Let’s take a look around my gym early on a Saturday morning. You have to figure that the folks showing up before 9 a.m. on the weekend take the activity seriously enough.
We’ve got one guy wearing dark sunglasses, in this windowless gym prone to power failures. Another guy, dressed in a Barney-the-dinosaur purple running suit, is doing squats with his feet spread about a football field wide. A third guy, who got me thinking about this topic, at least looks relatively normal. However, he’s got the seat on his lat row machine set so low that he pulls almost completely with his rear deltoids, not his lats.
Do bodybuilders deserve their meathead reputation? Judging from this sample: you bet. However, none of these guys will ever accomplish anything in the gym. I’d argue that ironically, the guys packing the most beef also possess the biggest brains. At a minimum, the successful bodybuilder has a command of kinesiology, anatomy, and nutrition. Depending upon what’s inside the plain packaging with the Chinese postmark, he’s probably quite knowledgeable about chemistry, too.
On the other hand, within the fitness universe, the biggest dumbbells must be the folks in charge of gym management.
You would think, for example, that I could get in a decent pull-up somewhere in my gym, with three separate pull-up stations to choose from. Well. The first pull-up station is located directly under the indoor running track, so that any pull-up ends abruptly in a collision between skull and concrete. The second station is centered almost perfectly under a long sprinkler head, eliminating the necessary overhead clearance. In the part of the gym with the lowest ceiling, you’ll find the third station. Here, as you reach the top of your pull-up, you have to ram your head through the ceiling tile, reaching peak contraction somewhere in the crawl space. I guess I should just be happy there’s no permanent injury.