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Gyms and Fitness

Nathan talks with Julia about how he likes exercise, but not going to the gym.

Jules: Hey Nathan, do you go to the gym?

Nathan: Yes, Jules. I do try to but I'm a bit, I don't know what the word is.

Jules: Lazy?

Nathan: Inconsistent. No, thanks very much.

Jules: What do you do at the gym? What do you actually do?

Nathan: What do I do at the gym? I try to work on specific back and lower back muscles but it's quite difficult.

Jules: On a machine or?

Nathan: Well that's the unfortunate part is that the gym that I go to doesn't have a proper barbell so most of it's machine work or...

Jules: Bar bell, is that a thing you lift?

Nathan: Like the big long bar, all the muscle dudes kind of use.

Jules: I don't know much about that kind of stuff.

Nathan: But there's enough and then I usually do like forty five minutes of different lifts and then about an hour kind of stretching afterwards. But, yeah, I don't like the gyms so much, you know.

Jules: Why not? What don't you like about gyms?

Nathan: Number one, I get paranoid.

Jules: Do you?

Nathan: If there's like really muscly guys there or something. I'm like...

Jules: Paranoid or self conscious?

Nathan: Self-conscious maybe yeah. And then the other thing is I find that some gyms are not really gyms. They're just socializing places.

Jules: I guess that if that's the only function, you become a member, you hang out.

Nathan: You sit on a machine that everybody else wants to use and you talk for forty five minutes.

Jules: Ah, I see.

Nathan: And then...

Jules: You have some peeves about the gym do you?

Nathan: Yeah, and then I'll go up to the guy or the girl who's sitting and just chatting and I say do you mind if I use this machine and then they start using it. I'm like arrrr.

Jules: Machine hogs?

Nathan: Yeah. But the thing is you have to, you want to keep your muscles warm so you want to go in a kind of a set routine and if you skip, say you start off with your lower legs and you work up through your body, for example, you want to keep like the next set of muscles around it warm but you can't do that if the machines or the weights you want to use are hogged.

Jules: You have to sit around and wait?

Nathan: Yeah and then you have to miss that out so that kind of drives me nuts.

Jules: I don't really understand machines. I've never really used a gym machine before.

Nathan: No?

Jules: No. If I go to a gym, I go to the studio and done some kind of workout.

Nathan: Yeah.

Jules: I like classes. I like classes to music where you can jump around and dance in front of a mirror.

Nathan: Yeah, aerobics?

Jules: Yeah, those kind of things, yeah.

Nathan: But you're like a yoga teacher so...

Jules: I'm a yoga teacher, yeah. Actually I've never done yoga in a gym. I know that a lot of gyms now offer yoga classes because yoga classes are really, really popular.

Nathan: Yeah.

Jules: And I guess it's a good partnership with muscle work and stuff if you want to stretch out.

Nathan: Great.

Jules: But for me, yoga is much more philosophical and much more about relaxation and meditation and far more about your inner world, and the gyms don't seem like the right environment for me to practice yoga.

Nathan: Right.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson



The gym I go to doesn't have a proper barbell.

A 'barbell' is a long metal rod used for lifting weights. Notice the following:

  1. I don't go to the gym, because I have a barbell and weight set in the basement.
  2. We usually use the weight machines instead of the barbells.



Number one, I get really paranoid.

When you are 'paranoid,' about something, you are really worried about it.  Usually we use the word paranoid to describe unreasonable fears or worries. Notice the following:

  1. Being alone in an unfamiliar house makes her very paranoid.
  2. After he was robbed, he became very paranoid about people following him.



Paranoid or self-conscious?

You are 'self-conscious' when you don't feel like you are doing something well or you feel like other people are watching you and maybe laughing at you.  Notice the following:

  1. He only dances when he drinks, because he's very self-conscious about his dance moves.
  2. She liked to be the center of attention when she was a child, but now she is very self-conscious.



You can't do that if the machines or the weights are being hogged.

If someone 'hogs' something, they continue using it so that nobody else can use it.  Notice the following:

  1. I share a car with my brother, but he hogs it all the time.
  2. You have been hogging the computer all day. Can I please check my email.

drives me nuts


That kind of drives me nuts.

Something that 'drives you nuts' bothers you or makes you feel crazy. Notice the following:

  1. It drives her nuts when he acts like this.
  2. This song drives me completely nuts.

Vocabulary Quiz

barbell • paranoid • self-conscious
hog • nuts
  1. She is about checking private websites on public computers.
  2. It drives my mom that my brother leaves his things everywhere.
  3. There was a loud crash from the back of the gym when he dropped the .
  4. He is not your typical teenager. He is actually very confident.
  5. It is very annoying when people extra seats for their bags when there are people standing.
Answer the following questions about the interview.


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