Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Going To The Gym - Myth vs Reality

It's February, the time of year when gym memberships go through the roof as people get around to starting their New Years Resolutions after the hangover of January.  I've had 17 years of February's in the gym and I know the score pretty well, I also know that by the middle of March most gyms are back to "normal".  This isn't a post to laugh at people who can't stick to their resolutions, it's more a post of encouragement to let you know that if you've made the gym part of your weight/health goals for the new year and you're regretting it already that the problem might not be with you, it might be THEM.  You see every gym I've been a member off (and I've been a member of most on the island over the last 17 years) paints itself as the "friendly gym for everybody".  I've also done enough training off island to know that this applies globally as well.  I'm going to go over some of the myths of gym membership versus the actual reality.

Myth: We Welcome Everybody

Reality: We welcome everybody who we find sexually attractive or consider them to be a image boost for the gym.  Now depending on the make up of the ownership/staffing of the gym you could be OK here or you may fall by the wayside.  One gym I was a member off many moons ago had a young female member of staff who definitely took a liking for me from day one and I was very pally with everybody within weeks of joining.  Generally speaking if you're young and female you'll be fine, the staff will be on first name terms in little to no time.  The same applies if you are a local celebrity of some sort, consider "gains" to be your main goal in life or have employed the services of one of the regular personal trainers.  For everybody else you'll find them about as friendly as ISIS....OK maybe that is a little unfair as they do stop one step short of wanting to cut your head off just for existing!  Still you shouldn't forget your place, you are a number, a number associated with a standing order.

 Myth: Everybody Working Hard In Their Own Little Spaces With Room For All

Reality: It's a proven fact that the average gym has a higher percentage of selfish cunts than just about any other type of building.  Whilst the photos on the website either show an empty gym with equipment neatly put away ready for use or a healthily full gym with people working towards their own goals smiling away the reality is that a couple of selfish cunts will spoil just about every trip to the gym.  Chances are you will want to punch somebody on most visits.  Why use one set of dumb-bells when you can have a monopoly on five?  Why concentrate on one piece of equipment or workstation when you can leave your clothes, shaker, phone, notepad on 3-4 for when you're ready?  Why use a unique piece of equipment (of which the gym only has one) for it's single designed usage when you can re-purpose it for an entire hour whilst every non selfish cunt looks on at you in disgust?  After all a gym membership is almost the same as owning your own gym isn't it, everybody else is just interrupting your "gains"?  The real beauty of this, the absolute crystal gem of fucked-up'ness, is that if you speak to one of these twunts you'll realise that they in no way, shape or form see themselves as being selfish.  They are simply "maximising their workout".  No you fucking prick, what you are doing is SHARING a space with other gym members who all have equal access to the same equipment as you.  Take your turn, move on. Seriously who ever brought up these fuckers to be so selfish and have so little awareness of the concept of sharing needs to be shot.

Myth: The Friendly Personal Trainer  

Reality: Fuuuckkkkk Offfffff.  Friendly to the point where they realise that you have no interest in hiring their services.  Certainly not friendly to the point where they might offer some safety advise to a 60+ year old gentlemen who is in serious danging of hurting himself on a resistance machine RIGHT FUCKING NEXT TO YOU.  I'm convinced that the only point of a personal trainer is to get people through the initial un-friendly barrier  that greets most new gym members.  I can see no other reason why people are happy to pay £25-£40 an hour to have somebody sit on what was the 1 free treadmill in the whole gym (see selfish cunts above)  next to them and talk about their weekend.  It would also be nice if personal trainers could take some notice of the thousand and one banners put up asking people to put equipment back after they've finished with it but then again that may distract them from the smug feeling of being better than everybody else in the gym.  Being a personal trainer in a gym is the same as owning it, fact.

Myth: Large Modern Changing Rooms Full Of Friendly Banter

Reality: The website shows the ample benches, clothes hooks/hangers and lockers.  Clean showers and freshly painted walls.  It is a little known fact however that it has been scientifically proven that gym changing rooms deteriorate quicker than any other room known to man.  The first thing that hits you is the smell, the smell of people who consider a diet made up of 80% whey protein to be healthy.  If it's so good for you why the fuck does the entire area smell like horses ass?  The good news is that the waiting time for a shower is usually minimal due to the fact that everybody under the age of 25 refuses point black to have a shower.  This is countered by the 60+ generation who happily walk around bollacky naked before toweling their ass in front of your face.  Ying and Yang.  The real problem arises when you come out of the shower to discover that one of the selfish cunts has decided to appropriate 12 yards of bench and 42 hooks for their post workout clothes layout.  This leaves you with the option of trying to balance all your clothes on the one hook whilst you get dressed in what is basically the centre of an arena of men/women looking at the floor.  Fortunately the gym changing room is an area where no words are spoken unless you are best of friends outside of the gym, even then conversation is to be limited to how hard your workout was, how it's better now that it's over and how you're not looking forward to tomorrow.

You might wonder then why I still go?  The simple answer is because once you get past the initial shock and awe of dealing with it you learn to laugh at it.  There are few things funnier than seeing 2 selfish cunts have a stare off over gym real-estate or even better watching somebody else just like me finally losing their temper and just dumping the "this is reserved" pile on the floor or taking one of the extra 5 sets of dumb-bells from under the persons nose.  It's getting over that initial hump that is the difference between being able to tolerate going to the gym and not.  What I usually suggest to people is to join a class if they can, they'll soon realise there are plenty of people on their level or if you're really unsure but are determined to stick it out then a personal trainer can help you feel much more at home.  Just do me a favour though.... if you do use one please ask them to put equipment back when they're finished.