The many ways people make fools out of themselves in the gym

November 20, 2022 — by Mitchell Chen
Photo by Mitchell Chen
While leg day might not be my favorite, I never skip it.
The gym is life, but sometimes there will always be people you will never know whether to hate or laugh at. 

The gym can be a magical place. Athletes and casual fitness buffs forge stronger muscles and become fitter along with making memories and friendships — and sometimes exorcizing personal demons. While it is a place where we all can become a better version of ourselves, I sometimes can’t help but laugh at the nearly comical things people do during their workouts. Here are the worst kinds of offenders I have met at my local commercial gym: Planet Fitness.


The Ego-lifters

Every gym has ego lifters. No matter where you go, you will run into these people. For those who don’t know what ego lifting is, it is when you think you are much stronger than you really are, and start lifting more than you can handle. Let’s start with the 20-pound dumbbells, buddy.

From the 300-pound taco hunks to 100-pound scrawny freshmen, their attempt to pick up the heaviest weight is straight out of an embarrassing and “did-not-age-well” story. The inherent comedy of the situation is furthered by their explanations on how they can usually pick it up but are just “tired” today. Ego lifters are not respected at any gym, but their attitude is free entertainment that I wouldn’t want to miss out on. 


Advice for amateurs

For those who are just starting out, I understand if you might not know how to use every piece of equipment, but you can always ask. If you use the machine incorrectly and make a fool out of yourself, that’s on you, buddy. 

So, before you accidentally fling yourself across the gym while using the cable machines or accidentally drop a 45-pound plate on your foot while unloading it, ask someone for advice or help. We all go to the gym to better ourselves and no one will have a problem giving you a few pointers. 


Beware of over-protective boyfriends

Lastly, the one situation that I find to be pure gold-entertainment is when boyfriends think you are trying to steal their girl. I could be doing my dumbbell presses and some guy lifting with his girl would come over and start puffing his chest saying how I was trying to steal his girl with my “bulging biceps.” These people don’t understand that 99% of the time, no one cares about relationships in the gym.


Nevertheless, I usually love when people go to the gym. Whether you are trying to lose weight or training for the next Mr. Olympia title, no one will ever judge you if you behave yourself. If you put your head down and work hard, no one will care if you are benching 75 pounds or 275 pounds. The next time you hit the gym for a quick pump, make sure to bring your water, energy drink and gym towel, but please leave your ego and insecurities at home. Above all, remember to always practice safe sets. I look forward to seeing you pump some iron. 

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