Arms not as buff as they were? Belly getting a little flabby? Time to hit the gym, bruh! But before you go, just remember who you might meet when you get there…
1. The Wall of Sound
Silence is golden, but a full-blown roar/yelp/moan as you lift that steel into the sky is pure diamond. This guy racks up as many decibels as he does pounds on the bar.
A puff as you load the plate, a sigh as you sit down, a grunt as you place your gloved hands into position and a tortured motherfucker of a scream as you lift the weights. Rep’s done! Release the weights at full height and bask in sonic delight as 100kg of steel crashes onto the floor! Pure bliss. For added points, stare pointedly at nearest wimpy guy, daring him to even blink. The gym is yours, an auditory canvas upon which you will paint your masterpiece.
Headphones. With loud gangsta rap/progressive metal/Baroque music drilling a hole into your skull so the WoS doesn’t have to.
2. The Chemical Warfare
This guy seems innocuous, but wait! He plants his feet wide apart and raises that bar overhead, exposing vast swathes of hairy, damp, dank underarm.
Then it hits. The scent of a thousand rotting pig corpses in the August noon sun. The perfume of an army of irate skunks. The whiff of hours, days, perhaps weeks of stark disdain for soap and water. As the weights reach their peak position, cue the (possibly) involuntary release of the gaseous remnants of yesterday’s protein shake. Pray they’ll find your body as you sink into blissful unconsciousness.
Keep your distance. Wrap your towel round your face. Spray this malodourous terrorist with a blast of deodorant as he passes.
3. The Waste of Space
She always looks glum. She sits on her bench, all geared up in her new Spandex outfit that she bought on the same day that she paid her three-year bargain gym subscription “because I’m definitely going to go 4 times a week this year.” She lifts the kiddie weights (the pink ones that look like keychains) and performs a lackluster 20 rep set of biceps curls.
When asked why she doesn’t go for the burn and up her weights, she’ll just say “le, ma rridx nibbalkja ta!” Then she’ll spend a despondent one and a half hours on the thigh adductor machine, evolving her Pokémon.
0/10. Nobody else uses the adductor machine or the pink weights anyway.
Convince her to ask for a refund.
4. The Equipment Hog
“Sorry xbin, kull ma fadalli 84 sets!” he cheerily chirps as you wait passively-aggressively close to the bench he’s been using for 45 minutes! You reach for a dumbbell to pass the time, only to hear “Aw man, dik qed nużaha għas-supersets!”
You give up and walk away, only to trip in the bar he’s left behind you. Thankfully, your fall is cushioned by the gym ball he’s placed strategically in the corridor. You leave the gym, unnoticed, because the instructor is spotting the Hog as he benches.
Come back at a different time. Or hit the cardio machines.
5. The Ocular Molester
He lingers between sets. The parts of him that he works out most are his eyes as he follows every female round the room with those glassy orbs. Tall, short, chunky, skinny, the Molester isn’t fussy. Just waiting for that pink Lycra to stretch over a pair of buttocks as their owner executes a squat. The sweatier the better.
Watch closely as the girl on the step-machine tosses her hair. His tongue moistens his lips languorously. Just hope his hands aren’t in his shorts pockets.
2/10 if you’re a guy. 8/10 if you’re a girl.
Ignore. Make sure you don’t make eye contact.
6. The Envy Invoker
She’s the first thing you see as you enter. Her hair: perfect. Her make-up: understated, but highlighting her naturally sculpted cheekbones. Her glutes: a shape that would make Michaelangelo weep with sheer aesthetic rapture. She squats more than the guys and has impeccable form.
Instagram was made for bodies like hers. #hate
-673/10 if you’re a guy, 10/10 if you’re a girl.
Try to ignore. Punish boyfriend if he so much as glances in her direction.
7. The Apologizer
Usually foreign, still unsure of gym etiquette. “Are you using th…oh don’t worry, I’ll come back later…” He treads around nervously, saying sorry if he so much as glances your way. He’d be the first to offer to spot you when you’re going for that difficult lift…if only he had the courage to speak up.
As he leaves the gym, he turns and waves…but nobody notices.
Strike up a conversation. Offer to alternate sets with him. Come on. It’s nice to be nice.
8. The Guru
This guy is the dog’s bollocks, the bee’s knees. He uses the ab machine for biceps curls and lifts the squat rack to bulk his traps. When he’s not mastering the latest technique, he holds court at the reception desk, where his adoring acolytes ask for diet tips, lifestyle counselling and even romantic advice.
He bids a cheery farewell and roars off in his Lada Samara, happy to have graced the mortals with another few hours of himself.
Become a disciple yourself. Or else, become the Guru yourself.
9. The Nudist
“Ilalla xi sħana hawn man!” he sighs as he removes his singlet. In January. With the heating off. Stroll over to the changing room. He’s there, and he’s naked. If you’re lucky enough to find him clothed, it’s not for long. He does his utmost to expose his penis for the longest time possible.
Phone calls are made whilst his man-snake slaps against his upper thigh. Leisurely strolls are had and greetings are exchanged with his hairy glutes gleefully unencumbered by trousers. When he does eventually get dressed, his trousers are always the last to go on. Socks, vest, shirt, tie, blazer, comb hair in mirror, inspect nostrils for nose-hairs. Then, and only then, may the underpants be donned. Slowly. With a raised leg on the bench just next to where you’re tying your shoelaces.
Shower at home.