New Year’s resolutions a whole lot of fluff, bluff, and silly stuff

One year ends, another begins. In case you forgot already, 2005 on the Chinese calendar was “year of the Yiyou,” which I’m told roughly translates to “year of crazy-ass riots.”

And 2006? Apparently it’s going to be a yearlong celebration of Bingxu, which I’m hoping means something like “year of sexy humor columnist,” but in reality probably translates to “year of crazy-ass riots.”

Of course, with the ushering in of a new year comes a time-honored (but futile) tradition: making New Year’s resolutions for a better, happier, riot-free life.

My research indicates that the average resolution lasts 7.4 minutes, which, coincidentally, is the same amount of time I spent in the weight room in 2005.

I mention this because every year, everyone and their brother vows to exercise daily and no one ever does it (unless you’re MY brother, who, while I was away at school, grew seventeen inches and can now bench press my entire family with one arm).

If you’re a typical college student, you’ll most likely be heading to the Rec Center sometime this week for the first time in many months.

Beware! A lot can change in a year, and you’ve probably forgotten all the silly unwritten rules that everyone is supposed to magically know even if they’ve never been to a gym before.

I feel your pain, so I crammed all my expertise (which apparently only amounts to 200-odd words) into a little guide for those of you who don’t know a barbell from a bar stool:

Make loud noises

Everyone knows that all communication in the weight room is accomplished via a complex system of grunts; if you aren’t grunting, you’re probably not working hard enough.

At first you may be confused and unable to decipher their exact meaning. With time, however, you’ll come to know whether that grunt meant “Unhhh” or “Would you mind passing the towel over here, old chap?”

Hulk smash bad

If someone yells “Spot!” they’re not talking about carpet stains. If you don’t rush over and aid the overzealous lifter, some guy is going to get smashed in the face by the pain train.

Don’t leave presents

As much as I enjoy sitting down at a weight machine and rolling around in puddles of sweat left by the last dude who used it, some other people have a strange aversion to it. For the love of God, people, use a towel.

You did what?

Don’t believe what you see on television these days – contrary to popular belief, slapping people you don’t know on the butt is not cool. Nor is slapping naked people in the locker room with towels. You may laugh, but your victim will probably hunt you down and kill you. And chances are, he’s on ‘roids.

Listen to your momma

Guys, remember when your mom told you not to stare? Yeah. I know sometimes you’re surrounded by like 400 gorgeous girls on treadmills, and for whatever reason this excites you, but try to blink once in a while. And remember: anything more than two seconds of eye contact is creepy. If you get caught, start grunting. As loud as you can.