Some people just suck. You find sucky people everywhere, but the gym is a place where you can find some of the biggest ass-hats in society.
As a coping mechanism, I have this internal story in my head where I'm a superhero who must do battle with my arch nemesis in the gym. Below are some of the villainous rogues I see on a daily basis, and I'm sure you do too.
1 – Fake MMA Guy
This Karate Kid likes to show off his boxing skills with 15-pound dumbbells in a commercial gym. (Punching the air with dumbbells, by the way, actually decreases performance.) He's super into watching MMA and thinks he could totally kick anyone's ass if he wanted to.
He loves watching himself shadow box in the mirror while obliviously blocking the dumbbell rack. You can usually spot him wearing an Affliction shirt and large baggy shorts. He has a Japanese tattoo that he thinks means "warrior" on his shoulder, but actually translates to "douchebag."
Why He Sucks
If you're a real boxer, fighter, or martial artist, you're probably practicing your craft in an actual martial arts gym. While most people go to commercial gyms to get a workout, this jackass goes so he can feel like the baddest mother-effer in the place.
He wants you to see him acting tough... even though he's not facing any real opponent. He thinks he's impressing people with his amazing footwork and power as he bobs and weaves, but since the gym is busy, people have to practically bob and weave to get around him. Their skills are better than his.
Real fighters or those learning to defend themselves don't practice their fighting moves at Planet Fitness. Sorry, bro.
2 – Locker Room Selfie Guy
This is the guy who has spent his entire gym session prepping for his locker room photo shoot. Every exercise was aimed to maximize his chest and bicep pump, and he knows the best spot, with just the right amount of lighting, to highlight his rippling muscles. If you could only hear the sick EDM beat he's posing to, it would totally blow your nips off.
He can generally be spotted wearing a neon tank, flat brim cap, leggings, and Beats headphones. His physique is equipped with a large chest, a few bicep veins, a hint of a six pack, and a disproportionally small lower body.
Why He Sucks
Generally speaking, I don't find gym selfies to be annoying, but if you're snapping a picture of yourself in the locker room, and I'm stark-ass naked with my dong hanging out five feet away, that's another story.
Don't look annoyed at me for invading "your space" by using the locker room for its intended purposes. My bad if I'm blocking the light that you use to highlight your almost-six pack. Also, I don't trust your photo cropping skills, so you can delete the picture of my package from your phone anytime now.
3 – Weight-Belt Fashion Statement Guy
He goes to the gym not to work out, but to do a few curls, get a pump, and hit on chicks. He's always wearing a weight belt, but isn't planning to use it for any actual lifting. Instead, he's using it as a form of Spanx to hold in his gut. He wants you to be impressed by his awesome V-taper. Stare in awe at his wide shoulders, sick lats, and his tiny waist.
You might spot him sporting a stringer tank top that shows a tasteful amount of nipple (possibly plagued with gynocomastia), and he'll have a Bang energy drink nearby... or a gallon jug of water. He's throwing a rager of a party this Friday night at his bro Thad's house and every hot chick in the gym is invited.
Why He Sucks
Watching this person is like watching animals on Animal Planet try to find a mate. If you're female, you can bet your ass you'll be hit on by weight-belt guy. Not interested? Then he'll think you're stuck up and will tell all his bros about how he could totally have you, but you're just not hot enough.
4 – Half-Repping Noisy Guy
He wants you to know how strong he is. Be in awe as he uses 600 pounds for 10 full spasms (not reps) on the leg press, screaming like he's about to give birth after each one. He's amazed by his strength and doesn't care if he has shitty technique. The goal isn't really progressive overload and long-term results – it's impressing you with the number of plates he's got stacked together.
You'll know he's around because you'll hear the hardcore music blaring from his headphones, and he'll be singing out loud while slamming on 45-pound plates as part of his pre-hype lift. After all, the louder the noises, the stronger the person, right?
Why He Sucks
While the half-repping is pretty common place, the screaming and singing is super obnoxious. Sure, you may need to grunt every once in a while if you're lifting some heavy weight, but this overproduction is incredibly distracting. It's one thing to scream, grunt, and slam objects if you're in a powerlifting gym, but if you're at your local Snap Fitness you're just making an ass out of yourself.
5 – The Talker
This person will just not shut the hell up. He or she has an uncanny ability to sense when you're crunched for time and make a beeline toward you with a life story to share.
Maybe you just tried to say hello and keep walking, but he took your acknowledgement as a sign that you're interested in hearing about his workout and nutrition habits. He believes this information is riveting.
You'll know who this person is because instead of just greeting you and continuing with his or her workout, the talker will tell you everything you don't need to know: their goals, one rep max, injury history, experience level, opinions about controversial diets, and what they had (or didn't have) for breakfast.
Why He Sucks
When you have to get in, get your shit done and get out, he'll be there to interrupt. Most people are too polite to tell the talker to shut up, but their body language screams that they're trying to get away.
The talker doesn't care though and will continue to follow you, or talk louder as you begin to walk away. Even when you start your next set, intent on getting your workout in, the talker will keep blathering on.
6 – Girl Who Doesn't Want Attention (But Really Does)
This girl claims to get angry when guys stare at her (because all men are pigs), yet she shows up to the gym looking like Stripperella. She has a commandingly large ass and it looks like her butt just might eat her shorts... which is the extreme she's going for.
She's testing the limits of the little bit of fabric covering her body, and a wardrobe malfunction could actually go down at any minute. She can be found on the hip abduction/adduction machine (the bad girl machine), and will be faux-offended if you look in her general direction.
Why She Sucks
You know what's hard not to look at? Literally anything out of the ordinary. Car crashes get attention, crying babies get attention, people who are 7 feet tall get attention, big buff dudes get attention, and yes, girls wearing next to nothing will get attention as well.
I'm not trying to be a victim-blamer here, but don't hate all men when you get hit on by weight-belt guy and get invited to Thad's sweet party on Friday.