The gym would be a fantastic place if you were the only person working out at any given time. Imagine — no waiting for machines, no listening to perky musical selections that all sound like Ace of Base circa 1993 and, most importantly, no teeming, sweating, stinking mobs of humanity.
The bad news is that, no matter what you do, you’re unlikely to get any personal space at the gym. Even when there are plenty of machines available, it is a law of the universe that some man will choose to work out no fewer than six inches from you.
But there’s good news, too: even the worst of the invasive man species at the gym can be thwarted with a few special tactics. When you can identify your nemesis in his native habitat and employ the proper repellant, you’ll be able to best control man infestations in your workout space. Here are some of the most common pests and how to deter them:
1. Unsolicited Advice Guy (UAG)
While UAG is the least toxic of the invasive man species, he is among the most common. He likes to peek at your heart rate monitor and offer helpful suggestions as to how you might improve your performance, or offer lengthy critiques about your form with free weights. When confronted with UAG, it’s best to keep a bottle of the antimicrobial spray that gyms keep handy for cleaning machines. Repeatedly squirt the solution at UAG’s face while asking, “Am I doing this correctly? How about now?”
2. Wannabe Motivational Speaker Guy (WMSG)
A close cousin of Unsolicited Advice Guy, WMSG is notable for his spandex shorts and fun-run T-shirts from late last decade. He likes to comment on how your body is progressing, or offer a “Keep it up!” as you lumber along on the treadmill. The best deterrent to WMSG is one that takes dedicated practice, but is well worth including in your man-response repertoire: the dead-eyed, unblinking stare. The stare is best achieved while also baring your incisors.