As Halloween and the holidays fast approach, the urge to indulge in candy, cakes and all things sugary can easily consume us all. For that reason, many people wind up doing extra shifts at the gym, hoping to burn off some of those candy corn calories. But there are annoying people at that gym and we all spot them. They are so common that it's likely you easily recognize the following five fitness fiascos from your local health club.
The Camper. We've all seen this guy. He's busy making business deals on his cell phone while sitting on the equipment you want to use. He just lifted a weight twice and is now going to sit on that bench and finish talking to his long-lost aunt about her dog's upcoming birthday. Sure, he could get up and walk around or save the phone call for later, but then he wouldn't be working out. The Camper doesn't just yammer on the phone, either. Sometimes he wants to sit and talk with other Campers who also want to take up space. Because nothing burns calories quite like sitting still on an exercise bike, discussing last week's The Walking Dead. There are two words every Camper needs to learn: "Working In." If you're not using the equipment, don't sit on it. And if you're so important your phone call can't wait, you can probably afford liposuction.
The Screamer. Yes, weights can be heavy and difficult to lift. We understand that a person is going to make some grunting noises when lifting a heavy weight. It's going to happen. That does not mean, however, that you need to actually scream like a gunshot victim when doing something as non-dramatic as a bicep curl. If the weight is so heavy that -- when lifting it -- you tear a vocal chord and evacuate your bowels, it's too heavy. You shouldn't be lifting it. Go a little lighter, Conan. The screaming isn't impressing anyone. It just makes you look as if you're working through childhood issues with the pec deck instead of with a shrink.
The Pimp. Hey, Casanova, forget every bad movie you've ever seen that would have you believe that women go to the gym to get picked-up by men. In fact, The Pimp is the reason there are "Women Only" gyms in the first place. Please, leave the ladies alone and let them exercise. The Pimp is a double whammy of annoying because he's typically also the The Camper. I don't want to wait to use the dip machine because you're trying to show off your quads and get a date. No woman wants to meet men when she's hot, sweaty, wearing no make-up, and has wet hair. I've seen women pretend to listen to an iPod with a dead battery just to avoid having to give her astrological sign to some Lothario in a Tap-Out shirt.
Mister Irony. Also known as "The Out-of-Shape Personal Trainer." This guy teaches people how to exercise and get in shape. He really needs clients in order to make a living. Unfortunately, he's been lifting pints of beer and boxes of Timbits more than he's been hitting the spin bike. That won't stop him from interrupting your workout to tell you how he would do it if he were you. If you really want to be fit, he'll train you and get you in shape. For a nominal fee, you can pay to look...nothing like he does. Apparently, "Do as I say, not as I do" is the new "No pain, no gain" in the gym world. Paying this guy to be your personal trainer is kind of like hiring MC Hammer to be your financial advisor.
Naked Guy. People have been talking about this guy forever, yet he still exists. There is no reason for a man in the gym locker room to be hanging around constantly naked, but he's always there. This isn't the guy who gets out of the shower and is briefly in his birthday suit while drying off or changing clothes. This guy is one step away from turning the locker room into his own personal nudist colony. Shaving naked, sitting in the sauna naked, standing in front of you while talking about sports naked...he'll do it all. In fact, drying off and changing clothes are the things he does the fastest. But he'll spend all day ironing his shirt while standing bottomless in front of your locker. Hey, Mister Godiva, it's a locker room, not a bath house. I have a watch and don't need a sundial, thanks.
Next time you're at the gym, take a look around at your fellow exercise enthusiasts. Somewhere in there is a guy on his cell phone just hanging around, eagerly awaiting the time he will spend in the locker room walking around in the nude. Who are some annoying people at the gym you want to call out?
Ward Anderson is a comedian, author, and one half of the talk radio program "Ward and Al," heard weekday mornings on SiriusXM satellite radio. His first novel will be released in spring 2014, and he hopes people will read it while walking on the treadmill or sitting on random gym equipment while naked. He sometimes hangs out at www.wardanderson.net.