Survival Guide for Your Local Gym

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A rogues gallery refers to a line-up of bad guys; for instance, Superman has a Rogue’s Gallery that features Lex Luthor and Bizarro. As a kid, I was obsessed with what hero has the most dangerous and heinous rolodex of villains.  The argument was usually a stalemate between Spider-Man’s foes and the twisted bad guys that Batman had to deal with.  Funny how at times this debate would pop up in my later, much more mature (one would think) years whenever I had an opportunity to discuss such things with friends.

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With that being said, little did I know as a young pup that the most heinous of rogue gallery’s couldn’t be found in a comic book but instead at your local gym. You know, the place that’s suppose to be about self improvement and health ended up housing the most annoying people that were determined to ruin your work out experience and invade your personal space.

Without any further ado, let’s scope out this list.

Billy Bank Book – Billy Bank insists that you need his services, which are usually personal training or his group class. He’s impervious to the word “No,” as apparently all the times you’ve told him politely, and bluntly, that you’re not interesting in signing up, he still greets you with a smile plastered on his face and makes mention of how he still has just enough room on his schedule for one more client – and that lucky client happens to be you.

Bobby Bench – This could be considered a minor henchmen low on the totem pole of your enemies,  as Bobby Bench insists on starting his workout on the flat bench press. He also ends his workout…..on the flat bench press. He won’t bother you unless you approach him and ask him when he might happen to be done selfishly using the bench.

Gear Guy – Headphones. Check. Towel. Check. Notebook/tablet. Check. Gallon of water. Check. Gear guy has to carry as many objects as possible; it’s something of a mental vice for him. The threat he poses to your workout is a time constraint because if you’re waiting for him to move so you can keep your workout going, it…..takes…..forever…..for….him……..gather all his stuff.

Invader- The Invader is the person that seems to almost mimic your workout. Just when you get to a piece of equipment, they tap you on the shoulder and ask when you’ll be done.  You’d think this wouldn’t be so bad but the Invader seems to do this over and over again. One would think it was just coincidence,  but the Invader gets its energy from constantly getting in your way. Lastly, the Invader is mentally resilient; when you’ve had enough and politely tell them that you’re going to be a few minutes with your move, they respond by saying “I don’t mind. I can wait.” Then they stand right next to you while you proceed to work out!

OCD Man- More than a nuisance than a threat to your training, OCD man simply insists on using the same equipment, in the same manner. Remember, it’s not  the gym’s treadmill, its’ his treadmill. Don’t get in the way of his routine or his world will come to an end. I once saw a guy who started every workout on a machine bench press. One day, a group of guys was using it before OCD’s precise time to start his workout, and the look on his face was priceless.

Shrieker – Have you ever seen a grown man scream at the top of his lungs while curling a 10 pound dumbbell? I have. The shrieker is very territorial; his grunts are meant to shoo you away to the other side of the gym.  You may do this just to stay clear of his piercing screams, but don’t appear to be visibly annoyed by how loud he can be…….. or else he’ll just scream louder.

Wounded Warrior- This is the guy who wears a hoddie pulled over his head, has headphones on with music that is just BLASTING away, and appears to be completely in his own world.  It is possible for the Wounded Warrior to turn into a Shrieker at times, but you need pay attention to the Warrior because he thinks the gym is his and you’re in “his way.”  You actually feel uncomfortable asking him if he’s done with a pair of dumbbells ; but don’t let his mental game psyche you out.

Well there you have it, your survival guide to the local gym.  Be wary of those who may impede your progress and you might be able to enjoy your workout.


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