Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gym Experiences in China Part 2

In the first part of my series about my gym experiences in China, I talked about the overall atmosphere in the gym. In this episode, I will talk about some of the people that I encountered there.

 Most foreigners that talk about working out in China claim that Chinese men only show up to save face and do not actually touch the weights much (similar to the overweight American she-cows that wonder why they stay fat despite spending hours yapping on their phones at the gym). My observations ran contrary to the anecdotes of other foreigners, however. The Chinese dudes that I met in the gym didn't have physiques like Arnold Schwarzenegger or CT Fletcher, but they were all about lifting and making gainz. Unlike many bros in the West, they weren't afraid of the squat rack either, and seemed to work legs more than upper body. Of course, I only hit a few gyms in one city, and one of the bros told me that Guangzhou has one of the best fitness cultures in all of China. He was probably just trying to "rep his city", but given what I saw in the few cities that I've been to and what I've read online, I can kind of believe him. Maybe the guys in Shanghai just sit around on the equipment all day waiting for results.

The ladies at the gym were especially tempting. In China, ladies want to remain feminine, so they usually don't lift heavy weights or do strenuous exercises like some women in America do; most of them didn't seem to need to either. One of my fondest memories from the Middle Kingdom was a delicious-looking female personal trainer that would flirt with me every time I saw her at the gym. Unfortunately, I only knew a few words in Chinese and couldn't converse, but that did not stop her from trying.

Being the only foreigner in a Chinese gym made me a pseudo-celebrity too. I would get stares and lots of thumbs up or comments about my "good muscle". Although I am likely half of his size, I felt like I was as big as Kali Muscle at the gym in China. This was a bit of an annoyance though because people would try to strike up conversations with me in the middle of sets. Meeting kind people in a foreign country is cool, but when I'm in the middle of a set I want to focus on putting up that weight. Oh well, I can't complain too much, or can I? In the next episode, I'll talk about things that I did not like about the gym in China.

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