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Stop Being The Gym Snob Who Complains About New People At The Gym After New Year's

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Despite the pending apocalypse’s greatest efforts to wipe out the human population in one fell swoop, the bulk of us have managed to make it out of 2016. The stroke of midnight came, folks drank their champagne - or if your name rhymes with Pariah Larry, threw out your earpiece and decided to defer New Year, New Me to 2018 - and welcomed in another set of 365 days.

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With the New Year, of course, comes resolutions - the ambitions you speak out into the universe in hopes of becoming the best version of yourself. They, of course, can be anything from the qualitative (I resolve to aim to eat chicken wings of the highest quality and give them the love and respect I deserve) or quantitative (I will no longer eat more than a dozen wings in one sitting). The world is your oyster - or chicken wing, as one may have it.

Of course, many resolutions revolve around weight loss - mainlining ribs and sweet potato pie from Thanksgiving to Christmas is bound to take a toll on anyone’s waistline, for one. Or perhaps you’ve still got a little baby weight hanging on, or too much of your life has revolved around chicken wings. Regardless, come the New Year, a litany of newly motivated people take that first step towards their summer body goals and sign up to sweat it all out - which is inevitably followed by the litany of grumpy Tweets or Facebook statuses whining and groaning about how upset they are that so many people are at the gym now.

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If you’re one of those people, I have a message for you: grow up.

No, seriously. What kind of showboat-y snobbery do you think you’re accomplishing by complaining about the fact that you can’t get on a cardio machine immediately after work? Do some burpees. Jump some rope. Rework your workout routine or your workout schedule. But spare all of us the “omg all these fatties are cramping my vibe when will they go away” missives.  It’s tacky and entitled.

Do you think you’re somehow better than someone because you chose to start working out at the gym on a day other than January 1-15th? Is there some special cookie you get because you realized that you needed to start pushing your heart rate sometime in July? In what world does someone else attempting a step in becoming healthier and more active cause you distress? Honestly, of all the gripes I have in the world, my workout taking two minutes longer because a newcomer needed a second to properly learn how to use the leg extension machine ranks pretty damn low. I am more vexed that Serge didn’t DM me after officially becoming a single man again.

I’ve been active in some form or fashion almost my entire life - whether it was organized sports, or dance, or that terrible time I decided to run a half marathon - and if there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that prioritizing physical fitness as an adult is easier said than done. Yes, you make time for things that matter, but between work and life and whats in the new crispy chicken wrap, for many people staying active is something that can and does fall by the wayside. I work out four times a week and still have to regularly convince myself to get my ass out of bed and in gear. A seasonal increase of people trying to renew that effort is completely understandable.

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Yeah, we know that many of the newcomers will not be there in six weeks, but guess what? That is the overwhelming trend of most gym members. Gyms bank on a large chunk of people year-round signing up and not regularly attending - and honestly, who can blame the new folks if they’re being sneered at for the sheer audacity of trying to do something?

If you’re one of those insufferable douchebags that has gone out of their way to grumble about having to wait 20 minutes for a treadmill in January, please just humble yourself and remember that at one point in time you were a new gym member trying to turn physical activity into a habit, whether that day was in high school or two years ago. Get off this imaginary pedestal of your own making and let folks attempt to counteract the consequences of WingTopia 2016 in peace. It won’t kill you to extend the teeniest bit of respect. Treadmills are bad for your knees anyway; find something else to do besides showing the world that you are such a miserable human that attempts of self-improvement around you are upsetting.

Brooklyn-based writer by way of Harlem, Canada and East Africa who comments on culture, identity, politics and likes all things Dipset.

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DISCUSSION

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Diego Duarte

As a person who kept his 2016 New Years resolution and dropped a whooping 66 Lbs, allow me to just say that while exercise works, it is only 10% of weight loss. I could go on an run at about 18.00 speed for 50 minutes straight on a treadmill, and have the fit people running on adjacent treadmills throw a fit (HA!), but that still did not achieve nearly as much as proper dieting.

Drop the sugar, drop the flour, drop the rice, and if you want to eat carbs go for boiled potatoes. The secret is "there's no secret". You just gotta keep at it and stay constant.