In no particular order, here is a list of the most annoying gym goers that I have come across over the years.
1. The Juice Monkey: Juice Monkeys are a staple of most weight rooms, although they will never be spotted near any cardio equipment. Juice Monkeys are characterized by an obvious abuse of steroids and associated extreme anger and hostility (roid rage). They often grunt and scream, but more often than not they yell obscenities. Then can be found standing near their workout area simply swearing for no reason. They often find it necessary to throw their dumbbells around, and make as much noise and disruption as possible. Other sure signs of a Juice Monkey include severe acne, gynecomastia (breast development) and testicular atrophy. Despite their athrophied testes, you should not encroach on their territory as mere eye contact may set these Neanderthals off.
Hint: For the sake of your health, it may be a good idea to drop the juice. For the sake of social integration, drop the bully attitude you perfected in grade school.
2. The Backstage Ass: The Backstage Ass is a relatively new species of gym goer that I only came across recently. This individual is so hardcore that even after they worked out in the appropriate gym space, they just haven’t gotten enough. The obvious solution? Exercise in the change room! That’s right, nothing says you are an intense exerciser more than a set of push ups among other naked men.
Hint: Next time you’re in the locker room feeling like you aren’t quite finished, just make your way back to the gym and finish up there. You can just wear a bandana to let everyone know how intense you are.
3. The American Idol: An increasing number of gym goers do their workouts while listening to their music. Many people swear that their music helps them get in the zone and increase the intensity of their workouts while reducing the perception of effort. All this is copacetic. The problem arises when people confuse the gym with a Karaoke bar. The American Idol has somehow decided their tone-deaf interpretation of Thin Lizzy’s “Boys are Back in Town” should not only be endured but be applauded by their fellow exercisers.
Hint: Stop It! When you get dirty looks from EVERYONE around you, it may be time to step off the stage and re-enter the reality of a gym.
4. The Napoleon Boneparte: Many guys who enter the gym for the first time, particularly those of a slight build, become intimidated by their perceived physical inferiority. The issue with Napoleons is their often dangerous overcompensation. They put more weight on the squat bar than they should, and inevitably end up on the ground, trapped underneath the weight of their stupidity. I can’t tell you how many guys I have rescued from choking themselves out with a barbell while doing bench press and not knowing their limits.
Hint: If you need your friend to hand you the weights because you can’t actually lift them yourself, it’s probably a good indication you should be using less weight. Also, if the only way you can squeeze out a single repetition of a given exercise is with your workout partner lifting 80% of the load – time to downsize Napoleon! If ridicule is your fear, you will attract much more of it by dropping a dumbbell on your head than doing an exercise properly with lighter weight.
5. The Kanye West: Given that the gym attracts those individuals who are concerned about their health and appearance, it is expected that you could bump into a few egomaniacs along the way. How can you spot the Kanye West at your gym? Easy – look for the mirrors! The Kanyes will be found mesmerized by their own reflection as they perform any of the following: roll up their sleeves and flex their biceps, run their hands through their hair, nonchalantly lift their shirts to flex their abs. You may find engaging in conversation with a Kanye West a tad difficult as they will often talk (usually unengaged) to you while continuing to stare at themselves in the mirror.
Hint: Experts agree that the proportion of time at the gym spent posing in front of a mirror is negatively associated with fitness gains, but positively related with looking like a moron.