Monday, May 02, 2005

The MIT Gym: Bless its Heart

The MIT gym (bless its heart) is a strange, scary place. Unlike most gyms, this one has very few mirrors. Ya see, I don't think that a lot of the people using this gym grew up exercising much. Mirrors are important to see form while exercising...I certainly need to use them to make sure I am isolating the correct muscles on some exercises (e.g. tris). Form in the MIT gym is very poor. Several times I have been tempted to help folks, but don't want to make them feel bad (bless their hearts).

As I have previously noted, the manners in this gym are just awful. Today, a guy asked if he could work in with me on pec flies. I, of course, said sure, and relinquished the apparatus after my set. When I sat back down after he had performed his set, I found that he had left the weight as his weight, and not readjusted the seat! For those of you not familiar with gym etiquette, if you work in with someone, you remember what weight they were working, and what height the seat was, and when done with your reps, you switch it back. That's just how it goes.

The fashion is dreadful. People (bless their hearts) wear khakis. People (bless their hearts) wear black socks to their knees with white sneakers. Women (bless their hearts) wear only jogbras so their tummies hang out. Mullets abound (bless their hearts). (in response to comments...I don't mean to say your top should match your shoes. What should happen is that you don't wear your every-day clothes to the gym. That's just gross...well, if you sweat it is. Khakis and black socks belong outside of the gym. As for mullets, I find them entertaining. And for the tummies...not everybody is a supermodel. I know that. But dress to your strong points.)

I know I was spoiled with the gym at CNN; that was definitely a different demographic of people. The World Gym at Somerville was more of a blue-collar-type gym, but at least they had good gym manners. The MIT gym is just weird, bless its heart.

By the way, "Bless his/her/its heart" is a Southern phrase which allows you to say whatever you want about someone without being mean. For instance, "He smells like rotten socks, bless his heart."


Cybersam said...

Oh, come on... Ranting on the students again. :-) Again, I am going to take on the side of the students, especially the undergrads.

Remember the gym at Dartmouth. I bet it is the same as the one at MIT. School gym is a school gym.

I go the gym about 3 times/week, which is a lot for SDM standards, and I have noticed that the crowd in the day (or the lunch crowd) is very different from the crowd in the evening. People working out in the evenings are MUCH more serious and to some degree polite than people who are passing intermittent time between classes at the gym.

Ilana said...

Sorry, Sam. You've got some bad assumptions and logic in your comment:

1. They're not undergrads. Most seem older than me. Undergrads do not tend to work out at 7am.
2. Dartmouth people are in very good shape, actually. The school has a very athletic, outdoorsy culture. They also exhibit good gym manners.
3. I work out in the morning. Those are usually the die-hards, so I disgree with your evening assessment.

I'm at the gym 4-5 times a week, so I'm pretty familiar with it as well ;)

Mane the Mean said...

I just do not get why one
should look fashionable/good/
sexy when exercising. I personally,
when I have time/energy for gym,
just take some the oldest shorts
and T-shirts I have, and go. It
is good for me, and should be
for others. Of course, I take
clean ones, not dirty ones.

Fashion shows and cat walks
are for looking good, not the gym.
And spending any extra money for
gym clothes is pure waste, IMHO.

And any exercise is better than
none, so not being to able isolate
a certain muscle, or not bothering
that much, is not that important.

And yes, in 1997-1999, I used
to go to the gym 5 times a week,
but then I realized I have better
things to do.

After this semester, I think
going to the gym 2 times a week
will be for me.

Ilana said...

My argument for gym clothes is that gyms are nasty. You sweat, you sit in other people's sweat. I don't like my gym clothes even *touching* my other clothes.

That's the problem with the khakis and black socks. Those aren't gym clothes...thost are normal clothes. I should have made that more clear. But frankly, I think writing "Fashion is dreadful" is more light-hearted than discussing my sweating patterns. ;)

Ilana said...

Also, if you don't isolate certain muscle groups, you can hurt yourself using the equipment. For instance, today some guy was yanking on the pulldown machine. He was jerking his body, snapping his back. Not good. I don't care what this looks's just for their own good.

Yoav said...

I agree with your observations, but I find it hilarious. It's one of the quirky things I like about our gym. Matt and I were talking about this the other day (we both go almost every day), it's funny as hell.

Mane the Mean said...

I only own black socks.

I cannot really see, why I should
stay outside the gym for this reason?

Any rules for the color of underwear,
inside and outside the gym? These
days, one so often sees the underwear
of other, since for some reason
many people cannot afford large
enough trousers to cover their
underwear/asses, perky or not.

I would recommend polkadot
underwear: mint green spots
on pink. They are really eye