Posers might be misleading.  I don’t mean they were literally posing in the mirror, which is a very real gym condition that affects millions.  I mean they were just a bunch of pretenders.  But more on that later.

I slept in pretty hard Thursday morning, I was exhausted from my Wednesday activity.  So no morning gym for me.

After work I headed to the gym, with a shot of pre-workout in my stomach and fortified with carbo-loading.  Quite honestly, I would feel like a wanker if I ate carbs and DIDN’T go exercise, so it was good incentive.

I signed up for a spin class with Crystallina.  She was also teaching a yoga class right after, and I could have done that, but I wanted to finish my back workout then go home.

Spin class was good, but I was still feeling some lead in my legs.  It all sort of loosened up by the end though.  I did feel a lot of tightness in my hamstrings as well, so a massage might be warranted on Friday… Cross your fingers!

Crystallina plays a lot of Glee covers.  I have learned to deal with this.  At one point she also offered the class a choice – pyramids or tabata.  There was a vote, and tabata won, which I vocally protested.  I think people hear “20 seconds of work” and they assume it’s easier.  It is not, tabata is HARDER.  It’s harder because you go ALL OUT BANANA BLAST CLUSTERNUT CRAZY for 20 seconds, just 100% of your possible effort, then only 10 seconds of rest, which is purposefully not enough time to recover, then you hit it again.  We did that for 8 rounds, and by round 5 I was aching and dreading trying to make it all the way through, but somehow I made it.  If you weren’t wrecked after 8 rounds of that, you were not really going 100% all-out.  You just phoned it in.

 

So after spin I needed to catch up on my Back work, maybe some Traps.  I was good and warmed up, so I jumped right from the bikes to the weights.

 

Widegrip Pulldowns (60 sec rest):  180 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 7

Straight-Arm Pulldowns w/ rope (4-2-4 tempo, 90 sec rest):  50 x 5; 30 x 12, 12

Dumbbell Shrugs (60 sec rest):  180 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

notes:  With the pulldowns I still had that Tabata mentality in my mind – 8 rounds of all-out war, punctuated by brief rests.  I was pretty intense with it, and super-focused.  Sometimes I get the feeling people are looking at me when I get intense with the exercises, but whatever.  I wasn’t screaming, probably a lot of grunting 🙂  It helped me get more reps done, maybe they should try a little intensity too…

Straight-arm pulldowns slowed it down a lot, so that was good.  It was weird, 50 pounds going slow like that wore me out immediately, but when I dropped to 30 pounds, it became way too easy.  Hmmm, maybe I just needed to warm up.  I will try 40 next time for slow reps and see how it goes.

With the shrugs, I quickly noticed how many POSERS had accumulated in the gym.  I say posers because it is more gentle than saying losers, haha.  You’ve seen them, a bunch of young guys in pretty good shape, hanging out together in such a large cluster you would think they were scared of getting separated and lost.  They appear to think the goal of the gym is to pick the largest weight possible, and do the LEAST amount of work possible.

I saw a couple of guys, they were doing incline bench with 185 pounds, which is pretty respectable when they look like they probably weigh about 160.  BUT, they only lowered the weight about 3 inches, then pushed it back up.  Shameful!  Then they go back to their friends and say they incline bench 185 for reps, then their friends have to cheat by any means possible in order to compete for bragging rights, and the vicious cycle continues.

So, I was doing shrugs with dumbbells, easier ROM for my shoulder.  There were no free benches, but the dumbbells were all scattered haphazardly in the 100 pound and up dumbbell section, and noone was using them (another sign of bros at play), so I used the empty rack for my 90 pound dumbbells between sets.  The rack was high up enough that I could save my energy for just doing the shrugging, not lifting 180 pounds off the ground, haha.

So in between sets, I see this bro looking for something, then he just comes over and grabs ONE of my purposefully racked 90 lb dumbbells and walks back to his chair!  I walk behind him, I was going to wait until he was getting set-up and then offer to sub in and out with the weight with him, but to my surprise, he just drops the weight by his claimed chair and walks away!

I am thinking, okay, do I now chase after him, excuse me mister excuse me mister let’s share?  Do I just grab my dumbbell back and keep doing work with it?  Then I notice there is another 90 lb dumbbell rolling around on the ground, so I shrug (pun!) and get back to doing actual WORK.

When he comes back, he loads it up for a behind the head seated 2 hand tricep extension, squirts out 1 solitary rep.  then sets it down and walks away to a different bench, sits down for 3 min, comes back to the weight, puts it BACK on the rack, then walks away again and rests for 3 more minutes…

The lesson I took away from this?  Karma is a bitch.  That guy was a loser.  He went too heavy, got embarassed, and isn’t getting anything at all done.

Here is a thought, young bros of the gym:  THE ACTUAL WEIGHT DOES NOT MATTER.  Form matters.  Reaching for the 60 pound dumbbells to curl 3 shaky swing reps when you could grab the 40s and curl 10 good reps, makes NO sense.  Stop lifting with your ego.  do you think I liked not being able to do more than 5 slow reps with the straight arm pulldowns?  Nope.  But working the muscle requires good form and consistency.  Focus on form and control.  Stop trying to show off.  You only impress the other people who don’t know what they’re doing.

 

/sermon

 

So how was your day?  Any good workouts?  This was my last work day before the spin marathon!  EEEKK!  So excited!  Friday I just rest.  And Saturday I spin.  Wish me luck!

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