7 Special Membership Types Every Gym Needs to Offer
Not all workout plans are created equal. For every person lazily eyeballing a treadmill like it's the summation of every one of their ex-wife's complaints, someone is doing painful shoulder shrugs in order to one day meet that same ex-wife. However, most gyms don't take this variety into account. They charge a flat fee that you pay every month, and you deal with it as you will, whether that means going for hours a day, or promising yourself that you'll start going for hours a day next Monday.
It doesn't need to be this way though. You should be able to pay for a plan that specifically caters to all of your personal malfunctions. So, when you see me as CEO of Dan's Warrior Gym in 2015, just know that it all started here, with these seven special gym memberships that you should be able to acquire.
The "I'm Here to Bother Women" Plan
Since many guys go to the gym in order to look good for the women they'll hopefully meet later, discovering that women go to the gym as well is a very "two birds, one stone" kind of revelation. Some people ask themselves the question, "Is this the appropriate time or place for this?" and decide against vomiting ungainly witticisms at girls. They ask themselves in the gym, on the train, or in the passenger's seats of cars, but this membership is not for those people. For those that this membership is built for, there's never a wrong time to let a girl sweating through pullups know that you have a boner meant just for her.
"Handies can tone your forearms way better than free weights ... wait, come back ..."
For the record, I totally understand how hard it is to shut down the ever-present need to flirt with busy women. I can barely make it through a trip to the grocery store without telling a lady that she looks hot buying frozen tilapia. And then you go to the gym and they're lacking sleeves and dressed in tight leggings? There's just something about a girl grunting her way through a StairMaster session that makes it impossible for you to refrain from trying to see if she can not only form more words than "Fuck off," but the necessary combination of words that it takes to seem like there may be an opportunity for sex later. And if you're going to the gym with the express intentions of using it as a way to find something to do with all of your sperm, that combination is surprisingly small.
Masturbating while crying in the shower doesn't count.
For just a few extra dollars per month, this membership would not only cover the time that the person spends attempting to maneuver a frustrated woman into getting drinks and maybe some dick later, but the time he spends trying to catch glances from different locations in the gym. Due to all of the mirrors, ogling requires you to find the perfect angle in order to stay invisible to her until you're ready to impress her with all of your charm and hilarious observations about other dudes in the gym who have biceps, but just aren't as adequately bicep'd as you. This way, she won't suddenly look up at the glass after a reverse fly to see a horny Michael Myers leering at her.
On the other side of this, women are also given their own plan for no extra charge, and it's called the "Use Some Common Goddamn Sense, Guys." She's squatting 265 pounds, man. Do you really think she wants to skip around the topic of you dropping babies in her? Cut that shit out.
"So, now that you're used to working with giant blue balls ..."
The "I'm Here to Talk Shit About CrossFit and Cardio" Plan
The amount of hate that some show for CrossFit is usually reserved for the people who picket soldiers' funerals. My town's local CrossFit gym is located directly across from a taco shop, so while I've always wanted to peek in and see what they're conjuring with all of those runs and deadlifts, the devil on my shoulder is made entirely out of Thai peanut chicken. Also, I figure that picking CrossFit over tacos is my first step into not being able to properly enjoy anything ever again.
I'm giving my taste buds a workout! Or whatever. Fuck it, I like tacos.
While the same is not true about tacos, I rarely get into discussions about CrossFit at the gym, simply because I'm not doing CrossFit. It's weird to initiate communication with "I see that you like the thing that you're doing, but please, join me in hating this moderately related activity," but some gymgoers manage to do it.
This not only goes for CrossFit but other kinds of exercise plans, especially if that exercise plan involves a lot of cardio, and the person who has picked you to fill her social quota for the day is working towards putting on mass. I can't exactly describe the dialogue of someone who is asked his opinion on cardio while they're "bulking up," but it follows the same conversational structure as what you'd receive from asking Michele Bachmann for a book report on Persepolis.
And if you ask someone bulking up about Persepolis, they usually tell you they've never heard of that club.
This membership would subtract a few bucks from someone's plan, with the amount based on the frequency of the debasing. But, in the same fashion as Pringles and making trivial prank videos on Vine, you can't do it once, no matter how detrimental they are to your diet or unbroken nose. No one has ever thought to tell a single person about his gripes with calisthenics and then never do it again. This is the riskiest plan to sell because, in the span of an hour, the person will probably being going for free. And rooms full of people complaining about CrossFit with no monetary obligation (any place that isn't the inside of a CrossFit gym), have proven to be very popular over the years.
The "Unnecessary Workout Advice" Plan
I'm not an expert on much. The best movie ever made is Batman Returns. The best book ever written is about a swamp reptile that attacks a plane full of cocaine. One of my fondest memories is front-flipping out of a barn during a backyard wrestling match and knocking the wind out of myself for what felt like months. If you want me to explain it in medical terms, the blood to my brain was cut off around the age of 12, and I've been a bittersweet miracle ever sense.
Although no doctor has been able to explain why my brain pulses blue now.
But while being an expert in things usually requires years of learning or training, it isn't so for exercise science, at least according to a portion of the people who regularly go out of their way to give you tips about what you're doing wrong. I imagine they see other people working out in the same way that some claim to see invisible soul demons; they're immediately repulsed and horrified but must find a way to save the wretches out of the goodness of their heart. Godspeed to you, guy who says that bench presses are only effective if you do them as quickly as possible. Same to you, guy who has found a way to suggest adding four more bewildering steps to my tricep extensions. You're heroes for a cause that only you know about.
"I don't mean to interrupt, but you're drinking that water, just, all types of wrong."
This membership would apply to the people who have decided to go ahead and make the trainers' jobs their own, and it would decrease their fee by a few dollars. These dollars, of course, would be taken out of the actual trainers' salaries, because who needs their input when you have a guy in a rad sleeveless hoodie giving dangerous advice to weight-loss clients? Sure, Sleeveless Hoodie might know nothing about that person's goals or limits, but he DOES know how to do shoulder exercises in a way that makes it appear as if he's trying to achieve flight. And you never know until you try, people who visit gyms without the need to take courses from unlicensed strangers.
The "It's Cool, I Know the Trainers" Plan
My theory about human interaction is that if more than half of what the other person is saying basically amounts to "Haha, yeah," they're either A) being paid to be friendly to you, or B) ready for you to shut up and are possibly being paid to be friendly to you. I gathered the research for this theory by not only chatting with girls on the Internet when I was 17, but through watching personal trainers dealing with every person who thinks that it might be a good idea to come up and stand around their desk while expounding about nothing in particular.
"Haha, yeah, I am picturing your untimely demise."
When I first started working out, I needed help figuring out the right way to perform some of the lifts in order to spare the gym an exhibition of what happens when the body of a human/squid hybrid crumples in on itself under a barbell. Luckily enough for Splice enthusiasts, there were usually two or three people standing in front of the trainer's desk, each nodding along to a plodding conversation that they hoped would pause for long enough for them to begin their own plodding conversation.
"Ugh, if they keep going on like this, I'll never be able to tell them about what my cat did last night."
This membership would increase the member's rate by 50 percent, but it would come with the added benefit of a special square behind each trainer that they can stand in. The trainer, according to however they're feeling, can choose to ignore or chat with the square's resident, and the member can go home happy with the fact that they spoke within the hearing range of something that day. Having friends is always important.
The "I Need a Prime Spot Close to the Mirror" Plan
In a lot of gyms, the sections near the mirrors look like setups for unfortunately timed group photos. Standing at certain intervals from the wall, people will shift backwards and forwards and left to the right in order to fit in that perceived ideal space where they can safely view how fucking awesome they look while doing bicep curls without somebody's body parts being in the way. Some gyms even remove mirrors altogether because they don't really do anything besides give a person the satisfaction of realizing, "Yeah, that's me in the gym. I'm sure here."
"When I move, he moves! What sorcery is this?"
The migration towards these regions of the gym remains so intense that people, either by necessity or through the drive to see their breath on the mirror, will stand so close to the weights lined on the rack against the wall that it physically inconveniences both of you. You're forced to creep around them, and they're forced to hope that you understand spatial reasoning in a way that they, going nose-to-nose with their reflections, are unable to. No one wins when you wish that the other person was literally anywhere else but where he is now.
This plan would only boost the fee by a few dollars, because many people, for the safety of human life and property, refuse to flail their arms while holding dumbbells in a space that's already partially occupied. But that plan will also include a designated spot where you, cardholder who is counting each and every vein in your face, can lift in peace. And when others begin to wonder why that guy is so close to the mirror, they'll see the spot and then they'll see that it's you, and they'll realize that there are some luxuries that you just have to pay for.
"Well hey there, good lookin'. Funny running into you here."
The "Can I Get a Quick Set in Between Your Sets?" Plan
Constructing your workout and deciding the order of exercises is precarious. You want to be able to reach a point that's immediately before the point of collapsing on your way out to the parking lot. You also want to be able to go to the gym and feel as if you've accomplished more than that brisk euphoria you get after you go to the mailbox, or the kitchen, or the area beside your bed. But there will come a time when your list is interrupted. And what do you do when that happens? Do you impatiently and angrily look around at others trying to get their heart rate up, barely coming short of stamping your feet and announcing that you have feelings too? Or do you wait, gracefully, for the person currently on the machine that you want to use to get done and leave? This membership is for the people who came up with a third option.
Technically the fourth, after the bomb threat failed.
The biggest problem with trying to get in a set between another person's sets is that the rest time for one person is never as long as another's hypothetical set. While you count on them to make it a brief interlude, it rarely happens that way. I hope that it will become more natural for me in the same way that, if you microwave enough frozen beef egg rolls, pressing 1:25 just seems to happen, but I'm still in the "Instruction Manual" stage of working out. I have to count down how long I'm supposed to rest between sets, and when I wait behind people who just need to "get in there really quick," I often end up counting like I'm playing Hide and Seek with the ineptly covert. "Three ... two ... one ... one-half ... one-third ...," and you get the idea.
"Look, I just really need to get a couple of downward dogs in, OK? Don't be a downward bitch. Be cool."
This membership would be aimed at people who feel like they spend most of their time asking to "jump in for a second and get a quick set in" and would cut the regular price in half. They're doing the exercise equivalent of channel surfing, with no sign of stopping. They deserve all the breaks they can get.
The "I'm Furious About How Crowded It Is" Plan
Asking people if you can make a cameo in their personal fitness documentary Maybe One Day I Won't Look Like a Hoodie Filled With Cream of Mushroom is a better choice than what this plan entails. Proceeding with the aforementioned first option of getting mad and hoping the other gym patrons share in your hatred of a problem they came too early to experience is the worst, especially if you mix it with sounds. This usually comes out as some variation of "Why are so many people going to this public gym? Why can't people just stay at home so I can complain about their lack of effort?"
"Look at all of you, trying to stay healthy. You disgust me."
No matter how many problems you may have with exercising in a crowd, there is no better way to impede fitness motivation than to get trapped in a whirlpool of complaints about the gym's occupancy. This membership would charge an extra dollar for every grievance about sharing air with nearby humans. It's always good to try and stay healthy, but if you're going to put yourself on a pedestal above all those assholes who you feel are lesser because they're on the couch at the moment, try to keep your fucking cool when they decide to change.
Daniel's Warrior Gym quickly went bankrupt, because the Batman Returns soundtrack is hard to work out to. You can find him at danielsfunny.com.
For more from Daniel, check out 6 Myths About Body Builders That Are Total BS and 6 Action Stars Who Survived Shit That Would Kill Superman.
Are you on reddit? Check it: We are too! Click on over to our best of Cracked subreddit.