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Gym Stereotypes & The Naked Guy!

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After spending 20 years in and out of every type of fitness facility known to man, I believe I have seen, heard and smelled just about visual, audible and olfactory-inducing nausea one can handle in a lifetime.

Let’s take a look:

  • WATER-SKIING – For those that have trained with me, absolutely know what “water-skiing” is.  This is the timeless act of jacking the incline (on a treadmill) to its highest; the track looks as if it is going to fly off, and all the while, the user has their hands draped over the top/front part of the machine.  Thus, giving the appearance of a person holding the line of a water-ski.  But we are not done.  To successfully perform and look as uncomfortable as possible, you are not allowed to jog/run.  You must walk so awkwardly that your feet are stomping and your head is bobbling as if it is going to fly of into orbit.  Just witnessing this monstrosity makes me nervous.  The 1st thing that comes to mind is hoping the gym has great insurance.  2nd, if I were to walk in front of the machine and slap the top of the person’s hands (forcing them to let go), they would propel backward so fast, then face-plant with the force of an Andre’ The Giant powerslam.

Now let’s look at this from a physiological point.  1st, do you know what the purpose of the incline is for?  To keep your body erect, and not fall backward.  This is achievable by your abdominals.  Any tine you are standing and force is pressed upon you, your abdominals contract and tighten.  On the treadmill, while water-skiing, you are taking all the stress off of your abdominals and place it solely on your legs (hips especially).  So anytime you happen to see someone skiing the great lakes indoors, keep in thought that you know a little something extra to a great fat-burning exercise.


  • NOISE – Now I understand that audible exhalations are a byproduct of intensive training.  But…Where do we take it too far?
    • The Hisser – This person emits a slither sound so loud (on every rep) that snakes on a plane can hear them.
    • The Nature Boy – The wrestler, Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair is famous for his loud, high-pitched, "WOOOOO!".  This is very catchy.  I not only find myself WOOO-ing, but I now use “the WOOO!” as an exclamation point.  I could be teaching and ask a question, only for the correct response to be followed by “WOOO!”  A task as simple as finishing the dishes emits a WOOO! from my belly.  Another hidden gem with the WOOO! is the secret society.  Whenever a WOOO! is given (say at a sporting event) you can hear fellow WOOO-er’s cackling back and giving the silent head nod.
    • Giving Birth – This person honestly screams as if they are bringing life into this world – only for 2 hours straight.  I swear, I once saw a guy so amp’d up (on whatever) that he stared down an elliptical, then gave a war cry before he got on!  Seeing today is leg day, I may just try this primitive technique while stretching, just to see if it elicits a response from paying members.  Then again, maybe not.
    • The “I am enjoying this way too much” – Without crossing any HR lines, we have all scene (and heard) that person that grunts a little too….uh…..erotically.  There are many different levels of the Grunt.  This grunt is unmistakable.
    • The Purple People – Even though these people do not emit sound, the absence of it is still noticeable.  Let me explain…These people hold their breath until they turn purple.  Then, you hear an exhale sound like a deep sea diver emerging to the surface once their O2 tank was empty.


Other areas of observation:

  • Curling with terrible form
  • Inappropriate attire (especially in Yoga)
  • Groups of 5 taking up a squat rack
  • Curling with a weight bench
  • People that talk to you before, during and after sets
  • People who sit on their phones
  • People who sit on the equipment
  • People who do not wipe down the machines
  • People who reapply make-up during their workout (men included)
  • People who “leave their scent” behind
  • People who carry their gallon of water from machine to machine, only to leave it on its own machine while they perform their set




  •  THE NAKED GUY – Don’t be that guy (I am not privy to know if there is a NAKED WOMAN).  This guy never seems to be on the workout floor.  Yet, every time you enter the locker room, it is guaranteed that NAKED GUY will be waiting for you with a towel over his shoulder, some Old Spice deodorant in hand and a BIG….smile.  He proceeds to engage you in conversation.  You panic.  You at first stare at the ground.  You realize that you are not looking at him.  Not to be rude, you snap your head up as fast as possible as to miss his Netherlands.  Your eyes become bug-eyed.  Your eyebrows raise as your strain to not break eye contact.  MUST NOT BREAK EYE CONTACT!  You hear nothing.  You feel your heart beating.  How long is this going to last?  Finally, it is over.  As NAKED GUY makes his way out of sight, you use the restroom.  You make your way to the double sink, turn on the faucet, only for NAKED GUY to walk up right next to you!  He proceeds to comb his hair with both hands over his head.  You are washing your hands near…well.  The panic is double.  How long is he going to be there?  You leave.

You finish your workout only to walk in the locker room to retrieve your bag.  Mother of God – He is still there with another helpless victim.  You chuckle as you see the terror in the victims face.  Only thing is, you have a NAKED GUY in every gym, at all hours, everywhere.  There is no escape.

So there you have it.  A nice little list of the many things that can irritate each other as we pursue our fitness goals.  I will admit, I have been guilty of all of these.  Except one.  Care to guess?


Dean Bona

"When they are ready...They Are Champions"