Gym Trends and the Craziest Gym Stereotypes

By Stevo | Thursday 24th January 2019

Last updated on Tuesday 28th July 2020

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There are gym trends, and then there’s every day ‘customary wear’ consisting of good all round gym apparel (clothing). In this light-hearted blog, we’ll explore some serious apparel trends, the various gym stereotypes, of whom you might see! And I’ll give you some tips on how to kick arse before you even break a sweat.

What Are the Gym Trends?

There is the obvious, solid ‘all year round’ apparel consisting of decent, respectable gym gear, that doesn’t show too much skin but made to aid your training through breathability and comfort. It will most likely be breezy in all the right places, not hugging anything too tightly.

Then, there are ‘gym trends’. An example might be the male ‘nipple stringers’, a basic vest top made from less cotton than a flannel. Another example is the ‘camel-toe’ trainers, a unisex shoe that’s supposed to replicate the feeling and movement of barefoot running. I grabbed a pair of these and wore them for a while and let me say from experience, that nothing replicates barefoot running like barefoot running. These gym trends, thankfully, have come and gone.

Which Gym Stereotype Are You?

There are those very common gym stereotypes that show up in every single gym, some of which are more common than others and I imagine the frequency of their appearance will depend on the type of gym you train at.

Before we begin, let’s break it down; each gym stereotype we discuss is exactly that, just an oversimplified example of someone. Enjoy the following archetypes and take heed of whom you are likely to be perceived as, and whom you would like to be.


The Instagram Model

Often given a bad rep for spending too much time taking selfies, rather than working out, these guys are ‘on point’! They’re ahead of the curve when looking for inspo, and have the edge on other gym users when being accountable for their workouts. What better way than being accountable for making sure you’re even working out, than posting about it online right? The Instagram model takes training very seriously, they focus on their form, as well as what they wear and forge great efforts towards making their fundamentally hard gym routines look easy. They have a quiet finesse about them, which sometimes can be in your face, but don’t let this deter you from their commitment to that perfect gym set.  You will find the Instagram model perfecting their skill set most days. Accountability is strong with these guys.

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  • The Instagram models gym ‘get up’: The Instagram model knows the latest gym trends, and wears a solid combination of ‘what’s hot’ with the edge.

– Accessories: Whatever they want.

The Morale Hoover

The morale hoover sails around the gym floor, sucking the life and soul from anyone in their path, moaning and groaning, dripping about their problems. The likelihood is that you and everyone else will know every intimate detail about the morale hoovers life including finance, relationships and injuries. The morale hoover will probably make other peoples problems, their own. If caught in the crossfire of the morale hoover, the endless drip session that follows will inevitably distract you from your workout, and reduce your gains.

So, as this blog is all about being a better you; if confronted by the morale hoover, listen to them, and help if you can, (as your kindness will inevitably be paid forward), but just remember, you’re there to train too.

Heed the following advice:

For the morale hoover: Stop right there you little troublemaker, and save the chatter for WhatsApp, don’t be that guy or gal that people want to avoid, it’s just not cool.

For the morale hoovers target, aka ‘the listener’, aka ‘the life shield’: Focus on your training, a kind ear is nice and sometimes necessary, but you’re there to train so train through it and if necessary, silence them with your jaw busting moans and sweat groans.

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  • Gym ‘get up’: a sad face.

– Accessories: hard to know, they blend in well.

The Body Dysmorphic Gym-goer

If you have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also known as being the BDGG in this case, or if you know someone of this type, you’ll appreciate the real-life struggles that plague they’re every breathing moment. The BDGG struggles to feel good about themselves, and will obsess over even the most minuscule of flaws that might not even be apparent to anyone else, or even be believable; often a congenital factor as well as a learned behavioural habit, the results of being the BDGG can be life damaging. All we can say is the BDGG doesn’t see the world how we see it, so let them talk, allow yourself to listen, and above all, be kind.

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  • The BDGG’s gym ‘get up’: sometimes baggy, sometimes tight, sometimes fitted and generally trendy. In all honesty, though, it’s not even relevant, anyone can have body dysmorphia, and we should always listen, and be kind.

– Accessories: Anything goes

The Sweat Monster

You can find the sweat monster hanging off the back of a treadmill, or around the water fountain. This athletic beast is perhaps one of the fittest at the gym. Fit people sweat more, it’s your body’s way of keeping cool. This moisture-laden human tap is unapologetic for the sheer amount of sweat they leave pooling over the gym floor, but you know what, they’re there to train and they’re smashing it! Hurrah for the sweat monster!

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  • Gym ‘get up’: Mainstream brands and solid, sensible running trainers.

– Accessories: Hand towel (we hope)

The ‘What on Earth Are You Doing’ Guy

This one has no clue! You’ll find this guy performing tuck and rolls on the bench press! My advice, leave them well alone unless you’re looking to get shadow kicked by his kung fu panda b*tch wheels.

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  • Gym ‘get up’: Some pretty fly sneakers, we’re talking Asics, the 1998 model, plus a pretty swole sweatband

– Accessories: a plastic dinosaur probably

The Socialite

Normally found circled within a steel wall of others socialites, outside of the gym studio, or in the bar; this one is a ‘laughs for days’ kind of gym goer.

The socialite plays hard, but also trains hard, mostly in Les Mill’s; Pump, Combat or Balance. Often mistakenly seen as clicky, the socialite loves gym trends, is a weekend wizard, they live for this.

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  • Gym ‘get up’: Girls’; tight Nike leggings and sports bra, men, 1990’s style shorts and vest combo. Both: solid running shoes.

– Accessories: Sensible water bottle

The Bear

Found in the free weight area, some juiced up, some not; you can normally tell which bears are on roids by the number of blood spots on the back of their t-shirt, or the rage face. The bear will normally corner a piece of equipment, and like a dog with a bone, they’ll be ready to flex if you approach. Armed with weight plates, dumbbells and barbells, primed ready for the next big lift.

These guys are usually pretty chilled out and happen to be weightlifting pros. The bear is happy with their ‘gains’, and during their three-minute rest phase, will happily converse on technique, etiquette, gym trends and supplements (supps).

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  • Gym get up: Men, thick cotton towelled shorts and T’s, or full body Lycra jumpsuit. New in 2018, butt-hugging skin-tight leggings and belly tops for the lady bears.

– Accessories: weight belt, pussy mitts (sorry not sorry, ‘gloves’ and maybe straps)

The Cross-fit Ninja

Thruster, deadlift, handstand press-up, slam ball, over-head squat, box-jump, burpee, butterfly pull-up. That’s the warm-up. Well, it could be.

Slated, mainly by most heavy lifters, or at least the ones who’ve never achieved much except two variations of the chest press, you’ll find the cross fitter also receiving a hard time amongst endless meme’s smashing down the cross fitters purpose. The truth is, the Cross-Fitter is fit and strong. They amalgamate both strength and fitness training into their routine creating a blend of multi-functional dynamic movements designed to make your lungs blow, and muscles burn, harder than if you did just cardio or weights alone.

Scaling a building or lifting a car is easy for the crossfitter, they are strong and ‘fit for purpose’, and look essence because of it. Looking shredded as a mere by-product of doing cross fit is a pretty good bonus, but also needed as their body needs to be able to respond to fast movements to do, what they do.

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  • Gym get up: Subliminal apparel, usually away from the mainstream, Inspo from various expos.
  • Accessories: Pussy mitts (my bad, again, gloves!), sweatbands

Must have gym essentials

These are the gym accessories that you absolutely must have, no excuses please:

– Fresh daps/wheels/trainers, whatever you like to call them, you don’t have to follow gym trends but just get some decent footwear, please. Good trainers will help performance and help prevent injury.

– At least two different gym outfits, it’s always nice to feel good in the gym, and no matchy-matchy, please.

– Beats or other headphones! A decent playlist will help you get that extra rep or the extra mile. Music is always handy if a morale hoover approaches you!

– Deodorant – For obvious reasons, be a gym ‘Hi’ not a gym ‘Bye’ type of guy.

How to Kick Arse in the Gym

Be confident in yourself and fill your mind with good things; your thoughts are more powerful than you might know.

Have you heard the saying ‘your vibe attracts your tribe?’ Well, this couldn’t be truer than in the gym. You don’t need to be arrogant, in fact, if you are, you’ll probably lose friends. Just be humble in what you know, what you do and who you are. We’ve all got a story and everyone there is trying.

Gym etiquette:

  1. Be calm
  2. Be considerate
  3. Respect others space
  4. Respect the equipment
  5. Don’t try too hard
  6. Don’t be arrogant
  7. Stay humble
  8. Learn from others
  9. Help others
  10. Be you

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The most important bit of advice to take away here is ‘just to be yourself’! It’s ok to follow gym trends, and it’s ok to be a stereotype, just own what you do! No-one is like you! And it may sound cliché, but just be accountable and honest with yourself. At every stage of your fitness journey, be you and work hard, and everything else will fall into place. Namaste.



Adventurer, Co-founder and Director of Shredify. MSc, BSc (Hons)

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