The Characters You Will Meet in the Gym

The gym can be an intimidating place for a noob. At first glance it could easily be mistaken for a torture chamber in fact, filled as it is with gruesome looking contraptions and the sounds of people screaming… Worse is the thought that you’re probably going to have to actually come here regularly and be seen jiggling about in form-fitting clothes…

But perhaps what makes the scene most terrifying when you first step through the doors of your local gym is the unusual gaggle of people, nay creatures, that will be occupying the machines. At any given time, the gym tends to be occupied by a selection of unique and strange characters and learning to identify each of them is absolutely crucial for your survival.

Read on and we’ll look at each of these unusual inhabitants in more detail, so you can navigate this alien terrain armed with all the necessary knowledge…

A Field Guide to Characters in the Gym

The Noob: See that guy or gal in the mirror? That’s your typical example of a noob. You can tell them apart by their noodle thin arms and their eyes which will be incredibly wide, transfixed in a permanent state of horror. If eyes could talk, they’d be saying ‘heeeeelp’…

The good news is that you’re not alone in your noob-hood (noobery?), in fact your typical gym will actually be disproportionately full of people just like you – especially just after the New Year. Most won’t make it to February…

If you find another noob then stick with them – there is strength in numbers and this is your best chance of fending off predators. If you can survive these formative months, then you’ll eventually earn your place among the other creatures of the gym. And remember, this isn’t even your final form…

The Intense Guy: The intense guy’s most defining feature is again the eyes, which will be ablaze with sheer madness. This guy will throw weights around like he has personal beef with them, all while breathing heavily or yelling. Often he will be wearing a bandana, wrapped in sports tape or wearing a controversial t-shirt of some sort (inciting anarchy often). While he’s not dangerous, you probably want to give him a wide berth – he prefers to be left alone.

Lone Wolf: The lone wolf is a close relation to the Intense Guy. These come in both genders but are rarely seen and highly reclusive. Ask them if they want a spotter and they will mumble that they’re ‘just finishing anyway’ or put on their headphones and pretend they can’t hear you. Some will simply get up and run straight out the door.

The Bendy Lady: At first glance, bendy ladies are easily mistaken for large pretzels. In fact though, this is a genuine human being who merely has the ability to contort themselves into all kinds of amazing shapes. It looks kind of painful, but you will probably find it’s impossible to look away.

The Ken and Barbie Dolls: These are the guys and girls who look like they belong on the cover of a magazine. In many cases, there probably will be magazines out there with their faces on them. They are tanned, they are toned and they have perfect smiles with brilliant white teeth. Occasionally they will lift up their top to check their abs in the mirror and if you listen carefully, you should be able to make out the sound of angels weeping.

While it’s easy to dismiss the Ken and Barbie dolls of the world, it’s important to remember that they play a crucial role in the gym eco-system. Without Ken and Barbie, who would you have to hate? Who would you feel all superior to? By accusing the Ken and Barbie doll of being superficial or vain or of ‘doing too much cardio’, we can thereby disguise the distinct amount of jealousy we feel towards them and others like them. Who knows, maybe it will ease some of the crying for a few nights?

The Overly Eager Trainer: Agree to train with this person and you will regret it for weeks. This person means well but doesn’t realize that not everyone has quite their tolerance to pain. After one session of ‘tabata’ with this character, you will find yourself resorting to sneaking around the gym like a ninja trying not to be seen… But the memory of the pain will never go away.

The Bro: The Bro is someone who watches ‘BroScience’ on YouTube and doesn’t realize it’s satire. They will spout dangerous information with absolute confidence in what they’re saying, wear tank tops with neck lines down to their navels and believe they are much stronger than they actually are. They are generally not dangerous unless you take any of their training advice. Be on the lookout, these guys are constantly looking for train partners so that they can become…

The Gym Buddies: These characters come in pairs and are closely related to the ‘bro’. You’ll be able to hear them high fiving across the room and if you sneak up on them unawares, you might see them grooming each-other.

The Goo: If you would like to encounter one of these enigmatic creatures for yourself, then you only need follow the sticky trail of grease. Eventually you will find them glued firmly into one of the machines where they will grunt and moan for a while before sliding away to their next station. Sure, they can’t help the fact that they produce copious amounts of perspiration… but they could at least wipe the frickin’ machine once they’re done! On the plus side from their perspective, at least they manage to lose a lot of weight after each session (even if it is all water). Just pray that they didn’t have a curry before making their way to the gym.

The Tank: The tank is hard to miss, what with being built like a battleship. These guys tend to keep themselves to themselves, preferring to lurk in the darker corners of the gym lifting incredible amounts of weight. Ever wonder where all those noobs went after beach season? Some say that tanks eat them for protein…