Things I notice at the gym

Source: worldartsme

Woo hoo, two months at my new gym! I like it. It’s clean, easy and at the time I go, not at all crowded.

There are some things that I don’t understand. Mostly things the young twenty-somethings do.

The young guys wear a hoodie with the hood up. It’s not cold. They are soaked with sweat yet they keep the hood up. There must be a reason but I’m not getting it.

The young women do not do that. In fact it’s the opposite. They wear those sort of skimpy exercise bra-tops with nothing on the arms.

The young folks walk around with a gym bag. There is a row of equipment that is specifically targeted for muscle groups. I do it like a circuit, hopping from one to the next. They will cart a bag with them. On wheels. Like at an airport.

The bag has a bottle of water (which they drink from every two minutes) and a towel. Seems like a bother to me. I drink water before I leave and have a nice big Starbucks afterward. Then again, I don’t work near as hard as they do, nor do I sweat in a hoodie. The folks running for an hour on the treadmill don’t stop to drink so I’m not sure what the drinking protocol is.

There is the towel. I got a towel as a sign-up gift. I’ve never used it. It stays in my car (in case of cat barf on the way to the vet). There is an old guy who walks around with one draped around his neck. I’ve never seen him use it. Maybe it’s sopping up neck sweat.

The young ones wipe down equipment before and after they use it. That I understand as they have those hot hoodies on and the sweat runs down their back.

The majority of the middle-aged folks (and I include myself in that group) don’t use one. I’m not a “sweater” nor do I exercise hard. The room is very comfortable. High ceilings with fans keep it temperate. It’s normal room temperature. Perhaps I’m inconsiderate although the equipment is not wet when I get off. No one has given me a stink eye about it but there are only ten of us in a very large gym.

Four women moved to this gym after the last one closed. One confided that she’s struggling. She’s 87 and is the one who was doing 30 pounds of resistance while I was still at 15. She’s the one who made me step up my game because I felt like a wuss. She’s my inspiration.

She’s having shoulder and arm discomfort. I suggested cutting back to 15 pounds but she said it wasn’t that. Perhaps she’s looking for a reason to quit.

When you’re 87, you don’t need much of a reason. She can walk at our local mall and get exercise. I will miss her.

One thing I have learned is that friendship at a gym is very transient. No attachments. Just a friendly nod and get on with the workout. Then off to Starbucks!

If any of you exercisers can tell me why someone would wear a hoodie with the hood up while exercising inside, please share.

74 thoughts on “Things I notice at the gym

  1. OK, now you’ve inspired me to get back to MY gym – if only to see if the fashion trends have changed. For the record, I’m a wiper, both before and after, and I always take my own peppermint scented towel. (Makes things seem a little happier.) But mostly, I’m inspired by the Starbucks after! BRILLIANT!

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  2. I love your assessment of the people at the gym. I am starting back in ernest (for the 30th time) on Monday. At my gym, there are hand sanitizer things with paper towells so you can wipe down your equipment before the next guy gets on and won’t spread the flu. Noble idea but half the people (mostly young people probably with hoodies) ignore it and I don’t believe I have any germs anyway, so why bother? But I do go through the motions and appreciate those others who do too. Bill takes a towell. He doesn’t wear a hoodie but myabe he thinks he sweats alot. “To each his own” seems to be a good motto for gym goers, but be sure to use hand sanitizer when you get back into your car! 🙂

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    • Since I posted I’ve been watching and few people use the towel. Keep in mind that most people are retirees. We only have a few of those buff hoody guys at the time I go. I work out as hard as I can but sweat doesn’t run down. I will perspire a bit but my clothes are not wet.

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  3. I’m glad you’re enjoying your new gym and keeping your eyes open for interesting subjects to write about. I was having backaches, so I asked my doctor to send me to physical therapy. The therapist’s remedy is short but frequent walks to break up my writing time and specific exercises to strengthen my back and my core. So I’m following her advice now instead of going to the gym.

    The currently popular character I think of who always wears a hoodie is Elliot, the main character on Mr. Robot. Not a character to emulate since he has severe mental problems and his hacking threatens to destroy civilization. (a great character, though) We like hoods here in the Seattle area, not inside hoods, but hoods on our jackets. Since our rain is usually light, hoods seem to be more popular than umbrellas. I haven’t noticed people wearing their hoods up at the gym. It seems kind of strange.

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  4. Your 87-year old gym friend inspires me, too! I have the same experience with my yoga friendships. People come and go, but over time, I look forward to seeing particular women and miss them when they are gone. And sometimes after even a year or two they return and I am always glad. And your’e right! That hoodie thing is a definite mystery to me as well!

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    • I saw the 87 year old this morning and she’s staying for now. Just backing off some of the weights. She told me she was working on 40 lbs. I asked her if she was nuts. That’s like lifting the big pail of kitty litter over your head. Of course your shoulders hurt.

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  5. Funny, I was thinking about you at my gym today. Then I came home and saw this post. Must have been some kind of telepathy. Congratulations on your continued progress!

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  6. Apparently some famous body builder called Kai Greene wore one while working out and it started a trend. It amounts to a fashion craze being justified with a ridiculous idea that they are keeping their joints limber… But since they are inside a gym… yeah. They just want to be hip.
    At least the women stripping to the sports bra because they are working out and hot is a better plan. But I suspect they also are just being fashionable. Young men and women – must be fashion conscious.

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  7. I do know that the towel thing is considered good etiquette— using it not stashing it away. People who don’t sweat very much think they don’t sweat at all but the truth is people would rather see even the least sweater wipe it down after. How do I know this? Because I got put in my place about it. Everyone is supposed to wipe it down when they’re done Personally I would rather wipe it down
    when I start. 😉 however the main point here is kudos to you for working out regularly. That’s a huge thing and more than most of the population can do. Too bad there isn’t a gym for the 87 you’re all that isn’t such a hard-core place.

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  8. You just reinforced my determination to exercise within two miles of my home. That means our daily walk to the creek. I’m sure I would never feel comfortable in a gym. You are amazing that you found a replacement gym after the last one threw you for a curve.

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  9. I refuse to buy a sweatshirt with a hood. I think about a decade ago, hoodies were supposed to be ‘cool,’ first started as gansta wear (why that’s cool, I’m clueless). Sort of like when the young guys (mostly teens) all started wearing their pants halfway down their rear. One of my friends is a high school teacher. She threatens any boy that enters her classroom – if she can see his underwear, she’ll show him hers. So far, all their pants have stayed at their waist.

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  10. I haven’t been to a gym for awhile (yes, yes, I know I should) so I’m surprised that there are new protocols. I don’t understand the hoodie thing or the gym bags on wheels. It’s probably good to stay hydrated so I get the water. And, if I still had the body I had at 20, I’d be strutting that thang too!

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  11. My wife works out HARD– much harder than I think she should, but she’s a lot like your 87-year-old friend. So she tends to sweat everywhere and her towel definitely comes in handy. She gives me a small one, and I guess it makes me look buff as it hangs from my hip. But it’s rare I ever need it. I see the hoodies at my gym too (Planet Fitness). What gets me, however, are the women who put their cell phones halfway into the tops of their workout bras. All I think can think about is possible breast cancer. Yikes. – Marty

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    • Yes saw that with the cell phones. I was assuming there were some tracking things going on. When they finish a piece of equipment they seem to spend 5 minutes looking at the cell. Maybe it’s calls and texts but I thought it might be results.

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  12. I get the towel, water and bag thing. I also get thee skimpy outfits… if I was young I probably would dress skimpy at the gym…if I went to a gym which I never have. But the hoodie thing I don’t get. Hope the 87 year old keeps going to the gym. I think she is a great example and inspiration.

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  13. Gyms are a fun place to people watch. There are all types. My guess with the hoodie might be that they haven’t showered yet and their hair is messy, though I donot know why they wouldn’t just wear a cap. Maybe they’re going for the mysterious look..:)
    I always used to wipe down the handles of anything I exercised on before I got on and after I got off. Before because I never wanted to catch anything especially during flu season and after as a courtesy.
    87 and still going to a gym. I want to be her at that age.

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    • I want to be her now! I use the hand sanitizer there because I’m neurotic. Most of the guys have very short hair or shaved heads. A few of the black guys do wear knit caps but those aren’t as hot as a hoodie. It must be a sweat thing.

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  14. I have a sports industry background. The hoodie thing is not only stylish in younger folk’s eyes, but some people think sweating helps get toxins out of the body. (Personally, I think that’s what the liver and kidneys and digestive tract a are for.) Also, serious bodybuilders like to dehydrate a little in order to look more cut. Yes, it’s only a competition thing, but doing mini dehydrations gives men (and women) a look at how their muscle fibers are coming along and helps them feel comfortable with the DIScomfort of dehydration. (I don’t recommend this. Doesn’t seem healthy to me.)

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    • Wow! Thanks for the info. Partly looking cool and partly competition. There are about 5 or 6 young people when I go if that. All except one is very serious. I get stunned at the weights and resistance they use. I’m relying on my kidneys and liver to take care of any toxins. So far, so good.

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  15. I went to Planet Fitness for a while and there were bottles with disinfectant spray and paper towels at every station so you could wipe off each machine after use, which I did. I did more cleaning there than I do at my own house. Maybe that’s why I stopped going? I’d guess the guys in the hoodies do it for the sweat factor. I might google it later to see if there’s some protocol out there. Happy Thursday!

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    • There are spray bottles but I haven’t seen paper towels although there must be some somewhere. There is never anyone on the equipment before I go on it so I don’t spray it and there is rarely anyone one it after me. It’s the time of day. After work it’s crazy there.

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  16. I wear front zip hoodies but rarely use the hood because it messes with my already misbehaving hair. I think the other commenters have hit something with the sweat thing. I am delighted that you are enjoying your gym… 🙂

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    • I wear hoodies when I walk and it’s cold. Rarely do I put the hood up unless it’s cold, windy or rainy. Then again, I a post menopausal woman subject to fluctuating internal temperatures that may require ripping my clothes off. 🙂

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  17. Re hoodie? Because it’s looks cool and manly…. and the wearer is sadly so involved in his image that he ignores practicality. I have a hoodie, but I only wear it when outside when the temperature drops Of course, I don’t have any image to project, and being manly is not at the top of my list of priorities either! 🙂

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  18. The hoodie thing has always baffled me too. I see them running on warm days bundled up for fierce weather. I think there is a theory that excessive sweating is supposed to be good for you. Personally, I don’t get it.

    Nor do I understand the lugging around of a bag. I don’t recall ever seeing that in my gym, but I wonder if it might be that some people simply don’t want to leave their belongings in a locker in the change room – locked or otherwise. I have seen that behaviour at the swimming pool.

    The wiping down of equipment after it’s used is a common practice at my gym by everyone, although some err on the side of assuming the previous user didn’t wipe it down. Many people, myself included, use a towel on the seat and seat back when in use, and simply wipe down the hand points.

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