I love being at school for a wide range of reasons, but one of my favorite things is the free gym I have access to 24/7. But, now that I’m home, I’m starting to have a Demi Lovato-level withdrawal from my campus rec center. Public gyms generally suck year-round, but the summer is just the absolute worst (I was reminded of that as I walked into my gym’s locker room last week to find a group of geriatrics wandering around with their wieners out). No matter where you live, you’ll consistently run into certain types of people at the gym that make your Peloton bike at home a whole lot more attractive. Here are the three categories of people that I consider to be above and beyond the worst:
The Pick-Me Influencer
During the busy hours at your local fitness establishment, you’ll likely see a decent amount of smoking hot gym girls. Although you’ll never grow the sack to go up and introduce yourself, a majority of these girls are kind, quality human beings. However, there are some who will make an innocent lift turn into your worst nightmare. I call these girls the “pick-me” influencers as they can often be seen recording their workouts with the assumption that everyone in the gym is checking them out. God forbid you glance in their direction because if you do, you’ll likely see yourself framed as some creepy perve on your TikTok For You Page in the coming days. Side note: I’ve never seen these people do anything but legs. Psychotic.
The PJ Bandit
The “PJ bandit” is a name I like to use when describing the scrawny high schoolers who terrorize everyone’s gym experience, consistently donning their uniform of a wife beater and – you guessed it – flannel pajama pants. These types of lifters will make you consider canceling your membership at a particular gym, but the problem is that they are everywhere. The PJ bandits will make sure that you never get a bench, even though they’ll never seem to be using it. If you really need to use a machine that a group of PJ bandits is hogging, over-aggression will do the trick to scatter them away. Usually, the next evolution for a PJ bandit is to become a SARM Goblin, but that’s a whole nother issue that’s plaguing our public gyms.
The High School Mutual Friend
Unless you have a membership at a gym far away from where you live, your local public gym will likely be crawling with kids that went to your high school. Sometimes, it’s nice to catch up with an old friend, but more often than not you’re forced into uncomfortable conversations with mutual friends that you didn’t think you’d ever see again. You’ll pretend to care about whatever job they’re doing this summer and how their year at school was, but really all you want to do is get back to whatever set you were in the middle of. If you’re feeling really conversational, you’ll ask about their most recent significant other, likely leading to you enduring a ten-minute sob story about how they got cheated on. While the high school mutual friend isn’t a morally worse person than the “pick-me influencer” or the “PJ bandit”, they are the type of person you least want to run into at the gym.