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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guys at the gym

A disclaimer before I go any further: I do admire people who work out regularly: be it at the gym, outside of the gym, at their homes or at any other place of their preference. That means they are not endlessly staring at the idiot tube or at the computer screen, absorbing every bit of negative news in existence and wondering why their outlook on life is crap. That means they care about keeping the body ticking longer and better. That means that when they do have that burger, by god, they have earned it!

That said, I am not sure why I have been bringing so many peeves home from the gym lately, and why most of them relate to guys - especially younger guys. Perhaps it is because I had a two-week break in my workout schedule due to the Great Appalachian Move, and that was enough for me to forget some of the gym-related silliness. Or perhaps it is because at my previous gym, the male population was mostly middle-aged and retirement-aged, and most of the men focused on just working out and staying well. In any case, young guys at the gym have been sort of getting on my nerves.


Don't get me wrong, it is not as if we women don't demonstrate some examples of silly gym behavior. Some of us do talk too much and/or too loudly. Some of us do break into a song while listening to our iPods, totally forgetting that our singing might be somewhat less palatable to innocent bystanders than we might think. Some of us wear ridiculous gym clothes: too baggy, too synthetic, unbreathable, tight, and preposterously colored. However, I am hardly seeing any females do anything patently stupid.

Gentlemen, grunting loudly while doing your reps either with free weights or on one of the machines is not sexy. It sounds as if you have either picked a very inopportune place and time to have an orgasm or as if you are taking a big steaming dump. Breathe - by all means. But listen, I am often pressing as much as you do (or proportionately as much, because most men outweigh me by 60 pounds and are a foot taller). If I can do my reps just breathing in and out normally so can you.

Doing lots of quick reps with weights that are clearly too heavy for you is not impressive. In fact, it carries with it a danger of injury and a setback for your future training. Slow the hell down and lower the weight. You'll get to the higher one soon enough if you exercise sensibly.

Tossing the weights down loudly with a clang is not attractive or impressive and does not make you look like a pro. It is dumb, inconsiderate, loud, bad for the equipment, and shows a lack of control. Again, slow down, lower the weight, and set them down carefully without sounding like a bull in a china shop.

Talking loudly about your sex life while staring at every single female within 20 feet of you is so silly and immature, I don't even want to talk about it. Do you honestly think that regaling the entire fitness room with tales of your exploits is going to attract women? Seriously?

Talking loudly about your sex life while sitting on a piece of equipment and doing nothing will take your popularity points with men, women, children, folks working out and gym staff so low, they are likely to reach Earth's core.

Be sensible, folks. If you want to say hi to people you know at the gym, check how everyone is doing - great! Exercising with a buddy is always more fun than going at alone. But please remember: the gym is not a bar or a club or your fraternity house common room. Act accordingly.

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