In my time going to gyms down the years I have identified no less than six very distinct types of gym-goer. Neither you nor I would fit into any of these categories (bloody hell, I really hope not) but see how many of them you can spot the next time you go for a workout.
1. Homoerotic Trio:
These guys, usually aged between nineteen and twenty-two, will always arrive at the gym as a group of three. One will often be better-looking and more muscular than the other two. It will be he that demonstrates the machines to his friends, loading on the heaviest weight possible, and working-out whilst staring at his own muscles as his friends spectate. He’ll swap and let them use the machine, but he’ll be providing masculine motivational encouragement throughout the session… whilst he stares longingly at them and frequently rearranges his shorts.
2. Smelly Foursome:
These chaps comes in fours. They are somewhat rotund and sport comb-overs which sprawl into neck-hair of sufficient quantity to bunch into pig-tails. Not being au-fait with the operations of washing machines they wear the same clothes that have been festering in their gym bags since their last visit. When you spot them lumbering towards your neighbouring weight machine it’s time to vacate the area.
The solo guy who always seems to be at the gym no matter what time you visit. He is always pumped and immaculately presented. He strolls around, effortlessly lifting massive weights with one hand, whilst casually sucking from the Maximuscle shaker in the other. He’ll often take a minute or two to strike a few poses in the mirror or delicately adjust his carefully arranged hair. He’s naturally gorgeous, and doesn’t he fucking rub your face in it!
4. Miss Pink
Whether she’s delicately lifting a single 5lb hand-weight, or using a machine with the pin taken out of the weight-stack, I can’t help but be concerned the gym door may be opened suddenly and the resulting draught will blow her over. She stays for a maximum of twenty-minutes and doesn’t break a sweat, she always wears a lot of pink and seems to spend much of her visit simply drinking water, playing with her iPod or chatting with the trainers.
5. Mr. Men’s Health
He plays five-a-side with some blokes from the pub, but talks as though he’s Premier League. He wears his football socks and mud-splattered trainers on the treadmill. As a Men’s Health reader he likes to eschew the conventional methods of using all the equipment, opting instead for side-stepping on the treadmill, or running backwards. He uses the weight machines in strange new ways and yells angrily when the weights hit the deck. He’s an expert you see, could have been a pro – but, family and all that…
6. Early Retirement Man
His wiry and feeble frame is donned with the shorts he purchased for a charity football match in 1980 and the baggy t-shirt he also wears to wash the car. He trudges on the treadmill at a slow-window-shopping pace, occasionally adjusting the volume on his Walkman or dabbing his brow with a thick avacado-shade bathroom towel. Of all walking cliches in the gym he’s actually the most endearing – he just wants to lose a few pounds, get a little fitter, and he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.