Just a minute of your time, I have a PSA. Unless you want to be viewed as a psychopath, please, for the love of Christ, don’t exercise in a public space without headphones.
I’ll say it again. If you can work out in a public space without headphones, you are a psychopath.
There’s a little bit to unpack here, but please hear me out, and consider the depth of the message I’m trying to convey.
The sounds of a public exercise space are not as serene as one would think. It’s a lot of metal clinging and people grunting, sometimes screaming, depending on the workout or injury. The gym is a culmination of sounds of people trying to get stronger, which is primarily a sound-smoothie of struggle.
Not to mention the fact that if you are working out without headphones, your senses are completely dialed to your surroundings. Thus whatever you hear and see will likely fill your thoughts all together. And what you see at a gym isn’t exactly a treat for the sighted world. It’s just a lot of sweaty, red, and struggling visuals. It’s raw material. The culture of properly working out can make a very good looking person look outright disgusting at a gym.
But that’s a normal notion.
You go to war in the gym, and oftentimes you end up looking like crap, all so that you can look great and feel great afterwards. That’s how working out… well… works. Yeah, that’s how it works.
Now keep note of all of this.
Getting a good workout can be a euphoric and even arousing experience. That is just a scientific fact. And I’m not talking about showing up to rip a couple curls or walk the stairmaster while you check snapchat for 20 minutes. When I say “getting a good workout” I am referring to the process of working out so hard that you are completely gassed from your exercises, you are covered in sweat, or you simply cannot do anything more.
This type of workout can be euphoric, definitely therapeutic, and even slightly arousing.
If you worked out in a public space without headphones and you had all of these experiences, you are psychotic. Seriously, you are a psychopath, and please stay away from me.
I would say that the one exception to all of this is if you did a class or like a group exercise. You don’t have to wear headphones during that one. That’s okay, because there’s this commonality of getting through it together; it’s a group mentality.
I’m talking about when you show up by yourself to undergo a workout with nobody except your own will to do it.
I don’t care if you heard Joe Rogan or any other public figure stand by the notion that the best workouts come from exercising without music. That’s fucking nonesense. Music or even no sounds is better than working out to the sounds of a gym. You can’t focus, and if by some chance you can, then you’re nuts and please don’t come near me at the gym.
Listening to music doesn’t just fire you up, it tunes out one of your senses and adds input you can focus on to help you find your own space in a public place.
Not to mention… not to fucking mention… that it calms the person working out near you as they are likely trying to find their own space too. I’ll bet they are wearing headphones. I’ll also bet they really wouldn’t find their workout experience too comforting if you just set up shop right next to them without wearing headphones.
It doesn’t take an uber and ultra anxious person to be weary of a nearby crazy person who gets their motivation to workout by listening to the real life sounds of other people exercising.
That’s fucking crazy.
In conclusion, wear headphones to the gym. Play whatever music you want. You could workout to the Dora the Explorer theme song on loop for all I care. Or you could literally just wear headphones with nothing playing at all. While those two options I just listed are psychotic in a sense, the act of you wearing headphones provides a sense of serenity to the people around you.
So next time you want to “move some weight around” or “get swole” at the local gym, don’t walk through the doors unless you got a set of headphones to use. I mean you can do whatever you want, just don’t act surprised when people are sprinting away from you in the parking lot.