I Am Not The Walrus.

I’m not sure a category exists in which to place this post.

I have a question. A delicate, ticklish question which nevertheless, sweet readers, I place before you this afternoon:


I’m sure not all men do it (the sex noises at the gym thing, that is). Some are exemplars of stoical quietude. Others, like me, opt for the martial-arts-movie noises when they feel the need to make a noise at all – you know, the ones that go “Hahhh!” or “Hunkh” or “Eeeeyaarrgh!” – just some intentional-sounding vaguely word-like utterance of effort.

Not the guy who was in there yesterday. Ohhh, no. I could hear him clean down the stairs at the reception desk, and the urgency with which he was expressing himself made me linger a few minutes longer warming up on the cross-trainer in hopes that whatever was going on in the free weights room would be finished by the time I got there. It sounded as if it might involve a bull walrus.

Alas for my hopes. When I sauntered in, carrying my water bottle and nonchalantly pulling on my gloves, the Walrussing was still going strong. I selected a modest 8kg dumbbell and started doing one of my exercises, called (unfortunately for my state of mind) a one-arm snatch. Walrus Boy was doing bench presses with a very heavy-looking barful of weights, and every time he pressed the bar, he vocalised. Not just “Uugggh” or “Aaaagh” but a drawn-out, throaty moan of agonised effort that made you fear for his blood vessels.

I kept a straight face by concentrating sternly first on the floor between my feet when I squatted to pick up the dumbbell, then switching my attention to a pigeon trying to land on the windowsill outside as I lifted the weight above my head like a bad-ass Statue of Liberty. Floor. Pigeon. Floor. Pigeon. Floor. Pigeon. “Ooouuuuuunnnnggghuurrrh!” Dear God. Floorpigeonfloorpigeonfloorpigeon.

Thankfully Walrus Boy went off to do something a modicum less strenuous, and I moved over to the big bench-pressy machine. I’m sure it has a name, but I just think of it as the big bench-pressy machine thing. I removed all the weights but one (yeah, yeah, I know), and set the bench flat, and lay down underneath the bar to do my bench presses. So far so fine and dandy, though I have to tell you that as the sole female in the room, lying flat on your back on a bench with your legs apart staring at the ceiling does rather bring on delivery-room flashbacks. I did my reps, then looked at the sheet of paper I was toting around. Next item: incline bench presses. Now, I knew this one. Same thing, but with the bench raised so you’re sitting laid back as if in a Laz-e-Boy recliner to lift the weights. I adjusted the bench back (oddly like adjusting the height of an old-style ironing-board, by the way), and looked at the machine. If I slid under the weight bar where it was now, I’d strangle myself; it obviously needed to slide back a bit. But how far? Where was the optimum placement for incline bench presses?

Now, see, this was the point at which it would have been smart of me to go and find Jez or Eddy or Kay or anybody else who was on the staff. Instead I turned to the two young guys next to me, who were deep in a serious conversation about the best way to yank a doodle or crush a grape or something, and said, “‘Scuse me guys, could you tell me how far back this needs to be for an incline bench press?”

They were helpful. They pushed the bench back a touch, then suggested I get under the bar so they could see if it was in the right place. I obliged, and they stared hard at my upper body for several long, long seconds before saying, “Yeah, that looks… about right.”

Ack! I just practically invited two young blokes I don’t know from Adam to gaze at my boobs! Oh, the shame! At least I was wearing the Bra Of Steel (TM).

More exercises, this time in front of the mirror with a free weight bar. Hang cleans, which just sound hardcore (to me, anyway), and overhead presses. I was just coming to the end of my cycle of exercises when Walrus Boy started again, only this time, he was really going for it. Even my grape-crushing pals looked over. He was doing something painful and repetitive with a dumbbell, and in what seemed to my fevered ears at least to be an accelerating rhythm.

I downed the last of my water and fled. Next time I’m bringing my MP3.


11 thoughts on “I Am Not The Walrus.

  1. There are three dudes who are at always at the gym on the weekdays when I work out after work. And I have actually come to loathe them. They are the absolute WORST. They never shut-up. They talk about bitches, and this time they all went to las vegas (and all the bitches they encountered there) and milfs, other horribly sexist, idiotic shite. And they talk LOUDLY. Second off, they make the most ridiculous noises in the world. I’m always tempted to walk over to them and just say at the top of my voice: “WOW YOU GUYS SURE ARE WORKING OUT HARD” in the most sarcastic voice possible. And the roundhouse kick them in their kidneys.

    They are douchecanoes of the highest order.

    Sorry for the rant. I love this post!

  2. Floorpigeonfloorpigeonfloorpigeon

    Ba ha ha ha! Oh I love those moments of just staring at something as hard as possible while your body trembles with the urge to just let loose and laugh hysterically in a completely inappropriate setting.

    I’m lucky in that my gym seems to attract mostly normal people. Well, and it has a ladies only section, which I generally head straight for. They even have free weights and dumbbells in there, just for us. I always stare in awe at the women using them, because they usually have actual muscle. I have a small set of 8 pounders at home that I kind of half-assedly use and generally forget to use, but man – they are in there using the big fat guys and lifting them over their heads like “yeah, no big deal here ladies, just toning the fuck out of my already toned-the-fuck-out-of self.” I’ve had to resist walking up to them and going “ohmygodyourarmsaregorgeouscanItouchem?” (Ethel actually got the written version – that was the gist of my first comment to her and somehow, did not scare her away)

    … I was talking about something wasn’t I? Oh right! Grunters. They’re the throwbacks of the gym world. Making Normal People Uncomfortable Since 1807. Or whenever gyms were first invented. On a side note, I’ve read that certain emotive sound – like “ah!” are completely different in different parts of the world. Makes me wonder what walrus-like grunting sounded like in ancient Rome. Also, now I’m getting a silly picture in my mind of a guy trying to keep count in roman numerals. “CXIII…. CXVI…CX…wait… aw, MERDA!”

    (I totally googled to find out what ancient Roman cussing would sound like, and now I’m learning all sorts of utterly fascinating ways to curse and still sound classy. I have even lifted a phrase for my byline, which was before the boring and not very original “just another wordpress.com site” to “Annales Mackerelskies, cacata carta” :D)

  3. You are absolutely hilarious… This is the first time I have read your blog, but it want be the last!! I will never be able to hear these type guys again without thinking of Walrus Sex!! HAHAHAH

  4. I love you! ^^

    I’m showing this one to my coach. He won’t survive his next shift at the gym XD
    *lying on the floor in a heap of laughter*

    • I decline to be responsible for your coach losing his job after laughing at the customers! LOL Glad you still enjoy my sense of humour ;P

  5. Hahaha this made me laugh, so funny and so true! Even as a guy myself, I go to the gym and think “what on earth are they doing?” The thing I find is they do this for about 30 seconds, puffing and groaning in such a manner that a neon sign saying “look at me sound like I’m having sex” would bring less attention to them, and then they stop and talk to a mate for about 5 minutes. Then one of their mates has a go…and you realise after a while that they don’t really exercise nonstop. They must spend hours in the gym, making inappropriate noises and talking rubbish. I can’t help but wonder why they can’t just get in, do their business, preferably with duct tape covering their mouths, and then get back out again. Weirdos…. 😛

  6. Hahaha I LOVE THIS! So funny! I think I am going to start categorizing the noise makers in my gym now, unfortuntaley I will have to start with myself 🙂

  7. Believe it or not, those grunts can be important, though they are kind of primal. They’re kind of like the JiuJitsu and karate “Keiia”. I grunt when I do explosive movements like hang cleans. I *don’t * grunt when I grind up a weight, like in a big deadlift. The grunt needs to be forceful enough to tighten your core. BELLOWING on every lift is just stupid, but BELLOWING during a powerlifting meet is not at all stupid.

    About the length of workout thing…. for what we do, Sue….an hour to an hour and a half, MAX. And babe…don’t do flat bench press and incline bench press in the same workout. Do one or the other. However, inviting lads to look at your boobs is Very Well Done.

    Over here there’s an unwritten code. If your earbuds from your MP3 player are stuffed into your ears, that means “don’t talk to me”. Every once in a blue moon I will talk to someone for a moment that has earbuds in, but generally I honor the code. I, personally don’t wear them. the music in the gym is loud enough anyway.

    • LOL yeah, I absolutely get the primal thing – as an ex (not very good) martial artiste, I appreciate the power of a good exclamation as much as the next sweating person. I even get the bellowing thing (for powerlifting). It’s just the, uh, bedroomish nature of the noises some guys make (particularly Walrus Boy) that can be a bit offputting.
      Thanks for the tip re: not bench-pressing and incline bench-pressing in the same workout.

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