Prattle Encore | Ten Personalities You Encounter at the Gym

[Originally published August 1, 2010]

10.  The Germ-A-Phobe

The Germ-a-phobe is most comfortable in his own home where his furniture is encased in plastic, and, the home itself is inside of a bacteria-free dome.  His preferred attire is a haz-mat suit with its own  self-contained oxygen supply (pictured above) but, nonetheless, is willing to pay for membership to a gym for the sake of appearing normal.  Once inside the gym, he will only touch the equipment with paper towels and mists himself (and the equipment) often with his own bottle of customized, industrial strength anti-bacterial spray.   (Latex gloves would be too obvious.)  The Germ-a-phobe will never, under any circumstances, ever use the restroom while at the gym.

Annoyance Factor:  1.5

9.  Crotchety Great-Grandfather Time

Grandpa Time has absolutely nothing to do and all day to do it, and, therefore, does not give a damn that you are having to wait for him to take his sweet time with any of the equipment.  His favorite activity is to arrive during peak usage, then determine what the most popular fixed weight apparatus is in the gym, and, then endeavors to ensure that 6 repetitions equals 90 minutes worth of time as he will have to nap in between reps. Watch out for the drool on the pads of the equipment.

Annoyance Factor:  3

8.  Business Casual Bob

Bob is usually in his middle 50s to early 60s, and, would prefer to be teeing off at his private country club with the rest of the elites if not for having lost his job.  You see, Bob is a dumbass and somehow managed to have his own cushy executive position outsourced, and now, the only recreation that he can afford is a membership at the same gym the little people use.   Bob, however, continues to dress as if he were on the greens at Pebble Beach right down to his spiked sole saddle shoes.

Bob usually sweats excessively, but the unsightly stains that accumulate under the arm pits of his pink golf shirt are nothing compared to the sweat that drips off him profusely in literal puddles onto the floor on either side of the trainer. If you happen to be using the trainer next to him, be sure to wear face shields and splash gear.  Maybe the Germ-a-phobe will have extras you can borrow.

Annoyance Factor:  5

7.  The Grunter

The Grunter likes to let everyone in the room (and the building) know that he is working out with extra gusto.  His favorite piece of equipment is the bench press which he enjoys loading up with excessive weight.  This in turn enables him to moan/groan/grunt without appearing to be deliberately doing so. The Grunter is equally loud while on the toilet in the restroom or refilling his water bottle from the cooler.

Annoyance Factor:  6

6.   The Cell Phone Yakker

The Cell Phone Yakker is almost always female, although there are exceptions. Her preferred equipment is the treadmill as it will enable her to maximize her annoyance factor to the highest number of people in close proximity.  She typically spends anywhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours on the phone while casually strolling along on the treadmill usually in white knee socks. (Because her stiletto heeled flip flops aren’t optimum equipment for this kind of leg work.)

Try to avoid using any equipment in the same room as the Yakker, but if  that’s not possible, then wear noise-canceling ear plugs because if you have to overhear her conversations, you will suddenly be overcome with an uncontrollable urge to drown yourself in Bob’s puddles of sweat.

Annoyance Factor:  8

5.   The Sweat Hog

Along Came Polly

The Sweat Hog’s preferred environment is the basketball court because it allows him to remove his shirt without being told by staff to put it back on. In addition to a glandular problem that causes profuse sweating, he is approximately 35 – 55 lbs. over weight and prefers wearing ill-fitting clothing that emphasizes the fact that he is wearing a bikini thong.

He also exhibits extraordinary signs of pendulous bitch tits and excessive hair growth, particularly on the back & shoulder region. Because women & small children have been known to run screaming in the opposite direction  and, some men have been rendered instantaneously blind upon seeing him, I have had to crop the Sweat Hog’s image for your protection.  The Sweat Hog is almost always the Cell Phone Yakker’s husband and/or Crotchety, Great Grand-Father Time’s son-in-law.

Annoyance Factor:   2  (Provided that you don’t have to shoot hoops with or see him.)

4.  The Social Moth

Also known as the Popped Collar Douchebag, the Social Moth’s entire reason for existence is to wear neon/brightly colored golf shirts to the gym. That he appears to be conversing with you is an illusion because he is there only to admire himself (and his haircut) in the full-length mirrors. If you value your sanity, you will avoid this boorish personality wherever and whenever possible.  Also, please note that the Moth’s father is usually Business Casual Bob.

Annoyance Factor:  7

3.  The Perfumed Whore of Babylon

The Perfumed Whore of Babylon is almost always married to Business Casual Bob. Although she is the same age as Bob, she still dresses like a Flashdash refugee in color coordinated, tight spandex with leg warmers, and, may or may not be carrying an extra 40 to 50 pounds of extra weight.

The most distinguishing characteristic is the Whore’s proclivity to marinate in a particularly strong, designer perfume.  Those with healthy upper respiratory systems have been known to become overwhelmed by the noxious fumes emanating from the Whore while she exercises created by the chemical reaction of sweat mixing with the perfume.

Warning:  There is a danger of becoming rendered into anaphylactic shock upon having entered the same room where the Whore is so try to avoid her at all costs.  If you encounter this personality, unfortunately, you will have to exit the building immediately as there is no other way to escape from the effluvium.

Annoyance Factor:  10

2.  The Clones

The Clones are a primitive species of human from the 1970s era when it was considered socially acceptable for heterosexual couples to dress in matching clothing. For reasons unknown to scientists, the Clones have never been able to move on from that time period. They typically dress in matching tee shirts and gym shorts with cutesy sayings. The female has been known to wear shorts or full length sweats with the word “Juicy” embroidered across the ass, and, the male usually wears a baseball cap backwards with the words, Old Guyz Rule across the crown.

For the most part, the Clones are harmless, however, your mileage may vary.

Annoyance Factor: 2

1.  The Expert

The Expert enjoys instructing others how to use body building equipment regardless of whether he was asked for help. He will typically scope out a mildly overweight (and outwardly insecure) female and proceed to surreptitiously follow her around the gym while making casual, off-hand suggestions as to how many reps and how much weight she should be using during her workout routine.

The Expert is a semi-charismatic personality with self-esteem issues of his own and so is not very aggressive, however, his inclination to offer unsolicited opinions usually works against him. The Social Moth and The Expert are almost always mortal enemies.

Annoyance Factor:  9

©2010 Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar™ and Prattle On, Boyo™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


4 Responses to Prattle Encore | Ten Personalities You Encounter at the Gym

  1. Brent Allard says:

    THis post is a riot! I think I’ve run into all these folks at one time or another.

  2. Dawn says:

    You forgot one, or perhaps you’ve been fortunate enough not to be exposed. The Garlic Eating Atrocity. This is usually a hybrid of a couple of the aforementioned personalities, and tends to gravitate to you on the treadmill, elliptical or cycle and proceed to sweat profusely and waft odiferous heat waves of garlic perfumed yuck to a 20 yard radius of his position. Let me also add that this yuck is capable of killing plants instantly, not to mention being capable of peeling paint from the walls and making rubber dry rot in seconds. I used to be plagued by one of those guys every danged time I was on the elliptical. I moved to the bikes, he moved too. I moved to the treadmill, there he’d pop up. I do not joke; I have a strong stomach, but this would literally almost make me throw up, being near his garlic wafting self. *shudder*

    There’s also the Poser – not the fake type, but the Barbie Doll chick in color coordinated skin tight spandex sports bra and shorts, perfectly done hair and immaculate full face of makeup. She is in great shape, usually has fake boobs and comes to the gym so she can work out, and take extended amounts of time at each piece of equipment to stop, stand and pose, casually, of course (NEVER intentionally!) and adjust her spandex to best display said boobs. She will do one set of reps, then stand and pose, readjust, glance surreptitiously at herself in the mirror to make sure she looks awesome, and also make sure she’s facing the most attractive group of men in the gym. Eyelashes usually flutter, and she “accidentally” brushes her boobs repeatedly to make sure permanent headlight action is ensured. She’s the female equivalent of the Social Moth.

    Great article, buddy – you had me laughing several times. 🙂

    • Prattle On, Boyo says:

      lol -thx for checking in, Dawn. the Garlic Eater and the Poser are awesome additions to this list. Your descriptions are classic. I think I’ve been able to avoid those two types only because when I wrote the article, I was still working out at the YMCA as opposed to say a 24-Hour Fitness or L.A. Fitness or some other commercial gym where they are probably the norm rather than the aberrations.

      • Dawn says:

        It’s clear we’re both observers of the human condition, because I found this article hilarious! 🙂

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