Q.: What happens when three normally well mannered and pleasant people get together on a Friday night? A.: ‘Group Rant,’ a new type of recurring blog post which features Feminist Figure Girl (FFG), Fitbabe Deanna Harder of ‘Ask a Trainer’ (FB), and RenMan of ‘Ask RenMan.’ It’s kind of like The View except with two white girls and one token guy sitting around in a pub, bitching and moaning. Our ranks are not filled out by Hollywood people of colour, witty gays, dancing lesbians, or befuddled Republicans. ‘So what have you narrowly-defined, privileged Canadian shitheads got to complain about anyway?’ you might be wondering. Plenty my friends. Plenty. For one thing …
FFG: I fucking hate that long-limbed woman who works out in the free weight area. You know the one? She does lunges, taking up, like, six feet of space both in front of and behind her. She looks like a praying mantis, with awkward spiky forelegs, except that she clutches a five-pound dumbbell instead of a terrified moth. I swear that I am going to give her a beat down. ‘Move your skinny ass to the large open spaces that exist for such exercises in this gym. Or you could do something even more useful and capture all of those mosquitoes flying around upstairs for your dinner.’
RenMan: While I don’t have the same kind of hate on for her that you do, FFG, I do have a problem with the assholes who use spaces and equipment inappropriately. If you are on one of the squat racks, you had better be lifting heavy or at least be quick about it. I’m not hanging about while you do squat lunges with the bar as your resistance. You don’t need the safety of the cage and I don’t need to get irritated watching you waste (my) time.
FFG: Oh that’s kind of bad news because I always tell Insect Queen to head on over to the squat rack. Wa ha ha.
Fitbabe: Hi, ok, so it’s bad trainers who raise my ire. How about the guy who smokes cigarettes outside the gym while wearing his ‘put gym’s name here’ uniform? WTF is that all about? Now as a professional fitness and lifestyle consultant, I stay in shape, and I hope I Iook like I train as well.
FFG: Oh you sure do, hot stuff. Smoking is the easiest way to decrease your manometer score with me. It’s only slightly better than holding a sign that reads: ‘I have tertiary syphilis.’
Fitbabe: I have to chime in here about the dude who loads up the leg press with 10 plates per side, then wraps his knees for 15 minutes, only to move the machine 1/4 of the way down! Finally, he looks around to see if anyone is noticing how much weight he is ‘lifting.’ Ugh. I want to scream at him: ‘look you dummy, forget about all the weight and wrapping your knees and just freaking move the platform its full range of motion.’ Ok. Breathe.
RenMan: He reminds me of kung-fu-man, the older dick who used to throw punches and kicks willy-nilly between sets while staring at himself in the mirror. I wouldn’t have had a problem with the guy except that he refused to let others work in, and took forever with shit. It takes a lot to truly piss me off, but that guy achieved it.
FFG: You know how much I loathe laziness. This might sound obvious, but I go to the gym to work out. I will grunt and sweat and become delirious. When I pull my gym clothes out of my bag at the end of the night, they are soaking wet. I have to hang them on Ikea hooks installed above the laundry baskets, expressly designed for this purpose by some Norwegian genius who used to play soccer. So when I see someone pedaling away slowly on the recumbent bike, week after week, while reading Rilke, I want to go over and grab that book, seething: ‘There is a time and a place for sad Prague poetry, but it is not at the fucking gym while sitting beside TRX ropes. Get your ass up and moving. Save Rilke for the number 14 metro line in Paris.’
RenMan: Don’t blame the Rilke. They’re just trying to attract other ‘deep’ people who don’t really work out.
FFG: Am I not living proof that it is possible to be fit and pompous at the same time?
Fitbabe: How about the people who read the entire Edmonton Journal while on the bike, with arms spread out trying to hold the paper up; it’s flapping everywhere and the stupid flyers are falling out! OH HUGE RANT…DO NOT HOLD ONTO THE RAILS ON THE TREADMILL ON A 15% INCLINE. You may as well be walking flat and pushing a baby carriage!
RenMan: One of the things that make me irrationally insane is the guys who come in with absolutely devastating ass-funk and think it’s okay to make it impossible for others to breathe. I train hard when I’m there and I’m sucking in a lot of O2 – and if some fucker walks by in the gym clothes he’s been wearing for the last month and causes me to literally gag while in the middle of a push press or heavy bent over row, my first thought is how I can drown the guy in a tub of soap, water, and drain cleaner. This is doubly magnified for the guys who think that deodorant is optional and that a daily shower is a sign of weakness – I’d drag you out of there myself if I wasn’t afraid that your stink would wind up rubbing off on me like in George Costanza’s car.
Fitbabe: RenMan, you said it! My eyes were watering because of the stench ‘Stank Ass’ left lingering. He would always pick the machine right in front of me to do his cardio. Ugh!
Fitbabe: One more thing. Message to the idiot who has a massive gut and wife beater on: NO YOU CANNOT GIVE ME A TIP ABOUT DOING MY SHOULDER PRESSES. Look at you, look at me. So who needs a freaking tip? I just stared into his eyes and replied: ‘No you can’t.’ And to the dude who asked me if I do a lot of yoga: Are you kidding me? Do you really think I could get this muscular from doing yoga?
FFG: Balls to yoga!
RenMan: And I just loooove the guys who come in and ask me what’s my secret – how did I get so big and strong, what I’ve been taking for supplements (and assuming some of those are vitamin S), and what they can do to grow really quickly. This isn’t a quick process. I’ve been doing this shit for 22 years, completely drug free, and I’ve got to say that if you think that it’s impossible to put on any significant muscle without pharmaceuticals you should probably get out of my face.
FFG: Balls to guys!
RenMan: But wait, there’s more: To all the ladies who assume that because I’ve got arms the size of your legs that my brain must be comparable to a walnut in shape and mental activity – fuck you. Because I’m not going to. You might be hot in your own circle, but unless you can show me that you care about more than my body, and what I can do with it, you aren’t going to earn much more than my scorn.
FFG: I hear that Ren. It’s really tough being a hot brainiac. But your arms are to women what cleavage is to men.
Fitbabe: Ouch. Sorry RenMan, I shouldn’t judge based on looks. LOL!