Training

Squads, Stereotypes, and My Soapbox

This is something that is a major pet peeve of mine, so of course I’m going to take this opportunity to write about it. Because, why not?

I have a huge, massive hang up about two gym related things.

  • Why does Planet Fitness use the “no judgment zone” slogan when they are clearly extremely judgemental? (Reference: the Lunk Alarm)
  • Why is it so politically incorrect to make any comment, funny face, etc. about a “fat person” or someone who obviously doesn’t know how to use a piece of equipment because they might get upset and stop coming to the gym, but it is perfectly acceptable to stereotype those people who religiously workout, watch what they eat, and generally care about their body and physique?

Let me make myself clear, I am by no means condoning making fun of someone for the way they look. Of course, everyone has the right to be at the gym to work on themselves. Everyone is there for a different purpose and different goals. But what I find highly offensive is that many find it perfectly acceptable to make comments such as “do you ever even touch a donut?”, or “I don’t want muscles like you because I don’t want to look manly”, or “don’t you ever take a day off?” And let me be clear again, those are all comments that were actually made to me, so I’m not just generalizing. And I want to know why it’s become acceptable to comment in such a manner. Just last night actually, I was standing by two women who were discussing the fact that they were so busy that they didn’t know if they were even going to make it to work out at all yesterday. Furthermore, the one lady stated that she “scarfed down 3 pieces of pizza quick before coming” (her words verbatim, not mine). Did I say anything? Of course not. Did I want to comment? Hell yes. Why didn’t I make a comment? Well, for one, I try to be a nice human being, and if she wants to eat that then who am I to judge. And secondly, I know what it feels like to be judged, so I keep my mouth shut. Now I’m just left wishing other people could do the same.

The worst part about all of this is that there are gyms, especially those in small towns it seems, that cater to this type of behavior and clientele. I get it. Gyms need to make money, too, and the pizza scarf-er and the overweight New Year’s Resolutioners are money-makers. What is the most upsetting about all of this is that if you’re in the “meathead squad” or the “I actually come here to make changes to my body squad” then you don’t always get the same courtesies or respect. Just because you clearly look like you workout doesn’t mean you sell drugs. Just because a woman wants to get off the treadmill and lift some weights doesn’t mean she wants to look like a man. And good god, just because someone wears a cut-off  or tank top doesn’t mean they’re trying to flaunt and intimidate you. This is all stuff that I know myself or someone I know has had to deal with because of their choice in lifestyle. We are all different. We like different things, we wear different clothes, and we enjoy doing different activities. But the one thing we all have in common is a brain. Maybe everyone should use it before letting words just fall out of their mouths.

Here’s my wish for the day- that I had enough money to open my own gym where it didn’t matter who you were, what you wore, or what you looked like. You could wear your underwear and walk on the treadmill (true story) and as long as the goods were covered then you go on with your day. You wanna eat a bag of chips while you’re cruising on the stationary bike? Just don’t get your greasy fingerprints all over the place. Maybe you even want to eat your chicken and broccoli at the front desk before your workout…DO IT. So maybe I exaggerated about the eating chips and stuff. But here’s the point: I just wish that we could truly have a “no judgment zone” where we’re free to get our sweat on however we please without fear of repercussion. So here’s to Planet Fitness for getting the slogan right…but now we just need to get a better and more open mindset.

-Curtsies and steps off of soapbox. Happy Friday people!

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2 thoughts on “Squads, Stereotypes, and My Soapbox

  1. I am a guy but I totally agree with this post. I always think of the great Arnold quote when people said they didn’t ever want to look like him and he says back, “Don’t worry. You won’t.” Planet Fitness is just a joke really. They are afraid of progress because they make to much money on people who remain the same. They even removed their squat rack from gyms because it was “too intimidating”. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I think a little judgment or pressure might cause these people to step out of their comfort zone. Uncomfortability pushes progress. As you pointed out, these people are some of the more judgmental ones against lifters. That’s a great point. I’m a proud meathead and I won’t deny it. Great post!

    Like

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