Tuesday, May 21, 2013

People-Watching at the Gym

Today I hit the gym a little later than usual, around 5:30 pm. This timing seems ideal for some excellent people-watching (or, as my dad recently dubbed it, "people-judging"--and let's be honest, that's what we're doing). My tiny apartment complex gym (one elliptical, one bike, two treadmills, a cable exercise set, and a set of dumbbells) invites some fantastic characters:
  • There's the guy who has done the exact same workout every time I've seen him. He chooses 40-pound dumbbells, sets them carefully on the ground, gets himself all psyched up, does a few squats with LOUD grunting noises, then goes outside to do calf raises on the stairs. Repeat a few times. Done.
  • There's the girl who seems brilliantly athletic and hits the treadmill pretty hard--but who leaves the treadmill TV on when she's done. I don't get it.
  • There's the woman who brings her personal trainer to the gym with her. And sometimes he brings his little kid. Did I mention how small this gym is?
  • There's the couple who clearly have a fantastic way of making sure they stay healthy. They almost always work out together, even though they don't always do the same thing. It's so cute!
  • My favorite: The woman who comes to the gym to sit on the bike and watch the TV. She doesn't ride the bike. She doesn't use earphones to listen to the TV. She just watches. And usually she watches a sitcom, like King of Queens. It's hilarious.
Of course, anyone making it to the gym in any capacity is rocking it, and my "people-judging" is all in good fun, I promise. But at least the people-watching makes my time in the gym all the more entertaining. I've mentioned before that Terry would complete his workouts in silence if I didn't badger him with questions (What do you think of the workout? What muscles do you feel you're working? How are you feeling? What do you want to eat for breakfast? What should we do this weekend? Should we carpool today? <--I'm delightful).

So checking out the folks around me certainly helps the time pass quickly. I'm sure they also enjoy my antics: falling all over the place trying to do split squats on the stability ball, sweating like a maniac during HIIT workouts, lip-synching to my favorite songs.

Perhaps I should just work out in the apartment. With my cat. So he can judge me.

Do you people-watch at the gym? Any good stories?


  1. Rather than judge their workouts, I invent crazy stories about what they are like at home based on what they do at the gym.

    My favorite is the young future Marine(I know because he told me) at the gym who actively hits on the 30-somethings with wedding rings (yes... I have been a victim) I frequently watch him and I am completely convinced that he sits at home compiling a list of strategic gym related pick up lines. His couch is plaid....

    There is also Yogurt Lady... She eats a giant yogurt while riding the stationary bike. It's weird and gross and I often think she does other bizarre combos in her non gym life... like perhaps clipping her toenails during business meetings or applying deodorant during her kid's parent teacher conference.

    Clearly I have issues!!! Let's not even examine that is wrong with me!

  2. see?
    this really is the ONLY THING I miss about my old school traditional gym workouts!
    all Ive got is me :-)

  3. i love people watching at the gym! and that picture of the cat on your back is hilarious! my dog always photobombs my "fitness at home" pix!

  4. I LOVE people watching at the gym! It's definitely always interesting... ;)

  5. SO funny! You have much better stories than I do... especially the woman on the bike just for TV! I see a lot of the same people doing the same thing, too. We're creatures of habit, I guess!

  6. I judge, too. Favorites (or not-so-favorites): 1) there was a girl at my law school gym who'd do her hair/makeup really cute, wear a midriff top with bike shorts or leggings and basically walk around for 30 minutes); 2) there was one kid who would bust out 30-45 on the stairstepper, but not the one withe the actual moving stairs, only the one with the little pedals... he had chicken legs and I just didn't get it. But, I also really love seeing people who are clearly trying to make a change for the healthy/fit and are just starting out. I always want to go up to them and congratulate them. Maybe some day.

  7. I am just reading this post. I live in an apartment complex with a pretty small gym too (a little bigger than yours though - 3 treadmills, 2 ellipticals, 1 bike, a set of hand weights, and about 8 weight machines). My favorite gym-goers in our gym is this clan of about 6 20 something ladies that TAKE A CLASS in our teeny tiny gym. I am tempted to call up the complex and say, "Hey, how much is that class you offer in the gym?" My second favorite is the mother-daughter-son trio that all work out together. The mother and daughter are totally into it - the son has a constant look of "is it time to go yet?" He does do the elliptical though :) They are so cute!

  8. I LOVE people watching at the gym! Especially if you go around the same time at a small gym you tend to see the same people. At my apartment gym there is a zumba-like class that is held and I can never figure out what time...it's always like 8 or 9pm?? I wish I knew because it is a SMALL gym and last time I was on the elliptical that is actually on their dance floor so I had to keep from laughing when Gagnum Style came on ahahaha. But definitely good for them for working out!! (Also, pretty sure some guys just come to watch it...creepy. Otherwise I'd try the class out!)

  9. People watching at the gym is the best! I work out at the Y so there is always a good amount of variety to be seen...the teeny boppers coaxing their baby muscles, the middle-aged guys trying to pick up on women half their age, the old people who kick some butt at cardio...but out of everyone and everything, my favorite is Banana Guy. I'm not sure if he ever really works out or not...every time I see him, he is walking around the track or sitting on a piece of equipment...banana in hand and a cell phone attached to his ear! Totally cracks me up!