Gym Quirks

Being on a treadmill for around an hour means that you undoubtedly have to take your eye off what you are doing and zone out. Seeing as the treadmills at Pure Gym aren’t the posh ones with built-in TV screens – and the general flat screens in the gym itself keep showing the same music videos on a 2-hour loop, I end up having a good old gander at what everyone else is up to.

Hence, here are two more observations from this week.

1. I do not pretend to be a nutritional expert, but from my very limited time looking at myself and what I’m doing, I have a “common sense” understanding about calories, and the simple fact that if you want to be healthy, you take in only as many calories as you can burn off. Likewise, if you want to lose weight, you need to either take in less calories, or work hard to burn off more than your intake. As I say, common sense. It has also been the basic mantra of every television fitness guru for the past 2 decades.

Which is why I had to sigh to myself when I gazed to my left the other day and glanced at two rather rotund ladies, working out together. I say working out, but I really mean slowly walking on the adjacent treadmills. And when I say slow walking, I mean the sort of dawdling pace I undertake in a department store.

The ladies got onto the treadmill after me, and got off it long before I finished. They walked slowly for about 20 minutes, didn’t break a sweat, and somehow looked rather pleased with themselves. This may be admirable, as it may be their first week at the gym, and the first week on a long and fruitful journey of fitness and weight loss.

However, the fact that they each downed an entire bottle of Lucozade during their walk was what made me sigh the most. Lucozade, and its Sport brethren, all have in the region of 200 calories per bottle. They’re designed for athletes and sporty persons who work hard and need to replenish their energy supplies with some liquid carbohydrate. They are not for fat women who stroll for 20 minutes, and probably burnt off 30 calories.

I wondered if I should have told them that they just gained 170 calories (5% towards a 1 pound weight gain, Mr Scientist tells me), but I remembered I am a sociopath, and then found it rather funny.

2. I get the feeling that the personal trainers – or at least the male trainers – have a bet going between themselves.

Aside from chatting up the fake-baked lone females all around the gym, as is their way, I watched one trainer giving a young attractive blonde a tour around the gym floor. He would show her a piece of equipment, hop onto it, and then give a quick demo as to its use. However, there were three occasions where he made the girl try it out, whilst he watched – the vibration plate, the hip expander, and the the chest expander. Hmm, I wonder why. It was blatantly sexual exploitation. I’m no feminist, but it was just obvious.

Bonus observation 3:

I hate to use a broad-brush and refer to them all in the same way, but 95% of the attractive, slim women who go to the gym just don’t work out. They do a quick walk on the treadmill for about 10 minutes, and then sit around on the resistance equipment, doing 2-3 reps on the lowest weight settings. And then they sit on the sit-down bikes and idly pedal for about 15 minutes whilst they play on Facebook and yawn. They never break a sweat, because they never do enough to even raise their heart rates. This is no doubt because a) they don’t want to look sweaty, which subsequently confirms that b) they are only at the gym to “be seen” at the gym. It’s cool to say you were at the gym last night. And attractive girls do look good in gym gear. And as great as that may be for the wandering eyes of a male gym user, it really annoys me that not everyone in the gym is working hard and sharing that same mentality of working out and getting sweaty, regardless of who sees you.

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