It’s that time of the year in which gyms all across America and presumably around the world, have an influx of new goers, all mentally pumped up to get physically pumped up and begin a journey to physical improvement. In years past, I would be one of the many regular gym goers who opined annoyance and made all sorts of observations of the new year’s gym noob trope, but when it really comes down to it, I still have a modicum of respect for those who actually get off their asses and successfully take a step into their gyms, and at least take a stab at it.
Some might last a week, others two, some a month, and then there are millions of people around the world who ultimately quit, but regardless, I will still say that those who at least try to embark on the journey, are better than those who talk shit, judge, but don’t, content to be tubby lumps of humanity, pock-marking the planet with their sedentary existence.
So, no longer am I among those who bemoan the influx of gym noobs, because there is something to be said about them trying. However, I do remain someone who observes and judges the behavior of the gym goers I see, new or old, and opine onto an internet brog nobody reads about them.
For context, for the better part of the last decade, I have had the luxury of being able to hit the gym during lunch time while at the office. Three of my last real office jobs have had gyms either inside or attached to the workplace, and it’s been the ultimate luxury to be able to pop into the gym during my lunch break and work out. It helps chew up the clock on slow days, it helps me alleviate frustration on stressful days, and it affords me to not have to do it after work, freeing up my evenings.
That being said, as important as it is to execute regular workouts, the shower after them is just as just as essential, and if I don’t have time for a shower, then it goes without saying that I’m not working out, full stop. For all sorts of obvious reasons, the shower is absolutely essential, and is basically the final lift of a workout agenda, it’s that mandatory. Aside from the obvious cleansing nature of taking them, they’re also therapeutic and relaxing, and there’s absolutely no better way to cap off a workout than with a nice shower.
I will modify workouts and reduce the number of sets and/or lifts to accommodate time for a shower, or if I can’t factor in the time it takes to get a shower in, then I just cancel the workout outright. For me, there is no option to workout, and putting my office clothes back on over my sweaty body, and risk going back to the workplace feeling and looking gross and possibly smelling.
If there is no possibility of getting the shower in, then the workout simply does. Not. Happen. For me.
However, it’s abundantly clear that not everyone is on the same page as my ideals. What spawned this diatribe is the fact that while at the gym today, I witnessed not just one, but two different men wrap up their workouts, get dressed in their preppy office clothes and head straight back to the elevators towards the offices. And this is not just an isolated incident, I’ve taken note of the guys who do this regularly, and I’m kind of disgusted with the behavior, because I’ve seen some of these people in the locker room, they’re sometimes drenched with sweat and/or they give off that sour BO waft.
There this one guy who regularly goes hiking on the trails adjacent to the building and regardless of if it were in July or October, he’s not showering before returning to work, much to my horrified dismay.
As much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve done it before a handful of times. There was a very brief period where I thought I could get away with doing two-a-days, where I’d do weights during lunch time, but slowly and carefully as to minimize perspiration and then cardio after work, so my body could recover somewhat, but I didn’t shower after weights, and those were the most uncomfortably icky feeling days in the office. Or there was an instance where some building plumbing went awry, and suddenly I was in a position where showering was off the table, and I had to suffer another miserable day of feeling gross and concerned over if I were smelling or not.
The bottom line is that if I can’t shower after my workout, I’m just not going to work out in the first place. And those who embark on behavior contrary to this, this is what I will remain critically judgmental of, and hope that these are the gross motherfuckers who throw in the towel on New Year’s resolution gym going after a week and not the few who manage to stick. Or if you’re already a regular gym goer, hope that we never cross paths in the arena of iron, lest you prepare for a lot of stink eyes for when you inevitably will stink from not washing off after exercising.