7 Major Characters That You’ll See At Any Fitness Club or Gym
Written by Kathy McGinnis | www.goombaytally.com | Goombay Tally Writers | Gym Characters | Share us on Facebook / Twitter
I suppose it’s safe to say that the majority of us have worked out at some point in our lives; or at a minimum … have seen the inside of the gym. Whether it was in junior high and high school, or later in our adult lives in college, or at Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness, Life Time Fitness ... we’ve been there and done that in some way or capacity.
Anyway, I’ve always loved the gym environment. Almost everything about it.
For example, I remember my first day of “gymnastics class” in elementary school. The beautiful open space. The clean squeak of your brand new gym shoes under the basketball surface. The smell of pee-wee perspiration and the tingly feeling of competition in the air.
You can almost reach out and touch all of those nuances instantaneously. But I do have to be honest with you: I love people-watching at the gym almost equally.
Don’t get me wrong, I put the “work in” during my gym time, but I also enjoy observing others and their unique ways of engaging with the equipment, their workouts, and more importantly … with others.
I suspect a trained physiologist could write and publish an intriguing dissertation just on these dynamics alone.
Self-admittedly, I am by no means the expert on the mind-set, characteristics, and ingrained psychology of the standard gym patron, but the following list will outline what I believe to be the basic six gym characters that you will see on any given day at your chosen gym or health club.
Even if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym since your senior prom in high school, you’ve undoubtedly seen these same characters on social media, on the big screen, in commercials … you name it.
Hey! Do remember the popular Planet Fitness commercial featuring the, “I lift things up and put them down” guy? Hilarious. No genius really.
Planet Fitness nailed that persona.
I lift things up and put them down.
As you are already aware, Planet Fitness sort of prides themselves on shaming the over-the-top gym rats who risk “threatening or intimidating” their patrons through testosterone-induced bravado or clothing.
So. Here she is.
1. The Iconic Muscle Head
- The dictionary defines a muscle head as, “(slang) A large and muscular man, especially one interested in bodybuilding.” Other definitions describe muscle-heads as “those who naturally use their threatening brute force and bullying to get whatever they want.” Also see, Gym Rat.
- Either way, you know who these people are because you can normally see them coming a mile away: massive arms, wearing the stretched tank top, or T-Shirt that looks like they borrowed it from their five-year-old nephew.
- The muscle head will also be carrying the iconic protein shake bottle or jug everywhere they go. They will shake this bottle every two to three minutes– taking furtive sips in between reps.
- Also, if you don’t “see” a Muscle Head in your gym immediately when you walk in, just wait and listen. Why? Because in no time you will hear a Muscle Head on the weight benches or near the 200 lbs dumb bells, screaming like their being mercilessly tortured during the Spanish Inquisition.
- Because of his colossal size and equally threatening demeanor, the Muscle Head will claim dibs on no less than five pieces of workout equipment at one time. We refer to this as the “buster cluster.” This is the cluster of workout equipment surrounding the Muscle Head that he has proprietary ownership of. For example, you will see a curl machine that is clearly unoccupied, and once you walk over to use it, you will hear a gruffly voice from clear across the gym yell, “YO, I’M STILL USING THAT!”
Click for details.
2. The “Look at Me” Gym Queen
- Definition: The Gym Queen is the certifiably attractive female who attends your gym wearing top-of-the line workout fashions and looks like she just stepped out of the front cover of Women’s Health Magazine. Gym Queen’s primary objective is to DRAW ATTENTION. Physical fitness is merely a supportive function of this objective.
- NOTE: You will never see Gym Queen sweat because she isn’t really THERE to sweat — she’s there to look good and solicit your undivided attention. Sweating will only mitigate that.
- Gym Queen will often be seen at the gym with Muscle Head. In this instance, she will only be there as Muscle Head’s side ornament and as he grunts and strains on the weight bench or dumb bells. They go together like complementing artwork.
3. The Enigma
- The Enigma is the gym patron who performs an odd regiment of exercises every time you see them. For example, Enigma will grab a set of 25 lb weights, wave them up and down like a wounded Red Robin, while side-lunging erratically for three sets of ten reps. Watching the Enigma workout will even cause the most conservative of Christians to involuntarily spout out “WTF!” … or at least “WTH!”
- You’ll know that you are encountering an Enigma when you find yourself staring at their workout routine out of both amazement and horror. Mostly honor. You will wonder if the workout routine is even legal in your state. The answer is: yes, but probably shouldn’t.
- Mind you, you will not see Enigma at the gym on a consistent basis due to the obvious injurious nature of their workouts which will invariably send them to a local Emergency Room.
- For the record, Enigmas were the kids in high school who you never saw in your gym class because they were able to clandestinely substitute the physical fitness requirement with other qualifiers like Drama and JROTC. Well … it’s 20 years later and now these guys are ready to get in shape. Enjoy.
4. The Gym Equipment Hog
- When entering the gym, “The Hog” will strategically select one piece of workout equipment (typically the same one they used during their last visit) and essentially “hog” or remain on the equipment for 30, 40 minutes…heck, sometimes an hour.
- The equipment hog may also “claim” to be using multiple pieces of workout equipment at one time as if they actually own the facility. Remember that the gym equipment hog feels that their workout and general fitness is infinitely more important than yours and that you are there just for sport.
- The hog will eek out incredibly slow and methodical reps on the leg press machine and rest for 15 minutes in between sets. Then repeat the process for the next hour or so.
- The most unique and equally disturbing aspect of The Parker is that regardless of the collective time that they spend in the gym … they won’t look like they are improving at all.
5. The Poser
- The poser is known for “dressing the part” of a serious health and fitness aficionado but if you look very closely, he or she will typically only complete one–maybe two sets on their exercise equipment, but then begin hitting on attractive female for the remainder of their gym time.
- Yes, the ladies can be posers too and actually use their health club membership as their social club enabler.
- By the way fellas, you have the poser to thank for driving out the serious ladies in the gym who are purely there for their health and fitness and consequently, causing female-only gyms to grow exponentially.
6. The Tiger
- The Tiger is the quintessential bad-ass who arrives to the gym at 0430 every day (that’s four-thirty A.M. for civilians) and is ready to take on the world with his or her towel, water bottle, and workout notepad.
- The Tiger is a lean and mean athlete who is more focused and determined than a hungry (Tiger) …get it?
- The Tiger ignores the Gym Queen, despises The Poser, and gets horribly nauseated around The Enigma. He or she respects the Muscle Head but is by no means intimidated by his ego or ostentatious antics.
- Oh yeah, The Parker just pisses The Tiger off as they wait endlessly to use the workout equipment. The Tiger will eventually snap and pummel The Parker mercilessly.
7. The Social Butterfly
The social butterfly is obviously at the gym for one reason: to meet members of the opposite sex. For example, the social butterfly will also float and hover around an attractive female who is trying to finish her workout for 30 minutes to an hour without actually accomplishing anything themselves. After engaging with their target for the day, social butterflies will tend to wrap up their “workout” by doing one pathetic rep on their equipment of choice and hit the showers … later telling their friends and co-workers that they ran 5 miles and benches 350 lbs, 3 sets, 10 repetitions.