Fun at the gym

I love the gym! I went back this last week after a long ass time away due to transportation, scheduling and sheer laziness issues. Not only is it fun because I get to do some public sweatin’, heavy breathin’, with ocassional moanin’ and groanin’ when I’m inspired… but it’s also the best place for people watching and for gender studies.

Pre hiatus I regularly worked out in the “Women’s side” rather than the mixed side. As I went back I decided to try something new and went over to the mixed side for cardio and women’s side for strength training. Sweet!

I’ve been watching the differences in the way women and men work out, the differences in the women’s side and the mixed side.

The other day I was on my treadmill happily going nowhere when two women walked in. They settled in on the elliptical machines in front of me and proceeded to chat loud enough to facilitate eavesdropping. They were working out at different levels, one of the women was very fit, the other one was a little overweight but working hard on the machines. They chatted about all kinds of stuff: a recent date, a friend’s relationship troubles, etc.

Meanwhile the men in the rest of the gym have been preening and grunting and doing their sweaty man thing. And looking around to see who’s watching. Unless a woman is exceptionally fit, you don’t usually notice them posturing so obviously for any observers. Men with beer bellies were nonetheless strutting their stuff.

In walk two male friends. Now I’m on the exercise bike next to treadmills, still going nowhere but not nearly as happy about it.

The two guys are there to work out together and one of them is clearly more fit than the other and is taking the lead. He puffs his chest out and directs the other guy to the treadmills. Then the competition begins. Fit guy advises Regular guy set his treadmill higher so he can really work. Regular guy is struggling but manly as he ups the speed. They proceed to talk about manly feats: some stunt on a dirtbike, a crazy buddy who does extreme sports, a hot girl one guy saw last week. Then Fit guy instructs Regular guy to up the speed so they can run a bit. Regular guy suggests a number. Fit guy laughs and makes fun of the pace. Regular guy ups his speed.

When they are done with that they go off to do a their training circuit. Regular guy is killing himself to keep up with Fit guy. I am guessing Regular guy will be sore for a month. If not injured from trying to lift more than he’s able to.

The (tired) adage says that women cooperate and men compete. I don’t know if this is true across the board but it sure seems to be true at the gym! Women’s competition is cooperative and men’s cooperation is competitive and it sure is fun to watch!



  1. hugo Said:,kamenetz,53011,1.html

    ready to cry? I did..spread he word

  2. thealeticia Said:

    Thank you honey! Because Academia isn’t depressing enough without such little morsels of inspiration… as if I needed the Village Voice to remind me how broke and masochistic I am 😛 We can’t all be rich authors like yourself! 😉

    Yes, I shall go forth and write a Thesis now.

  3. hugo Said:


    I was soooo excited about everything and zoshhh! got hit on the face by reality…anyway immore quijote than sancho so i say with beckett: “i can’t go on, i’ll go on”

    the ugly part os the TA part….familiar right…the babbling MO is not the only monster around methinks.

  4. lokimikoj Said:


    Nice! Many thanks, easy to find helpful information. Good work.

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