of his ultra-tight spandex shorts, essentiallyforcing everyone in the gym to ‘say hello to his little friend.’

10. The Senator – Treating each visit to the gymlike a stop on a campaign trail, these types want to talk to you andeveryone else about utter and complete nonsense. They never, ever shutup. Ever. Even while you attempt to finish your last five minutes of anhour run on the treadmill, or even worse, as you labor through yourlast set of squats, this person will find that to be the most opportunetime to ask you how your family is doing, or how your job is going, orif you know a good place to buy deck stain. Your best attempts atignoring them or hint dropping for them to leave you alone are about aseffective as using gasoline to put out a fire. Maybe these peoplereally should run for office.

Don’t believe that these people are at your gym? Try looking aroundthe next time you go and you’ll see them. All of them. But, if for somereason you have trouble identifying one of them from this list, well, Ihate to break it to you, but that person might be you.

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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


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Mike Young
Mike Young