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The 3 Main Types of Gym Goer

The 3 Main Types of Gym Goer

When it comes to fitness, there are three kinds of people: the Exerciser, the Competitor, and the Athlete.

(Okay, technically, there are four kinds. But I think it’s safe to leave out “The Non-Exerciser,” right?)

These three classes of individuals have different reasons, methods, and abilities when it comes to working out. They also have different outlooks on exercise, and life in general.

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Though it’s safe to say that not everyone is cut out to be a true athlete, it is something we should all at least aspire for at some point in our lives. However, as long as you see yourself defined somewhere on this list, you should feel comfortable knowing you’re at least doing something to keep your body happy and healthy.

The Exerciser

The Exerciser is a casual gym-goer. He knows the importance of staying active, and will usually hit the gym around 1-3 times a week.

The Exerciser likely lives a pretty healthy life outside of the gym. He eats healthy, gets enough sleep at night, and stays active throughout his days off. While not completely obsessed with working out, The Exerciser will certainly get down on himself for missing a day at the gym.

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Despite enjoying physical activity, the Exerciser is usually not terribly intentional with his workouts. He’ll spend some time on the bike, lift some weights, go for a swim, or play some basketball – but he may or may not have a regimen that he follows to a T. He’s more interested in simply staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle than in improving his abilities or bulking up.

For the Exerciser, a moderate workout acts as motivation not just in the gym, but throughout other aspects of life, as well.

The Competitor

The Competitor takes his workouts a little more seriously than does the Exerciser. You’ll be able to find the Competitor at the gym anywhere from 3-5 times a week. For him, working out isn’t just a way to keep healthy – it’s a way of life.

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While the Exerciser leads a healthy lifestyle mostly by avoiding bad habits, the Competitor actively seeks out ways to improve his health and lifestyle at all times. For example, while the Exerciser might stay healthy by avoiding certain foods and not staying up too late, the Competitor knows exactly what he plans on eating and exactly when he plans on going to bed each and every day.

Of course, this regimented approach to life also translates to incredibly structured workout sessions. The Competitor rotates his workout routine on a daily basis, focusing on legs one day, arms another, and back the next. He’ll also do intensive stamina training throughout the week, as well.

Unlike the Exerciser, who is happy maintaining the status quo, the Competitor always works to improve his abilities whenever he hits the gym. He’ll always push himself to do his very best, and work to ensure that he’ll be stronger today than he was the day before.

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The Athlete

The Athlete is the type of person who isn’t offended when he gets called a “gym rat.” He’s the seemingly superhuman that can be found at the gym at least five times a week, possibly more than once in a single day.

For the Athlete, exercise isn’t just a part of life – it is life. His entire daily routine – from what he eats and when he sleeps to where he works and what he does for fun – revolves around fitness. If a moment goes by that the Athlete isn’t pushing himself to his absolute highest potential, he feels as if he’s wasted his time.

The Athlete can often be seen doing exercises that might look bizarre and make it seem like he doesn’t know what he’s doing. In truth, he’s doing more than most of us could ever imagine. Just listening to his workout routine would be enough to send you to the showers.

Like the Competitor, the Athlete always strives to do better than he did the day before. The Athlete reaches a seemingly machine-like state while working out, motivating everyone around him while simultaneously making them all look like out-of-shape couch potatoes.

Featured photo credit: GYM / Richard Niedings / Flickr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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