Late December, the gym is a fortress of solitude. Nobody works on their “sweater body”. Only the dedicated attend, while the rest of the world bitches about how much Christmas shopping they have to do to justify their strict regimen of Eggnog Lattes. But after New Year’s, once people’s guts drop lower than the ball, every Tom, Dick Clark and Harry will return to the weight room to make your workouts a social nightmare.
In preparation of these Krakens rising from their sea of candy canes, here are the 6 mythical assholes of the gym — and how to defeat them).
Hoardo: Guardian Of The Dumbbells
There he sits, the bridge troll to your workout, surrounded by his ‘collection’. I’m not quite sure what exercise requires two 80s, two 45s, two 15s, one 10, a 35 lb. plate and a medicine ball but every time someone comes near, he tenses up like he’s ready to defend their honor. And if you ask him when he’s going to be done with any of that, he launches into such a long winded explanation that you’ll realize this Gollum of the gym doesn’t even enjoy working out, he’s just has severe paternal issues triggered by the smell of steel and rubber.
How To Defeat Him: Get the girl behind the counter to put on some Sarah McLachlan and he’ll abandon his stash to weep over his unfulfilled childhood on the toilet.
The Imaginary Crossfitter
On the surface, this guy has it all; the toe shoes, the compression shorts, KT tape and his own bag of chalk. This would be ideal, if he was in an actual crossfit gym. But because he’s standing in the middle of a regular gym instead of one that has the equipment he’s prepared for, his WOD is “Being An Asshole”. He just wants to hang out at a normal gym so he can extol the virtues of his “insane workout” to old ladies without attending an actual crossfit gym where he would no longer be cool. Kind of like in high school when a senior would hang out with freshmen because the other seniors started ignoring him. Be prepared to endure pulse checking, goal setting and Nalgene bottle twirling as you somehow end up with chalk on your own clothing.
How To Defeat Him: Drop a dumbbell on his weak-ass toe shoes so he’ll have a great story to tell in the emergency room.
When a girl puts on makeup to go to the gym, you know something’s up. Hey ladies, just dumped by your boyfriend, looking to superficially boost your self-esteem but too much of a saint to actually hook up with anyone? The hip abduction machines are right this way. Wow, I had no idea so many exercises involved the labia. Guys, there’s no way around this; you have to look. If she didn’t want you to, she would have gone to one of those women-only gyms where their Zumba instructor is Annie Lennox. You’re going to look, you’re going to get caught, she’s going to scoff, you’re going to feel like a pervert and she’s going to move over to the back extension to repeat the cycle all over again.
How To Defeat Her: Fight fire with fire. Pull your sack out of your shorts and lunge away.
The Sporting Socialite
This is the guy who wants to know if you saw “the game”. What game? Any game, it doesn’t matter. Football, baseball, hockey, darts – last night he saw a fucking game and he wants to talk about it. If you’re polite, you can sleepwalk through this interaction with a bunch of vague statements (“What an ending!” “Solid defense.” “When are they gonna trade that guy?”), but his behavior can become quite excessive. Clothed in Timberlands, sweatpants and a basketball jersey (a man for all seasons), he is often seen practicing his swings and reacting to sports highlights like a Def Comedy Jam audience. He does one set of shrugs and then takes a 20-minute rest – he’s only here because they kicked him out of the bar.
How To Defeat Him: Change all the TVs to the Golden Girls and ask him which one he wants to bang.
“You need a spot, bro?” Two red flags. First, no one wants to voluntarily spot another person. The gym is about being selfishly superficial, not helping others achieve their goals (this isn’t crossfit). Second, the use of the word “bro” reveals a suspicious verbal need to signify that you are both casually straight males. To be frank, our harrowed helper is dealing with a budding interest in homosexuality by attempting to get his balls as close to your sweaty, grunting head as he can in the most socially acceptable way possible.
How To Defeat Him: Stick to light weights. And stop saying “bro”.
The Poor Pubescent
We all started as this guy. 14-years-old and so awkwardly desperate for a hand job from the girl of his dreams that he has vowed to transform his entire body. Unfortunately, the poor kid has embarked on this quest equipped with a pubic mustache, his dad’s weight gloves, a pre-workout drink that’s making his skin itch and some bullshit bodybuilding magazine whose 5,000 calorie diet is giving him uncontrollable gas. He isn’t so much irritating as just plain heartbreaking. Be a role model and help him out.
How To Help Him: Point him in the direction of the Temptress and watch him become a man.