Friends are great. There are so many things you can do with your friends. You can talk, laugh, do drugs...anything you want. One of the things that some friends like to do together is workout. My feelings on this are mixed. Sometimes, you have a friend who motivates you and energizes you on the days when you just want to lay in bed eating nachos and crying. Other times, the friend is the one encouraging you to drown your sorrows with food. You never really know what you're getting into when you make the commitment to engage in regular exercise with a friend, which leads us into our topic of the day “The Workout Buddy.”
I have had several different workout buddies in my life, and naturally, some have been better than others. Fortunately, because I have had so many over the years, I have been able to compile a list of different workout personality types to avoid when choosing your next workout partner. If you read this blog and think you might fall into one of these categories, be glad I am telling you before its too late. You don't need your friend “accidentally” dropping a weight on your face because you are mouthing the words to 'Rock Your Body” by Justin Timberlake in the mirror and looking around to see whose noticing how cool you look. Which brings us to our first offender:
Lip synching Larry – Hey idiot....I CAN'T HEAR YOUR IPOD! This person really enrages me. Nobody is impressed that you know all the words to a song that we can't even hear. Cut the shizz. I like music as much as the next guy. I walk around my house singing, I sing in the car, I might even hum a little while I am changing in the gym locker room. But I would rather show up nude to the gym than be caught walking around lip synching doing an awkward head bob with my eyes half squinted like I am mid-performance at Kiss Concert. The weirdest thing of all is, the freakshows who do this are usually guys. Sometimes they lip synch at other people, other times in the mirror. But no matter where they direct their weird silent mouth movements, its horrifying and it needs to stop immediately. You don't need a Lip Synching Larry in your life AT ALL, let alone at the gym. Avoid them at all costs.
The Gym Bunny - I have had a lot of personal experience with Gym Bunnies. These are the people that show up at the gym for no other reason but to talk to everyone. You can spot these people because they like the treadmills and stationary bikes right near the door so they can prey on people who actually come to the gym to workout. Typically, GB's prefer slow paced exercise because at any minute they have to bail off the treadmill to go tell their neighbor's, boyfriend's, sister's, foreign exchange student about the urinary tract infection they had when they were fifteen. Gym Bunnies will stay at the gym for hours and miraculously never break a sweat. They also like to enter into sexual relationships with other people from the gym, and then act surprised when the object of their affection turns out to be a self-obsessed Lip Synching Larry. The good thing about a GB is that they don't interfere with your workout, so if you don't mind feeling like you are working out alone, this could be the right partner for you.
The Bruce Jenner – Here is another workout buddy that gets on my nerves REAL quick. You will know you have a Bruce Jenner on your hands when you look at your exercise buddy on the treadmill next to you and its set to exactly one point higher than yours. This trend will continue no matter how fast you get your treadmill going if your workout partner is a true Bruce Jenner. A competitor to the point where people hate them, a Bruce Jenner will compete with you from the moment you begin your workout until the moment it ends. If you ran 999 steps they will run 1,000...and then have it announced over the gym's loudspeaker. Its discouraging for you, and honestly it can get frightening. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone, but if your workout buddy is chest bumping the front desk girl because he did did one extra squat thrust than you, its time to send that Bruce Jenner packing.
The Siamese Twin – This one if self-explanatory. A Siamese twin does not leave your side. If you are running, they are running. If you are bench pressing, its their ugly face you are staring up at. If you are in the bathroom, they are giving you a thumbs up from the next stall. The Siamese Twin is ridiculous. However, the good thing about them is that they are easy to spot. Usually they are standing around looking out of place while their friend is working out. They usually don't have an Ipod because they will want to be able to hear in case their workout friend tries to escape. A Siamese Twin will never go to the gym alone, and has no real fitness goals or aspirations. You will not get any motivation from a Siamese Twin, only annoying questions and the creepy feeling of someone watching your every move. Only a narcissist or someone with severe separation anxiety could tolerate a Siamese Twin gym partner, so for most people it would be advisable to stay away.
The Stretch Armstrong - OK, why are you stretching so much? These people are just so confusing to me. Is your workout for today jumping splits? Are you going to be involved in a deep lunge contest? I am all for stretching, but these people are just taking it to crazy town and I don't like it one bit. They lay all over the floor like a beached whale, pulling on their extremities with their eyes closed for what seems like hours. 70% of the time these people are wearing sweatbands. 100% of the time they favor stretches that display either their crotch or butt. Never go to the gym with a Stretch Armstrong because A) you will be there forever and B) They don't seem like they like to talk when they are stretching, so if you are wondering how to do that wonderful spread eagle move, you probably cant even ask! If you spend more time stretching than working out, you are just trying to avoid working out. So, unless your goal is to set the Guinness world record for the sit and reach, do not EVER choose a Stretch Armstrong to be your exercise buddy.
So those are some different gym personalities I have encountered that I would recommend avoiding. We all know I am a Crossfit fan, and a good thing about those workouts is that they are often in a class setting and timed, which greatly decreases the opportunity for people to engage in any of these behaviors listed above. It is always good to exercise with a great person or group of people. Working out with others is sometimes the best way to push yourself and get the physical and mental gains you want out of your hard work. Just remember, if your chosen workout buddy spends more time staring at you or contorting their body on the floor than actually working out, you may want to find a new friend!