How do people become "gym rats"?

You know them. The people who go to the gym 6-7 days a week for at least 2-4 hours each day, sometimes twice a day. I could never imagine being able to dedicate that much time or effort to the gym! In fact, I hate the gym and I wish I could get the motivation to sign-up and go again, but I always end up quitting before my trial is even up. This is NOT something I'm proud of and I come to you with this question:

How do people become addicted to the gym?


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  • They have a lot of free time on their hands, i.e. they're single and have no job with only one class going on.

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    • LOL. Good answer

    • Myself and the guys I see at the gym work 50+ hours a week, we still manage to go twice a day.

    • I realize this however...most people who go to gyms, are because they have a lot of time on their hands

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What Girls & Guys Said

416
  • I used to be one from the age of 16 to 18, 2 hours a day 6 days a week. Healthiest I have ever been, 5'10 165 pounds and 3% body fat. I was ridiculously cut and had that dense look. Once I started college I stopped, so now 4 years later I have nothing to show for all the hard work I put in, I'm just your average skinny guy. It takes a while to get addicted to going to the gym. It's different for everyone, but it usually starts when you start seeing results and you are no longer extremely sore the next day. It usually takes at least a month for you to be legitimately addicted. Your body changes and the hormones it produces also changes. Once you get over the hump, you feel happier and have much more energy. While you work out your body also produces chemicals that give you a high, after I would leave from the gym I always felt like I could do anything. Once you start associating the gym with all these great things it actually makes it harder for you to not go than go. It's only the beginning that's tough, once you get over the hump it's very easy.

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    • gtfo with 3% body fat that's skin on muscle... I'm 8% and I look a little too toned out 13% is ideal

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    • I don't buy it. I've seen guy who put in tons of work, and even after 3+ years, they're lucky if they get down to 5%.

    • It has a lot to do with genetics too, even now I'm 8% and that's without working out and just being plain skinny (142 pounds). Also, diet plays a bigger role when it comes to body fat than exercise does (at a certain point), just because you saw him at the gym all the time it doesn't mean that he was concentrating on his diet just as much. Ultimately though, it comes down to genetics.

  • It's about time management and priorities. I can manage going to the gym 5 days a week for 2 hours a day, but that much time dedicated to the gym means something is being neglected at home. So I can only keep that activity up for about 3 months before something else catches up to me (like cleaning my house or my yard gets overgrown). When I dedicate that much time to the gym, it means I have no other time set aside for anything else.

    I'd like to be able to keep up my trips to the gym. Also from time to time my job is demanding and I find myself working 50 - 50 hours a week. So during those week or months I skip the gym.

    Those people I know who I see at the gym every day really have no other hobby. And they have jobs that are not so demanding. Some live in apartments or with their parents so that means they don't have much house work and yard work to keep up with.

    Also I don't watch TV, because I don't have time for it. The time I would find myself watching TV is time when I would rather be at the gym.

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  • They give up any social life, aside from friends they see working out at the gym. All their friends are personal trainers or people who belong to gyms, at least, and go all the time. Somepeople are comfortable with having 'friends' onlyin this limited sphere; they usually don't socialize outside the gym.

    Most are young single guys, sort of a brotherhood.

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  • Well you first need to really want to do it. Then you got to be persistent, even when feeling lazy. It can be a hard habit to break, but it can be done. When you feel like quitting, when you think you had enough, you got to go that day anyway, even if only for a short period.

    Find out why you quit. Boredom? Laziness? Different reasons would require a different approach.

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    • This is a great answer. I think boredom and laziness and lack of energy and intimidation would all be factors of my quitting.

    • Well, energy increases with consistent workouts, the body adjusts.

      Laziness, just be hard on yourself. I had to call myself a fat slob in the beginning.

      Boredom, the best way to do that is vary your workouts, if you jog one day, cycle the next day, and music too, make a playlist consisting of songs you find exciting and upbeat and listen to them while at the gym.

      If you can, find an accountability partner.

  • because it becomes fun with time,kind of a reward for sticking with it. like how ''nerds'' get addicted to getting good grades,gym rats get addicted to improving their strength,physique. exercise gives you accomplishments,which leads to pride,a wish to improve and confidence.

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  • Well I'm pretty much one of those people you speak of, its just a lifestyle that they take seriously. I seem to treat more of a hobby that will benefit in the longer scheme of things so why not do it? It's not to hard after you push yourself the first few days.

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  • i LOVE my gym and I go twice a day or more but I train in MMA and it consumed my life lol its not for everyone, I'm always hurting somewhere and at this very moment I have a black eye but in gonna go tomorrow and the day and so on. working out at a gym is not for everyone but working out is for everyone! try yoga or a mma gym, hope you find you home away from home and then you'll know what its like

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  • Because receiving a disgusted look on a girl's face when you walk up to her and begin flexing at her while simultaneously pointing and asking where the men's bathroom is makes it all worth it.

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  • Well, I guess I'm a "gym rat"-- I go to the gym every day but only for 1.5 hours. It was difficult to motivate myself to go to the gym daily but my dad was a huge influence ( he goes running every morning at 6:30AM since he was in his 30s!). Also, having a fitness buddy works too. After incorporating 'gym time' into my routine, it feels very natural to hit the gym daily ha ha :)

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  • Im a very angry person. I need to workout because I feel restless and have pent up energy.

    I think I became a "gym rat" because its a stress reliever.

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  • You have to push yourself hard enough and long enough and consistently enough to achieve results. Only then will you truly realize the benefits (whether general health/energy/strength/aesthetics/etc..) of working out, and truly appreciate it enough to not let it go.

    It's like a delicious type of food.. you can hear about how great it is, see how great it is, smell how great it is, you could even take a real small bite of it.. but you'll never crave it until you eat enough of it to appreciate it's full flavor.

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  • I think the more relevant issue is:

    Women often find these guys attractive, because they tend to have nice bodies, muscles, six-pack, etc. What they never seem to realize is that you don't get and keep a body like that unless you ARE a gym rat, and if you are, when is the guy ever going to have time for the girl? 15 minutes at night to bang her? That's it?

    If he's going to the gym before and after work, you're never going to see the guy, so what's the point of dating him? And should you complain and convince him to spend more time with you, that's going to come at the expense of gym time, which means it's very possible, even likely, that he's going to lose that build that attracted you in the first place.

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  • It's quite simple. Once they see the gains, they become addicted and want more aesthetics on their body. :)

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  • I'm a gym rat.

    And it comes down to wanting to look better than everyone else.

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  • I used to work out too much but I actually find it more efficient to limit my workouts an hour tops and just organize my workouts. Most people don't know that resting is when the body is building up the tissue they broke down at the gym. Working out too much for too long can hinder muscle gains and create problems with things like cortisol. It's important to take rest days to recover physically and mentally. If they're spending that much time in the gym then there's also a chance that they are using steroids too or have gone through at least one cycle.

    Someone like me stays away from working out anymore than 2 days in a row but makes a big effort to keep going to the gym. Staying in shape for health reasons should be all that really matters. The rest of the looks gained from it are just really awesome. I always have a good feeling of accomplishment after my workouts.

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  • they used to be around them so mucn, that eventually they start to develop tails, large teeth and large ears.

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  • Once you find a physical activity that you enjoy, the endorphin rush is a natural high (people aren't exaggerating when they say this).

    Maybe your physical activity that you enjoy...isn't doing weightlifting routines or cardio machines.

    You may be more into swimming, or playing a sport, or hiking in natural areas, or jogging, or simply walking and exploring your home area.

    Pretty much some physical activity, that although you're breathing hard and sweating puddles...you are driven to keep doing it.

    -----

    Mine are basketball and football, as well as the weights.

    You will find your activity that gives you that natural high.

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  • you psuh yourself and set up goals for yourself. I made a huge exercise pause that lasted for like 2 years and I felt I had to get back on the horse cause I had gained some weight. I only depended on myself, having a workout buddy will drag your down, cause you will get so used to have someone there so when they can't go you won't go either. let your mp3 be your gym buddy. And the more you go and the longer you ca endure on the tredmill the more you will like it, and try different things in the gym, join a gym that has classes so you can do pilates one day, dance one ect. And you don't have to be there for hours unless you wanna be a fitness model.

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    • +1 for you! I hated when my friends would join me, they'd want to talk or get advice and help. When I went to the gym, I went for one reason and one reason only and it wasn't to socialize or help people out. My mp3 player really was my best friend at the gym since.

    • yea and you can't get a work out if you talk cause how well can you talk while running on the tredmill? and plus at least I don't wanna sweat like crazy around my friends :)

  • I love the gym I spend $60 a month for a membership so I make it worthwhile. If I could I would live at the gym.

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  • I suppose those who see 'results' the fastest and really like what they see in the mirror, work the hardest to keep it that way. As oppose to those who don't try as hard, as in, they don't change their diet, and only do gym. Those kind of people hardly ever see any results, therefore they start to think it's pointless to keep going since nothing is happening, and they lose hope.

    Change the way you eat and start the gym again, once you see 'actual results', you PROBABLY will not want to quit, until you reach your goal. And once you reach your goal, you'll probably want to keep that body you just created, so you'll keep going to keep what you worked so hard for to get!

    Besides, once you accomplish a really amazing boy, I think you cherish it more and actually feel in a sense, 'horrible' for eating unhealthy stuff and NOT working it off. And when you work out, you actually feel more active and lively, which is the more motivation to keep you going. It feels good.

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