From The Grunter to The Diva: Six gym ‘types’ that drive us mad

The Clanger doesn't respect the gym equipment, dropping it to the floor – usually because it's too heavy – and making a loud noise. Getty Images
The Clanger doesn't respect the gym equipment, dropping it to the floor – usually because it's too heavy – and making a loud noise. Getty Images

I was at the gym this morning and the guy next to me, who was sweating enough for the both of us, got up and put his mat away without wiping it down. Not only does this happen to be one of my biggest gym pet peeves – because, gross – it’s also unhygienic and shows a lack of consideration for everyone else using the facilities.

After ranting to a few of my colleagues, they began sharing their own stories of what put them off about their fellow gym goers, and a theme began to emerge. Most of these “offenders” could be broken down into several categories. Asking around the newsroom a bit more, we eventually came up with six different gym “types” who push us to the point where we want to throw the towel in.

The Hogger

The Hogger takes on many shapes, and can shift between the gym and the changing room. In the gym these people will horde equipment, dumbbells and the like strewn around them like toys in a playroom, for unacceptable periods of time. Often The Hogger can be found working out during peak gym periods, and takes phone breaks during their workout. Asking to alternate with them between sets will result in either an eye roll, or as one colleague found, a flat-out no. In the changing room, these delightful individuals will spread out their personal belongings, as though they’re in their own home. And if you find The Hogger by the mirror, just give up. Expo 2020 will have been and gone before you get a glimpse of yourself.

The Diva

You’d be forgiven for mistaking The Hogger for The Diva in the dressing room. This is the person who spends excessive amounts of time in front of the changing room mirror, putting on more make up or hair gel – The Diva can be a man too – than one would normally apply before a night out. Their fitness attire says, “I’ve just thrown this together” but you suspect it has taken them an hour to assemble. When they eventually do make it into the gym, the ratio between selfies to actual exercise is roughly 70/30 (at least they’re working their core muscles when twisting themselves into some of those more awkward “oblique” shots).

The Clanger

There’s nothing worse than being “in the zone”, with or without music, to find your concentration broken by the delightful noises of The Clanger. These are the types who load up the weights, either on a fixed machine or free weights, and simply let go, resulting in, you guessed it, a loud clang. Most well-informed fitness types will know this more than likely means the person is trying to work with too much weight. And as one colleague noted, there’s nothing like watching someone slowly break the equipment your membership fees have paid for.

The Grunter

I’ve gone head to head with a few Grunters in my time, and it seems every fitness facility has them. Let me first say that I understand there are certain situations when it’s necessary, particularly if you’re power lifting or squatting with large amounts of weight. The majority of The Grunters, however, are not. These are the guys – and gals – who will make these inexplicable noises while bench pressing weight my grandfather could manage (I’m serious, the guy does TRX).

The Exhibitionist

This one is particularly offensive, given cultural norms in the UAE. These individuals – who behave like they’re in their bathroom at home – can be found prancing around a public changing room, sans towel. As one colleague mentioned, this isn’t just an instance of realising your towel is still in the locker after starting the shower. These are individuals who, instead, will jaunt around the changing room, paying no attention to the signs requesting that members “please respect UAE culture”. There are changing cubicles for a reason, people. Use them.

Published: September 15, 2016 04:00 AM


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