Competence is such a rare commodity. In any endeavor, when you find people who know what they’re doing, you savor the experience, consuming it eagerly and letting some of the sweet liquid run down your chin.
At the gym, you’ll often find yourself hoping to learn something from fellow members’ pushing and pulling. The challenge is to identify among the workout rabble those few lifters worth emulating.
Spotting the clowns is often easy. Last week, I saw a guy exercising with a dip belt on backwards, so that the chains banged against his low back while the wide back support hindered bending in front. Regardless, buffoons also show up in fitness camouflage, using snazzy outfits, weight belts and conspicuous note-taking to create the illusion of expertise.
So what credential is carried by almost every fitness buff? The answer is: thick, well-defined calves. One glance below the knee will tell you much about a person’s commitment to exercise.
Diamond-shaped calves are the trademarks of athletes serious about cardio: runners for sure, or even better, those into jumping rope. For bodybuilders, calves are also known as the most stubborn body part; toughened by everyday use, calves respond only after years of hard training. A person with big calves cares about a balanced physique top to bottom, and is someone whose workout may well be worth watching.