We all know them, and begrudgingly love to mock them – even if we are one of them.
Of all the social constructs, the gym is one of the most perplexing. Despite being surrounded by myriad parks, roads and weight-bearing objects, we drive to these sacred spaces in the name of efficiency and air conditioning.
For the most part, the arrangement works quite well - all the players kind of observing the rules that allows myriad strangers to literally rub sweaty shoulders.
Showers are a part of workouts. Fact. Which means that nudity is required. Most of the universe realises that it should be brief and perfunctory, a transitional state at best between gym and street gear.
Except for that one guy who is more comfortable with his nuts out that a particularly showy squirrel at the end of spring. Maybe a towel round the waist bro and can you also not dry yourself quite so vigorously? Many thanks, everyone else in the change room.
Mirrors are meant to help you check your form during sets, not practise your Blue Steel. And piss off with your flexing. Everyone knows what you're doing and you look like a tool.
Two things identify this candidate. The first he's the size of a mesa. Second, he loves nothing more than swapping lingering looks over a bar bell.
Relax, he's not hitting on you. It's your vanity, he's targeting and over a period of weeks, you will go from nodding acquaintance to "I can help with you something to get bigger quicker."
Working out with a mate has many, many benefits. You push each other, you're accountable and you can get a bulk discount on your protein powder.
But we need to have a word about spotting on a bench. You can't be homophobic and dangle your goodies just inches from his face as he grunts and groans. That would be pumping irony.
Before you've signed that contract, the trainers and reception team - that's what they always call themselves - are on you like a Kardashian on a third party endorsement.
They talk of "going on a journey to a better you together" and "reaching optimum potential" but the minute that direct debit clears, it becomes like a one-night stand that neither of you is really about to mention again.
You may say hi if your paths cross but you'll never have what you once did. For that first glorious workout.
Men as a species have many strengths but asking for help ain't one of them. You just have to hit up YouTube to see thousands of videos of chaps being hurled off treadmills and turning a Nautilus into a limb-twisting iron maiden.
No one is saying you can't be proud of your body, but you should maybe reserve your nipples for the people who love you, and social media. In other words, you might want to take a pass on those "singlets" with arms holes cut down to your hips.
That's not a window everyone wants to peer into. And don't get us started on shorts so tight you can tell what religion you are.
Maybe leave that Bluetooth headset in your bag champ. Especially if you're the walk and talk type, who has to wander through the training area while issuing such important, couldn't-wait advice as "have you tried logging on again?"
This woman has a bangin' body she's worked hard to create - especially during the divorce - and damn it to hell if she's not going to make up for the years of lackluster lovin' with her ex.
Go for it we say and what better place to start than one where the male/female ratio is so clearly in your favour.
We get it. Lifting is hard work. That's the idea. Yet this chap grunts like he's giving birth to quads naturally and hates the guy who did it.
And always throwing or dropping the weights after his final rep. Because "iron is his bitch". At least that's what it says on his too-small t-shirt.