sweet abs

Fitness, like its closest cousin, athletics, always comes with an undercurrent of competition. That’s beneficial when you’re training for a marathon or trying to lose weight. But most of us are already striving to outperform our colleagues on a daily basis. Adding more rivalry—Bob is the best spinner, Kate fell off the Tough Mudder wall, John is so damn slow—is unnecessary at best and destructive at worst. You’re better off pretending the invite went to your spam folder or ducking out of work early when everyone’s putting on their short-shorts. If you see co-workers at your gym, switch gyms. If you can’t do that, nod from afar. Don’t engage, even positively, as it just gets weird: “Once, I said to my co-worker, ‘I want to have abs like yours,’ ” remembers David Perez, who works in public relations. “It did not go over well.” The biggest issue isn’t the workout itself, it’s what happens after. “I once ran into my boss in the showers, totally naked, and he wanted some exercise advice from me,” says Kivanc Ozdemir, a hotel executive. He told his manager that he should try more cardio. “Obviously, I saw him differently after that.” [BW]