The 10 most annoying people at the gym

The 10 most annoying people at the gym

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010
3:27 PM

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

How are you doing on those New Year's resolutions? I always like asking people this question around Labor Day. You know, it kind of catches them off guard. It has been 250 days since the last ball drop (not counting those by Chicago Bears receivers of course) and another 115 until we'll see the next one. Did any of you plan on joining a health club or gym? Or did any of you try to lose weight? If you were successful, you are among the 10 percent of those who have had a successful New Year's resolution. And you, more than likely, earn extra credit because you endured a particularly tiresome posse of our society: the gym.

I presented the "10 Most Annoying People on the Bike Trail" about a month ago.They're hilarious, but certain characters in the gym crowd make the bike trail gang look modest. Heck, given that you're reading this on a sports website, I'm sure that you have tried to sculpt yourself into looking like the next Joe Q. Superjock at one time or another. And a fist-bump to you if you kept humble while doing so. Some haven't gotten the hint, though. Is all the strutting, grunting, preening and obnoxiousness really necessary? People often lament the hidden costs of joining of a gym. I bring you ten of them:

The Mr. Invincible Weight Lifting Guy: Let's start off with an obvious one. You know how they have those silver statue guys on Michigan Avenue? You can't help but stare at their bizarre features and all of the sudden they spring into motion and draw a crowd. That's the street equivalent of how the gym's Mr. IWLG operates. The first time you see each of these people, you can't help but be a part of the audience. However, the show gets old real fast. You have a sneaky suspicion that these people are only there for the attention and the onlookers are blocking the sidewalk (or in this case, to the water fountain or the one Stairmaster that opened after a 30-minute wait).

The Mr. Invincible Weight Lifting Guy (Shouting Version): Basically a carbon copy of Mr. IWLG, only he shouts after each 300-pound repetition like he's at a Pantera concert. His wardrobe is complete once the barbed wire tattoo makes an appearance. Each weightlifting grunt says, "Look at me! I might need your help to tie my own shoes later!" Come on, guy. This isn't Super Mario Brothers. Stop hitting those imaginary question-marks over your head in hopes for an 'invincible' star. Newsflash: you're not invincible. Your 0-79 lifetime record with the ladies is proof of that.

The Born-Again Basketball Player: New 200 shoes? Check. New wardrobe from the mall? Check. Headband? Check. An overrated has-been whose vocabulary is based on the phrase, "A Little Help" when the ball bounces wildly away from his missed 20-foot jumper? Better believe that's a check. If you accidentally get into a conversation with this fountain-of-youth hoops schmuck, don't ever...EVER ask him about his days as the backup point guard at Southeast North Dakota A&M-Fargo State. He'll end up challenging youtaunting you into a game of one-on-one.

Mr. & Mrs. Sweat: It's nice that you just greased your way into and out of that leg press. The mesh shorts and soiled B.U.M Equipment t-shirt adds a nice touch as well. But do you mind cleaning the pepperoni pizza-like stain off the bench after you're done with it? Here's a towel. And a squeegie. And the complimentary disinfectant you just walked by on the way to the locker room. Go to work. Oh, hey-- the Calumet River called. It wants its stink and slime back.

That Guy Or Girl Who Has A Personal Trainer: How's that 500,000-a-year salary treatin' ya? Good enough to pay for a condescending gym class hero to tell you how to jump rope the right way? Must be nice. I just don't understand how people feel the need to spend money on motivation. Isn't that what a mirror is supposed to do? I mean, didn't we all learn a thing or two from Jim Jupiter, The Healthiest Man In Chicago?

Johnny Hot-Shot Ladies Man: This one is for the girls out there. Have you ever had this experience: You're working out and going about your business. You catch a guy staring at you from across the room. He then moves near your machine. All of a sudden, he's on the machine right next to you. Then, out comes Cassanova: "So...how many miles are you doing?" Or... "Hey can you help me out with this machine?" Next thing you know, he's walking you to your car and asking you out for dinner. If it's a match made in heaven, great. But that's a rare occurrence. More often than not, the guy smells like taco mix and used dental floss. You seriously think about getting the mace ready. Johnny Hot-Shot Ladies Man is the type that will try to impress a girl by benching 255 pounds...failing...and having to call an instructorparadmedic over for help.
The Paris Hilton: This gym type presents, by far and away, the biggest challenge to any guy at a gym. The Paris Hilton is there to look great and not sweat a drop. She's there to pick up a mate. For most guys, this is great! A hot girl at a gym! Only trouble is that 100 other guys are thinking the same thing. For the men, it's a race to come up with the best line andor overdoing it on the lat pulls to look impressive. And this one goes out to the guys that just want to go to a gym and work out: have you ever had your concentration tested once the Paris Hilton walks in...and you end up wasting an hour or so thinking about her? It's a no-win situation, really.

That Guy In The Tae-Bo Class --or-- That Guy In The Aerobics Class: Odds are this guy also has some of those Richard Simmons "Deal A Meal" cards at home. Or that he'll strike up a conversation with you about his cat named Wilson Phillips. And he...uhm...you know, let's just move on to the next one...

Mr. & Mrs. "You're Doing It Wrong": These people need to be pushed off a water tower and into a very large blender in puree mode. It might be the only thing that can stop them from coming over to your machine to tell you, "Hey! You're arching your back too much! Oh I don't know about that, you're going to hurt yourself! Tsk Tsk Tsk!" There is a fine line between constructive criticism and risking a haymaker to the left cheek. Meddling isn't attractive, folks. These are the same people that yell at you for not splitting nines at the blackjack table when the dealer shows a seven. Makes you want to clothesline them with a curling bar, you know?

The Naked Guy: Nothing says fun than going about your gym routine, turning a corner, and running into...you know, that guy. Whatever happened to common sense and decency? I have never understood this. There's always one of them, you know? These people, you know? They're one of those "free spirit" types, usually unkempt, who looks like a big pimento loaf that got dropped onto a barber shop floor. Wait, why am I getting into specifics about this?

Honorable Mentions:

The Muscle Chick, The Guy Who Hogs The Machine, The Drifter (one who "camps out" at the gym for more than four hours), The Cast of "The View" (people who are there just to socialize)

Just makes you want to blow your hard earned money every month, right? Or make another resolution.

Or something like that.

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Fast Break Morning Update: White Sox, Cubs both drop series openers

Here are some of Monday's top stories in Chicago sports:

Preview: Cubs look to bounce back vs. Giants tonight on CSN

White Sox fall to Diamondbacks in series opener

Cubs can't complete another miracle comeback against Giants bullpen

Should Blackhawks' next assistant coach be Joel Quenneville's choice?

How Bears are using veteran videos to school rookies on NFL way

Luis Robert the latest high-end acquisition for White Sox

For Joe Maddon, Cubs winning World Series came down to Giant comeback in SF and avoiding Johnny Cueto in elimination game

Carlos Rodon 'getting closer' but still without time frame for return

Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?

MMQB's Peter King's thoughts on Trubisky, Howard, White and the Bears offense

Theories on why Cubs haven’t played up to their defensive potential yet

Theories on why Cubs haven’t played up to their defensive potential yet

“That’s what we’re supposed to look like,” Joe Maddon said Monday night after a 6-4 loss where the San Francisco Giants scored the first six runs and Wrigley Field got loudest for the David Ross “Dancing with the Stars” look-in on the big video board, at least until a late flurry from the Cubs.

But for a manager always looking for the silver linings, Maddon could replay Addison Russell’s diving stop to his right and strong throw from deep in the hole at shortstop to take a hit away from Christian Arroyo. Or Albert Almora’s spectacular flying catch near the warning track in center field. Or Anthony Rizzo stealing another hit from Brandon Belt with a diving backhanded play near the first-base line.

The highlight reel became a reminder of how the Cubs won 103 games and the World Series last year – and made you wonder why the 2017 team hasn’t played the same consistently excellent defense with largely the same group of personnel.

“Concentration?” Jason Heyward said, quickly dismissing the theory a defensive decline could boil down to focus or effort. “No shot. No shot. It is what it is when it comes to people asking questions about last year having effects, this and that. But this is a new season.

“The standard is still high. What’s our excuse? We played later than anybody? That may buy you some time, but then what?

“The goals stay the same. We just got to find new ways to do it when you have a different team.”

FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver’s statistical website, framed the question this way after the Cubs allowed the lowest batting average on balls in play ever last season, an analysis that goes all the way back to 1871: “Have the Cubs Forgotten How to Field?”

Even if the Cubs don’t set records and make history, they should still be better than 23rd in the majors in defensive efficiency, with 37 errors through 43 games. The Cubs have already allowed 28 unearned runs after giving up 45 all last season.

“We just got to stay on it and keep focusing and not let the miscues go to our head,” Ben Zobrist said. “We just have to keep working hard and staying focused in the field. A lot of that’s the rhythm of the game. I blame a lot of that on the early parts of the season and the weather and a lot of difficult things that we’ve been going through.

“If we’re not hitting the ball well, too, we’re a young team still, and you can carry that into the field. You don’t want to let that happen, but it’s part of the game. You got to learn to move beyond miscues and just focus on the next play.”

Heyward, a four-time Gold Glove winner, missed two weeks with a sprained right finger and has already started nine times in center field (after doing that 21 times all last season). Zobrist has morphed back into a super-utility guy, starting 16 games at second base and 15 in two different outfield spots.

[MORE CUBS: Have the Cubs found their new leadoff hitter in Ben Zobrist?]

Maddon has tried to drill the idea of making the routine play into Javier Baez’s head, so that the uber-talented second baseman can allow his natural athleticism and instincts to take over during those dazzling moments.

The Cubs are basically hoping Kyle Schwarber keeps the ball in front of him in left and setting the bar at: Don’t crash into your center fielder. Like Schwarber and Almora, catcher Willson Contreras hasn’t played a full season in The Show yet, and the Cubs are now hoping Ian Happ can become a Zobrist-type defender all over the field.

“I’m seeing our guys playing in a lot of different places,” Heyward said. “It’s not just been penciling in every day who’s going to center field or right field or left field. We did shake things up some last year, but we did it kind of later in the season. We had guys settle in, playing every day. This year, I feel like we’re having guys in different spots.

“It’s May whatever, (but) it seems like we haven’t really had a chance to settle in yet. Not that we’re procrastinating by any means, but it’s just been a lot of moving pieces.”

The Giants won World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014 with a formula that incorporated lights-out pitching, airtight defense and just enough clutch pitching. The Cubs are now a 22-21 team trying to figure it out again.

“Defense comes and goes, just like pitching,” said Kris Bryant, the reigning National League MVP, in part, because of his defensive versatility. “I feel like if you look at last year, it’s kind of hard to compare, just because it was so good. We spoiled everybody last year. Now we’re a complete letdown this year.”

Bryant paused and said: “Just kidding. Different years, things regress, things progress, and that’s just how it goes sometimes.”