The 5 worst guys you’ll encounter at the gym

For the first time since joining my gym in January, my fitness center experienced was hindered last week and I’m a little concerned about using the restroom facilities. When I entered the locker room, I noticed a disheveled woman with three completely full bags by my favorite shower (yes, I have one). I went to wash my hands and she growled (yes, growled) and cleared her throat every time I moved. It was unusual, but I left her be and went for a 40 minute run on the treadmill.

When I returned, she was still screwing around in the shower, and by screwing around, I mean using every towel in the cloth bin to wipe down the tile and clean herself. Even so, the area still reeked of garbage, and judging from her matted hair and over-sized jeans, she definitely hadn’t been exercising. I suspect she bought a day pass to clean up, which would have been fine by me had she not been so threatening. I resorted to my least favorite shower and could see her through the curtain. Every time she walked by, I felt like a character hiding from a serial killer in a movie. It was overall a pretty bizarre experience and reminded me of all the other downsides of the gym — namely, the men who occupy it. Though I’ve met some chivalrous, kind lads who have swept me off the floor and turned down the speed on my treadmill after a few of my treadmill fail moments, I’ve bumped into more than a few oddballs since first frequenting fitness centers in 2003. Here are the worst kinds I’ve encountered:

The ones who stare at themselves in the mirror: These guys spend more time looking at their reflection than lifting weights or working out. They’re more common out west, particularly at my fratty meathead college campus, so it’s nice that I see fewer self-obsessed dudes out here.

The ones on the stair master/elliptical: Call me sexist all you’d like, but no self-respecting man should use either of these contraptions, at least excessively.

The ones who hog everything: Last week, I spotted a man reading the Sunday issue of the New York Times on one of the weight lifting machines. That’s rather greedy, no?

The creeps: You know exactly who these folks are. They stare at women before and after work-outs and have somehow gotten the idea that an exercise environment is akin to the bar dating scene. I’m guilty of salivating over gorgeous men at the fitness center, but have never looked at any of them in a predatory way. Asking someone out at the gym isn’t so bad, but by all means, be smooth about it. Don’t just stare as if you’re plotting how to scrape a girl’s flesh off and turn it into a lampshade.

The social butterflies: Cousins of the fellows who take more pleasure looking at themselves in the mirror than breaking a sweat, these dudes spend the majority of their gym time chit chatting and fist pumping. I suppose Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino can be lumped into this category some days, but obviously not regularly, as he couldn’t have those baller abs without an intense fitness regimen.

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