I grew up playing sports and have always had a pretty good attitude toward exercise. However, once high school was over, I had to look for exercise off the field.
That meant the gym.
I’ve been going to gyms (university affiliated or otherwise) for most of my adult life, and I’ve learned there are certain universal truths about hitting the gym.
6. There will be a handful of guys definitely on steroids
As I’ve learned from professional athletes who were court ordered to tell me so and Mr. Mackey, drugs are bad.
It’s not like I’m the only one who has been bombarded with that message. In fact, everyone has. But you’re out of your mind if you think that’s going to stop Last of the Brohicans from shooting some HGH, putting an almost too cutoff shirt on and wailing on his pecs.
There’s always a couple of these animals at every gym.
They’re built like they were drawn by a comic book artist. They’re louder than any human ever needs to be. And they will judge you for leaving after an hour because they’ll be there for another three hours to burn off the unnatural amount of testosterone in their systems.
5. Ladies, you will get hit on
Just to be clear, I’ve never done this. I’ve seen a lot of other guys do it, though.
I’m fully aware you’re there to work out and not to pick someone up. Unfortunately, most guys aren’t. They couldn’t care less if you’re drenched in sweat and exhibiting every non-verbal cue known to man, which says, “Go away.”
They will try to talk to you because they came to the gym to get two things: swole (first and foremost) and digits.
4. Some people will not have the proper attire
I don’t know why, but every so often you will see some dick wearing jeans on the elliptical machine. I’ve seen this guy at every place I’ve ever worked out, and I still can’t comprehend it.
These people have gone out of their way to sign up for a gym and taken the time to fill out all the necessary paperwork. They’ve jumped through all the hoops, yet failed to think about the logistics of the one thing they’re there to do.
It’s like signing up for skydiving and wearing a backpack because “it’s the only thing I had, man.”
3. People will offer you unsolicited advice
Most gyms have staff members you can ask for help or about how to use particular pieces of equipment. That’s not going to stop certain people from giving you advice on how to do your workout.
Granted, I’ve seen some people using equipment so incorrectly that it bordered on a Jackass bit. I just let them do what they were doing, though. You know why? Because it’s their $35 a month. They can use the equipment however the hell they want as long as long as they’re not directly bothering me.
There are also guys that will use unsolicited advice as a ruse to hit on women. They’ll sidle up and offer pointers on form, while showing you poor confused women folk how to properly use the equipment.
What ever would you do without them?
2. You will embarrass yourself at least once
The gym really is a minefield of potential embarrassment. There’s so many ways you can look like an idiot; it’s like high school all over again.
If you’re lucky, you’ll just try to over-confidently lift something far too heavy and fail. If you’re me, you’ll cause a gym-wide scene.
See, one day I was doing intervals on the treadmill–walking for two minutes and sprinting for a minute. While I was running, a loose thread on the inside of my gym shorts kept brushing against my leg. Instead of stopping the treadmill like a normal person, I tried pull out the thread…while I was running.
Guess how that ended?
I lost my footing and hit the belt, which shot me four to five feet backward toward a stationary bike. Everyone in the area stopped what they were doing to see if I was okay (I was).
It could be worse, though. One time, my friend was working out when his stomach was giving him some trouble. He was at a machine really pushing to get one last rep and as he was exerting himself, he let out a fart everyone heard. Everyone.
1. Some old naked dude will want to talk to you in the locker room
There have been about 3,494 standup bits about this, but that doesn’t make it any less true. If your gym has a locker room, there’s always an older guy, buck-ass naked, who wants to hold a conversation with you like he’s not buck-ass naked.
This guy is so comfortable in his own skin–and why shouldn’t he be? He’s had 75 years to break it in–that he just doesn’t care anymore.
Just pray you’re not sitting on a bench when this happens because he’ll probably execute a groin stretch right in front of you. Then you’ll have the displeasure of watching his old balls swing around like the dice hanging from the rear-view mirror of his Buick.