We’ve all been subjected to at least one of these odd characters once or twice in our gym visits — some strange enough to make you take the headphones out of your ears and stare in disbelief. Here we break down six types of gym personalities that make us do a double-take.
The Incredibly Hairy Hulk
This type of gym member isn’t much of a nuisance at first glance, but upon closer inspection, this guy makes us shudder. When that shirt you thought he was wearing turns out to be 100% authentic, all-natural, human body hair, your post-gym snack suddenly seems like the last thing on your mind. This woolly fellow typically keeps to himself, kicking back on the exercise bikes with his over-the-ear headphones, and reading a magazine. In some cases, these gents will take a walk-around and settle on the weight bench you were just about to use. But then again, a little bit of sweaty hair never hurt anybody.
The Obnoxiously Loud Social Butterfly
Sure, we’ve all seen people at the gym with their phones plugged into their ears listening to their favorite pump-up music, or shooting off a quick text here and there — but that is generally unobtrusive to your normal workout experience. Our personality in question here is the obnoxiously loud, treadmill socialite. They’ll be happy to share with the entire gym their weekend plans, spoil the latest movie they saw, or whatever the non-emergency phone call may have them talking about. Hearing these voices over your music is one of those triggers where you’ll look around for the eye contact of your peers, just to reassure yourself that you’re not the only one that finds this type of behavior completely distracting and unnecessary.
The Retired Drill Sargent Personal Trainer
A-TEN-HUT! When it comes to personal trainers, this guy takes the cake in motivating people to work themselves into a coma. When engaged in full personal-trainer-combat (depending on if you are the trainee or simply observing from across the gym), you’ll hear “one more!” about six times before it’s onto the next exercise. It’s almost as if he’s following a strict regimen of trying to help you burn fat by literally yelling it off of your body. While we try to respect all of our peers at the gym, this drill sergeant's volume control is enough to disrupt the cardio section’s rhythm, and send potential new gym members scurrying out the door.
The older they seem to get, the more vicious they become. Gym cougars are on a mission to sink their teeth and claws into some prime, healthy young bucks that are susceptible to surprise attacks. While the cougar may not always come on strong at first, they definitely wait for the right moments in asking their prey to show them how to do the exercise that they already know. The cougar makes her presence known and basks in the attention she knows how to get, ready and waiting to pounce on her prey.
The New Age Hippie
Without a doubt, one of our favorite gym personalities by far. This karma chaser has a look of peaceful confidence, wearing yoga pants (regardless of gender) and unkempt hair. An earthy odor may be mixed with patchouli or incense, and occasionally the aroma of a Snoop Dogg concert. In most cases, these are the most friendly and careful gym personalities due to their passive nature. Just be sure not to get too friendly, because the conversation may turn to hot button topics such as their opinion on the government or the situation in Darfur, which you’ll have to kindly excuse yourself from or else be locked into a 10 minute listening session when all you really wanted to do was your last set of squats.
This personality type is a little unnerving at times. Usually located by an outer wall of the gym, the lurker simply slinks around the gym and stares at people. If you catch him in the act, they’ll nervously look away and try their hardest to fake a text message from their Walkman or iPod. The lurker rarely does any exercises at all, possibly due to the fact that they are shy by nature, and asking another person to show them how to do something is beyond bearable.