Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday workout, rules and ettiquette

Just got back from the gym. It's always really hard to get me there, I dawdle and procrastinate, but once I am there, I do try to push myself with the weights and I try to always go to the next level. I go for heavy as I can and 3 reps of 10, I don't mess around with little girly weights in many reps. What's the point?

Anyhow, I always end up getting PISSED off at the people in the gym. Norwegians are seemingly masters of creating a space around themselves where they honestly don't notice or acknowledge other people, it's like they are the only ones who exist. It's a truly unique cultural trait, I've never seen it anywhere else. They just don't see you unless they physically run over you, then they are surprised you are in their way. It's not specifically rudeness (though ohmyGOD it comes across that way) it's more a sort of self reliance and self-containment kind of thing. (People from America don't get this, and I doubt we ever will, as we are pretty much trained from birth to focus on the outside and pay attention to those around us.) This must be nice if you are the one inside the bubble, but it's INFURIATING when someone, say me, is at the gym and I just want to get on the one last machine I need to get on to finish my workout.

But on that machine is a blissfully unaware Norwegian guy, let's call him Mr Thousand Yard Stare. He does a few reps on the leg machine, then has a rest period. Does a few more reps, has another rest period. Gets out his iPhone, sends a text, has a rest, finds a song to download, whatever the FUCK it is when people dawdle on a machine. By now, I am hovering in a very obvious way. He's been on there 12 minutes. (I timed it.) He never once acknowledges my hovering, maybe offers to let me work in (do they even do that here? I doubt it as we don't ever talk to strangers in Norway) or anything. Just takes his SWEET EFFING TIME on the one machine I want to use, like it's an armchair, and then leisurely gets off it, leaving it sweaty and funky. He never acknowledges my antsy hovering. An American, from cultural guilt or whatever it is we have that makes us always refer to those around us, would've gotten out of the way and let me work in. No problem, easy peasy.

I wish I could say it's a one time occurence. It's not. It happens all the time. I get so frustrated when I go to the gym, because I like to work fast, rotating from machine to machine to free weights and around, in out and about, keeping up my heart rate and really pushing myself for that one hour. That's just how it works in the gyms I learned how to 'gym' in. I try to alter as I must, depending on who is where and the busyness of the place, but there is always one joker who thinks they own the damn gym and just dawdles. ARGH!

Drives me nuts.

Still, the benefits outweigh the frustration. I like the feeling of muscles in places that I really never felt muscular before. My butt is definitely firmer and higher. My hips are narrower. My stomach is really firm, I am having problems finding enough core ab exercises to challenge it. My arms are actually noticeably more shapely, there's definition and even some shoulder muscles happening. I feel stronger, I feel healthier and I have better stamina. My back doesn't hurt anymore (well, rarely) and oddly, I don't get heartburn anymore either. All this makes me realize that I am definitely of the body type that likes to build muscle. Aerobics never got me results like this, and never made me feel like this, either. So I guess I can put up with some Thousand Yard Stare people. (Barely.) What I really wish for is to someday have my own gym in my house, then I could go workout whenever I wanted, without having to put up with machine hoggers. Wouldn't that be nice?


  1. I find people at the gym fascinating -- I hate the people who occupy pieces of equipment for long periods of time without actually doing anything -- if its a rest period, fine, but if you're talking to friends, hanging out, or taking a cigarette break -- while leaving your towel on a piece of equipment -- it annoys the hell out of me.

    There's one guy at my gym who I swear spends more time smoking than he does working out.

  2. Ha, and I bet if you asked if you could work in he would look at you completely flabbergasted.

  3. I agree with you Adam, some of my gym buddies are fun of staying at one machine without doing some stuffs, I really hate that kind of people. Time is gold and every second counts.

  4. Do you have a "red cord" at your gym? Those things can give your core muscles some great challenges, I think. And also available to have at home. . .


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