Guest Blog – Microcosm of the gym

Hi all! 

I’m your guest blogger – Becca is skate boarding at the moment (in my kitchen, without a skateboard.  I guess that makes her air skateboarding??)  Regardless, I’m here at the request of Becca, because I regularly comment on the microcosm of life at the gym.  I’m a people watcher- I LOVE staring at a person and trying to see inside their mind.  I’m not trying to be rude, I just think people are fascinating.  I suppose that’s partly why I became a teacher- I get to stare at people all day long and it’s not weird. 

Jess & Becca (L to R)

Jess & Becca (L to R)

Since Becca has moved in with me, I’ve signed up for a gym membership- and my fascination with people watching has resurfaced!  There are so many people groups at the gym- I love watching them and making up conversations with them.  It’s rather funny because I’m the chick with the headphones who gets in and gets out.  I don’t really talk to anyone, not because I don’t want to, but because everyone is so intimidating!  Almost everyone looks like they know what they are doing.  I digress- I’m here at the request of Becca because I like to comment on the people at the gym.  Again- not trying to be rude, or make a person uncomfortable, but I just like to observe.

First, there are the men who are there when I arrive, and are still working out when I leave.  They tend to have use the big weights, and talk to each other between reps.  They could probably bench me without breaking a sweat.  Becca assures me all the talking is necessary.  I find it humorous when they start talking to each other in gym speak. “Dude. My arms are wasted from yesterday.”  or “I lifted 200lbs on the (fill in the blank) last week.  What’d you do?”  I like to think they aren’t checking themselves out- but they do spend a lot of time staring in the mirror.  They’re also pretty oblivious to all 100lbs of me lifting my 10 and 15 pound dumbbells.  I tend to stare at them because they’re fascinating to me.  I want to be in shape, but I don’t fully understand (or have) the time and energy necessary to get this in shape.

Second, there are the few women who also look like they know what they’re doing.  Most use gloves and lift the 10 and 15 pounders like me, and don’t use many of the machines.   To fit with these women are the older men that aren’t massive like group #1- but still know their way around the gym.  This past weekend, I saw all the men hanging out with the women and realized they are all either friends, or married.  The whole group did their thing, and then hung around chatting.  I didn’t see a ton of interaction between reps, but perhaps they got all their socializing out ahead of time?

Then there are the younger women.  By younger, I suppose they’re in their 20s and early 30s.  They are as fascinating as the first group.  These ladies like to use all the machines- they do one set around the room, or use small weights and then they’re done.  I wonder if they know what they are doing (I hope I don’t sound judgmental, as I probably was one of these women in high school and college).  I certainly didn’t when I was doing the rounds 10 years ago.  I hope they are getting the results they want.  I also have to confess, I want to approach them and tell them I know of an awesome trainer who can help them.

Last, there are the few random people.  I’d like to think I’m one of these.  They look like they know what they are doing, but aren’t super ripped.  They get in, do their work out, and get out.  Maybe do a little talking, if they know someone.  Becca’s a bit random- she’s like the guys in the first group, but I’ve never heard her talk like them- rarely does she ‘boast’ about her squats, lifts, etc. (or if she does, it’s not to me)  There are also the girls who come back, do a bunch of ab workouts and then go to the elliptical.

The bottomline, as Becca would say?  People are wonderfully interesting!  Each of the groups above are great, unique and integral part of a healthy gym.  We need those people- and more- to make our workouts better. 

What’s your gym group?

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4 thoughts on “Guest Blog – Microcosm of the gym

  1. “Then there are the younger women. By younger, I suppose they’re in their 20s and early 30s”

    I guess I’m technically in this group you described. Spinning/spin class is my desired form of cardio, which I do 6 days a week. Four of those days I also do either mat pilates or strength training on the machines. I like to think that I know what I’m doing. I have worked with a few trainers on a dozen different occasions. I work on specific muscle groups at a time, and I rep way more than 15 pounds 🙂 I am not an expert, nor am I ripped, but I do have some nice definition and I lift with purpose, not to pull the ol’ college “go in with a full face of makeup, do a few situps, hit the elliptical (not too hard!) while I read People magazine” thing. I take my fitness seriously and I’m not afraid to sweat! Plus, I like seeing real progress. Whether that’s a new squat weight or noticeable increases in my stamina during spinning, it makes me feel good.

  2. I may Fall into both groups. I like to talk with other and meet new people. I’m like your co blogger I too love watching people, i could do it almost all day long . Okay The work i do I too do this from time to time . I like the help of others when in the gym somedays I like the free Weight and some of the machines. As a Guy the classes are great. most of the time I feel out of place just because i’m the only guy. then i realize I work in a field with mostly women no Big Deal. I will say many of the women can but those men on the Free weight to shame. including myself. outstanding

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