How You REALLY Use The Gym Mirrors
by Minsun Park
Photo credit: @foodandlycra
Those gleaming wall-to-wall mirrors at the gym are so useful for checking your form, right? But when you’re spending an hour forced to stare at your reflection, it’s hard not to feel as self-conscious AF. It only takes a few seconds to correct your form, which leaves all those long, awkward minutes to stare at the mirror. So here’s how you really end up using those gym mirrors.
1. CHECKING YOUR FORM… AND EVERYBODY ELSE’S
Sure, maybe your back is straight, shoulders aren’t rounded during the deadlifts, but you’re really checking out your ass… and maybe your neighbor’s on the next bench.
2. CHECK FOR MUSCLES
It’s been ten minutes of floor work and you lift up your shirt wondering, “I can haz abs yet?” Nope? Maybe by the next round.
3. PERSONAL GROOMING
Staring at yourself in the mirror long enough has a funhouse mirror effect and forces you to confront all sorts of blemishes and physical deformities you didn’t realize existed. What is that on my face? Is that a hair or a mole? Is that bulging vein, or do I have a goiter?
4. TAKE FULL BODY SELFIES
Obviously. It beats the bathroom mirror at home and you get to snap yourself looking sweaty and swole. And share on Facebook, so everyone else can see how hot you are.
5. CREEP ON OTHER PEOPLE
Oh hello, Treadmill #7 is lifting up their shirt to wipe off their face. Take. It. Off. You know you’re hot and sweaty. Yaaassss. Shirt’s off! Wait, what rep am I on now?
6. SECRETLY COMPETE
Exercise is about being the best you can be. Everyone works to their own level, and the only person you should ever compete with is yourself.
But I’m totally lifting heavier than that ripped girl over there. Wait, I’m totally lifting heavier than that ripped guy over there.
The long mirrors are useful for tracking the location of your trainer in the studio at all times. Using the opportune moment when she or he is preoccupied helping another classmate on the other side of the studio to step off the treadmill for a breather or put this damn weight down.
Warning: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear and your instructor can be at your side “adjusting you” before you know it.
8. CLOCK WATCHING
But in the mirror, it’s reversed, Duh. So you keep giving yourself a mini heart attack thinking time is actually going backwards every five minutes.
9. SELF-LOATHING NIHILISM
“I’ve always been on this treadmill. This run will never end. I’ll never run at advanced speeds” and other deep moments of despair, when you stare at your purple, oxygen-deprived face and start questioning all your life choices.
Catching your gym buddy’s eye in the mirror and communicating silent support, or better yet, laughing at each other’s pain.