Through the years I have seen all types of people in the gym. I've worked in almost every corporate gym there is and saw almost all gym personalities you can think of.
I came up with the 5 people that you should respect in your gym.
1) Women Who Go Hard
The free weight area is no longer for "meat heads and bodybuilders". Now you will go over there and see women lifting just as hard and just as much as some men. They often train harder and smarter than the guys and have all the developed muscle to prove it. "You train like a girl" has become a compliment these days. I know women who are pound for pound stronger than most men that I train and 10 years ago that was unheard of.
2) Overweight People
They have overcame some tough obstacles to make it through the front door. For that, they deserve all the support we can give them. Being in a gym is far outside of the comfort zone for someone struggling with weight related issues. If you are in a place where you have succeeded in meeting your fitness goals then you should be a guiding light for those who are seeking the same.
3) The Silent Beasts
They often wear clothes that are less revealing to ward off any extra attention. You will find them in baggy clothes but lifting big weights. They keep to themselves, always move around the gym as if they have a strict plan, and always nice when you cross paths. They get in, work hard, and get out. They're always helpful when asked but showing off is just not something that is important to them.
4) Elderly People
I love love love to see older people working out. They inspire me. I've always had the goal to leave the Earth in the best shape of my life. So whenever I see an individual 80+ in the gym I light up with a smile because I want that to be me. These individuals deserve our utmost respect. These guys and gals rock. You will see them on cardio machines, lifting free weights or utilizing machines. If you have the chance to help them please do. Pray that you get to be one of them someday.
5) Disabled People
Want some motivation? Check out the guy in the wheelchair getting shit done. I remember 4 years ago I worked in a corporate gym and would see a middle aged man come to the gym in a wheelchair daily and work his tail off. He would get the wheel chair right next to the machine and lift himself out of his chair and on to the machine. I saw that same man compete in a wheel chair bodybuilding competition. Talk about inspiring.
Now take a look at the woman with her arm in a sling doubling up on lower body work. She looks past what she can't do and makes a plan around what she can do. That is resilience.
You will see all sorts of people in the gym. Be on the look out for these 5 different types and show them the respect that they deserve.
But remember to treat everyone like you wish to be treated.