Don't be that guy either!

HARARE - After last week’s overwhelming response to the column, I thought about the many other great characters that lurk between the bench press and the dumbbell rack in every gym.

The diversity of membership creates the character of every gym, and this character gives life, energy, laughter, direction and inspiration.

What would a gym be without its characters.

Those that frustrate, ignite, humour, entertain and just simply light up the gym with a difference only this environment and industry will experience and learn to appreciate.

Captain Cappuccino

He is the caffeine addict. Cannot function without the dark roast coursing through his veins as he awakens.

No workout can even be comprehended without a caffeine injection being sipped on. If there is an on site coffee shop he dominates the cappuccino machine, all his spare time is spent flavouring our fresh air with the distinct smell of coffee as he wifi’s away on his MacBook Air.

The excuse machine

That one training partner or gym buddie that just finds every excuse in the book not go to gym.

Monday it was too cold, Tuesday he forgot to set his alarm, Wednesday he was feeling tired, Thursday he didn’t pack his tights, Friday is Friday and it’s an off day, Saturday there is live sport on TV and Sunday is just not a good day to train for him.

If an excuse exists, this guy will use it because he has already found it.

The myth

You see him at the gym every time Hayley’s Comet passes directly over Harare. He has a membership.

He says he goes. Does he have Harry Potter’s awesome cloak of invisibility as he trains in secret where no one can see him? Maybe. We will never know.

Beats By Dre

You can generally feel this guy coming from a mile away, his beats gargle your rib cage like an angry Samoan on the rugby field.

His cochlea crunking monster tunes deafen all within ear shot of him as he head bops and mimes his way around the gym.

Those coloured and oversized headphones generally cover everything human on him from the top of his skull to below his chin, almost like a scene from Top Gun.

It is imperative that this guy wears a wife beater too, a little smaller than his standard cut, why, because it’s too cool not too!

If you are a part of the deaf brigade whatever you do don’t subject the rest of us to an audible lambasting of One Direction and Bieber.

Mr Tight Pant

He knows they are too small. He knows! But he will not accept it. This guy lacks the ability to self reflect prior to leaving for gym, man, just go through the standard ‘‘are you ready for gym’’ checklist!

Dressed appropriately, smell nice, gym bag packed....good to go. Leg day is not every day either so kindly don’t strut around the floor block flexing your quads with every step you take.

The girls are not admiring your quaddage or lack thereof, what they are bemused about is the tangled mess you posses.

Should a life objective of yours be fatherhood then fire your tailor immediately and let the boys breathe.

Mr Tan Man

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is where the orange skinned oompa loompas need to remain, not the gym please.

Make it subtle if you are heading to Durban for a summer holiday and treat your pasty exterior that hasn’t seen the outside of your suit in months to a gentle coat of tan.

A botched fake tan will turn you into Mr Raccoon Face instantly and a sight for sore eyes under the night time fluorescent lights you will be.

The track bottom brigade

This is a gang. Never one man in isolation, they operate as a Wolf Pack and never hunt alone.

Initiation into this gang is to have no calves, never train legs, wear vests only, walk like a Neanderthal, don a skimpy branded vest and never show signs of weakness when you are hitting chest day for the third time on Monday....BOET!

The inventor

This guy does what he wants, pays no respect or reference to advice or technique.

He is a law unto his own and can be found in the corner of the gym doing the Pretzle push up in pike position off the bosu ball while performing weighted ankle rotations.

Yup, never heard or seen that one either until he did it.

*Ex-Zimbabwe rugby international Grant Mitchell is High Performance Director at Innovate High Performance Centre in Harare and a top strength and conditioning coach. Twitter: @InnovateHPC, website:

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