FIT­NESS Who’s who in the zoo?

Spot the Swarm, the An­gry Roi­der and the Lurker. When on a sa­fari in your gym, keep a keen eye out for the wildlife!

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - more: Andrew Greig BSc(Adv) MEx&SpSci is owner and head trainer at Life Ac­tive. He of­fers face-to-face and on­line train­ing pro­grams around the world. Visit life­ac­ or call 0401 084 238.

We are noth­ing but slaves to the gym – and the oc­ca­sional locker room perve. For those who hit the gym reg­u­larly, you know the names of the re­cep­tion­ists and train­ers; you pre­fer a par­tic­u­lar weight bench and sta­tion­ary bike, you even have your favourite locker. You could find your way from the lat pull­downs to the bench press blind­folded and walk­ing back­wards, but have you ever stopped to take a good long look at the fel­low beasts drink­ing from your lo­cal ex­er­cise-hole?

Be­hold, be­ware and be re­warded as I present the Gym Wildlife Spot­ting Guide, a hand­book to iden­ti­fy­ing the thrilling spec­trum of an­i­mals known as Gym Users. The Chicken Legs. This well-stud­ied breed may be found on the bench press do­ing chest, lat pull­downs work­ing out his back, or the preacher bench do­ing curls. He is mas­ter of all ma­chines ex­cept those ded­i­cated to legs. In the event of en­coun­ter­ing a hos­tile spec­i­men, one need only say “legs day” to both con­fuse and frighten. The An­gry Roi­der. Com­monly mis­taken for a spotted cas­trated bull, this com­mon crea­ture blus­ters its way through equip­ment in the pur­suit of sheer mus­cu­lar­ity at the ex­pense of so­cial niceties. There are scant few pleas­ant as­pects to this crea­ture in full rut. He will throw weights, grunt, in­tim­i­date smaller species and mark his ter­ri­tory with greasy sweat pools. Treat with cau­tion. The Ly­cra Lover. This species hasn’t re­alised that span­dex went out with in the 1990s and still clings to the out­fits that cling to him. In all the wrong ways. Of­ten spotted slink­ing be­tween light weights and the car­dio equip­ment, he feels at home in the class set­ting as well as on the ex­er­cise bike. If you spot the sheen of ul­tra tight fab­ric on hu­man flesh, it is con­sid­ered po­lite to sim­ply look away. The Chatty Roi­der. In con­trast to his an­gry brethren, the Chatty Roi­der can most of­ten be spotted hang­ing next to or in the squat cage or bench press. This prize has two dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures: the mas­sive size and vas­cu­lar­ity of a Clas­sic Roi­der; and a pen­chant for chat­ting to a fel­low gag­gle of Roi­ders about all things body­build­ing. It’s a rare sight to catch him per­form ac­tiv­ity other than chat­ting in the two hours he roosts at the gym per night. Some vari­ants spend a deal of time preen­ing, flex­ing var­i­ous mus­cles or lift­ing string tops to ob­serve ab­dom­i­nal def­i­ni­tion. Do not at­tempt awed ad­mi­ra­tion as you may not be able to free yourself from his ad­vice un­til clos­ing time. The Sup­ple­ment Stacker. You can spot the SS by the fine coat of pow­der he is cov­ered in, and the ubiq­ui­tous container of bright green, or­ange or yel­low liq­uid he con­stantly sips. Sci­en­tists be­lieve that this breed can­not func­tion at all with­out a care­fully mea­sured pre-, in­tra-, post- and post-post­work­out com­bi­na­tion of pills, pow­ders and liq­uids. Take care not to men­tion your lack of knowl­edge about sup­ple­ments within earshot or you may be forced to be­come an in­ad­ver­tent Sup­ple­ment Stacker yourself. The In­ad­ver­tent Dancer. This spec­i­men is re­mark­ably more com­mon than an­tic­i­pated. You may have even been one of these. More a fast-at­tack­ing mus­cu­lar dis­or­der than an ac­tual species, the In­ad­ver­tent Dancer can be seen es­pe­cially in homo-heavy gyms un­con­sciously gy­rat­ing in time to a bub­blegum rhythm ap­par­ently beam­ing into their heads via ear­phones. The In­ad­ver­tent Dancer can be distin­guished from the re­lated Back-Up Wannabe by their re­ac­tion once spotted. The for­mer will blush and look some­what sheep­ish; the lat­ter will keep right on twerk­ing it, girl. The So­cial But­ter­fly. Sim­i­lar in na­ture, but dif­fer­ent in stature to the Chatty Roi­der. This geno­type can be found at the same time each week, wear­ing some­thing flash and flit­ting around hum­ming­bird-like to en­gage any­one who makes eye con­tact in small talk. Oc­ca­sion­ally a flock of two or more will co­a­lesce into one loud Squawk, which ac­com­plishes very lit­tle else other than ‘catch­ing up’. The New­bie Trainer. You can spot this fauna by the in­tox­i­cat­ing sheen of enthusiasm and aroma of over-en­thu­si­as­tic in­ter­est in each gym mem­ber. Usu­ally quite buff and of­ten highly at­trac­tive, their shirts are tight and their smiles ready – which some­times make up for their in­ces­sant rev­e­la­tions about how to im­prove your work­out form. A suc­cess­ful New­bie Trainer will soon have an ea­ger flock all his own. Not to be con­fused with The Jaded Trainer who has been there, done that and owned the T-shirt be­fore man­age­ment and years of split shifts broke his spirit. The Jaded Trainer has a more es­tab­lished flock, and en­gages less with gym-go­ers and more with other Jaded Train­ers with whom he

shares a spe­cial, weary bond.

The Class Guy.

Rarely spotted any­where out­side of group classes, the Class Guy can be iden­ti­fied by his cheery fa­mil­iar­ity with a large seg­ment of the fe­male gym pop­u­la­tion, ten­dency to smile and high-five; a lower level of mus­cu­lar­ity and a higher level of fit­ness. He prides him­self on rou­tine, sched­ule, be­ing in the front row and mas­ter­ing the 160 bpm Body At­tack track with­out break­ing a sweat. Take care when ap­proach­ing – they form tight cliques and pair­bond with their re­spec­tive Aer­o­bics Demigod (a va­ri­ety of group fit­ness trainer). The Lurker. This per­son seems to re­quire large amounts of preen­ing and self-main­te­nance, given their time spent in bath­rooms, change rooms, steam rooms or open-door show­ers. While he may at times fit into other fam­i­lies (from Avid Weightlift­er to Reads Mag­a­zines On Car­dio Equip­ment), the Lurker pri­mar­ily awaits his prey in the non-ex­er­cise ar­eas of the gym and takes an in­or­di­nate amount of time get­ting dressed and un­dressed, all the while mak­ing un­com­fort­able at­tempts at eye (or body part) con­tact.

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