Having visited a lot of hotels during the past year for work and pleasure, I’m always entertained by the wide variety of characters that frequent these scaled-down fitness facilities. While most have the best intentions, some of their actions have culminated into the perfect ‘what not to do’ list.
- 10 min Timmy. Timmy often looks the part with the branded shirt and shorts, but his time in the gym will be short. After ten “hard” minutes on the treadmill, he’s off to that big business meeting. This marathon is barely long enough to burn off a cup of nonfat yogurt, and even worse, the false perception of fitness may have Timmy in the doctor’s office sooner than he expected.
- Chewing gum Charlie. The second I see Charlie, I scold myself for not finding the time to get my CPR certificate renewed. Sure, Michael Jordan chewed gum from time-to-time, but usually, there were a few (thousand) people in the near vicinity. I’m sure the Freakanomics stats give Charlie a high likelihood of survival, but any good reasons to do this are offset by plenty of bad reasons.
- One rep Ronnie. Ronnie likely lifts weights on a strict 12 month schedule. He places the pin on the heaviest level on the weight machine and strenuously pushes out one, maybe two repetitions. After a quick glance/flex in the mirror, he’s off to the next station to pump out another 1-2 red-faced reps. Unfortunately, the only swelling Ronnie is likely to acquire is from a torn muscle or even worse, a hernia.
- Frustrated Fred. Of everyone in the gym, Fred is a frequent attendee and loves to spend time on cardio machines. Fred’s problem is not his physical health; it’s his alarm clock skills. When Fred checked out the gym the night before, it was empty, but at 7:30 AM, the room is filled with early rising type A’s. The sign in the gym says 30 minutes max, but Fred is intensely scowling at his watch every 60 seconds while free spinning on the broken upright bike. Fred may be extending his life by being in the gym, but he’s lost 2-3 years from the stress this little incident has incurred.
- No wipe Willie. Willie wants to share something with everyone else – his perspiration. Upon his exit, the elliptical machine looks like a rain shower hit the exercise room. Willie’s lack of common courtesy will mostly go unnoticed, but a friendly dose of staphylococcal will provide an (un)healthy reminder of his existence.
Working out while on the road is an essential part of maintenance as well as a good method for countering jet lag when the normal life schedule has been altered. Burning off those high-calorie restaurant meals will make jumping back into the routine much easier, and avoiding the habits listed above will make the experience a lot more pleasurable (for us all).