The microcosm we dwell in is full of colorful, unusual, normal, larger than life and determined people. From the minute you step through the doors of any gym you’ll notice very quickly a plethora of personalities all striving towards the same thing. While the differences between individuals vary to great degrees, the commonality of it all brings us together under one umbrella and we thrive in unity in search of fulfilling the same purpose.
Personification is defined as “giving inanimate objects humanlike qualities or the idea of abstract notions” and those who you will come in contact with at your local gym most definitely fit these definitions by way of the categories they have fallen into due to their actions, their appearance and their labeling by others around them watching.
Here then are the categories I believe exist in our ecosystem; you may have more or you may have different names for them, but on some level I think you’ll be able to agree with the following gym titles.
The Die Hard is there every time you go to the gym. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is when you get there, he always seems to be there.
The Die Hard also seems to perform every single exercise option by way of imitation because they have watched how all the pros do it and mimic every nuance of whatever particular pro they seem to be attached to at the time. They are also well versed in every training principle that exists and they are willing to share their own expertise. They have a well of knowledge pertaining to all things bodybuilding/sport and consider themselves a historian and they have every issue of every single magazine that has ever been printed and can quote from them quite readily. The Die Hard is a true fan of the sport and will stop at nothing to eventually get his own recognition, either by way of building a great physique or by simply wearing their baggy pants, mesh top and completing the look with the ever so popular fanny pack.
The Try Hard is determined and committed to the greater good of the sport and his own physique.
The desire to fit in and be accepted is tremendously strong and by way of their usual good nature, they want to be friends or friendly with anyone and everyone who looks like they have something to do with the sport. Acceptance is huge for the Try Hard and their goal each and every training session is to work harder than everyone else (even if the things they do seem outrageous and even ridiculous) in the hopes that eventually someone “big” will speak to them. Try hards usually end up experiencing a pretty decent level of success at the gym because they will literally stop at nothing to get huge.
The Gym Rat is a lifer. They have a ton of gym time under their belts, have tried everything, have invented some things, have done things wrong and have learned from them.
They Gym Rat may have multiple memberships at different gyms in their area with particular preference for gyms most suited to their needs on whatever training day of the week it is for them. The Gym Rat has seen it all and knows it all. Everyone knows who they are and they have a story concerning just about every member in their gym (both good and bad). The downside to being a gym rat is that they use the gym as a place of work and leisure. Most times their social obligations interfere with their training and they would be better suited leaving the hob knobbing for another time and place.
The Golden Oldie is that guy who is still kind of big and you know that in his heyday he most certainly was.
He’s that older guy who still loves to train even though his body just doesn’t seem to respond to the stimulus like it once did. The Golden Oldie is a good guy, always ready to lend a helping hand by offering you a spot, still does the old school exercises like the Jefferson squat and preaches quality over quantity. The Golden Oldie also shuns the new wave of supplementation flooding the gyms and makes reference to the past greats of the sport and how all they needed to grow was some whole milk and a juicy steak. Don’t, however, mistake kindness for weakness with the Golden Oldie. Should a young “punk” step out of line at the gym, the Golden Oldie will be first on the scene to set them straight or send them packing.
Not every gym in the world has a legitimate Pro dwelling in its shadows or shining in its spotlight. When the gym you train at does have a Pro that makes his home there, then everyone knows and respects them unequivocally.
The Pro is omnipotent and there is nothing they do not know with regards to training, nutrition and supplementation (at least in most people’s eyes). They have walked the walk and can talk the talk and should you get a chance to speak with them, you’d better listen. The Pro has his moments, just like the rest of us, when all they want to do is get in, train hard and get out, but unfortunately due to their status, people want to speak with them and some have trouble understanding the gym etiquette surrounding these situations. To the best of their abilities, they will deflect this admiration to a time they much rather prefer and then give their fans the time they are asking for from them.
Then, there’s everyone else at the gym. You have athletes from other sports, soccer moms, young people just starting out, those out on day passes, the gym staff, the cardio freaks, the stretchers and the gawkers.
All of which have a very important role to play in our fragile ecosystem and without them the gym would be a very uneventful place to be. You see, everyone plays a very important role at the gym whether they are aware of it or not and depending on how you view this food chain, you may or may not want to stay at the gym to truly benefit from the all -around experience and growth that can occur for you at your local gym; regardless of how you are personified.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Brand Ambassador, Max Out or Get Out apparel sponsored writer, Sponsored by Schiek, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador.
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