I have a confession. My first ever post about the craziest thing I’d seen in the gym wasn’t entirely truthful. Don’t get me wrong: the contents of the post were completely factual – I embellish nothing in this blog. Nevertheless, I have seen one spectacle far more preposterous than anything I’ve discussed previously. I simply didn’t have the confidence to share it until now.
What I saw filled me with such stupefaction that I can preface it only by paraphrasing H. L. Mencken: This incident reminded me of colliding freight trains; it reminded me of drunken fools falling off balconies; it reminded me of rancid meat, of exploding homemade fireworks, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It was so bad that a sort of grandeur crept into it.
And that was the problem. When this guy rolled a big exercise ball beside a couple heavy dumbbells, I thought his next movement must have been prescribed by a doctor or physical therapist. Why else would any sane person kneel on top of an exercise ball, fight for balance, then bring two huge dumbbells up to shoulder height and begin pressing? Perhaps there was something happening that I simply didn’t understand.
I found this exercise ludicrious from just the perspective of safety. The overloaded ball could burst. It could suddenly roll, sending a man attached to two large dumbbells flying in any direction. Even a small shift could cause an instant tear of his rotator cuff.
I planned on keeping all this secret until yesterday, when I got an email from a reader who admitted witnessing a similar incident:
Next to a group of people doing various mat exercises a guy plunks down the biggest swiss ball available, fetches two 15kg dumbbells and proceeds to *stand* on the swiss ball. He balanced himself for about 10 minutes before raising the dumbbells above his head. Needless to say not long after he got on the swiss ball a massive space around him formed. It was like the parting of the sea!
The good news is I now realize that exercise ball abuse is part of the gymsanity experience. The bad news is that gym guests are even bigger idiots than I thought.