Monday, January 12, 2009

Damn New Years Resolutioners

They're clogging up the gym in their brand new (or at least never worn beyond the realms of the couch) workout attires and box fresh Otomix sneakers. Hapless disciples of personal trainers who promise training programs "tailor made for each individual", yet for some reason all the new trainees end up doing the same number of reps and sets with the same exercises in the same sequence. Quite the coincidence. Hordes of gawking individuals drawn to the perceived know-how of the PT's like Japanese charter tourists to orange flags. Protein powder and magic mineral potions move off the gym shelves like Battlestar Galactica T-shirts at a loser convention.

And despite the new workout-gear, the "personalized" training programs, some PT with a weekend's worth of education chanting slogans of encouragement and continued purchase of their services, six months worth of sports supplements, a full-year gym subscription and all the good intentions only the December to January transition can bring forth, come March there will be few if any left.

Predictable like the changing of the seasons.

Not to crap all over people's desire to get in shape, but most of the people who start in January and quit in March are going to repeat this process ad nauseum. What makes them think that "THIS TIME, it'll work"? "Sure; last year I worked out six days a week until January 15th, and tore five different muscles, but THIS YEAR, I'm going to stay at it."

Is it the "new training program, backed by HARD SCIENCE"? Is it the fact that the gym they just joined is staffed by the most gosh-darned positive and experienced staff? I'm really curious.

One thing remains constant though; the stereotypes regarding gymgoers. Today when we rolled into the gym, it was absolutely crowded with noobs doing every conceivable exercise not requiring any actual effort as well as the usual suspects. The room was packed. With one exception - the squat rack. Since we joined this gym, I've seen two individuals besides myself do an actual leg workout - a couple in what appears to be their late thirties. The gym warriors stick with leg extensions and leg curls. Sure; they do 47 sets for biceps and 64 sets for chest, but they've probably got some knee problems or sumthin' which precludes actual leg exercise. The more stereotypical the male gym badass, the more likely it is that he's wearing a tank top, sportin' barb-wire or tribal tattoos, rockin' a necklace and some type of bracelet, and really baggy pants disguising a pair of legs the mass and density of which most closely resemble something last seen sticking out from a nest.


Anders said...

Yeah. Since I quit playing squash some two years ago, I've from considered starting with something. And all those flyers and commercials from the gyms makes me think about it again. But I'm never gonna join a gym or something like that in January. Would make me feel like a total loser! Best time to join is around september. Then nobody thinks you're a loser when you drop out in October... :-D

Wilhelm said...

Those gyms sure make a killing in January. And then again in April/May, when the "get a six-pack for the summer season" ads kick in