A guest post by Dave Adams, a Boston-based copywriter and very tall gym enthusiast.
If you’ve ever stepped – or lunged – into a gym, you’ve probably spotted a few of the familiar gym rats. There’s definitely a variety, but just like genus and species, all can be categorized.
I consider myself a master gym taxonomist so here’s a handy list of your typical barbellers and treadmill warriors.
Not only is he/she capable of a spontaneously sweaty selfie, but they’re also likely not going to get their heart rate up. Unless, of course, the e-book they’re reading suddenly takes a furiously surprising twist. When you bring more technology muscle than human muscle to the gym, you’re probably not going to get a good workout. The gym is not for reading things other than workout logs.
2. “Lift together, stay together”
Sometimes you’ll see couples workout out. If you swivel your head to the left, you’ll see me puking at the sight of couple curls. I’m not saying that it doesn’t make for a good workout. But I am saying that PDA isn’t appreciated in the gym or outside of it. Maybe a kiss after a push pull superset does have relationship building powers. I tend to think it just makes you focus more since you don’t want to be caught looking at some other cute guy or girl under the squat rack.
3. Mirror Selfie Star
Let’s be honest, we’ve all done it before. Shirt up, camera up, ego up. Pictures in front of the gym mirror are as common as imperfect deadlift technique. Not to say photo documentation of your hard work isn’t important. As a matter of fact, honest before and after pictures (week 1 to week 8 for example) can be extremely motivating. Those types of pictures are better in your own private home though. And you probably want to save those to your camera roll because I know your gym mirror selfie is heading straight to Snapchat where it’ll die in four seconds.
4. Curling Creeper
This applies to girls too, but in my experiences, it’s been mostly guys. It’s tough being surrounded by Lululemon spandex. Is it such a crime that you notice a good fitting pair of yoga pants? Well, no. But it is incredibly unnerving and creepy. Focus on your workout, see results, and you’ll make yourself more attractive. Maybe in a few weeks people will be lustily – and creepily – staring at you. And you’ll probably find you don’t like it.
5. Know It All
Sometimes you’ll find these gym familiars leading a pack of workout newbies. They instruct and they deconstruct. They consider themselves trainers. Last time I checked, trainers are in shape. Usually these pseudo muscle connoisseurs are in need of a coach of their own. It’s great that they’re getting to the gym, but not so great that the coaching is more like guessing, which leads to gym techniques that are more like guidelines. Guidelines usually result in injuries, not muscles.
There are many more gym familiars. The list is infinite. I’ll be back in my taxonomy lab until the end of time classifying where the rest of them fall. Don’t even get me started with spin class heroes.