The running shoes go on my feet. The plates go on the bar. I lay down on the padded bench. I ready myself to start my workout, and then it happens: The grunter lets loose.
For the past five years, I have consistently gone to the gym at least three times per week, and if there is one thing that has been consistent, it’s that not all women look good in only a sports bra. But if there are two things that have been consistent, it’s that the guys who pride themselves on lifting as much weight as possible, with the worst form possible, love to grunt as loud as possible.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about the occasional strain while trying to squeeze out that last rep on the bench press. What I’m talking about are the tools who wear Gold’s Gym tank tops that are three sizes too small, have generic tribal tattoos across their steroid-induced biceps and let out a cry to the heavens during every single bicep curl.
The sheer power that exudes from the vocal chords of these Brock Lesnars of the world bursts through the ear buds of my iPod no matter how loud I play my Eminem album. I’m telling you from experience, “Love the Way You Lie” is no match for Billy Bicep and his man grunt.
The scenario that unfolded two Sundays ago sounded like the “before” example of an ex-lax commercial. I was working out my pectorals, listening to said Eminem album, dreaming of myself one day participating in a rap battle, when I heard it come from across the gym louder than a Metallica concert.
At first, I thought Kevin James was passing a kidney stone. Then, I heard it again. And again. By this time, I realized what was going on: Serious iron was getting pumped.
The two individuals participating in this shouting match looked like rejects from the semifinal round of “Jersey Shore” auditions. One was doing bicep curls with a barbell that had more weight on it than I can tow with my car, while the other was spotting for him, standing awkwardly closer than two sweaty men should in a public place.
My workout came to an abrupt halt as I became mesmerized by the actions of these two barbarians. When I lift weights, I do it for nothing more than to get in shape and maybe one day grace the cover of Men’s Health. These two seemed to be auditioning for an episode of “Hogs Gone Wild.”
As they finished their set and moved on to another grunting session elsewhere in the gym, I pushed play on my iPod and got back to my workout. I know I will never have the same muscular physique as Hans and Franz, and I’m okay with that. For me, working out isn’t about how much weight I can lift or how much noise I can make. It’s about impressing the ladies.
And that’s something to grunt about.