Here's chapter two! Leonard, Penny, and Shamy at the gym. I was originally going to include Howard and Bernadette's workout in this chapter, too, but this one turned out pretty long without that, so that will be in chapter three! Hope you all enjoy this one. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Except Mr. Meaty Muscle Man. But he's meh.
"I've changed my mind, I don't want to do this." Arms folded across his chest, Sheldon stared at the rows of fitness equipment that lined the gym, most occupied by sweaty individuals who were leaving wet stains on the seats and handle bars.
The theoretical physicist's comment was met by three exasperated sighs from his friends. "Come on, Sheldon," Leonard said, clad in his grey hoodie and black sweat pants. "We both agreed to do this, so let's just get it over with."
"See, that's your guys' problem right there," said Penny. "You're going into this with a negative attitude. If you took a more optimistic outlook and got excited about working out, then you'd have a lot more fun."
Sheldon frowned at his neighbour. "I give you the same advice every Tuesday when you waitress for us and you have never once heeded it. Why should I be any more courteous to you when you give me the same tip?"
Penny glared back. "Just go run on the damn treadmill!"
"Actually," Amy said, stepping in between the two. "I thought Sheldon and I might start with the weights."
"Really?" her boyfriend asked, sounding skeptical.
The neurobiologist shrugged. "Well, sure. It's a great partner activity for exercising. I lift weights while you spot me, then you go while I spot those long, lanky arms pumping fifty pounds of iron..." Amy trailed off, gazing longingly at the theoretical physicist's upper arms. Without warning, she grabbed hold of his bicep and began towing him towards the weight machines. "Come on, let's go!"
The other couple watched the Shamy go for a moment before Penny turned to Leonard. "So," she said. "How about we start with some cardio? See if we can get you running a mile without blood pouring out your nose!"
Leonard offered a hesitant smile to the enthusiastic grin she was giving him. "Okay, but no elliptical, alright?" He suppressed a shudder remembering whatever sort of attack had taken hold of his body while he'd been trying to get tenure.
"Fine, no elliptical," Penny agreed. "But that means no furniture disease jokes!"
Leonard smirked. "Agreed."
"Okay," Penny said. "So I'm thinking we'll warm up on the treadmill for ten minutes, then stretch, and then we'll go full out with the cardio."
The experimental physicist gave a nervous laugh. "That first ten minutes on the treadmill isn't considered going full out with the cardio?"
The waitress shrugged. "Well, we're not sprinting or anything, just doing a light jog."
"Oh ..." Leonard trailed off, patting the outside pocket of his sweatpants.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing," he replied. "Just making sure I have my inhaler ready."
Penny shook her head playfully and squeezed his arm. "Relax, it'll be fine." The Nebraskan began leading her boyfriend towards the running machines. "And on the off chance you can't get your inhaler out, I brought an extra with me for you."
"Really?" Leonard asked, pleasantly surprised.
"Hey, I promised I was going to take care of my man." She grinned, giving him a nudge.
Leonard smiled back. "Well, that's good. Because if you're making him run on the treadmill, he's going to have a lot of things for you to take care of by the end of the ten minutes."
Penny smirked. "I know."
As the couple stepped onto the rubber surfaces of the desired machines, the Shamy had reached the weights, Sheldon judgementally staring at the contraption Amy wanted him to use.
The neurobiologist watched her boyfriend, right eyebrow slowly rising higher and higher as he continued to gaze with narrowed eyes at the equipment without saying a word. "Do you not know how to use it?" she asked.
Sheldon scoffed, amusedly waving a dismissive hand at his girlfriend. "Amy, please. I have an exceptional knowledge of the universe and the goings on within it. It'd be pretty sad if I didn't know how to operate this hunk of metal that the steroid-infused athletes who attended my high school got such a kick out of." The theoretical physicist nodded a few times, at first smugly, but the self-confidence slowly began to drain from his face. "However," he continued, avoiding eye contact with the neurobiologist. "In case there are some lesser-minded first timers lurking around here hoping to understand how to work these ... things without having to ask for help, for their benefit, you might want to just go ahead and explain how the darn contraption works."
Amy raised an amused eyebrow, but decided not to call her boyfriend out on his obvious lie. He'd be much more inclined to actually exercise if he thought he'd mentally triumphed over her. "Lie down with your back on the seat and the base of your neck just under that bar, knees bent, and feet on the floor," she instructed. Sheldon did as he was told, laying down and then resting a leg on either side of the seat. With the theoretical physicist's legs spread apart and Amy standing near his feet, the neurobiologist had quite a pleasant view. She stared for a few glorious moments before Sheldon's perplexed expression snapped her out of it.
Amy cleared her throat, straightening up. "Now," she continued. "Put your hands on the weight, lift it off the bar, bring it down just above your chest, and start pumping it up and down." She pushed her arms in and out to demonstrate the motion.
Sheldon eyed the weight that rested above him and, for a moment, Amy was worried that he was going to, again, refuse to participate. However, after a few pensive seconds, the theoretical physicist clutched the weight with his hands and began to push.
Nothing happened. Well, that wasn't entirely accurate; Sheldon let out a strained grunt as he tried and failed to remove the weight from the bar it was resting on. That unfortunately happened. However, the theoretical physicist's upper body strength allowed him to do little else. Amy was a tad shocked. She had figured that her boyfriend would quickly get exhausted from lifting the weight, but she had at least thought Sheldon would be able to move the stick of metal from its perch.
Throughout her bemusement, the Texan continued to struggle with his metallic adversary. When he spoke, his voice was a panted whisper, "Amy!" he wheezed, eyes still shut from the effort. "As the helpful ... caring ... girlfriend in this relationship ... and so-called spotter ... in this gym excursion ... I think ... this is about the point ... where you step in ... and help the ... capable ... though currently struggling for some ... underdetermined reason ... boyfriend ... lift this!"
"Usually the spotter just lifts the weight if it's pinning the other person down by their neck," Amy explained. "Maybe we should just try a different weight machine."
"Don't be ...," Sheldon panted. "Ridiculous!" On the last word he sent another shove the weight's way, but still it did not budge. "Maybe ... if you just ... got me a lighter ... weight!"
"This is the lightest weight they have."
The theoretical physicist let his arms fall limply from the metal bar. "Well, nuts to this," he said, feebly sliding off of the seat. "Let's try something else," he mumbled from the floor.
Amy hurried to help him stand up.
Back on the treadmills, Leonard was feeling rather proud of himself.
"This isn't so bad," he said, panting a little, but only slightly. He allowed himself a grin. At this rate, he wasn't going to need his inhaler at all!
"That's great!" Penny said, smiling. "But, uh, sweetie, you've been going at a slow walk for almost five minutes now. You might want to start working up to a jog."
"Oh." Leonard glanced at his girlfriend who was – from his perspective – going at a very fast jog, hardly breaking a sweat and having no trouble running and talking to him at the same time. Reluctantly, the experimental physicist pushed a button on his treadmill to speed up the pace. He became increasingly more nervous as he progressed into a speed walk, his limited agility barely allowing him to keep up with the machine. But he wasn't jogging yet, so ...
Leonard gripped the sides of the treadmill as he began to slowly run – or at least, what was deemed a slow run by most people. For him, it was racing for his life to stay on the damn thing.
Penny raised an eyebrow when he did this. "You okay over there?"
"Yeah, yeah, I'm good!" He tried to wave off his apparent trepidation, but had no sooner lifted his hand from the machine than he was clutching back on, nearly slipping when he let go.
"Are you sure?" Penny asked, eyes having widened further when he stumbled. "Most people only hold the treadmill when they put it on an incline."
"Trust me!" Leonard gasped. "You don't want me to let go of this thing!"
As the experimental physicist tipped his head back from the strain, he felt something begin to trickle down from his nose. Dreading filling inside him as he realized what it was, Leonard was about to inform Penny, when something distracted him.
Sheldon was running, about as fast as he had when Jimmy Speckermen had chased him and Leonard out of the apartment. And it appeared that the theoretical physicist was under similar circumstances now. A large, incredibly muscled man was pursuing Sheldon through the gym. It was hard to tell, but it looked like he had a face full of the blue liquid that was used to wipe down the seats and handle bars of the exercise equipment after each use.
Leonard grimaced. Don't tell me ...
"This is not on me!" Sheldon yelled over his shoulder. "It is strict policy that you clean the machines after your sweaty, meaty body has been all over it! It's not my job to clean up after you! I'm just ensuring that rules are enforced!"
The theoretical physicist's roommate slapped a hand to his forehead in frustration, and went flying off the treadmill.