Archive for September, 2006

Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains Part 2
Social Behavior in the Gym
Lessons on social etiquette in the gym. Wipe up your sweat you hog.
Read Part 1 of Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains: Attitude & Fashion in the Gym So you’ve read part one, and are fully equipped, attired, and have a good idea of how to carry yourself in public. You know how to not look like an asshole, now it’s time to learn how to not act like an asshole. The name of the game is common sense. Yes, this most underrated type of intelligence dominates life in the gym as with any other place. A little common sense and a little common courtesy will go a long way. Social behavior consists of any act that you do which could potentially affect another lifter. These are crimes of both commission and omission. The most basic and common of these crimes is not wiping down the machines or seats after using them. Here’s a quick biology lesson for you… when you exercise, you sweat. There’s no reason that after your 30 minute marathon on the stationary bike, somebody should be forced to sit in a pool of your warm salty liquids. The same goes for benches, and machines that you spend any prolonged period of time on. Cleaning towels & spray bottles are put out for a reason. Use them! As a general rule of thumb, if you get up and a sweat laden imprint of your ass is left on the seat, get a towel and wipe it off.

If we sit in your sweat, you’ll be laying in your own blood.
Almost everyone who visits the gym will at some point pick up a dumbbell. Any guru will tell you that free weights are an essential part of any workout. The problem is not that people use the dumbbells, it’s that they leave them scattered about the mats like landmines. If you are strong enough to pick up the weights, do 3 or 4 sets with them, then you are strong enough to put them back. If you are pyramiding or doing drop sets don’t horde the dumbbells like bars of gold, use them for a set, replace them on the rack and choose your next weights. I don’t care if you’re a slob at home where your mother still makes your bed and cleans your room; I shouldn’t have to go on a crusade to find the weights I need or dance around an obstacle course of scattered and abandoned dumbbells. These are obvious and easily correctable offenses, but a more difficult tendency to fix is that of being an advice giver. Unless your official title is Mr. Universe, you are not in any position to give unwanted fitness advice. Here’s a little news for you Dear Abby, we don’t care how you think we should be bending our knees more or using a different grip. If on the other hand somebody is being social and asks for a few pointers, or begins a friendly discussion about different exercises, techniques, etc. then feel free to drop in your two cents; otherwise shut the fuck up and let us do our routines. Nobody likes a know-it-all, and there is nothing worse than someone getting in your face in the middle of a set trying to correct your form. As a final aside on the topic, fat people are not allowed to ever give any advice. If you knew as much as you thought you did, you wouldn’t be fat, so there is an obvious differential in knowledge. So recapping for all chunky monkies, you are not allowed to wear spandex, or to give advice or parade your ass everywhere.

Even Ann Landers doesn’t have the balls to give advice in the gym
Perhaps most important of all is that you do not use the gym as your social club. There isn’t anything wrong with being friendly or conversant, and most experts agree that lifting with a partner is a great way to keep motivated and keep safe. But remember, you are there to exert your muscles, not your mouth. If you want to work your mouth, start selling twenty-dollar blowjobs. Having a spotter or a companion for motivation and help is a good thing. I prefer to lift alone, but if you want to work out with someone, be my guest. But why do you need to bring an entire group?! I shouldn’t have to wait 45 minutes to get on the cables, a bench, or the lat-bar because there are 4 or 5 of you having a circle jerk in the middle of the gym. With that many people you’re looking at 12 – 15 sets, as opposed to my 3 or 4. Try doing a circuit routine and break your little group up, you’re only taking up space & time. Quit gossiping and get out of the fucking way.

It took them 3 & ½ days to finish their sets on the lat bar. When it was over, they all rejoiced.
Above all be respectful of the people around you and realize that there are other people trying to better themselves just like you. Think about how you’d like to sit in a pool of fat-chick sweat. (We’re assuming you don’t get off on that sort of thing. If you are sniffing the bicycle seat after a 40 year old chubby mother of 3 gets up after her 45 minute peddling spree, you problems I can’t help you with.) Ok, you now know how to act and are the model gym denizen. Unfortunately you’re still fat, people are staring at your for some odd reason, and you aren’t seeing the results you had hoped for. Odds are you just don’t know how to lift properly. In the third and final part of this series, I’ll explain a few common mistakes that you might be committing during your actual workout.

Big Muscles, Small Brains

Wednesday, September 13th, 2006

Bigger Muscles, Smaller Brains Part 1
Fat chicks even with big tits are not allowed to wear spandex! And other simple rules to follow in the gym
Everybody wants the perfect body; big muscles, rock hard abs, all with that lean and cut look. Nobody actually asks to walk around with greasy fat-rolls that hang over their elastic waistbands. What results is the eternal attempt to craft the ideal physique, leading people flock to the gym. You can see them scrambling for a line of treadmills, the rack of dumbbells, or the veritable jungle of exercise machinery; none of which they have a clue how to use, or of the tacit rules of etiquette and simple common sense that rule this subculture. In this, the first of a three part series, I will explain one facet of this subculture; the set of guidelines which deal with your conduct on an individual level. Keep in mind that these all apply to both men & women, we don’t discriminate on stupidity. Ingrain these simple concepts into your mind, they should become your gym bible. So fuck the 10 commandments, if you are working out in a public location, these are the rules you need to follow…

If you wear one of these in the gym, don’t lift the barbell, just sit on it.
Before you can begin to interact with others in the gym, you must first take care of yourself. The first thing to take into consideration is your fashion. There really are very few things you can’t wear to the gym. For a guy, the rules are extremely simple, there are only two things which cannot be worn under any circumstances… ribbed guinea tee’s and spandex pants or shorts. I have nothing against the guinea tee if you’re a 45 year old Italian who’s job description is ‘problem solver,’ but they don’t belong in public gyms, especially when you add a thick gold chain to your ensemble. And the spandex rule goes without saying. There is no time in a man’s life when he should ever feel comfortable wearing spandex clothing unless he is a professional athlete. Even then we are getting into a gray area of homosexuality with all that patting on the ass. As for you women, the rules are equally simple…. If you are fat, don’t dress like you are thin. No spandex, no tank tops, no overly tight or small shorts. Be honest with yourself, those outfits only look hot if you have the body to carry them.

She is allowed to wear spandex. Or nothing. We’d prefer nothing.
Now that you are dressed for success, let’s make do a little equipment check. There is nothing wrong with bringing a few necessities. A bottle of water, or a pair of gloves, maybe even the random weight belt if you’re doing squats… But there is not need to carry around a suitcase full of luggage as you lift. There is nothing more sad than the guy who carries around a caravan of supplies from station to station… they tote around their gloves, rags, weight belt, straps, water bottle, power bar, sweatshirt, walkman, bandana, and stopwatch. You should not need a fucking pack mule to get around the gym. If it can’t fit in your pockets or in one hand, leave it in the locker room.

You shouldn’t have to hire sherpas to carry your gear.
You have everything that you need to get in shape, but like anyplace else, a good body is nothing without the proper attitude and personality. I don’t care how cut or big you are, stop looking at yourself in the mirror. This isn’t the Mr. Universe competition, so stop posing. The mirrors are there so you can track your form, not to examine nose hairs, pimples, or the six pack that you DO NOT HAVE! When you finally drag your ass away from your own image and finally decide to get down to business, don’t show off. I don’t care how strong you think you are, you don’t want to be the “Angry Lifter.” Throwing the weights around, grunting loudly every time you move, or walking around with a look that says I am going to shoot 14 people in my high school is not going to make you stronger! Stop yelling, stop acting like you’re a convict and be a normal person. You’re not making yourself stronger or tougher; you are not intimidating. Nothing looks more ridiculous than a 90 lb guy trying to squeeze out that lest rep on the bench, grunting like an ape at the top of his lungs. When not engaged in the actual act of lifting, do not pretend you are tough or huge. Waddling like a penguin will not make people think you are jacked. Even more importantly, protruding your arms is not indicative of muscular development. Your elbows should never form 90-degree angles. If you look like you’re carrying grapefruits under your arms, you deserve to be smacked by anybody who actual exhibits muscle growth.

If you walk with your arms out like this, you had better be carrying two buckets of water.
In part 2 we will examine social skills and interactive behavior in the gym.