It’s the first week of the year, which means thousands of people will sift through a box in their closet to dig up the work-out clothes they solemnly packed away at the end of last January and give the whole “working out” thing another try.
For people who go to the gym the other 51 weeks of the year, the beginning of the new year is traditionally the closest they’ll ever get to understanding what it’s like to enter the deepest circle of Hell.
It’s true everyone has to start somewhere, but until gyms collectively decide to take some inspiration from the American educational model, the people who have already started have to deal with the people who decided to work out without a clue what working out entails.
I should make it clear I’m not trying to disparage the people who had enough motivation to leave their house, go to the gym and actually agree to pay the absurdly high initiation fee that wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the flyer that ended up in their mailbox.
However, some of those people make working out absolutely miserable.
Note: While this article features pictures of people doing stupid things at the gym, it doesn’t feature the people who took creepshots of other people at the gym and posted them on the Internet. Being that person is worse than anything pictured below.
The People Who Don’t Own Workout Clothes
There’s technically nothing wrong with working out in the same clothes you’ve been wearing all day at work, just like there’s technically nothing wrong with going to the beach and diving into the water with your shirt on.
But people are still going to think you’re weird.
I guess it’s possible some people are just more comfortable wearing jeans to the gym, and it’s totally unfair of me to assume they’re Never Nudes whose condition has only worsened over the year.
That’s not going to stop me from thinking that’s the case whenever I see one of these people.
The People Who Are Too Into Workout Clothes
My typical gym attire involves whatever pair of athletic shorts smells the least offensive and the first thing I grab from the drawer of the various promotional t-shirts I’ve accumulated over the years that no person should wear in public.
However, there are some people who spend more time coordinating their outfit than they actually do working out once they figure out which shade of neon leggings matches the $120 top that’s about to be drenched with sweat.
There is also at least one person who thinks you need to use a helmet on a stationary bike. Unless you live above a major fault line, you probably can leave yours at home.
I’ve developed an incredibly long of list of gym-related pet peeves that I use to elevate my heart rate when I can’t find time for a workout, but there’s one particular group of people who get my pulse going more than any others.
There’s nothing wrong with occasionally checking your phone while working out — nothing gets me more amped for a few more reps than finding out someone retweeted one of my terrible jokes at some point during my last set.
It might be tempting to sit down on one of the many seats and benches scattered around the gym to text, but it’s important to remember what makes those seats different from the ones you might find at a bar: They’re connected to (or designed for) heavy weights people are trying to lift up and down.
You might be giving your fingers a workout, but that can be done standing up.
The Selfie Models
Drawn to reflective surfaces like mosquitos to a bright light, these people are essentially harmless (especially when compared to the Phoneatics).
They might be at the gym, but the most calories they’re going to burn while working out will be the result of their thumb repeatedly hitting their screen as they search for the best angle to make people think they’ve made more progress than they actually have.
The Work-Out Entrepreneurs
The only thing worse than people who go to the gym without figuring out the basics of working out beforehand are the people who think they know what they’re doing despite not actually having any clue how exercise works in the first place.
Whether they’re trying to catch the kettlebell they threw up in the air before it crushes their face or curling in the squat rack, these people are a nuisance to everyone and a danger to themselves.
The only positive is it’s only a matter of time before they do some exercise that results in severe or irreparable bodily harm and prevents them of abusing any more gym equipment. You just have to hope it happens sooner than later.