First and foremost let me say welcome to Gym Rant! This is my little area of the world in which I hope to provide some insight into the fitness life. I will strive to fit this edition and future editions into categories of training tips (Fitness Builder), nutrition (Body Fuel), supplements (Octane Boost), and last but not least some satire on gym life (Rat Rant). If the satire offends some many apologies in advance but satire being satire it’s just opinions and perceptions.
Before we continue on this journey I must place a disclaimer that anything written within this article and future articles should always be taken with a grain of salt. These are the writings of one gym enthusiast’s opinion and for anything that directly affects the reader’s health, nutrition, or training regime consultation with that person’s doctor is an absolute must. I cannot stress the importance of getting professional medical opinions before starting any training regime. Remember I am not telling you what to do nor am I intending to prescribe actual plans for anyone, rather I am here to offer some sage advice.
Now with that said just who am I? Well you can call me Jeff, Ken, Mike, Tom, Joe, John, or Richard – just don’t call me Dick. Truth is I am a former personal trainer that fell out of the gym faith for a couple of years and after the steady decline my body took from that time off I went back full force about four years ago – all due to no longer being able to fit into a roller coaster, amazing what little things will inspire you. While I decided to no longer pursue my small fleeting career as a trainer I cannot help but constantly notice how many lost souls there are out there in gyms across America, perhaps the world. And while I am the guy that any number of you will see working out steadfastly with my earbuds popped in I thought I would take the time to write down some of my thoughts on exercise and all things related to.
Before I get into the main body of this first post let me first say congratulations to all those that struck their New Year’s resolutions for better fitness and kept to them after the bitter six weeks of winter in which the strong pull of Valentine’s chocolates and treats pull so many away – especially when the promised results from that trainer you talked to on January 2nd didn’t exactly pan out. And for those long timers all I can say is keep the faith brothers and sisters.
So without further ado I am starting off this first edition with a satirical piece of observation.
Rat Rant 1
In the life of any gym dweller the ever present presence of what is commonly referred to as the douche bag can not help but be felt. This presence is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why people stop going to gyms and while places like Planet Fitness have sprung up to help protect people and their ambitions of a better “me” from the douche bag I cannot help but think even they missed their mark. See the douche bag isn’t just a lunkhead like PF depicts them, after all someone who lifts heavy weights and grunts to get through the motion may actually be less judging than you can imagine. No the douche bag I speak of is the guy that comes to the gym like a social butterfly and stalks other fellow fitness freaks.
This guy will rarely perform an exercise but will claim a single bench for his entire two hour epic journey in gum flapping. He will horde the water fountain in his unending need to quench the thirst of the person who rambles constantly. On the surface one would think this is one popular dude but think again. Look at the people’s eyes as he stalks them around the gym – they are trying to get away from him! From the moment he comes sauntering in twirling keys around his finger like he’s the Clint Eastwood of the weightlifting world to the point where his steroid induced high pitch voices starts squeaking out like Beaker from a Muppet movie the clan he stalks wishes they were anywhere but where they were. Their only reprieve comes in two stages.
Stage 1: the feigned workout. This gym rat will pick up a weight that is typically pretty light for the built stature that he carries and will then proceed to perform half reps of one set of ten. This takes oh about thirty seconds and from there he is off and running back to the water fountain only to follow that up with at least twenty more minutes of gum flapping before the next set is performed. Now reading this you may be slightly confused as I have remarked on the physical prowess of the said douche bag along with the assertion of steroid use. Let me just say I am pretty confident in that assertion since there is no exercise regiment I know of in which you can perform a half-hearted set followed by twenty to thirty minutes of gum flapping and end up cut. Pretty sure running the mouth is not like running on a treadmill and while I do not doubt some calories are burned from the social club aspect of it all I do doubt that there is any way on earth it’s enough to burn fat and build muscle.
Stage 2 is the ironic chasing of tail. Yep, that’s right the poor ladies of the gym cannot escape and if they are new to the environment and shapely this douche bag is all over them. In a similar fashion as his stalking of the guys he will sidle up to an unsuspecting female and prop a leg up on a bench near her. He is always wearing shorts and one can only suppose that he is like one of Phoebe’s boyfriends on Friends and his mouse is out of its house. The leg prop, unlike Phoebe’s boyfriend, is intentionally trying to draw attention. One watching this event transpire can actually see the female cringe like she needs to run and take a shower. Guys like this are about as slimy as used car salesman and women definitely don’t desire the attention, the sad pick up lines, or the ogling of their assets (no matter how tight the yoga pants may be). The typical lady will shoot this guy down in less than thirty seconds – same equivalent of another half hearted set. Perhaps the look up the guy’s shorts was enough to scare her off.
While Stages 1 and 2 are taking place the clan will have dispersed but they are not safe for the douche bag will track them down, one by one, day by day, or week by week. Once the douche bag has made “friends” with you that is it; you may just want to switch gyms for the guy is a like a leech and no matter how hard you try to put him down he will simply switch to an agreeable self deprecating tact that leaves you confounded.
So what’s the message in all this – it’s simple, don’t be a douche bag. Be friendly and courteous to your fellow neighbor but don’t stalk and if it’s social hour you’re looking for try the neighborhood bar.