Gym Rat

The other day at the gym, I saw a guy pulling weights with his neck.

He had a towel wrapped around his face and a belt stretched out behind his head. The belt was attached to a line connected to an overhead weight machine, so that as he flexed his neck, he pulled the belt, which pulled the line, which pulled the weights.

He was just one of many interesting people at the gym. There was the round lady who went from machine to machine doing very slow, very methodical reps with the weights set to 15 pounds. I would love to know if there’s any physiological benefit of such a program. And there was the old guy who looked like he could kick my ass up and down the street without breaking a sweat. (Maybe he used to lift weights with his neck?)

People do interesting things when they work out, too. Of course, many, like me, listen to their iPods, though I wonder if anyone else is working out to Fresh Air and Science Friday. Some read magazines — the New Yorker and People seem like two common choices. Others watch the mounted TVs. Why anyone would want to work out to Fox News’ coverage of CPAC, though, is beyond me. (Or, for that matter, CNN’s Situation Room.)

Most interesting to me, though, is the parking lot. People arriving at the gym will circle the lot for minutes looking for a parking space close to the entrance — skipping spaces that might require a little more walking. Then, when they finally find their space of desire, they’ll go inside and run on a treadmill.

Or, maybe it’s all those neck pulls reduce blood flow to the brain.

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