I have been going regularly to the Gym almost every day for most of last year with nothing to show for it (as my wife will point out). As an observer of People, I see different kinds of patrons who come to the gym. Let me put it another way, people seem to be coming to Gym for various reasons.
Based on my observations, I am categorizing some of the people that I see regularly at the Gym.
1. The Calorie Digger: These guys hit the Gym each day with a target of consuming a pre-specified number of Calories. Like Gold Diggers (hence the term 'Calorie Digger' if you didn't understand already) these guys are on the lookout for ways to meet their calorie consumption targets. They are always found at the machines which show the Calorie consumed per step that they take. This means no weights, no pumping iron, no yoga...(none of which show calorie consumption)
For them, it is always a Calorie Countdown, like start off the day with 500 calories to be consumed, now down to 400...They are good at Math. 'I did 178 Calories on treadmill, 142 on Arc Trainer, that means what? 178+142=320 Calories. I have 180 Calories to Go'. Their day is made when they achieve the day's target.
(PS: Yours faithfully fall into this group)
2. The Butterfly: For these guys, the entire Gym is a curiosity Shop and every day at the gym is a day of marvel. They flit from treadmill to treadmill, checking out one programmed routine after another. 'Mountain Biking' will be followed by 'Walk in the Park' followed by 'Hills and Valleys'. They will hardly spent any time at the routine. They will check their heart rate in the heart rate monitor to assure themselves that their heart is in the right place !. They will try all the weights, starting from 100 Kg and stabilizing at 15 Kg, they will do push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges, crunches.... you know, the works
They will not try anything for more than three minutes. Only satisfaction that they get is that they came to the Gym !!
3. Mountain Climbers: These are obese persons, mostly ladies, who infrequently come to the gym. However they are all enthusiasm the day they hit the Gym, their aim is to reduce 5 Kgs on that day. They will jump on to a treadmill, keep a speed of about 15 Kmph and an incline of about 10 (which is like climbing Himalayas on a Motorcycle). Most of them are potential heart patients. Fortunately for them, they get tired in no time and reduce the speed to 3 Kmph and incline to 0.
The tread on the mill for about 15 minutes, and then leave the gym, possibly to snack up on Calories in preparation for their next visit to the Gym.
4. The 'Full mooners': As the name implies, these guys and ladies are as (in)frequent as the Full Moon. They come once in a while, spend some time and then go. Not for them the axiom that 'Gym is best done regularly'
5. 'Value for Money' (VFM) explorers: For these guys, the primary motive in hitting Gym is Value for Money. 'I have paid X amount of money to join the Gym and Y amount of money additionally on Personal Trainers. Eventhough it is tough to get up in the morning and hit the Gym, the thought of all that money paid forces me to come'. These are also the guys who are most regular in the Gym. Unlike Calorie Diggers who watch the Calorie meters, these guys watch the Calendar to see when they will earn the full value for their money.
6. 'Weights' hunters: These guys are the exact opposite of 'Calorie Diggers'. For them the words 'Warm Up' do not mean anything. The moment they enter the Gym, the head for the 'Weights' Section. These guys are attracted to Weights like fish to water. Normally, these guys are well informed about all the muscles in the body and religiously and regularly work on various sets of muscles in the body. These guys really mean it when they use words like like 'Abs', 'Pectorals', 'Gluteal'....Sometimes one gets the impression that these guys are less interested in Muscle Building and more interested in standing in front of the mirror admiring their work.
7. The 'Team': The team Gyms in packs. The team is normally a couple or three of friends. They never hit the Gym alone. 'United we Gym, divided we rest' is their motto. Once in the Gym, the team breaks and recoups at the end of the session.
8. The 'Couple': A special case of Team, a couple is usually husband and wife.There are two sub-categories in this group. For the 'Newly Weds', hitting a Gym is a part of doing things together romantically. The mister will showcase his sweat and miniature muscles to the Sweetheart, while the sweetheart will demonstrate her curves to her darling. All hunky dory. One gets the impression that if it were not for decorum and separate rooms for men and women, the 'Newly weds' would have wiped the sweat off each other !!
The other group is the 'Experienced'. In this sub category, the couple is middle aged, over worked and stressed. Most of the time the husband is abnormally obese and wife is plumb and pretty. Wife do not need a Gym. I think the wife just tags along to keep an eye on her hubby and ensure that he goes to Gym rather than raiding the nearest MacD.
Over a time, the visits by couple become few and far between. I think the marriage catches up in the end.
These are the major categories that one observes in the Gym. I also see that men and women treat Gym very differently. For men, Gym is the ultimate personal space. This is where they are in touch with their inner beings. Treadmill for them is a tool to plan for the day ahead.
For women, on the other hand, Gym is yet another bonding opportunity. It is often fascinating to watch two women effortlessly jog on the treadmill parallelly discussing their kids schooling and the latest recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor.
The worst experience for a man in the Gym? To be walking on a treadmill, trying to marshall the thoughts and plan for the day, with two 'Bonding' women on the treadmills on either side.
What has been your experience?