Big Guys at the Gym

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 4:44 PM GMT
    Hi,

    I am organizing group gym membership for a community organization I belong to. A few people were reluctant to go to a gym, even to check it out. They felt they were "too fat to go to a gym".

    When I see a large person at the gym I am really happy for them. It is wonderful that they are deciding to change their lives for the better. I wanted to reassure my friends that this was a common opinion among gym regulars, but honestly I don't know if it is.

    So gents, when you see a new, chubby face at the gym what is your reaction? How do you feel about them?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 5:52 PM GMT
    My first reaction is an internal monologue involving Japanese monster screeches and earth rumbling footsteps.
    After suppressing that, I'm genuinely happy to see them making what has to be a very difficult transition to a healthier lifestyle.
  • G_rocco

    Posts: 20

    May 08, 2008 7:15 PM GMT
    There is one rather large - 300+ lbs? - guy at my gym who is usually working with a trainer.
    Frankly, I admire the guy. I know it took a lot to get over his insecurities to come in and start changing his life.
    We all look around at the gym, people watch. Frankly, I'm more interested in the routine he chooses than the what weights to buff/fit guys choose! I hope, if he catches me watching, that it's because of curiosity, not disgust.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 7:15 PM GMT
    Overweight people tend to be very sensitive when it comes to the gym. They feel out of place among the regular gym-goers. They also believe that everyone is looking at them, which makes them even more uncomfortable. This is a difficult perception to overcome.
    Personally I commend overweight people for taking steps to improve their health and understand they have just as much right to be there as anyone else. It's a big deal to get in the gym and overcome feelings of anxiety.
    You can tell your friends that most people are honestly way too busy working out to pay attention to anyone else.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    May 08, 2008 7:30 PM GMT
    As someone who has had the opposite problem ("ooh look at stick boy"), I understand the intimidation factor.

    But I've overcome that and realized it's their problem not mine. Yeah you might get a few cocky punk ass kids (kids more mental than age thing) who will give you grief, but the majority will support you. And at least you're working to better yourself.

    And i have a much better impression of a larger person working out at the gym, than one sitting on a bench at the mall with a double cheese burger.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 7:34 PM GMT
    I had the same fear when I first started going to the gym. I used to go to my college's gym in the middle of the night because I was embarrassed to be working out around very fit people. That was really all very silly, in retrospect. Now that I'm in much better shape, when I see big people at the gym I always think it's awesome. I'm happy for them for making the commitment to become healthy, because I know how hard it is to overcome the shame of your weight.
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    May 08, 2008 7:35 PM GMT
    I tend to think "God bless 'em, they really want to change". When I see them there on a regular basis, then I really start to develop an admiration for them. It takes courage to make that kind of life change and even more to stick with it. I will admit to being momentarily stunned by the sight of a disproportionally gargantuan backside from time to time, but I keep the "Wow, thats a damned big caboose!" as part of my inner monologue. It makes me feel good knowing that they are trying to shrink it down to healthier proportions.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 7:42 PM GMT
    I equally ignore them the same way I do anyone else.
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    May 08, 2008 8:01 PM GMT
    I sigh...and wonder whether I should tell them that that is NOT a leg press machine.

    And then I usually decide, 'no, I shouldn't tell them.' and sit back and watch the hilarity ensue.

    Actually there are several people who workout when I'm in there who are hugely over weight. They show up every day and do their thing and some of them are seeing some real progress. If I notice that they have lost weight, I will mention it to them. It gives them some recognition...especially when it comes from the mean looking guy who wears tight tshirts, and never talks to anyone except the guys he lifts with and the girl who has big boobs and short shorts...
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    May 08, 2008 8:02 PM GMT
    btw, Zombie...it's nice of you to arrange that for them. If you ever get around to arranging gym memberships for hot model guys, let me know. My gym has some really good deals...
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    May 08, 2008 8:05 PM GMT
    I genuinely think it's really great to see someone over weight in the gym, because of the reasons most everyone else has given.
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    May 08, 2008 8:13 PM GMT
    MikeAlva saidI equally ignore them the same way I do anyone else.

    Yep, that's probably as close to the truth as it gets.
    However, I do sometimes think to myself "Good for them!".
    Out on the Trail where I run, I've gotten to know several "big" guys who've been dropping weight by running or walking and periodically, I will stop and chat with them and do my best to encourage them to keep up the good work....however, its a fine line as I don't want to come across as patronizing either.icon_redface.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 8:15 PM GMT
    There are quite a few at my gym and I'm usually working out right next to them. Something or someone has made them go in and change their way of life. I've commented to a few of them how the results are starting to show and it just made their day. I think we all need to hear that now and then just to help us out and know that there is progress happening even if you dont feel it.
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    May 08, 2008 8:19 PM GMT
    Well, it's all about ME.... icon_rolleyes.gif

    so my first thought is 'boy, I am glad that isnt me!' ... icon_eek.gif

    and my first impulse is to run up to them and advise them to get a personal trainer cuz I think PTs are great.... icon_biggrin.gif

    then I go back to thinking hateful thoughts about all the guys who are slimmer and better built than I am ... icon_evil.gif

    oh, and hateful, hateful thoughts about the guys who are slimmer, better built, and have a full head of hair ... icon_evil.gificon_evil.gif
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    May 08, 2008 8:31 PM GMT
    Like me?
    icon_twisted.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 8:54 PM GMT
    ShawnTO saidLike me?
    icon_twisted.gif


    You know, my eyes never got above your nips before...you do have hair...well, whaddaya know?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 08, 2008 10:05 PM GMT
    Hey go up to a guy who is trying and give him support. It will be a long hard road and he might need a "YEAH LOOKING GOOD" now and then
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    May 08, 2008 10:25 PM GMT
    Takes a lot of commitment and guts for anyone to try to lead a healthier lifestyle. But, yeah, I think it's particularly admirable when bigger folks do it.

    As far as you saying that some people thought they were too fat to go to the gym, I think it's partly a gym's responsibility to create an environment that's welcoming for everybody. Different gyms serve different purposes, but cultivating an atmosphere of support and camaraderie goes a long way to making it less intimidating. I've been to gyms that are _not_ welcoming whatsoever, and to others that go to great lengths to make sure everyone feels like they belong.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2008 2:54 PM GMT
    I ignore the very few fat people in my gym. Best not to stare.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    Way to go!

    As a former larger person, its one of the most frightening things you could ever encounter, not only are their miles and miles of gorgeous fit people.

    But there is just as many miles of mangled steel that looks far to small for you.

    The most important thing that I found was finding the RIGHT gym for your skill level.

    24 Hour fitness is not the place to job on the fitness track (where you get a sales tour of the floor, but have to pay if you want more attention)

    I always recommend a local YMCA, as you are more likely to find people in your similar situation there. (were at my last 2 YMCAs every member got a complimentary instructional session on EVERY machine)

    thats what I've found...
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    May 20, 2008 3:27 PM GMT
    My thoughts?


    Please god dont let them on the cardio machines!









    I want to see them achieve not give up in 4 weeks!

    Id much rather see an overweight person working hard and achieving than see some muscle mary wannabee with bad form flapping his arms around like a fairy on acid whilst he does bicep curls and raises in the loosest possible sense of the word. Having said that Id also rather see a fat person using weights appropriatly and watching their diet than spending the next 3 years not achieving their goal on a treadmill
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    May 20, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    Everyone's got to start somewhere.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 20, 2008 4:54 PM GMT
    smalltownboy said[quote][cite] I will stop and chat with them and do my best to encourage them to keep up the good work....however, its a fine line as I don't want to come across as patronizing either.icon_redface.gif


    I agree SmallTown ... if I see someone new who looks like they might need some encouragement, I'll always say "Hi, how are you?" If I see them again and recognize them, I'll say something like, "Hey, nice to see you again."

    I hope it comes across as welcoming and supportive and encouraging, not as, "Who the f--- is that guy and who appointed him as the greeter?"