Thursday, March 3, 2011

TOP 5: Things I Won't Miss About My Local Gym

I love going to my home gym. I work out when I'm ready, do the exercises that I pick, and the music blasting in my ears? That's my music. I always get a better workout at home, and it's even more fun now that my roommate has become my lifting partner.

We've been on a great routine, mixing up our exercises and growing noticeably stronger along the way.

I even love the overload of testosterone filling the local gym. Every guy in there appears to hate you. Why? Because you're another guy at the gym, that's all. It's like Animal Planet. The second you go near someone, or even a machine they're using, you're a threat- they need to mark their territory.

Everyone walks around pissed off- judging, criticizing, evaluating. It's as if they're all competing to be the gym's "Top Dog" - it's pretty entertaining, actually.

While this setting may be uncomfortable for some, I find myself feeding off of it. I love the fact that I'm on display- that I'm being sized up by an audience during every rep. It pushes me- makes me work harder. I test my limits when I'm under the microscope- come to think of it, I ought to thank my gym's resident muscle-heads for such a productive off-season.

There are plenty of things I will NOT miss about the local gym, however. Here are my Top 5.

5) The Ridiculously Loud iPod Guy
We get it- you love Eminem. He pumps you up. Yep, got it.

But is it really necessary for your iPod Shuffle to be battling the gym's stereo system for soundtrack supremacy? I understand the energy boost loud music can provide, but when the music in my headphones is getting drowned out by your playlist, we've got a problem.

And if it's loud for me, what the hell does it sound like for you? At this volume level, I think you kiss lyrics and instruments goodbye- it's gotta just be noise at that point. And forget talking to the guy- he's clearly got no grasp on volume control as he screams his response at you: "YEAH, I'VE JUST GOT ONE MORE SET! THEN IT'S ALL YOURS!"
Hey, as long as you get a good pump in, right?

4) Grunters
I can appreciate a good grunt- an uncontrollable groan as you harness all the energy in your body and give everything you've got to complete that last rep. But grunting on your 2nd rep in a set of 10? Give me a break.

This is what I hear: "Hey! Over here! I'm pushing TONS of weight around! Check it out- listen to how hard I'm working!"

Easy, Serena. I just watched a guy at the NFL combine bench press 225 lbs. for forty-nine reps without making a quarter of the noise you're making with your lat pull-downs. Pipe down- no one's impressed.

3) Machine Hoggers
I hate these guys. I'm a guy who bounces around the weight room, super-setting multiple exercises- I get in, I get out.

These guys pick a machine, and they nest. For the next twenty minutes, it's theirs. They do their first set- then, they sit. Second set- sit. It's brutal.

You ask politely if they're almost done- basically asking if you can "work in" with them as far as gym code goes- and he casually responds: "I've got like three more sets, then I'm done."

When you consider the three minutes he spends treating the machine like a park bench in between sets, you realize you may have to find an alternative exercise for the moment. Take your time, pal. Your world.

2) Bad Form
The local gym is a haven for bad form- it's everywhere you look. Guys bouncing bars off their chests while benching, swinging their arms for momentum on chin-ups, bending their back to 90 degrees doing bicep curls- it's terrible.

Do I say anything, or correct them? No way. There is no one in the world worse than a stranger who comments on your form at the gym. Do I sometimes make a face or even laugh in their direction when they're practicing such bad form? Sure, I do. But it's none of my business if they want to waste their time and not see any benefits from all their efforts.

1) The Trainer Who Thinks He's the Mayor
This guy's a clown. I can feel my blood boil as I watch him strut around the room- shaking hands, correcting form, laughing for no reason. In this guy's mind, he runs this place. He's convinced everyone working out is there simply to see him.

He's got a corny sense of humor, and although he appears strong, you can't help but wonder if he's ever played a sport in his life.

His closet is filled with countless tight sleeveless shirts and a variety of headbands- a look he clearly thinks is badass.

When lifting near him, I find myself wanting him to come over and share some suggestions- challenging him, really. Unfortunately, this has never happened, but rest assured that when the time comes, I'll have one of the lines I've been brainstorming since November waiting in the holster, ready to shoot back.

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The Ryan Howard Namesake
The Magic of the Rally
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  1. best blog yet. keeps getting better and better!!!

  2. This. was. hilarious! So on point! This is why I stick to P90X now.