7 Gym Archetypes

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On any given Monday, your local Virgin Active is a buzzing hive of diversity – packed full of 100s of sweaty humans of different shapes and sizes.

And having spent a fair amount of time (admittedly, “fair amount” is open to interpretation) – over time – I have noticed a few groups of gym goers emerge.


So if you plan on hitting the gym soon, make the transition as smooth as possible by first reading this post as as we outline the who’s who at the gym.

1. The Boets

The first group needs no introduction – you can’t miss them. They are buff, wear tank tops and backward caps and will almost certainly be there when you arrive and still be klapping it well after you leave. They typically move in groups and usually feature a couple of okes from the next group on this list too.

Where you’ll find them? Klapping free weights in front of the mirror

2. The Wannabe Boets

The second archetype can be defined as boets in the making. They’re usually kitted out in similar attire, have a similar walk, and spend just about as much time as them in the gym. The big difference between the two however is that they are not nearly as buff – in fact often – they’re not even close to it.

Where you’ll find them? Next to the boets, in front of the mirror.

3. Gimme them Discovery points

The third group on the list visit the gym maybe once or twice a week and while the exercise is a benefit, sure – the primary benefit is the Discovery points. The 100 Vitality points allows them to chase that diamond Vitality status while bagging the occasional Peanut Butter Bomb from Kauai along the way. I’ll be the first to admit that I fit into this group.

Where you’ll find them? On the super circuit.

4. Serial Swipers

The fourth group on our list typically never make it past the turnstile so you’d have to loiter in the entrance hall to catch a rare glimpse of them. Discovery Health has a 3 times a month mandate when it comes to Virgin Active so if you fall behind you might lose your discount. This explains why these guys pull in and swipe their cards before turning around and leaving.

Where you’ll find them? At the front desk.

5. Zero Sweaters

For the next group – a routine eludes them and as a result – they float around the gym aimlessly, experimenting with a host of different machines, never breaking a sweat. That said, they usually look great and are always up for a chat.

Where you’ll find them? On the horizontal bike

6. Look the part

Our second last group on the list are unmistakable. They wear kidney belts, gloves and “1974 Bellville First Team Power Lifting” t shirts. While they know what they are doing – they feel inferior to the Boets and the Wannabe Boets and as a result – usually encroach on the Gimme the Discovery point’s super circuit time.

Where you’ll find them? Walking around – giving everyone a good look at their t shirt.

7. Throwbackers

In Roman times, baths were social settings. People from all over the empire congregated here, shed their robes and discussed everything from politics to gladiatorial games. And in the cloakroom of your local Virgin Active – you’ll find this trend alive and well. Nudity is treated with reckless abandon and no amount of bending over is awkward.

Where you will find them? Naked in the bathroom.

There you have it sports fans – the 7 types of people you’ll find at your local gym. Any more you can think of? Which group do you fit into? As always, we’d love to hear from you so hit us with a tweet @leftbacks or a comment below.

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