Frequent Gym Goers

I spend a lot of time in the gym.  In the arctic tundra, ain’t nobody got time to run on the ice, slip and fall and break their arm (about that).  Anyways, I obviously see my fair share of people whether they are regulars or not…cardio kings and queens or power lifters…I see them all and thought I’d share my wisdom.   Due to my work, I’m actually a member of two gyms and both have their fair share of characters.

Chatty McPhee-She is my least favorite of all the gym people I encounter.  For some reason we always seem to be using a close treadmill at the same time.  She always screams into her blue tooth.  Though I haven’t heard about what happened since her boyfriend was hanging out with some other girl named “Rebecca”, I have heard her gossip about her suitemates (who apparently stay up really late watching movies and make popcorn), her parents who are always on her case and of course her RA (who seems to hold a lot of hall meetings..).  Her life is pretty rough.

Grunting 1 Mile Sprinter-He goes to a treadmill, sprints 1 mile at exactly a 7.0 pace.  Grunts several times and goes and lifts.

Cat eared Cartoon Watcher– You are in college and watching cartoons?  Well that is fine, except you workout in a hat with cat ears on it and have worn a tail to the gym before. I get everyone has their own style but wearing cat ears, blue jeans and a tail to the gym seems a touch too much.

Tweedle Twins-Always come to the gym together.  They normally wear similar outfits…they are at least late 20s and possibly early 30s.

Foursquare Champion-He is the mayor of my planet fitness gym.  It’s weird to put his face with checking in there but he is always as PF when I am.

What what in the butt-Well I can tell you because her shorts are so short, I wouldn’t even wear these things.  When you go to the gym, ass out class out is still in effect.

ROTC Fellas-They are always in the gym at 7am.  They always seem surprised when I am there on the same machine.  It’s normally because we are the only ones in the gym at the time.

Oxygen Champion-This man is pushing at least 80.  He walks on the treadmill at 1.0-2.0 pace.  He has an oxygen tank.  Talk about freaking awesome.

Puddle Jumper-I don’t see him too frequently but when I do I have to swim to my machine.  How someone sweats that much is beyond me but hey at least he is getting a good workout.

Novel Reader-I’ve never not seen her reading on a machine.  She seemed engrossed in her fiction books so much that an earthquake or fire could be going on in the gym….she would never know.

Question for you: What kind of gym goer are you?

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  1. LOL–these characters are so classic! Everyone who goes to my fitness center seems fairly normal, except the one guy who sings on the treadmill. He hits notes only dogs can hear. Have a great weekend, Hollie! 🙂

  2. I LOLd at what what in the butt!! I know far too many of them at my gym. My favorite at mine is Sports Bra (older) lady. Seriously it’s 67 degrees in the gym and your doing a less than intense elliptical workout, WHY do you need to wear a sports bra and long pants to to this!? Sometimes I think I’m a Sweaty Betty on the treadmill during intervals or I’m just bitchy in the weight room annoyed with all the guys who think they own the place (and yes I am using that!!!) LOL

  3. I am prolly one of the sweaty types! In my defense our gym is alwayzzz In the 70s. I do have to say there is my least favorite gym goer who runs at 6 mph on the treadmill WHILE holding onto the handles. I seriously fear for their life as if they let go they would go flying across the gym.

  4. OH MY GOSH about the cat ears & tail…what the heck?! Is this for real? Can you take a picture secretly, I would love to see that. Haha!
    I LOVE Oxygen Champ- how awesome is that?!?! I want to be him when I’m that age.
    I agree, I think Chatty McPhee is the WORST. Ugh. They drive me BANANAS!!!! I’m like GET OFF YOUR phone for like 30 minutes, will it kill you?!?!

  5. haha I love this! I go to the gym at my school, and “what what in the butt” would be a good description for more than one person!
    And wearing a TAIL to the gym? I’ve seen kids walking around the mall with those but wearing it to the gym is a new one for me. Awkward.

  6. Girl, these people are everywhere but especially at Planet Fitness for some reason. I’m a personal trainer so I’ve been in and out of a lot of gyms, but PF seems to attract the crazies. My boyfriend and I always get a good laugh when I train him there. I gotta go ahead and say I’m a people watcher big time when I’m at the gym. Seriously though, props to that old man. That’s awesome.

    1. Yeah, I’m a member of planet fitness. They are at every gym though. I think the YMCA’s actually gets the full realm of people. Less meatheads I guess but more unusual characters.

  7. hahah love this! I am definitely a people watcher at the gym. (although I hate to know which category I would be included. i hope none haha) my favorite is the guys lifting who have the unspoken war over who has the biggest muscles, who can walk around with flexed muscles, and who can lift the most. I think they saw me giggling at them last saturday haha

  8. Oh my goodness. I never see anything funny except the guy who does push ups and dynamic stretches right beside the cardio machines and now that doesn’t seem as funny!

  9. woot woot love to see that you do this. oh my gosh I have the mile grunter too. annoying as ever. what about the incline walking stanley??? the man who thinks he is bad ass as he walks on the treadmill at 2.0 on an incline. hilarious. I hear you guy, you are bad ass.

  10. Wait… please tell me you are joking about the girl that wears cat ears to the gym while watching cartoons. WITH a tail? That is just too much for me to handle. I almost don’t even believe it. We get a lot of the a$$ out class out type of girls in our gym and I usually roll my eyes at them. The names you came up with are pretty creative hahaha oxygen champion, puddle jumper…

    1. During cross country season there was a female (not on my team) that would wear cat ears and a tail during the race. I saw (and laughed) for the past 2 seasons every time we raced at the same meet.

  11. Oh dear. I’m definitely the female version of Puddle Jumper. I was doing some classes yesterday in just a sports bra and shorts (NOT booty shorts though – believe me I know no-one needs to see that) and I had a huge pool of sweat on the floor. When I’m on the treadmill I have to wipe it down several times because one towel just doesn’t do the trick. And everyone else wears twice as much as me yet barely drips, even though they must be working quite hard I am sure. How ladylike of me :/

    There’s one Novel Reader at my gym who makes me sad and jealous at the same time – she reads very highbrow novels on the step machine for exactly three hours. Every.Single.Day. She’s been stepmilling for at least as long as I’ve been a member at my gym (since September 2010) and she probably weighs 80lbs soaking wet…so I guess I understand how she has the willpower to be on that thing for three hours. Still, I’m surprised she has any knees left.


  12. Bahahaha. The gym is a great place to people watch. Unfortunately my gym is known as the “meathead” gym in my area so I see a lot of ‘Roid Ragers: short, way too buff guys always in cutoff sleeve shirts who walk around like they own the place and make loud noises when they lift. I normally just turn my music up and try and ignore them. I will NEVER understand people who talk on their phones while working out!

    I don’t know what kind of gym goer I am. I just I’m a no bullshit kinda person. I get in, get my stuff done, and get out. I don’t socialize or waste time. I also always look like I just rolled out of bed…not cute, not cute.

  13. I’m a puddle jumper. I sweat more than all the other people in my gym combined. They have to mop the floor after I leave.

  14. “Grunting 1 Mile Sprinter”– oh we definitely have a few of those! I’m either:

    “Annoying Couple” when my husband and I go to the gym– we play squash together, alternate on the weight machines, hold each others feet for sit-ups… yeah, I know, we’re THAT couple.

    “Running so slow you should just be walking” …yeah, I don’t really have an excuse for this one. 😉

    1. What do you mean running so slow you should be walking? I guess I don’t really even understand that concept…at least they are at the gym and moving. 🙂

      1. haha yes, both are “people” I am on different days! 4.5 feels fast but it’s a 15 minute mile. for now, that’s a fine pace for me, though!

  15. I’ve always thought that the gym is where you go to NOT look good. One should be working hard enough to look like it.

    We have plenty who think the machine is supposed to do all of the work and they can just look great being there. This is divided into the middle age ones who could certainly use a LOT more hard work, and the teens and twenties who do look good…because they’re in their teens and twenties. They can’t see it coming…LOLZ.

    I don’t know what I am. No idea what others think of me. I’m primarily a cyclist and want to be lean, so I’m on the spin-cycles a lot in bad weather and in the weight room with big and chubby guys doing shoulder presses with ridiculous weights. My weights are much lower than theirs and I’m less than 170 lbs. What does that make me?

  16. Another thing. The ones I admire the most are those who are obviously way overweight and they are struggling with the TM, stability ball exercises, weights, etc. They seem to be working twice as hard, sweating and panting, as any thin, young gym bunny; yet with no respect. And still they just keep going, and going. I have nothing but admiration for them.

  17. When you use the elliptical, do you just do it for general CV fitness rather than putting miles on your legs, or do you do sessions, tempos etc… on it as well? How do you find the elliptical fitness/times translates to the road?

    Lol to the cat ear girl…. although part of me secretly wants to be that person!

    1. I use it to reduce miles on my legs. When I’m injured I might do interval workouts but I cross train to build a bit of muscle that isn’t running relating so that I don’t get another injury. I’ve found when I solely run is when I’m most likely to get injured. I find that it prevents me from being injured not so much anything else.

      That being said, when I am injured I’ve done intervals before on the elliptical. (not every day) but a few times a week. I just upp the resistance…I found it kept my endurance up pretty well and I ellipticalled everyday for 2 months without running and had a really good race after running for a week.

  18. Hahaha. This is so true. And I definitely admire the older men who walk in the mornings. POWER to them. They have an easier time getting around than I do. Also, the guys who come up and sprint for a minute than go lift weights… I now know it’s to get their heart-rate up but the key in your description is “grunting”. Totally unnecessary.

  19. Love this list! At my college gym, I would sometimes see a variation on Chatty McPhee when it seemed like an entire sorority would come in and use the cardio equipment at the same time. I would always wake up and go when the gym first opened to avoid all of that business, so I’d get annoyed when they decided that 6 AM was a great time to work out.

    1. UGH. Yeah we have girl teams come into the college gym. As long as they are working out and not just standing and chatting on a machine I’m okay with it…I also love 6am for that sole reason. 🙂

  20. I love this but you are so right! Plus being a member of 2 gyms, I’m sure you notice the differences in the gym goers at each one. Like for example in my college gym we would sometimes get groups of girls who would come in and work out together, but really they would just get on machines side by side and chat most of the time to where they could not possibly be getting a real workout and talk that much. But in real world gyms (err, ones not affiliated with college), you get people like the ladies who come for 4 hours straight of classes and other craziness. Class-o-holic, hehe.

    The worst is when someone gives unsolicited workout advice, though. As if I hearing that my knees will give out on me one day is something new. UGH.

    1. I agree to all of this and that is exactly how it is. When I worked as a lifeguard I’d see 80 year old ladies stay for 4+ hours and at first I’d be like what…then I realized it’s also their social life and friends.

  21. HAHA!! I love this post. We go to the gym vary rarely, but when we do it is to use the indoor track, swim, use the spin/stationary bikes and lift. I don’t think I am too annoying, I hope not at least.

    Whenever we bike, we always see these two guys who yesterday were dressed the same and they use the spin bikes for their “warmup” and then go lift. They are annoying. Yesterday they had to go use the “sit down” bikes (recumbent).

  22. Great post! Every gym has characters. I am probably Ms. Popularity, but only because I know all of the trainers and am always talking to them or getting high fives from them. I see quite a few people there that I went to college with, too, so it is always a little weird. Although I stop to talk to the trainers, I still get my workout done!

    The people I dislike the most at my gym are Lieutenant Dangle…who is this man who reminds me a lot of Zack Galifinakis in the build and other physical features who tends to wear these really tight, really short shorts and bench presses…often. I see more than I need to. There is also Too Cool for School who is a gentleman who wears his sunglasses as he lifts weights (that are probably too heavy for him) and grunts loudly. The last individual is really just anybody who likes to sit at a weight machine, texting on their phone for a good 15 minutes without ever lifting a single weight. Please move!

    1. Exactly. I know the gym workers all pretty well since I come in a lot. I see a lot of people that I know from the gym because they are always in the gym too…

      LOL. I think we would make a fantastic gym team making nicknames and high fiving trainers.

  23. This, my friend, is amazing. Considering I worked at the gym in college, I know some of these far too well. I also know Buddy Bill who pretends to lift with his friends but in reality just walks around and spots all of the others. And there was Sidewalking Steve who was about 80 and would walk on the treadmill on an incline at about 4.5 mph….walking sideways. Impressive and really strange.

  24. Hollie you should write a book filled with random thoughts/pancake recipes, heck even throw in a dvd of your cooking segment you film from time to time.. you’ll be famous and bringing in the doughh $$$$$$

  25. Lol, ny favorite is the “troller”– the individual goes on the elliptical and has this slow, over-body-moving type of motion that I have thus deemed “trolling”. Always on the phone and I’m not sure if this person has ever broken a sweat. But hey, at least all these people are actually at the gym, right?

    Love your posts Holz

  26. Alright I have heard of a lot of these kinds of people and seen my fair share but I have never seen someone with cat ears and a tail. That is a first and I think I would pay to see it! I can’t stand the “sorority girls” who come to the gym, take up a treadmill and then text the whole time and gossip with their friend one machine over. Loudly. Sort of like your telephone lady. I just don’t want to hear about drama at the gym

  27. Oh goodness, we have all of those and more at my gyms too… I’ve tried working out in the office gym a few times and it’s always awkward seeing some of the VP’s out of suits and in spandex. Avoid eye contact at all cost. We bought a membership at a local gym and can use any of their locations and it’s even funny comparing the people at the different locations… One is full of older businessmen and housewives, while the other is full of scrawny teenage boys and meat-heads.

  28. This cracks me up….. all of these are true… I’m a member of multiple gyms as well, glad I am not the only one who notices these things! I give the regulars I see made up names in my head, and formulate my own little idea of what their life is and why they are so cuckoo at the gym. Helps to pass the time. I’m a people watcher at heart, what can I say.

  29. hahahahaha omg so great. I definitely have a couple heavy sweaters in the ESC – guys that come in and after an hour of riding the trainer there’s a pool of sweat underneath their bikes. Some of it is water cuz drinking on the bike is awkard (I always spill so I get it), but most is totally sweat. One of those guys is really cute and sweet and I have a huge crush on him so I forgive him. I also have a membership at the Y, and people-watching is my favorite way to pass the time on the hand bike….there are lots of treadmill grunters, and lots of old guys walking around. There’s also this one girl who’s literally ALWAYS THERE and she’s probably like…half my size, and I aint’ fat. She power-walks on the treadmill, I worry about her.

    OH funny story….so today I was cranking the hand bike and one of the old guys was there, and he stepped out onto the indoor track WITHOUT PANTS. like, tee shirt and underwear. I think he’d taken his sweatpants off and forgotten that he didn’t have shorts underneath, but like…..dear mother of god i did NOT need to see that!

  30. Oh my god, I literally wrote a post exactly like this on my blog: called the five typical people in the gym! if you’re interested, it’s my very first post on it.
    hahah I was getting so frustrated I just had the urge to put up a really sarcastic, tongue in cheek post about it.. therapeutic!
    it also got published in my university magazine, as I’m a journalism student.

    looks like we’ve got the same observations !!

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