OK. That’s it! I’ve had it. I’m sick and tired of having the flow of my workout interrupted by the soccer-mom talking on her cell phone, sipping her coffee on the pec deck while not understanding the meaning of the phrase “working-in”. I’m fed up with having some yo-yo stand between my mirror and me while I’m admiring my pythons when doing curls, just so he can check out his cool new tribal-band tattoo.
Sound familiar? If so, you too must belong to a “health” or “fitness” club. I’ve been lifting for about 15 years now and just recently moved. Unfortunately, there were no gyms in my new area, only a handful of “health clubs”. I figured as long as they’ve got weights, it wouldn’t be a problem. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It didn’t take me longer than 2 days to figure out that “health/fitness club” was just another way to say, “Welcome one and all. Please come here 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week, walk on the treadmill, chat, have your latte – protein – banana – wheat germ smoothie, just so that you can go home, sit on your ass in front of the TV and eat pork rinds covered in mayo for the rest of the day.”
The club where I work out now could not be more different than a gym, and I for one, doesn’t like it. What’s more, I’m going to do something about it. With the power of my pen, I am going to encourage each and every one of you to open your own hardcore gyms, so that we can eradicate this threat to our lifting way of life. Of course, I won’t leave you hanging. While you will be expected to fund the gym along with finding a location and all the other things required to start a new business, I will provide you with the key to making it work. I will give you a doctrine, a set of rules if you will, to be used to make your new hardcore gym the utopia any true muscle-head dreams of. This doctrine will be the gospel on which your gym should be based. It will consist of a number of rules and guidelines. It will be easy to implement, understand, and follow.
The doctrine is as follows:
- If you’re a sweaty bastard, bring a towel! The last thing anyone wants to sit in is a puddle of sweat mixed with hair gel and god-knows-what when he or she uses a piece of equipment.
- Anyone who walks in front of someone working out in front of a mirror shall be forced to workout in a room with no mirrors. The only things covering the walls will be naked pictures of Bea Arthur.
- No reading books, magazines, or newspapers while working out. You want to read? Go to a Starbucks or the library.
- No cell phones. The only thing more annoying than hearing someone on their phone in a movie theater is listening to someone talk about the latest American Idol episode while you’re trying to maximize your burn.
- Attire: If you’re a guy – no spandex without shorts over them. Please no one wants to see what you’re packing down there or know your religion. Work boots and flannels are only appropriate if you weigh over 200 pounds.
- No air conditioning how the hell do you know if you’re getting a good workout unless you sweat? Fans were good enough for Charles Atlas; they’re good enough for you.
- Music – no station with the word “Hot” in front of its name (e.g. HOT! 107FM). A steady rotation of Van Halen, Metallica, AC/DC, and the Vision Quest soundtrack is all I’d have going. I could be convinced to include Eminem, as well.
- No cardio machines – if you need to get your heart rate up, it means you’re not working out hard enough. Either increase the intensity or run to the damn gym.
- No TVs – isn’t that why you came here in the first place?
- No juice bars!! (’Nuff said)
- Talking – other than asking people if you could work in, conversation should be kept to a minimum. Besides, do you care about what the guy in the gray sweat suit with the towel around his neck did over the weekend? No! Do you really need to discuss the unseasonably cold weather with yet another person? Absolutely not.
- No smiling – There is to be no smiling in the gym. Working out is not fun. It’s a way of life. There is nothing fun about it. Anyone caught smiling will have his or her gym membership suspended for one month.
- Spotting – The ability to provide a quality spot for someone is an art, and one only honed through experience.
- Make sure you don’t sweat on the person you’re spotting.
- Always say, “You got it, it’s all you!”
- Never spot someone benching when you’re not wearing underwear.
* One more note about spotting: Never be afraid to ask for a spot if you’re pushing yourself. Being stuck under a barbell while benching will cause a serious drop in gym manly points from which few could ever recover.
The bottom line is that working out is like a drug. Once you start working out and experiencing the highs (e.g. looking and feeling better, increased confidence), you don’t want to stop out of fear of coming down (i.e. getting out of shape). So you need to keep going. Once it gets its claws in you, you’re hooked. And where does one go when they want to get their fix? That’s right – the local crack house, or in our case, the gym. From what I’ve seen on TV, crack houses are not pretty… there’s no AC. You don’t go there to make friends. They certainly don’t sell tasty protein shakes. Thus the gym should not either. It should be utilitarian. Get in, do your business, get out.
You want to read and watch TV in a nice comfortable atmosphere? Then stay home or go to Bally’s. We don’t want your kind here.