A different side of Brazil most gringos don’t see is the gym. I don’t consider myself a meathead but with the metaphorical anal pounding my body took I was turning a little soft and figured Rio would be a good place to work on my musculature.
First thing is the cost: gyms in Brazil are expensive. The first gym I looked at cost $150 US a month, and it was almost $200 if I wanted to use the pool. While it was the most beautiful gym I’ve seen in my life, with brand new equipment in spacious rooms and even computers with free internet, I opted for the budget $100/month gym. The only major difference it had from a regular gym like Golds or Sport & Health was the LCD screens with satellite television attached to every treadmill.
Just like in the States most gym-goers are guys, but in Brazil the guys are universally huge. 90% of them were gloriously large and ripped, even the one’s in their 40’s. So many carioca guys are in shape that showing off your muscular body on Ipanema beach for example will get you about as much attention as cruising South Beach with a BMW 3 series. I saw only one or two guys during my dozen or so gym visits that were smaller than me. My gut instinct is to think they are on steroids but then again Rio has hundreds of juice bars that have caloric shakes which can be supplemented with protein. It’s also common to see GNC-like shops throughout the city. Creatine for all!
Most importantly let’s talk about the girls. In the States you see a lot of young girls in the gym because of the popularity of female high school and college athletics, but in my Brazilian gym the average female was slightly over 30. But these were the hottest 30 and over women I’ve ever seen in my life, even if a fifth of them had fake breasts. Not only do they have the means and motivation to look good, but they are working off the foundation of Brazilian genes which gives them that legendary ass. If they had it, they definitely showed it.
The best part is that many women wore skin-tight lycra ensembles where you can make out the shape of their vaginas. Do you know the machine that works out the hamstrings, where you have to lay on your stomach and curl up your legs? Imagine the views that machine could offer a gringo pervert who looked at Brazilian women with epic asses wearing one-piece outfits that revealed everything. The calf machine offered very good views of those using the vagina machine. Right now my calves are the biggest they’ve ever been in my life.
There is more of a pick-up vibe in American gyms, where you see guys and girls chatting with each other for extended periods of time without working out. In my gym this was rare but I did try to feel out the vibe by fishing for looks and engaging in light bilingual conversation. It would happen where a girl asked me in Portuguese how many sets I have left or if she could work in (you could tell which by her body language). I would respond in English with something like, “You can work in with me,” but almost every time she’d scatter off after smiling. In other cases I would ask a girl in English how many sets she has left. Instead of offering to let me work in, she would usually say she’s almost done. Even though she’d maybe check me out later, I never got that invitation to conversate, and no girl took the easy bait of asking “Where you from?” that was super common in the clubs. It could be the language barrier but my guess is there is less picking up in Brazilian gyms than American ones.
In conclusion, American gyms are good for being social and listening to T-Pain on your iPod. Argentine gyms are good for spying on the aerobics room were 95% of girls are hot. Brazilian gyms are good for looking at vaginas attached to showroom asses. Brazil wins.
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