Some people see it as a sanctuary, a therapy session or even a social gathering.
Others might see it as the seventh layer of hell that they have been condemned to for eating a Big Mac. Regardless, it is an artificial place humans have created to slim down and feel good about themselves.
You’ll find the place swarming with nameless faces, particularly during two extremely busy times a year: New Year’s Day and the day after the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
No matter how often we wish for the good old Roman days to return when being fat and pale was sexy, the trend of running on a 7-foot-long piece of rotating plastic and rubber is what we have now. Sigh.
Of course, there are other mechanical devices that promise us a beach-ready body, the only problem is, the obstacle of clawing over the other gym-goers to get to these fantastic contraptions.
If you’ve spent your fair share of time at the gym, you’ll usually find that most people can be lumped into the following categories:
1. The trainer who thinks his/her job is equivalent to Obama’s
Yes, these are the wannabe Jillian Michaels’ of the gym. They’re changing the world one body at a time, but haven’t found a solution to world peace and need to chill out.
When you train with them, whatever self-confidence you had is instantly destroyed. They will take your pride, integrity and ego and rip it apart like a puppy with its first chew toy.
2. The girl who wears her hair down
Wearing your hair down at the gym is like wearing a fur coat to the beach: Are you even thinking? What is your intention?
This conveys two messages: 1) You don’t have a hair tie (in which case, why did you come to the gym without one?) or, 2) You are at the gum for any reason BUT working out and breaking a sweat.
3. The grandma wearing jeans
Ah, to the grandma at the gym wearing jeans: We applaud you. It doesn’t matter that you’re wearing jeans to work out, because we know — for your heart’s sake — you’re not going to do anything too strenuous. Gracing the gym with your presence is simply enough.
4. Creatine addicts
The creatine addicts can run, but they cannot hide. These are usually the bros who walk in flaunting their protein shakes in their specially made, protein shake bottles.
You know they mean business. They usually make an effort to publically drink their shake and you can find them huddled around the weights. Sometimes they’re in groups, laughing at their “awesome” jokes or they’re off by themselves, flexing in the mirror while taking a selfie.
5. The athletic, artistic type
You will not find these people huddled around the weights. Instead, they are usually spotted not by their muscles, but by their Converse shoes.
These are the people whose lives are not centered on the gym, but rather, on music, art or some other right-brained hobby. Yet, they’re never too hipster for a light jog.
6. The tribal tattoo grunters
Now, this group may be a sub-group of the creatine addicts. Again, you’ll usually find them huddled around the free weights. There is one exception, however: They can be spotted by their sleeveless shirts and tribal tattoos.
If you’re in the right place at the right time, you’ll even hear their mating call; a loud grunt can be heard during or after they have lifted a particularly heavy set of weights. Bro, if you have to grunt that much while lifting, you’re probably lifting too much. Just saying.
7. The jacked few
Whether you’re a male or female, you usually encounter someone of the same sex who looks sculpted by Michelangelo.
Depending on your own personal goals, you are either extremely jealous of these people (and secretly hope they trip and fall into a pile of grease) or you think they need to seriously calm down.
8. The inconsiderate, lazy person
There is nothing worse than getting on a machine only to find yourself sitting in a pool of sweat left over from the person before you.
How about when you go to squat and there are 500 pounds of weights left on the bar? These are the people who find themselves beneath the tasks of re-racking their weights or wiping down their machines.
9. The girls who think they’re at the club
Most men love these women and most women hate them. They are the girls who come to the gym with pounds of makeup slapped on their faces, perhaps their hair done perfectly -- only to walk on the treadmill, never breaking a sweat.
Sometimes they are wearing gym clothes equivalent to lingerie, and sometimes others of their kind accompany them. Despite their lack of actual exercise, somehow these women have super fit bodies.
Good luck getting to a machine when they’re clustered around one, each hoping to be cast in Justin Bieber’s next music video.
Photo via We Heart It