If you have a gym membership, then you are part of a billion-dollar industry. The fitness center industry in the U.S. was worth an astonishing $25.8 billion in 2015, thanks to the 55 million gym members across the States.
Unsurprisingly, January is the most popular month for people to take out gym memberships, as they make New Year resolutions to get fit and healthy. These new memberships are split about 50/50 between men and women at the start of the year, but as time goes on, one group is clearly more determined to stick to their resolutions. About 14% of women drop out in the first year compared to just 8% of men.
And it seems that many of these gym members are not pushing themselves as hard as they could. 30% admit to not working out as much as they want to because they’re too busy chatting with friends or playing with their phones, while 50% use gyms as a place to check out members of the opposite s*x.
Of interest to us today is women. There are different kinds of women who use gyms for so many different reasons. Here are 15 of them. Which one have you met?
14 The Makeup Queen
We’ve all seen girls who turn up to the gym looking like they’re heading out to the club rather than looking to get their sweat on. Wearing a full face of contoured makeup might give some women inner confidence when they hit the gym, but if they work out hard enough, then surely, all that sweat is just going to give them epic panda eyes by the end of the session. There are some women who put makeup on their faces in the changing room before heading out onto the gym floor only to have to reapply everything after their shower before they face the world. What’s all this effort for? The instructor maybe?
13 The Tomboy Who’s Interested In Intense Workouts
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the tomboys. These are the women who come to the gym in sensible workout clothes and who have practical short haircuts or who tie their hair up in an out-of-the-way ponytail. They’re comfortable chatting to the guys in the gym on their level–without flirting–and have no qualms about putting on the boxing gloves either. These practical gals are the ones who will keep their memberships going long after those who joined in January have quit and headed home, and they’re the ones to ask for help if you’re a bit lost on the gym floor.
The Serial Flirt
Given that 50% of gym goers admit to flirting with fellow fitness fanatics, it is hardly surprising that you will see a lot of girls trying to attract the attention of male gym members or even personal trainers when they go for their daily workout. Some women let their fitness levels do their talking for them—showing off to other fitness fanatics how much they can lift or how long they can run. Others ditch the exercise altogether, preferring to just stroll around the gym floor as though it’s a high-end fashion catwalk or a trendy club on a Saturday night in a bid to catch a man’s attention.
12 The Husband Hunter
A bit of harmless flirting at the gym is one thing, but there are some women who take it one step further, and to a whole other level, spending their workout time trying to find a husband instead of focusing on how many calories they burned or their heart rate! To be fair, if you’re a regular at the gym yourself, then it makes sense to look for a partner who is interested in the same things as you are. Is there really that big of a difference between fitness fanatics searching for a husband at the gym and party girls picking up guys they find attractive at bars on a Friday or Saturday night? In all honesty, probably not.
11 The Music Lover
For some women, music is an integral part of their workout. They enjoy going to classes that feature high-octane pop and dance tunes, and when they hit the cardio machines and weights, they always have an impressive set of headphones clamped to their ears. Not for them listening to the random tunes pumped out on the gym’s PA system, no. They have their own exercise playlist that helps them get the most out of their fitness session. Don’t even try and speak to these girls. Chances are the volume is turned up so high that they won’t even hear you anyway.
10 The Cardio Lover
A balanced workout should include cardio and weights, but most regular gym goers will admit that they prefer one over the other. The cardio queens at your gym are easy to spot. They are the ones who monopolize the treadmills and cross-trainers, carrying large bottles of water to keep them hydrated on their hour-long run. They will be the ones who can expertly set up a treadmill program and then jump straight on without taking the tiniest stumble, who can jump off a moving treadmill without going arse over tit, and who don’t consider it a successful workout unless they leave dripping in sweat.
9 The Heavy Lifter
And then there are the girls who are all about the weights. Some do it just to tone and strengthen key muscles, while others seem to enjoy giving the really bulked-up guys a run for their money. After all, you get plenty of professional female body builders these days, so why shouldn’t girls be allowed in the free weights section of the gym too? It might be a traditionally male domain, but there will always be a few women willing to run the gauntlet. Keep an eye out for the real pros who know how to spot the guys and who come with their own belts.
8 The Absolute Beginner Sold Out By Her Cluelessness
Usually spotted in January, the absolute beginner is easily identified. She will usually be wearing achingly new gym gear, complete with trainers so white that everyone else needs to wear shades just to look at them. Too many newbies just dive in without any pointers from the staff at the gym, which usually results in them using a piece of machinery incorrectly, sometimes with hilarious results and sometimes causing them a nasty injury. If you see an absolute beginner looking lost in your gym, be kind and help them out. You were a newbie once yourself, remember?
7 The Machine Hog
There’s nothing more annoying than turning up to the gym, ready to get down to a serious workout, only to find that all your favorite machines are all taken. OK, well there is one thing more annoying—seeing that your favorite machine is being used by gym hog, the kind of woman who takes an age to complete her workout, without any consideration for other people who might want to use the machine that she’s currently on. It’s common gym courtesy at busy times to let others use the machine while you’re taking your rest between reps, making sure to wipe it down first, of course.
6 The One Who Came To Text And Talk On The Phone
And what’s one of the most common reasons for girls to hog gym machines? Yes, they decide that they need to text or call their friends as soon as they’ve finished their workout, often while still sitting or standing on a machine that someone else could be using. You see lots of women on their cellphones at the gym. Some use them as music players, which is an acceptable use, but others seem to think that their lives are so important that they can’t take a break from Facebook, WhatsApp, or their texts for even a few minutes—often checking for messages mid-workout too.
5 The One Who Bares It All
Not one from the gym floor, but women who use gym changing rooms regularly will be very familiar with the next entry on this list—the one who bares it all. There’s always one woman who insists on strolling practically in the buff around the changing room with all the confidence of a catwalk model, while everyone else makes a beeline for the private cubicles or struggles to get dressed while still wrapped in a towel. Weirdly, it’s not always the women who are in the best shape who strut their stripped-off strut. Just goes to show that body confidence really is a state of mind.
4 The Gym Gossip
There are some women who see the gym as more of a social hangout than somewhere to get fit. They might come along with groups of girlfriends, taking a gentle stroll on the treadmills while they catch up on the week’s gossip. Or if one of these chatterboxes has come to the gym alone, then the chances are that she’ll try and make some new friends, striking up a conversation with people on the neighboring machines even if they are plugged into headphones, clearly focused on their workouts or–worst of all–in the middle of lifting heavy weights!
3 The Fashionista Responsible For Huge Profits In The Sportswear Industry
It’s not just gyms that are a big business. Gym outfits also generate huge profits for manufacturers. The sportswear industry is forecast to be worth $221 billion in 2024, and those women who have spent big bucks on designer garments want to make sure that the whole gym sees what they are wearing. No matter how hideous, how impractical, or how inappropriate their outfits are, their main objective is to be a dedicated follower of fashion even if this means wearing funky trail running shoes to a yoga class or yoga pants while they’re out on a run.
2 The Zen Yogi
Yoga has become hugely popular in recent years. It is a great way to tone and strengthen your body, all while gaining a little of inner peace. While most people practice in peaceful yoga classes, with relaxing music and incense, some Zen mistresses can strike a pose anywhere, including in the corner of a very noisy and sweaty gym. Look out for these girls on the mats where they will be bending themselves into eye-watering positions, like Killer Praying Mantis, the Monkey Side Plank, and Mermaid in Low Lunge, all while trying to ignore the loud music and the grunts of the weight lifters.
1 The Queen Of Gym Selfies
The gym selfie craze may have started with celebs like Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, and Karlie Kloss, but now it seems that every younger girl at the gym can’t end her workout until she’s taken a snap to mark the occasion. Not only is this bewildering behavior common among older, more established gym-goers, but there is always the risk that your red, sweaty face is going to end up in the back of their shot, providing a very unfavorable comparison to their perfect hair and makeup. Some gyms have banned phones from the gym floor in an effort to put a halt to selfies, but they are probably fighting a losing battle.