‘When you wheeze for air under the guise of tying your shoe, they know’
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Studies from the University of Chicago show that everybody around you in the gym is looking at you right now.
The research team conducted a month-long study on the phenomenon, concluding that every single time you think you feel someone’s eyes on you, they are in fact staring right at your sweat-soaked back.
Gilbert Hollycock, head of Kinesiology and lead researcher on the project, spoke about the findings at a recent press conference.
“Yes, that feeling of someone’s eyes penetrating your skin that you get when you’re at the gym and you’re using equipment incorrectly—that’s entirely factual. People are looking at you, and what’s more, they’re judging you as well.”
The data collected concerned factors such as how many times you said you were going to go to the gym per month, how much you actually went to the gym per month, and whether or not you treated yourself to a big cookie afterwards. Additionally, the research team looked into if you bought cute gym clothes just for the sake of buying them or if you actually used them.
“Lots of people buy the clothes just to take a gym selfie in the mirrors,” Hollycock said. “This was very conducive to our research.”
Information was also drawn from CrossFit classes, but the data from those findings were both violent and confusing.
“No idea what’s going on there,” Hollycock commented. “Just very strange overall.”
Phillip Barr, Hollycock’s assistant and self-proclaimed “gym rat,” spearheaded the project with findings of his own. “I go to the gym to exercise and to maintain my health. But I also go to openly stare and gawk at people to make sure they feel ashamed about their own body.”
Barr took a moment to flex his poppin’ delts.
“I have different techniques. Sometimes I’ll stand near people and pretend I’m watching the television above their heads, but I’m really watching them try to hold back a primal grunt on the leg press. Or I’ll stand menacingly near the end of the treadmill as if I’ve signed up to use it and they’re hogging it. Any way to make these people feel really out of their element.”
Here Barr paused to spray a stream of water straight from his sports-beverage-branded water bottle into his gaping maw.
“Does this make people uneasy to use the gym? Yes. Does this mean people should stop going to the gym? Only if you’re prepared to feel like a lesser specimen of human being. If not, by all means—GTL!”
Before leaving the conference to go directly to the UBC gym for some reps, Hollycock added, “If you think people don’t check what weight you have your machines set at when you get off, you’re wrong. That’s the first thing they look at. They judge how sweaty you got, too.”
A followup report indicated that every time you made eye contact with someone in the mirrors by the weight rack, they saw you—and they judged. They judged hard.