Monday, December 1, 2008

44 Minutes in the Gym...Part 2

Hopefully, you had a great Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends. I spent my day with familiy, food, and football. The 3 big "F's". There's also another "F" that gets invited to such a holiday and that is "Fat". Hopefully, aftre reading this blog post, you are hitting the gym for a very hard workout. I know I am...

As promised, part 2 of my article "44 Minutes in the Gym" is below. Hope you enjoy it and feel free to post feedback.
(In case you missed part 1, read here)

Observation #3: Weighted Assisted Chins.

So as I moved from deadlifts to cable woodchops, I noticed a man on the assisted chin-up machine looking pretty confident in himself. You know the machine. You stand on the bar, place a counter weight, and you lift your body up and down. I love the machine because I get to see all the dust on top that gets overlooked by staff (hey, I'm a manager, I can't help it). Besides, I use superbands now and get stares across the gym. Well, today this guy was standing on the top step looking across the gym like he was awaiting his army to set up and conquer some land. Then as I got to my Free Motion cable machine I noticed something. Oh my gosh...this guy was putting on the belt. No, not that belt. The other belt. He was placing the waist harness with a 30 lb. dumbbell and adjusting himself on the top step of the chin up. Then before my eyes and the eyes of others, he began performing assisted chins with an added 30 pounds! I squinted to see how much counter weight he had and it looked like it was set at about #110. My eyebrows got a good few repetitions thanks to all my facial muscles flexing at that point.

Opinion: Again...what was he thinking? Was it ignorance or poor instruction? I think with the current information that comes out, we seem so pressed to try to be stronger or look like so-so, or become ripped, or try this new program. I thought that fitness was about being healthy and strong? Not about how much you bench or how many veins you have around your calf. That's the stuff I got into when I was reading Muscle & Fitness with Troy Zuccolotto on the cover, or when I was tying strings around my biceps to pump them up like the Ultimate Warrior.

Seems like everything goes in cycles. Just when I get out...they pull me back in!

Observation #4: Wanderers.

Ever go to a museum and look at the exhibits or art? You kind of cross your arms and walk around panning the room, right? You "take-in" as much as you can as your brain processes the information. We never really use it unless we are telling someone about our day (at the museum) or you are writing a paper. Well, as I performing my standing dumbbell presses, I couldn't help watch the guy in the mirror "wandering" around the sea of machines with his arms crossed. When I finished the set, I watched him. He walked around, aimlessly, observing the machines and reading the infamous manufacture's instructional sticker and caressing each piece like it was a new car. He was dressed to workout and had a decent build, but he was lost. If he had a camera hanging from his neck and a few maps hanging out of his back pocket, he would have looked more appropriate. Why wasn't anyone else noticing this guy needed help, direction, or guidance? As I picked up the DBs for my next set, I looked over at the front counter and noticed the trainer having a conversation with a very tan, Paris Hilton look-a-like.

Opinion: Why doesn't a staff that is responsible for supervising an area that accommodates more than 20+ people, not learn how to "scan" the area? Fitness center staff should be like the Secret Service. They need to continuously keep their eyes moving looking for suspicious behavior, inconspicuous persons, and newbies needing instruction. Who knows, that guy is probably a client waiting to happen.

Observation #5: Barbell curls, cable curls, preacher curls,...oh my!
My last exercise was standing ab crunches using a band fixed above me. I saw a young gentleman finishing up on a set of barbell curls. I think he had gone as high as 105 lbs., but I wasn't sure--I'm trying to workout y'know? Then he went over to the cable tower and began performing cable curls with a straight bar. By then...I was in the corner stretching my adductors. He completed 3 sets of the cable curls and I thought he was going back to the barbell, when he turned and picked up a 30 lb dumbbell and sat at the preacher bench. I wondered how many repetitions of the same movement (elbow flexion) is this guy going to do?
Opinion: I know the sea of machines means an endless array of muscle building opportunities, but why are we as a society so infatuated with if one is good, more must be better? I learned something from my father once...he taught me to not overly water a plant. I said, "why pop?" He said that the water can actually flood the roots and prevent nutrients form being absorbed. Don't ask me if that's correct, but I laid off pouring the gallon milk jug (full of water, of course) and starting controlling each pour. Why don't we "control" our pour in the gym? What is the necessitating factor that motivates some of us to perform something over and over and expecting it to respond? Another thing that makes you go hmmm....?
Conclusion: I have the potential and capacity to train every one of these individuals to meet and exceed all their expectations. And so do you. The trick is understanding the thought-process of people through observation, or in a trainer's case, through rapport. The more I learn about others, the more I am able to mirror, deal, and cope with different personalities and abstain people from negativity that prohibits their goal attainment.

1 comment:

  1. Next week, the assisted chin guy will probably to progress to 125 pounds of help with a 45 plate attached to the belt - keep us posted - lol


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