Every gym has (at least) one. I bet you could describe your resident gym weirdo to me in detail right now.
The gym can either be a great place to meet like-minded individuals, or the place you go to ruin your reputation in the surrounding area.
Want to avoid becoming The Weirdo at your gym?
Here are a couple of tips:
Don't talk politics within 0.08457 seconds of meeting someone. In practice, this means: Please do not introduce yourself to me and then tell me you're avoiding the Tampa area for the next year because you think the Democratic Party is going to pay al Qaeda to bomb a major city. I try really hard not to assume things but I will probably form the impression that you are a little cray cray.
Similarly, don't talk about religion. Here's what a natural, smooth conversation does not look like:
Dude: Are you a powerlifter?
Yeah! I'm thinking about competing in July actually.
Dude: Oh that's cool!
Dude: So what religion did your parents raise you in?
Don't do super weird things with the equipment. A caveat: sometimes you have to modify gym equipment to suit your goals. A good example of this would be doing floor presses in an isolated corner of the gym with a spotter or two (rather than in a power rack), or using a leg press machine to do calf raises. Those are both totally normal. However, if you're boxing with one of the cable machines for more than, oh, ten minutes, we need to talk. Or, you know, not talk, actually, because I'm going to be a little wary of you.
Don't stand at the window of the group exercise room and stare at the girls' butts. I understand that most red-blooded males may take a glance or two. But if your face is like an inch away from the glass and you stand there for 30 minutes, I'm sorry, you're coming across as a major creep.
What would you add to this list? What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen at the gym?
PS: Thank you all for an amazing discussion on yesterday's post! I am really lucky to have such an intelligent & thoughtful community here =)