Gym poseurs

I’m still in the middle of “get fit or die young” as wifey nicely termed it, which means I’m not allowed to have anything nice to eat* and have to sweat myself half to death 5 times a week at the gym. I’ve got myself some gym kit and if some of the tops are a little tight and unflattering, that’s intentional to make me see what I look like and strive to work harder. It’s working as the scales now show me as being a few pounds under 16 stone, which is almost two stones lighter than I was at my worst and comfortably the lightest I’ve been since I graduated.

I have my rituals and routines- I won’t be found without a sweatband on my head and it’s not because I like looking like a prat but because I’m a sweaty bloke and my eyes start stinging ten minutes into a workout as the sweat runs down my wholly not up to the task eyebrows. Normally I connect my Creative Hitz headphones and watch some telly via my phone on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Yesterday however I only had enough battery left to snigger all the way through Tenacious D’s enormously childish album. My eyes inevitably wandered round the area in front of me and perhaps I should first take a moment out to explain how it all works at my gym.

I tend to spend most of my time on the cross trainer (500 calories worth of my time anyway) and these machines are in a big loose semi circle around the free weights/chin up area. I realise a lot of people go to the gym for reasons that are as much social as exercise but even so, I find myself increasingly distracted by what I think of as gym poseurs. They’re the sort of person who will stand by the chin up bar for 5 minutes, flexing their arms and looking intent. Then they’ll do 5 chin ups in quick succession, and stand around flexing and looking about to see if anyone noticed for the next 5 minutes. The lads doing it are pretty muscular, which makes it all the more baffling because in the 50 or so minutes I’m there, they seem to only do about 10 minutes of actual exercise. Maybe it’s a little bit more if you include the stretching that’s a by-product of looking about to see who’s watching them do their 5 quick chin ups. Don’t get me wrong, at my weight, 5 chin ups would probably break my wrists or something but it does seem decidedly odd. If they wanted to exercise hard and then go and do something else, they could be out of their in a small fraction of the time. I do realise that some stuff, particularly the weight related stuff, does require a period of recovery between reps but even so, the one chap who picked up the largest weight available, held it over his head and proceeded to walk around most of the gym, can only have been doing that for the attention surely?

Personally, I’d see it as a failure on my part if I had enough puff in my at any point of my workout to maintain a conversation with anyone. I’m also so badly coordinated that I have to concentrate on not falling off the cross trainer a lot of the time, especially if I’m doing something complicated like having a drink.

Are there any oddballs at your gym? I’d love to know…

*did I detect a note of glee when I was told each helping of bacon I have knocks an hour off my life? I’m not sure but I have my suspicions…