It’s the Eye of the Tiger, It’s the Will of the… Bite Me

With little to do in my life since I am no longer a college student, I have been spending almost an absurd amount of time working out. I basically have been living at the gym and on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. But during this past month+ of intensely working out (which I’ve loved), I have found some things that I really hate about working out… and the people who work out around me.

1. While EDM is a popular form of workout music – I think it sucks. 

I have a fantastic workout buddy. She has put up with me in my insane attempts of getting into shape, from running the Art Museum steps (almost) every morning to attending a group exercise class… after running the stairs. But yesterday we both had a moment of realization during a spin class – we would rather listen to Evanescence than EDM. Granted we laughed really hard when ‘Bring Me to Life’ came on the speakers, but it was still better than the electronic noise that was being favored by the instructor to “motivate” us.

Personally, I would rather be listening to AC/DC yelling out of the speakers about how I’m a ‘War Machine’ than hear the intricacies of a computer making noise. I understand not everyone feels this way, but those people are entitled to their opinions. Every type of music has it’s time and place, but I would prefer to listen to Kelly Clarkson whine during my work out over the sounds of a door stopper being flicked any day.

2. Respect my space before I run you over.

This was a big issue for us the other day. While running the stairs, there were a multitude of people who wanted to be where we were. And while this is all fine and dandy, I couldn’t help but wonder why they weren’t walking somewhere else on this massive Philadelphia landmark. What was so special about where we were?

What some people don’t seem to realize is that during an intense workout, like the one we put ourselves through on the stairs each day, there is a high level of concentration going into it. A level of concentration that, once broken, is very hard to get back into. You wouldn’t get on the same treadmill as someone else, would you? No. You’d either wait until they were done to use it, or you’d move on to the next machine. The more frequently my concentration is broken, the longer it’ll take to get my workout done. So save yourself the headache of being “annoyed” that I’m running in “your way” and just give people who are working out their space.

This goes doubly for lifting areas, whether it be free weights or machines. Personally, I wouldn’t want to mess with someone who’s squatting more than I weigh, but if you choose to… hey, it’s your funeral.

3. Wearing Under Armour does not give the illusion that you’re fit if you’re really not.

There are a few people that I see try to pull this off, and all I can say is that it makes my eyes burn. There are some very fit people I’ve seen come into the gym in short spandex shorts, sports bras, tight wife beaters/spandex shirts, and those people can pull it off. Yet, there are also the very fit people who choose to dress modestly. But overall, who cares? They are fit and can pull off what ever they want to. But for those going around in shorts two sizes too small or a sports bra when they really need some form of fabric covering their stomaches – cut it out.

I’m not knocking them for coming to the gym and working out. Heck, just making it to the gym is leaps and bounds ahead of people who choose to crash diet and sit on the couch. But wearing clothes to give the impression of being fit just does not fly. Not only is it an eye-sore, it’s a distraction.

So go do your workout, sweat it out, push yourself hard, and maybe one day you can get away with wearing tight-fitting clothes to the gym without being snickered at. But for now, just stick to things that keep you covered.

4. If you’re going to the gym to “work out”, actually do something.

Like I stated before, once your concentration is broken, it’s pretty hard to get back into that zone. Especially when the people around you aren’t really doing anything. They look like they’re about to attempt working out, but they’re just chatting or half-assing some  sort of “workout” that they seemed to have made up on the spot. This is highly annoying for a multitude of reasons, but there’s only one I care about.

Overall, I really get annoyed at these people is because they break my concentration more than a guy running around in all-white Under Armour (seen that before and wish I hadn’t). For example, I was in an intense cardio & tone class with my workout buddy and we were really in the zone. We already ran in the morning and took an abs class leading up to this hour of self-motivated hell. And who decided to take the spot in front of me? Some girl who didn’t know the difference between a squat and a lunge.

I really am not saying this to make fun of anyone, because good for her and all for actually going to the gym. But if she knew she was this inexperienced, then she should have made a bee-line for the back wall and watched others who knew what they were doing. Not only did she break my concentration for the entirety of the class, no matter how hard I tried to watch my form in the mirror, but she kept trying to make some side comment to me to get my attention.

Everyone has to begin somewhere, but I’m not risking my chapter 22 for their opening pages. If you don’t know what you’re doing – watch people who do. If you’re still confused, ask an instructor or get a trainer. Some people are willing to help and give advice, but more times than not you will want to catch them between their own workouts. Don’t disrupt the zone.

5. “I can’t do this today, I’ll do it tomorrow… Oh wait no I can’t tomorrow…”

You can ask just about anyone I used to play sports with – I was the QUEEN of excuses for a solid two years, until something happened that is. Due to a severe injury, I was not allowed to workout or play a sport because of a doctor barring me from it, unlike my usual tactic of choosing not to. After that whirlwind experience, all of my excuses have flown out the window – never to be seen again.

Do I wish for others to have some dramatic life-changing experience to make them realize that the fact that they’re physically able to do things, like go to the gym or participate in yoga, is better than any excuse? Sometimes. Overall, I just can’t stand people complaining about their ability to be active. Being “too lazy for the gym” isn’t an excuse – it’s a lifestyle choice. You’re choosing not to be healthy and covering it up.

Take it from someone who was unable to play a sport for more than three months at a time in the past five years due to injuries – feel blessed that you’re able to get up in the morning and run, even if it’s only for one mile. Don’t throw away one of the best machines you’ll ever have because you chose to get ready to go out and drink instead of workout for 30 minutes.

And yes, I know I have a slight obsession with .gifs, but come on – they make things so much more entertaining and relatable. 

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