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We have now entered the time of the year that can only be considered the dead zone between seasons of gloom and unabashed joy. Yes, that time of the year on the calendar that seems to drag on endlessly between New Year’s and Spring weather sometime in late April or May. The days start off dark heading to work, and end in the dark on the way home from work. The trees are bare of leaves. The air is cold. The weather unpredictable with days of dryness giving way to snow, sleet, and rain. Kind of dreary out. Very few holidays to break up the monotony save for President’s Day and Martin Luther King day if your company is nice enough to give them off. It’s a time when people desperately try to adhere to their resolutions to eat better, be a bit healthier, and stick to a fitness program.
Yes, we have now entered….The Noob Zone.
I have to admit that I took off a few weeks and let myself go for the holiday season. After working out and training consistently all year I really needed a break. It also gave me a chance to heal up some nagging injuries and muscle aches that come with over-training and age. I was pumped to get back in the gym this past week and hit the weights hard. Little did I realize what a chore that would be. My first night back in the gym was “noob central”! In fact, my gym has become a “noob fest” every night so far. It drives me nuts watching these morons doing most everything wrong and getting in the way.
As a former personal trainer and gym manager I should know better. This is the time of year that the noobs come out of hibernation and join gyms en masse. They all of a sudden get the urge to plop down their cash on a gym membership as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Most will give up and be gone by spring. Gyms bank on this fact. They know most noobs will join, show up a lot at the start, then gradually taper off until they pretty much disappear. They have their money committed to a gym contract and know that the less they show up there is minimal wear and tear on the equipment from overuse. It’s a total win for the gym, yet it’s a pain in the butt for us regular gym members those first three to four months of the year dealing with the noob army arrival.
I swear sometimes I want to strangle the noob who gets on a piece of equipment I need and stays on it for a half hour doing countless sets with bad form. I want to mangle the noob that can’t seem to get out of my way when I’m trying to get through my workout. I want to body slam the noob who gets on the treadmill next to mine when all the others are empty. Then, they want to have a conversation with me when I really don’t want to talk to them in the middle of my workout. (Another reason I always go armed with an ipod to the gym.) Yet, if I suggest a better way to do an exercise, or suggest they have a trainer for a few sessions to show them the ropes they don’t want to hear it. I think most of these noobs read a muscle magazine filled with steroid freaks and their training programs and try to follow it. Meanwhile, most of them are out of shape, weak, clueless, and have never been on a proper training or nutrition plan. Yet, there is the noob doing 25 sets of cable crossovers, chest/legs/biceps/shoulders in the same session, running all out on the treadmill – well, you get my drift. Noob York City!
The funny thing is that this seems like a broken record. It happens every year. Like the movie “Groundhog Day“. You would think that the next generation of noobs would know better. I’ll just have to keep out of their way and do my own thing. I plan my training in the early morning when the noobs are asleep, or after 9pm when most of them have gone home to eat their Captain Crunch. The month of May can’t come soon enough when the gym will be empty again, as the noobs will abandon it for the nicer weather and bar scene.
How many others out there go through this at their gyms every year? Hmmm……actually, how many of you all are noobs at something right now? Are you a noob?