A gymnasium or gym is any place that people go to exercise. While the point of exercise has long been contested, there remains little doubt that going to a gym is a character and quadriceps building experience.
Common activities in a gym are sitting on a machine coated in dried leg sweat, looking at yourself in a mirror, feeling better or worse about yourself by looking at others, and repeating the same motions so you can become better at repeating the same motions in the future. Although gyms are ubiquitous throughout human history, they are beginning to fall out of favor as a method of self-improvement due to a rising popularity of less tedious self-improvement techniques such as surgery, liposuction, implants, and apathy.
Most people buy memberships to private gyms, though public gyms and personal gyms also exist. Membership to a gym provides the added benefit of allowing you to work out in front of other people. This is contrary to the belief that gyms allow you to work out with other people. This is because tuning everyone out by listening to your iPod or watching your iFad increases your gym gains tenfold.
The concept of a gym predates the most ancient civilizations. The first gym came about in 8,000 B.C. when Jim, a caveman living in modern-day Estonia, realized that some people were embarrassed to be seen exercising outside where others could see their thigh fat slapping together. To remedy this, Jim opened up a "gym" in his cave so people could exercise inside where others would have to pay to see another person's thigh fat slapping together. This made perfect sense and many came from far and wide to Jim's gym which charged people 50 rocks per month to lift the rocks they had just paid with.
Gyms became more common and elaborate over time. Ancient Egypt introduced gyms where the slaves could take a break from lifting heavy stones all day by lifting heavy stones for a few hours. Ancient Greece perfected the gym with the advent of the mirror, which allows people to not only be watched by others, but to watch themselves and to watch themselves be watched by others.
Gyms during the Middle Ages were plagued with low membership. Historians contend this was due to people of this period being highly self-absorbed, as they let other miseries, such as starvation, ignorance, and disease, take priority over exercise. It wasn't until the 1500s that gyms began to regain popularity. When European conquistadors arrived in the New World, they found that the Natives were so physically active in their daily life that they did not have enough strength or energy left to build gyms. The conquistadors remedied this by imposing Western values on the Natives, resulting in self-insufficiency, less physical activity, insecurity, and thus, gyms.
Many American presidents have been avid gym members. Thomas Jefferson could bench press 250 lbs. while running on a treadmill and Andrew Jackson was fond of doing curls with the still-beating hearts of the now-extinct dodo bird. Jackson would also go on to encourage fitness in Native American communities with his "Trail of Tears" walkathon.
One popular machine allows you to run in place like a hamster in a wheel because, let's face it, there's just not enough room outside to run.
You can also bike in place and then drive home. You could get the same exercise done by riding a bike to the gym and then riding back. However, riding a stationary bike is the most practical alternative to biking as $30 a month gym membership is ultimately cheaper than buying a $200 bike. Additionally, the outside world has no television to watch while biking, making it pointless and stupid.
Weight lifting is also a common but controversial topic. One problem with weight lifting is that it does not address the disease of being overweight. Anyone who weighs more than the recommended weight of someone of the same age and height is considered "overweight". Obese people are certainly overweight, but since muscle weighs three times more than fat, many excessive weightlifters are classified as overweight.
The need to lift weights in a gym is also debatable because weightlifting is more-so used to sculpt a desirable body rather than to improve one's overall health. While some gyms do offer fantastic equipment like the 3-pood kettlebell, very few offer such time-tested equipment like a giant boulder and a hill. According to Greek mythology, Sisyphus got "swull as fuck" by pushing a boulder up a hill and having it roll back down so he can push it back up again and then it rolls right back down and up he pushes the rock again but down it goes. This is also how Navy SEALs are trained.
Many gyms feature an area for sports, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, or squash courts. These areas are, for reasons unknown, specifically referred to as a "gymnasium", making them a gym within a gym. Some gyms provide their own sports equipment, preloaded with the sweat and dead skin of previous users for extra grip.
Synchronized swimming, water polo with sharks, and SCUBA laser tag are all exciting activities that take place in many gym pools. Even better still is the abundance of human urine which makes the pool water slightly alkaline and therefore good for your hair and eyes.
Glory holes in the showers
This exercise also dates back to Ancient Greece and has become a recognizable feature of YMCAs everywhere.