In general, I am not a huge fan of stereotypes. Sometimes a girl just wants to be a grump without people assuming she’s hormonal, you know? I think we can all agree that stereotypes can be a real drag and can really rub people the wrong way.
But the thing is that stereotypes often exist for a reason. All girls don’t necessarily live on chocolate every fourth week of the month, but have you ever once known a man to use the word “fine” as such a loaded verbal weapon as a woman?
And it’s the same with men. I’m not saying that all men get a kick out of flexing their sweaty biceps in front of a mirror after dramatically throwing down something very heavy but… okay, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Perhaps it’s cruel, perhaps I’m heartless, perhaps I’m just hormonal; say what you will. But let me say this: in my quest to make my triceps resemble something other than two elongated kidney beans, I’ve spent some quality time in the weight room over the past few months. And in those months, I have been the quiet observer, the sole woman among dozens of sweaty, grunting men in disturbingly tight muscle shirts.
I have seen and I have studied and this, my friends, is what I’ve learned: there are exactly five types of men that will always be at the gym at any given moment.
1. The guy who is really, really vocal about what he’s doing.
Sometimes when I’m lifting something that’s a bit too heavy, I let out a small, grunt-like exhale. (That or a small fart. Hey, it’s human.)
But there’s always that one guy who is just so terribly, outrageously overcome with the swelling emotion of lifting such large heaps of metal over his head that he can’t help but scream. If you’re not a regular at the gym, it can be unsettling the first time you hear it and can have you looking around wondering who’s trapped under a car.
Don’t worry; no one’s stuck. It’s just the guy who really, really wants you to know that he’s lifting right now.
2. The guy who really doesn’t seem to be doing anything.
This man is very enigmatic in the sense that you’re always wondering what the hell he’s doing. You see him at the gym every time you come, whether it be 6 am or 6 pm, but you have yet to see him do any sort of physical activity besides meandering about with the occasional shoulder flex. That, and chug his gallon jug of muscle milk.
3. The guy who really, really hates sleeves.
Men at the gym regard sleeves the way that the rest of society regards Kanye West: either you love ’em, or you hate ’em. And really, you mostly just hate ’em.
But while most men in the weight room opt for a muscle shirt that’s just a biiiiit too small, or even a sleeveless tee, there’s always that guy who doesn’t just dislike sleeves… he takes a deeply personal offense to them. This man has violently ripped not only the sleeves from his high school wrestling/basketball/football tee, he has torn away any evidence that sleeves had ever existed.
This is the guy wearing a shirt with “arm holes” so big that you can see his entire chest and back, and really just make you wonder why he bothered with a shirt at all.
4. The runner.
Oh, the poor runner. The runner does not feel at ease among these grunting, screaming, sleeveless men. He’s usually the one wearing running shorts that leave no question as to where his tan line begins.
He’s easy to spot because he’s the guy looking warily about as if he doesn’t really know how he got there, but wishes that he hadn’t. He just needed somewhere to do his running plyometrics, though.
5. The girl.
Okay, you’re right, a girl isn’t a guy. But the fact of the matter is that there is always one girl in the weight room.
The girl enters the room like the runner (mentioned above), warily, wondering if these men will look at her like an intruder or like a piece of meat. She doesn’t realize that the answer is neither; the men actually didn’t even hear her come in over the sounds of their own screaming and grunting, and are too busy saying the word “swole” to notice anyway. Keep doing you, you brave little lifter. Whatever weird looks the he-men give you will pass, but those gains are for life.