Top 11: Gym Rats We Love To Hate

Seattle SportsnetCorrespondent IApril 30, 2009

FLUSHING, NY - MARCH 25:  A general view of the New York Mets weight room at Citi Field on March 25, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
We all go to the gym. Some of us see the gym as a haven, a safe place where we can find solace and distance ourselves from the reality of our daily lives. Others view it as a workplace, an environment we submit ourselves to simply because we have to, in order to stay in shape.

No matter your reason for going, chances are you’ve experienced a few of the people on this list. People who make you reconsider your membership, and question your dedication to personal health. These are the Top 11 Gym Rats We Love To Hate.

11. The Seal.

Vital signs: Wet as all hell.

Reason we hate him: The Seal sweats like Oprah running a marathon in a rainforest. Worse yet, he’s seemingly everywhere you go. Or at least he just was.

When you get on the bike, The Seal was just there. When you’re ready to do crunches, The Seal just used that mat. The Seal is seemingly omnipresent, and never happens to have a towel, nor the decency to clean up the mess he’s left behind.

Sure, we all sweat at some point or another. But none of us sweat quite like The Seal, who shouldn’t ever be allowed near a public workout facility.

10. Super Loud Guy.

Vital signs: Lifts more weight than he is capable of lifting; makes loud noises while subjecting himself to unbearable amounts of physical pain.

Reason we hate him: Super Loud Guy is a selfish attention whore. With every rep he might as well be shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” Instead he just moans, groans, shouts, and ughs as if he’s a woman with the world’s smallest vagina trying to have a baby. Please.

On top of all that, Super Loud Guy is the type of d-bag that spends his rest periods looking around the gym evaluating everyone else, making sure he’s still outlifting the rest of his fellow lifters. If he’s not, you can bet he’ll up his weight and make even more noise the next time around.

9. Work-In Guy.

Vital signs: Zero patience; wants to work in with you, and anyone else who happens to be using a machine that he wants a piece of.

Reason we hate him: Working in with someone on a machine is never fun. If you go to the gym alone, then you want to work out alone. You don’t want people bugging you, forcing you to pause your music every couple minutes just so they can ask if it’s okay that they work in with you. Eff that.

Work-in Guy is public enemy number one in the weight room, the guy who should simply be banned from group interaction altogether. He sees himself as a sharer of goods, but everyone else sees him as the tool who can’t wait his damn turn.

The only good thing about Work-In Guy is he’s usually quick to leave, since he spent zero time waiting between sets.

8. The Track Star.

Vital signs: Skinny; speedy; much faster than you—and everyone else on this planet.

Reason we hate him: For many of us, running is a task, a chore that bears repeating no matter how much we may dislike it. So when we’re finally ready to hit the track and get our legs in motion, the last person we want to see lapping us is The Track Star.

The Track Star is so aptly named because at one point or another in his life, he ran track. And he’s still living in that moment today. And he isn’t afraid to show it.

There’s a fast lane, an intermediate lane, and a slow lane on your track, but The Track Star doesn’t care. He uses them all, because no matter which lane he is currently in, he will ultimately need to pass someone who is slower than him…because everyone is slower than him.

Pacing oneself is a concept foreign to The Track Star. His speed is balls-to-the-wall at all times. He’s looking for a sub-two-minute mile, which may seem impossible to some, but not for The Track Star.

His pace is grueling, and he loves it. He makes your eight-minute-mile seem a lot worse than it really is, and on top of that, makes you feel like crap just for getting up in the morning.

Really, The Track Star should have his own track where he can run as much as he wants, as fast as he wants…so long as that track is in hell.

7. Bros.

Vital signs: Of the male gender and traveling in packs; usually wearing headbands, or other ridiculous apparel of some sort, such as pink t-shirts; loud and obnoxious; potentially gay, and using testosterone-fueled masculinity to obscure the fact that they want to have sex with other dudes.

Reason we hate them: Bros are just wrong in all aspects of life. They are essentially stuck in an advanced juvenile state, usually career bachelors, and thoroughly enjoy the company of other Bros.

Bros are flamboyantly gay, except they’re not, because they’re straight, but they actually are…gay, that is. That’s how they would explain it to you, if you were worthy of being spoken to, which you aren’t, because you’re not a fellow Bro.

When at the gym, Bros love to be the center of attention and achieve that by flexing in front of mirrors, yelling across the room to one another, and pumping each other up with loud shouts of encouragement: “You can do it, bro! One more now, one more, you got this, I’m not even touching it right now (the bar, not his penis), it’s all you, all you, you got thiiiiiiisssss……YEAH! You did it bro, that was all you, I wasn’t even involved, let’s go get a protein bar and maybe a shot of wheatgrass.”

6. Mr. Short-shorts.

Vital signs: Older than you; wearing short-shorts, often short enough to create a distraction.

Reason we hate him: You’re sitting at the gym, minding your own business, when you happen to glance across the room and oh my God, that’s a testicle. Nobody wants to see testicles when at the gym, but with Mr. Short-shorts around, balls are always a possibility.

Mr. Short-shorts has been wearing the same workout attire for the past fifty years. His jogging shorts are so old that they’ve changed color three times. They’ve also lost their inner netting, and now, like the last leaf on the branch of a tree in the midst of Autumn, Mr. Short-shorts’ package simply dangles in the breeze.

Trust me on this: Mr. Short-shorts isn’t so senile that he’s unaware of this fashion faux pas. Indeed he’s very aware that his twig and berries are visible, and that’s the way he likes it. He’s got a bit of that exhibitionist streak in him, and at his age, the reward for hanging loose is much greater than the risk. Chances are, a fellow Mrs. Short-shorts might catch a glimpse of the treasure beneath those ancient Soffes and pounce at the golden opportunity. Can’t fault Mr. Short-shorts for the effort.

5. The Accountant.

Vital signs: Carrying a notepad and pen; very thorough in all aspects of his workout.

Reason we hate him: Let’s face it, it’s about the notepad and pen. We can’t handle it. It’s different, and as a society we’re meant to fear different. Call it notepad-and-pen-ism if you must, but it is what it is.

The Accountant keeps a written record of everything he does at the gym. If The Accountant gets a drink of water at 9:37 a.m., it goes in the book. If he takes a whiz at 10:02 a.m., the notepad knows. If he benches three sets of 12 reps at 135 pounds, the feat is etched in ink.

The Accountant follows a very specific routine, moving from machine to machine with great care. If someone or something interrupts his routine, The Accountant notes it in the book and moves on. He’s not forced into a panic like some might expect, but rather prepared to adjust to any obstacles that may come his way. The Accountant has practiced for moments like these.

The Accountant is probably a good guy, he just can’t go through life without charting everything he does. Yes, it rubs us the wrong way. Yes, it’s not fair. But hey, that’s life.

4. The Lightweight with the Gloves

Vital signs: Scrawny; wearing weight-lifting gloves; apparently has sensitive hands.

Reason we hate him: Unless you’re an Olympic power lifter, a woman, or possess an allergy to steel, you don’t need to lift with gloves. If you think you need to lift with gloves, but don’t fall into any of the aforementioned categories, maybe you just shouldn’t be lifting at all.

The Lightweight With The Gloves is one of those guys who’s anxious to fit in. He feels he’s incorporating himself into the fabric of the gym by donning these tools of the trade, despite the fact that he looks like a last place finisher in a handball tournament.

While everyone else is capable of pushing pounds barehanded, The Lightweight With The Gloves struggles through set after set, trying to fake his way through a workout by entrusting the fingerless facades of foolishness embracing his palms.

No, he doesn’t cause any harm to anyone but himself, but the fact that he’s within your personal space is a nuisance, and one of those things in life that simply bugs us.

3. The Puppy Guarder.

Vital signs: Keeps a close eye on you while you workout; gets ever closer to your machine, then walks away, then returns; suspicious looking.

Reason we hate him: The Puppy Guarder earns his nickname by puppy guarding the machine you happen to be using. He wants in on that machine, and he’s not afraid to show it. He is, however, afraid to speak, and will not ask you if you are almost done, or even if he can work in with you.

Unlike Work-In Guy, The Puppy Guarder is selfish. He wants that machine all to himself and is willing to do almost whatever it takes to get it. Which is why he draws ever nearer to you with each passing second, coming within inches of your bubble before disappearing almost as quickly as he arrived.

As soon as you’re done, The Puppy Guarder strikes, dashing from across the room and halting his sprint mere feet away from his desired target. Once his possession is secured, he slows his pace to a casual level, as if he unsuspectingly happened upon this vacant treadmill or nautilus machine. You’re not fooling anybody, slick.

2. The Nudist.

Vital signs: Naked; in the locker room; frequent user of the sauna; hates towels.

Reason we hate him: Not unlike Mr. Short-shorts, The Nudist is an exhibitionist. In fact, often times The Nudist and Mr. Short-Shorts are the same person, though in completely different venues, so worthy of separate entries on this list.

For fear of being arrested, The Nudist is smart enough to relegate his birthday suit to the locker room, where he flaunts his body to the maximum degree.

The Nudist is apt to walk a path between his locker, the sauna, his locker, the shower, the hairdryer, his locker, his buddy’s locker, the urinals, and back to his locker. All without clothes on.

The Nudist is usually older, like his counterpart Short-shorts, and simply past the point of caring about posterity anymore. He’s not blessed with a great body, an overwhelming set of jewels, or even the moxie to pull off such a brazen feat. But he’s got balls, and that’s really all you need.

1. The Squatter.

Vital signs: Carries numerous placemarking possessions, such as towels or sweatshirts; aggressive, possessive, and defensive; seemingly owns the whole gym.

Reason we hate him: The Squatter is the biggest prick in the weight room. He brings roughly six towels and three sweatshirts with him, which he uses to guarantee his possession of certain machines or apparatuses around the workout center.

He walks in and places one towel on a bench. That’s now his bench.

He drapes another towel across the leg press. That’s now his leg press.

He hangs his sweatshirt from the ab machine. That’s his ab machine. You get the drift.

He walks from one spot to the next, claiming each locale by leaving behind his personal property. Should anyone discount the presence of his bookmark, if you will, The Squatter returns to his territory and demands an explanation:

“What are you doing, dude? Didn’t you see the sweatshirt there? What the hell do you think you’re doing? Don’t you know that that means I’m using this machine? What don’t you understand?”

It’s The Squatter’s world. We just live in it.



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