Gym Rats, Corporate Style

I’m seriously thinking of joining the gym at work again, ten-hour work day be damned. It seems like I never have the time or ambition to do as strenuous a workout at home. Maybe there’s some motivational factor that I haven’t considered, like being in public makes you not puss-out. Our gym at work is pretty pathetic, but it’s convenient. It’s just a bunch of Nautilus machines, a couple of bikes and treadmills, and a rack of dumbbells. The absolute best part about it is the people who work out here. It takes all kinds, and there's some definite characters in this mix.

Let me introduce you.

OK, you've changed into your work-out clothes, and we're ready to hit the gym. What time is it? Oooh, it's noon. That's bad. Why is it bad? Because that's the timeslot for the guy on the treadmill who smells like chicken noodle soup and onions. He doesn’t ever wash his gym clothes.
This dude smells so bad, you don’t even want to be in the gym if he’s been there in the last two hours. He could be back at his desk and his stench would still be sticking to the machines. I’m convinced it’s some sort of intelligent alien cloud, and it hangs out after he's gone, trying to get all buff. It seems to be working because The Cloud From Planet Stank sure ain’t getting any weaker.

To your left is the guy I call Rico Suave. He does two sets of curls with 25lb dumbbells, then goes and chats up all the women. He “works out” every day, but he’s not in shape, although he thinks he is. He walks around with his arms held about 6 inches from his body on both sides, like there’s some sort of invisible back muscles holding them out there. In reality, he has a bit of a gut and likes to glance at himself in the mirror. He may go the gym every day, but you’ll never seen him actually do anything resembling an honest-to-god workout. No, he’s camped out by the treadmill talking to one of the girls, or he’s strutting for the female gym manager, or he’s giving some sort of private “personal trainer” time to some woman or another. Honestly, I don’t think they actually ask him for advice. I think he just gives it. I would love to be in his mind for a few minutes so I could see what he sees when he looks in the mirror.

To your right there’s Bob, and I'm sure you're wondering if he’s gonna blow a tube. He doing some floor exercises, and he must go 400 lbs easy. [Funny story about Bob: One day, he was lying down on a mat, doing crunches. The thing is, his stomach is so big, there is no way he can bend his midsection. So he’s lying there, arms outstretched, trying to bring his legs up so that he can touch his knees. And he’s doing this wicked fast, so fast he’s almost rocking. His face is beet red, the sweat’s pouring off him, and he’s grunting with the effort. I’m doing some dumbbell bench presses, and my friend is spotting me. He leans over and says, “Somebody should really help him up.” I almost dropped my weights I was laughing so hard.]

I give him a lot of credit though. He’s got the dedication and the drive, and he’ll reap the rewards eventually.

Oh, hey, look over there. That's GQ-Man. For some reason, this dude doesn’t bother to change into his workout clothes. He’s sitting on the machines in his suit pants, button-down shirt and wingtips, doing preacher curls. WTF? Not only is that strange, it’s pretty disgusting too. One, you’re sitting in other people’s sweat with your good clothes on, two, you are getting your own clothes all sweated up. Makes no sense to me.

Over in the corner, there’s Ah-nuld Vish-I-Vus-Bigger. Yeah, him. The skinny guy with the lifting belt, the gloves, and the muscle shirt. He’s got alllll the equipment, but he is curling 15 lbs. He does this heavy breathing/grunting thing when he’s lifting, and is always looking down at his arms, like he can actually see them getting bigger. Um, Arnold? They’re not. Keep at it. Maybe you can borrow Rico’s eyes and use them to glance lovingly at your big guns. Or maybe just check out the ass on that girl on the treadmill. They are Rico's eyes, after all. That'll be your cardio for the day.

Hey, I just thought of something. I wonder what nickname they all have for me?

Don't even get me started about the locker room. Just one quick notable mention here. If you glance to your right upon entering, don't be shocked by what you see. Wee Willie Wang will most likely be standing in front of the mirror drying his hair. Completely naked. I am not sure if it's all Asian men or just this particular one, but he appears to have no modesty whatsoever. I mean, seriously, who does that? Is that standard practice in the far east? I could see if you had some monster tackle and wanted to show it off, but .....no, on second thought, that's still effing weird.

So anyway, I hope you enjoyed your tour. If you want to sign up, it's only $28 a month.

I think I just talked myself out of it.


  1. This is why I haven't gone there in years...

    PS. I want real names tomorrow on all these guys.

  2. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Am a first time visitor. And u cracked me up, ROFL, too damn good at writing you are. I could almost see all these guys out here in front of me. Very vividly written.
    Go! JV!


  3. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Gyms freaks me out for all the reasons you listed, but I never laughed at them like this before. :)

  4. Jeeze, it seems you've just described any gym I've ever walked into! Great details.

  5. Ah, the memories came flooding back, especially the naked guy in front of the mirror :::shiver:::

    My all-time favorite moment was meeting the "new" health center employee, a 65 year-old overweight guy, who I saw outside having a "cig break" when I came back from my run.

    They ran off all the real staff (some of whom were even hot looking, which was great motivation for working out).

    Only $28?? Bargan.

  6. Much like your friend from the East - old dudes love to show off the tackle . One time in college we are discussing this point as we work out. My buddy, Warf, is getting super pissed and using the energy to "max out". We get to the locker room and there is a really old guy who's bag is sagging to about floor level. He has a towel - but it is slung over his shoulder (due to sagging his bag could have been slung over his shoulder too). Warf says, "Hey I don't need to see that - can I get you to put a towel on?"

    It was awesome!

  7. I think my friend B. Brown saw a guy blow drying his pubes in the locker room once. Awesome. People are sick.

  8. Like you told me, they totally have a nickname for you. I would love to know what it is!

  9. Anonymous3:15 PM

    Well let me just say that being a noon-time five-day-a-weeker at the same club, I can vouch for what Johnny wrote -- particularly the Rico Suave -- that was FUCKING PERFECT! And he talks trash about the women too. My husband who also attends the club says he struts around nekkid in the locker room too. Well done. Now, when are you going to start commenting on the women? (And I can also vouch for the stinky guy -- do NOT go near him when he's sweating. You will regret it.)