This is not an enraged overture against fit people. Nor is it a hate-filled sentiment against corporate America and its merchant mogul slave shops that are commercial gyms. In fact, I love gyms. All gyms. I am even tolerant of most gym-goers. I’ve got love for the meatheads, the shrimps, and that one old guy that’s always on the elliptical. Though, as tolerant as I am of all shapes and sizes in the gym, there are certain gym personalities that should be ex-communicated from all fitness establishments and sent to that underground prison that even Bruce Wayne had a hard time escaping from.
For all you folks with gym memberships (that actually step foot inside the gym), please, make sure you’re not one of these faux-fitness anomalies that make everyone’s workout experience exceedingly uncomfortable.
The Patrick Bateman
Gyms are conveniently lined with mirrors. It makes sense, of course, if you want to take a quick glance at your muscular symmetry or make sure your form is correct while performing bicep curls. Then, in strolls the guy who spends more time in front of mirrors than the Evil Queen in Snow White. This narcissistic douche of a man is the Patrick Bateman of the gym. We all know the scene in the film version of American Psycho when Patrick Bateman is sexing up two hookers while checking himself out in the mirror, flexing, grinning, pointing, and winking. Well, that Patrick Bateman’s got nothing on the tool bag on the T-bar row that’s so self-absorbed he actually has to turn his head and most of his body to get a good glimpse of himself while he lifts. The unfortunate reality is that the puffed up mirror mongoloid is probably in good shape, thanks to the best foreign testosterone his girlfriend’s money can buy. This means no one will ever call him out on his egocentric flex-happy workout routine. The more jacked he is, the higher the degree of Batemanism, and greater the chance the vain asshole stares deep into his own eyes while he rubs one out.
The Motown recording artist Rockwell once sang the lyrics, “Who’s watching / Tell me, who’s watching / Who’s watching me.” The words, from his debut single, “Somebody’s Watching Me,” are no doubt an expression of the fear and paranoia of being in the middle of a great workout when you realize some balding man with dirty tennis shoes from the 80s and a cluster of hair on his shoulders has you locked in a merciless gaze. Also referred to as The Looker, this gym-goer spends most of his workout session entranced by other people’s workouts. He may not be a plotting psychopath that lives in his mom’s house and has the same sports-themed light switch cover from when he was eight, but he sure as hell looks like one. It’s unclear whether or not this slewfoot investigator actually wants to learn something from you or sodomize you in the steam room. Either way, I wouldn’t ask him to spot you.
The Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen is a talk show host because she’s good at talking. In fact, she’s phenomenal at talking. All she does is talk, even while her guests are trying to get a word in. She gets paid bundles of money to talk, and rightfully so. The person at the gym who thinks they’re Ellen DeGeneres is also good at talking, but at the same time terrible at it because they have nothing interesting to say and their sole purpose is to interrupt workouts and ask mundane questions that could easily be Googled. There is the woman that wants to know if running shoes are better for running, and the graying man, that in the midst of pumping up his pecs, has a revelation and decides he wants to ditch his Blackberry for an Iphone and assumes you to be an expert on the matter. It’s not easy to ignore harmless strangers that approach you, so once the conversation starts, your entire workout is decidedly over.
Also referred to as The Stretcher, The EMT is a master of disguise. Usually the person with the best quality gym attire (bright colors and designer spandex in all the right places), this individual will start their workout with a nice long stretch. Except you soon realize that their entire workout is nothing more than a nice long stretch. They will stretch for an hour, or until a singular bead of sweat graces their deceitful foreheads, and then walk out of the gym as if they are utterly exhausted, shunning all the hardworking muscleheads and treadmill zombies on their way to the door. These people are under the impression that gyms pump a healthy, air-borne alternative to steroids through the vents. They also believe that at one point all Germans were Nazis, and that any one creative is gay. The EMT is a phony and a con artist that only steps foot in a gym so they can talk about muscles with their posh coworkers while buttering a whole wheat bagel.
The Remember the Titans Ryan Gosling
Odds are you haven’t seen Remember the Titans recently. Though, odds are you most likely own it, perhaps on VHS. So pop that bad boy in and take a look at young, non-muscular, but still great-haired Ryan Gosling. He won’t be hard to miss. Even though he has about four lines, he seems to earn himself the most screen time, smiling casually in the background of almost every single scene, even though he was the shittiest player on the team. If you don’t believe me, watch the movie.
Every gym has a group of four or more boys that workout together, and each one of those groups has a Remember the Titans Ryan Gosling trying his hardest to be relevant and involved in every joke and conversation, hoping to mask the fact that he has no idea how to workout and couldn’t lift a gym towel over his head if his pre-pubescent life depended on it. He will most likely sneak in a quick set while his friends are preoccupied, looking as awkward as pint-sized Gosling in football pads as he attempts to figure out the contraption he’s dealing with.
The worst part about the Remember the Titans Ryan Gosling is that he can easily encompass the four other qualities. He will talk, look, stretch, and mirror hound his way through a terrible workout, but will no doubt leave smiling and in the center of his group as if he’d just won MVP of the Super Bowl.