Workout weirdness

By Katerina Mansour, Staff Writer

Published in print Apr. 8, 2015

There are some fundamentally odd behaviors that occur on a regular basis at the gym.

Every time I go work out, I notice patterns of behavior, and I’m just waiting for someone to create a college course about it in the sociology department.

The gym seems to be one of the places in which people are the most self-conscious, whether they’d like to admit it or not.

The logical explanation, in my opinion, is that people are inherently competitive and the gym is one of the easiest places to try to show off your skills in an ostensibly subtle way.

Everyone is looking at everyone, seeing who is fit, who is not, who looks good, who does not, who is rocking their workout, who is struggling to get through.

Whether we like it or not, we do this almost instinctively. It’s human nature to compare yourself to others.

The key thing is not to act on it. Don’t make someone feel poorly about themselves while in the gym. Everyone is there to better themselves.

Whatever the reason may be, we need to respect them.

But, on a less serious note, here are some of the weird things I have noticed at the gym over the years.

The “Sneak-a-Peak”

The sneak-a-peak is when someone working out near you at the gym tries to glance casually at your machine to see how you’re doing.

It could be so that they feel better about themselves or perhaps they will start working out harder to try and “beat” you.

This can lead to a strange and possibly never ending competition between you and your neighbor about who can go the hardest for the longest amount of time.

The Makeup Break

The makeup break is just what you think it is: Girls taking a break from their workout to go “freshen up” in the bathroom by putting on some more makeup and fixing their hair.

This is something I’ll never understand. It’s the gym, not a beauty contest.

The alternative to the makeup break would be girls who come to the gym with ten layers of makeup on their face.

The “Do You Even Lift, Bro?”

The “do you even lift, bro?” is similar to the sneak-a-peak. It’s when someone in the weight lifting area of the gym takes a glance at who’s lifting what, and quite obviously starts lifting ridiculously heavy weights to establish themselves as the pro in the room.

Whatever you do, don’t try to meet that person’s unspoken challenge; you might break something.

The lifter might also grunt excessively, either to show off how hard they’re working, or because they’re taking on more than they can handle.

The Circle of Gossip

The circle of gossip is when a bunch of girls work out in the same general area and gossip throughout their entire workout filling the entire room with loud cackling and too much information about who’s trying to get with whom and who back-stabbed whom.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the circle of gossip, aside from it being incredibly annoying to everyone surrounding the circle, unless the girls within the circle aren’t even working out, just taking up space.

The Grime Galore

The grime galore is when people leave without cleaning their machine.

There’s sweat and all sorts of germs all over where they’ve been, yet they think it’s totally fine to just leave without doing anything. So. Freaking. Nasty.

This is why we should clean our machines before we workout too, just in case someone might have left their germs behind.

The Fragrance Overload

The fragrance overload is when someone comes into the gym reeking of perfume, cologne, body lotion, etc.

It’s perfectly fine to want to smell good while at the gym, but there’s a limit! I’ve literally been borderline sick because of how strongly people smelled around me at the gym.

It’s not fun!

So please, wear some deodorant and perhaps a light fragrance, but don’t invade my nostrils with your excessive smell.

The Lurker

The lurker title applies to anyone who is at the gym, not working out, just walking around staring at people.

Trust me, there are a lot of lurkers.

How can you spot one?

Look for anyone who seems lost and has been trying to stare casually at people while they work out for over an hour.

These are just a few of the weird things I’ve come across. Of course it’s better to just laugh these things off and move on.

Even though some of these behaviors are quite strange, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should look down upon those who engage in them.

Still, I think many of us should stop taking the gym so seriously.

We need to stop worrying about how we look, and how we can impress everyone around us. It’s the gym, we’re here to workout.

No one should care how many weights a person has lifted, or at what level that person on the treadmill is running.

Categories: Katerina Mansour, Opinions

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