The University of Limerick is renowned for being the sports University of Ireland.
UL Sports Arena boasts that it’s Health and Performance Centre is one of the largest and most comprehensive gyms in the nation. Therefore, it is only natural that these facilities are utilised by students as well.
Some of us were enticed with a free gym membership by living on-campus while others displayed true initiative and actually paid.
Regardless of whether you essentially live in the gym or make the annual visit, you are bound to notice the 10 types of people in the UL gym:
The ‘Lads Section’ Lads
First of all, let’s explain what the ‘lads section’ of the UL gym is.
It is the imaginary line diving the plebeians from all of the lads. This invisible border can be found just before the large mirror on the right-hand side of the gym. This area is made noticeable by the abundance of men (and testosterone) accumulated in one tiny space.
These lads spend 90% of their time flexing in front of the mirror and then doing the occasional work-out.
Only leaving the lads section out of complete necessity, these creatures do not like newcomers on their side of the gym and tend to stare (am I right, ladies?)
Also, these lads seem to be the only people in the gym who are never short of free weights (because they hog all the weights but, who’s keeping count?).
This absolute unit also spends the majority of his time in the lad’s section.
However, he is not like the rest of them. He is bigger, stronger, and looks like he could snap your body in two. Making eye contact with this human is intimidating. He is the only person in the gym exempt from “can I do my set during your break?”. You’ll know him when you see him. He cannot be missed. He has no fear. This guy does bench presses with no one spotting him. He can lift 30 kgs with just his neck. His quads are pure vibranium.
Long live The Beast.
The Hard Lad
This lad cannot go unnoticed.
Mainly because the whole gym can hear him.
He can be found wearing a wife-beater, very short Adidas shorts, and glow in the dark runners.
His natural habitat is the lad’s section.
He grunts and puffs like the big, bad wolf while working out and never ceases to make those around him feel uncomfortable.
His usual work out times are whenever the gym is busiest because that’s when most of his fans will be there.
He can be spotted with huge headphones (with a 99% chance he’s listening to Joe Rogan) and a little towel wrapped around his neck.
What a feen, eh?
The Teeny Boppers
These individuals bring you back to all those years of sneaking into clubs underage.
Except these children are sneaking into a gym.
No one under the age of 16 is allowed to get a UL membership.
Hate to break it to UL, but I have definitely seen some 12-year-olds in there.
Let’s not forget about all the school children as well.
They look so cute when they’re pretending not to be intimidated by all of the big kids.
God love ‘em.
This woman is a queen.
She struts into the gym in her fabulous gym co-ord outfit.
She shows no fear of walking into the lad’s section by herself.
She knows she got this.
She may be minding her own business, but as she squats down with her 30 kg bar, she proves a point; women also belong in the lad’s section.
She is fit. She is inspirational. Her abs look like they were sculpted by the gods.
10/10 would recommend an Insta stalk.
The Women Who Support Women
These girls are usually led by a queen who is pushing her friends to be the best versions of themselves.
They can easily be spotted.
In the first few weeks, you’ll see them taking turns on the machines.
One will be doing her workout while the other eyes their next piece of equipment.
They would venture into the lad’s section in groups usually huddled around the assisted squat bar.
You see them change weights together and take turns becoming motivational speakers.
They are destined to be future queens.
The People Watchers
These ones are low-key creepy. They spend their time walking around the gym and staring. Maybe if they’re in the mood, they’ll do a rep of crunches before they venture out next to another side of the gym just to get a fresh staring angle.
Like I said, weird.
The fact that they spend money just to people watch is something beyond my comprehension. Get a seat in the library, and you can do the same thing for free!
The newbies are adorable.
We have all been there.
This is the person who makes their debut in the gym in a futile attempt to burn off that large takeaway they had the night before.
They won’t be working out any specific part of their body but instead exercising in whatever order the machines are laid out.
They will try (but fail) to be sneaky, watch others, and magically learn how to use the gym appliances in 5 seconds.
They won’t clean their equipment after using it mainly because they didn’t know they had to.
The Rag Week Gymers
“Lads, we go gym for rag?”
These are essentially newbies who only care about how they look for one week: RAG.
They are firm believers of the teachings of the rave gods: that one week of exercise will turn them into J Lo.
I both admire their optimism and laugh at their stupidity.
Did you know he plays county?
Well, he makes sure you do by always wearing his jersey!
These lads only gym in their county minor jerseys for reasons that we all know.
GAA is love. GAA is life.
For all the jersey pullers in Limerick, UL gym is where you’ll find the best of them.