Pitting the Resolutionary Army: what you hate about the January influx of new gym members?

Well, it’s that time of year again. It was touched on a bit in this thread. Dubbed the “Resolutionary Army” by Philster, the Resolutionary army mounts a total gym coup d’état the first week of January.

People gain weight from the holidays and BAM, it’s time to make New Year’s resolutions! Despite the overwhelming evidence that New Year’s resolutions don’t last - particularly fitness goals - these bloated bodies waltz in and out, clogging up the Ellipticals, the parking lots, essentially treating the gym like the latest new widget. They receive zero to minimal instruction on gym etiquette and machine use. They congregate in the middle of the floor, have conversations on their cell phones while on machines, and leave detritus in their wake.

I know that tomorrow (I skipped today, fearing the worst) my 6pm primarily-female weightlifting class will be packed to the gills. Nobody will know what they’re doing, everyone will ask for help, and many will nervously giggle in spite of their stupidity.

So, what do you hate most about the Resolutioners/ Resolutionary Army?

Pretty much all that. Except now I have to adjust my own gym routine to avoid them. I went in at 2pm and it was still busier than usual.

Mostly, it’s the women who want to do 50,000 reps on a machine with zero weight and think they’re doing a goddamned thing to improve their fitness. Guh, no. You will have to sweat in order for it to work. But they’ll sit, for…ever. Oh, I just did 20 reps of NO WEIGHT AT ALL, better take a breather. And text on my cell phone.

If you don’t have the determination to ever go to the gym until now, you might as well just give ME the monthly gym donation that you’ll be contributing come February.

I’m with both of you. Walked past a few today on the machines, strolling along at a pace my deceased grandmother could better. Yeah, I walk on the treadmill but I do it uphill and fast, and when I’m done I nearly have to wring out my shirt. Gah, stop taking up machine time!

I shudder to think what it’s like in the afternoons, I go before work.

I dread my Pump class tomorrow. Dread.

One thing I LIKE about the influx: they’ll all be gone by February.

I generally don’t mind it - the influx of new people (which at my gym is in March when uni starts) is one of the rare times when I’m not the weakest in the room. My gym also makes people do an introductory session where they get taught the basics and there are lots of signs reminding people about gym etiquette. They also monitor the floor pretty well - I’ve seen guys get kicked out for messing around with the swiss balls, and the instructors will re-rack weights if they’ve been abandoned for too long.

The mindset of starting afresh in the new year appeals to me, so I can empathise with people who begin working out in January, even though it’s a pretty horrible time to start. But since this thread is about what we hate the most, I will say their number is pretty overwhelming. Gym at the start of the year is like shopping in December or driving in rush hour traffic - it’s not so much any specific action that sets me off, but just the sheer number of people fills me with a low-level annoyance and magnifies small irritations that I’d normally shrug off.

I no longer go to the gym, but when I did I remember the January influx well. Mostly girls wearing makeup (!) and flirting with their trainers, and guys huffing and puffing with weights that were clearly too heavy for them. They don’t last long though. Already after the first two weeks you can see them thinning out.

I hate the fact that they flood my Monday night cardio bootcamp class. It’s a very intense class that’s probably way too hard for your typical resolutioner. (There are a good number of regular attendees who can’t really keep up either, though.)

Anyway, the resolutionary army leaves us with scarcely any elbow room. They also drive the ambient temperature up to hideous levels. For these reasons, they make it much more difficult to get a quality workout.

Oh, and thanks to them, one can wind up driving around the parking lot for 15 minutes or so before finding a spot. Why so long? Because some bozos will tend to clog the aisles just so they can grab a primo spot.

I’m glad that they’re making an effort, but I know that most of them are doomed to fail, and I wish that they’d go away.

Do you remember how I’ve said that this nervous giggling is bloody annoying? For me, at least.

I understand that they’re nervous, but for pity’s sake, that’s the kind of reaction that I’d expect from a younger teenaged girl. Adults should know better.

I don’t hate them. Their membership fees help keep the gym in business. A few of them will find dedication and stay on. Typically, I find I hate gym rats who have feelings of entitlement way more than I ever hated noobs. The noobs pay their membership fees and have the same right to use the equipment and attend the classes that you do. Probably tripping over your egos is interfering more with your workout than the noobs spending to much time on “your” machine. Gym rats, I find, tend to overestimate the amount of time others spend on a given piece of equipment. They want on it NOW, you see.

I have belonged to a gym for about 3 years, but last semester was very difficult for me and I fell off the gym wagon. I am planning on starting up again next week (I’m at my parents place right now, so I can’t go yet - I’m not just being lazy!). One thing I’m dreading is the attitude of the gym rats about the New Years Resolution bunch. I wish some people would realize how offputting thier attitude about working out is - I’m just there to keep reasonably healthy, I’m not trying to win any awards by lifting huge weights or anything.

I fully support the hatred of the newbies who wear tons of makeup or hang around and chat though. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone texting, but that would be obnoxious too.

Yep - traditionally I hate them, but unfortunately I am one myself this year, which really sucks, knowing the scorn they can garner.

My baby was born in Nov, and I waited the suggested 6 weeks to get back to the gym - which has coincided perfectly with New Year… While I kept fit during pregnancy it’s still a hard slog to get back to my previous level, and I feel like wearing a T-shirt which says “Nope, I haven’t made a NY resolution! I just had a baby!”

I don’t hate them, per se, but I do hate this time of year.

It was bad (crowded beyond belief) last night. I had already planned on not going into the Y’s fitness center to hit the free weights in anticipation of the Resolutionary Army© setting up camp, but still went to the Y (I love our Y. Modern, big, current, etc). I planned ahead and did spinning with my girl, then I wandered into the fitness center fairly late because the Resolutionary Army had started to thin out. I imagine they had to scurry home to actually prepare the new healthy meals they swear they are going to eat forever… this time.

I don’t like the whole thing. I wish all of them well – I really do. I just know they are doomed to failure. You don’t invade Russia in the winter, and you don’t invade the gym in January.

I wish the Y would host a few sessions in the gymnasium (basketball courts) that new members coming in January would have to attend before being allowed in to the fitness center, spinning, TRX, Bodypump or other areas/classes. It should start around 5.30 and be educational as well as physical, to help Resolutionaries know about exercise form, gym and machine etiquette, diet, nutrition, recovery, goals, etc… and it should include an exercise session, with light to moderate exercises – a good, modest workout that gets their heart rates up. They should be encouraged to see a doc before-hand or sign off saying they’ve consulted their doctor. You should have to survive a week of this before being allowed to move onto more serious exercise.

I wish them well. Really… but they are just doomed to failure.

See, the smart thing to do is to make a few appearances at the gym in December. Then you can complain with all the other regulars about the influx of newbies.

AND … you can pull the ol’ “… there’s never a rowing machine open when I want one … I’m not coming here anymore …” and it’s right back to the couch with a bag of Doritos and 2 liters of Mountain Dew. Win - win.

You’ll forgive me, but I must call bullshit. You don’t wish “them” anything but to get the hell out of your gym.

“Them” is nice people. I wish them well. Some of “them” are fat, and some aren’t… and “them”, FTR, is just a bunch of people – various ages, heights, weights and ethnicity.

Maybe you didn’t read the part where I suggested a way to improve their chances at success.

I cal bullshit on you, WOOKINPANUB, as I suspect you are the one that wishes I would get the hell out of my gym for your sake.

You’ll forgive me, but I need to call bullshit on your calling of bullshit. You have no idea what he wishes, you’re simply inferring something based on your own poor reading comprehension skills.

You must not know what it’s like to be serious or semi-serious about staying in shape, and be nearly unable to do so for almost a month due to the influx of people who think they are serious, but really aren’t. If all these people stayed, the facility would expand to accomodate them, but since they don’t you’re stuck having to devote double the amount of time at the gym in order to work out and get in line for whatever fitness exercise you want. Many people simply don’t have that much time because they have to go home and fix dinner for the kids, or do laundry, or whatever.

So piss off.

As this thread demonstrates though, that’s not why gym regulars dislike the New Year’s resolutioners. Note that not a single person has said that these people are losers for not wanting to win any fitness awards or any such thing.

I hate the crowds but, generally, not the people. The spin class I go to every Monday is suddenly so full I can’t get in unless I get there a half hour early, which I can’t do. Usually they are begging for people for fill the bikes and now I can’t even get in for at least a month. All nice people but I can’t help feeling like they should get to the back of the line, so to speak. Ah well, I use January as a time rethink the workout and try something new.

Think of them as new prisoners and make bets on which one will crack first, that should keep us regulars occupied until February when most of the army will be gone.

A common theme that the vocal gym regulars at SDMB emit is: These folks are doomed to failure. It’s a shame that they are.

I’ve suggested ways newbies can be more likely to succeed, including starting before the holidays and making tough changes when they mean the most. Also, I’ve suggested what the Y or ‘‘fitness center of their choice’’ can do to help them, by laying the groundwork for success and making them commit to something that teaches and helps them.

Apologies for using ‘them’, but newbies and the Resolutionary Army are just going to be called “them”, because that pronoun is effective for purposes of this discussion. I don’t need a PC lesson, because I am not talking negatively about some protected group of people. Especially noted for WOOKINPANUB.


My big complaint about the new people is they don’t seem to get how a changing room works. Last night people were changing in the 3 bathroom stalls that my gym has, causing a line for people waiting to use the bathroom.

I know, some people are uncomfortable changing in front of others, but really - No one is looking at you! Causing a line because you are shy is really not acceptable.