Posted by: LYF | December 30, 2008

January Joiners

I don’t like January Joiners.  These are the people who flood gyms in January because they’ve set goals or new years resolutions to get in better shape.  Obviously, these aren’t bad things.  It’s that the motivation behind them is often misguided.  These people want a quick fix, not a lifestyle change.  And sometimes they end up making asses of themselves because they don’t appreciate proper gym etiquette.  If you do decide to join a gym in the new year do not do the following.

[This is not an exhaustive list (check this one out for some other examples – hat tip to krupo).  These are the things that piss me off the most.  Technique, exercise plans, nutrition etc. can also be huge problems, but I’m not nearly qualified to weigh in on them.  So I’m not going to.  These sites are good places for random info though (straight to the bar, t-nation, and step up) ]

1.  Using barbells for bicep or wrist curls

Barbells are for things like squats, deadlifts and bench press.  Barbells are usually located in areas designed specifically for these kinds of lifts.  So when you use the bars for bicep curls you are forcing people to wait when they shouldn’t have to.  Plus, if you’re new to working out, you should be doing chin-ups anyway since they’re harder and better for you.

2. Bringing your cell phone to the gym

This is the most obnoxious thing you can do at a gym.  I see a lot of people on ellipticals (which suck, you should be running) using their cell phones.  Leave them at home.  No one cares how “omg crazy lol” your Friday night was.  If you’re serious about getting into shape then you need to work hard and stay focused.  It’s almost impossible to do either if you bring a cell phone to the gym.

3. Wearing under armor or any other apparel that is a desperate attempt to bring attention to your muscles

I will never understand the vanity that motivates people to wear matching under armor outfits to the gym.  People who do this are screaming, “look at me!!!  I’m strooong.”  Most people in the gym who are actually strong don’t advertise it – they just lift really heavy weights.

4. Acting ridiculous

Last month I saw two guys splitting one pair of boxing gloves, sparring in the sit-up area – this is stupid and disruptive to others.  Last year in January I saw three guys sitting on exercise balls throwing a medicine ball back and forth to one another – this is stupid and has no physical benefits.  I even saw a guy break dancing on an exercise ball not too long ago – that was just weird.  Don’t do things like this.

A lot of people take working out seriously.  When you act like a narcissit and disregard the people around you – because you’re doing one of the things mentioned above – you make an ass out of yourself.  There’s just a lack of respect.  It shows that you don’t care how things operate.  What really sucks is that this mentality may be turning into the norm.  I was at GoodLife today (because Ryerson sucks and closes during the Holidays) and I counted 5 people using cell phones.  I saw a guy in a wife beater doing bicep curls while checking himself out.  One guy kept calling me ‘bud.’  It felt like I was stuck in a bad national lampoons movie.  Where do these people come from?

I’m all for people getting into shape.  But it’s worth doing some research to avoid looking like an idiot when you go workout.  And if you’re new it wouldn’t hurt going to the gym with someone who’s worked out for a few years so you can benefit from their experience.

A good example…

About two months ago I was on the bike warming up and  I saw a woman running pretty hard on a treadmill.  I was in my own little world listening to my music, so I didn’t pay her much attention after I first noticed her.  Then I saw her get off the treadmill.  She stepped down and removed a pair of 10 pound ankle weights.  They hit the ground with a decent thud.  And this wasn’t some jacked, amazonian, wonder woman fitness freak.  This was the last person I’d expect to be wearing ankle weights and sprinting for at least 15min.  She looked like my 40 year old aunt.  These are the kinds of people I try to act like at the gym.  And also this one jacked dude who does handstand push ups on the tricep dip station.  Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?  Honestly.



  1. Funny, for the first five words or so I thought you were writing about new joiners to audit firms, who start work in January… clearly something else here. 😉

  2. Yeah. It’s very frustrating and happens every year without fail. Ryerson is going to be packed on the 5th when the gym reopens. I’m already imagining how awful the experience is going to be. However, I can safely say it will be far better than being at GoodLife.

  3. […] January Joiners […]

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