We all have different reasons for why we go to the gym. For some of us it’s about muscle gain. For others it’s about weight loss and for a number of people, its all about how many times you can check yourself out in front of the mirror. Whatever your motivations, there is a fine line between beneficial and what is completely unnecessary; of which so many people are guilty (myself included). Part sarcasm, part truth, let’s quickly cycle through a few ‘stereotypes’ that everyone encounters at the gym. There will most likely be a sequel to this post so stay tuned.
1. The Workout Regime
Anyone that’s anyone has a work out regime that they swear by. This could be as simple as only working a certain muscle group through multiple sets or as aggressive as a full blown cross fit ‘beast mode’ work out. Whatever your poison, there is a fine line between what is beneficial to you and what is essentially blowing smoke up your ass. That is why I find it utterly moronic when people swear by some body builders (or fitness guru’s) 12 week program – the simple fact is, if you spent your whole livelihood in a gym, how could you not become as ripped and toned as that guy on the protein powder label? Sure if you’re new to the gym scene or looking for motivation, it can be refreshing to have a structured fitness regime but these should be more guidance than law.
The best way I can put my thoughts into words is via my new attitude to cardio. Recently, I switched to empty stomach early morning cardio . I don’t think there’s any real advantage from a performance or fitness point of view (this seems to be verified by countless ‘experts’ – check out one such link here). However, what I do think I get out of it, is a perceived better mental performance throughout the day. Coupled with ‘finding’ an extra hour of free time at the end of the day, I would say I’m getting quite far ahead. I would even argue that because of my early morning ‘sacrifice,’ I make better dietary choices throughout the day because otherwise what was the point. As such, I like to think I have ‘genuine’ reasons for undertaking my chosen workout – more so than the misguided individual who swears by the ‘extra weight loss’ they are achieving.
2. The Too Cool for School Outfit
This stereotype is something everyone probably enjoys a silent, judging chuckle at. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try and emulate your heroes; even if that means looking like a moron whilst you chase that perfect body or train like you’re about to enter the ring for a title fight.
What I am saying though, is you should only be emulating what is practical. So unless you are The Rock and your shirt would actually explode if you tensed your muscles, you probably don’t need to be wearing your nipple singlet whilst you ‘constantly flex’ in front of the mirror and get your ‘backne’ sweat all over the workout bench. Nor should you be in a full blown tracksuit, complete with hood on and large beats headphones. And then there’s the skin tight lycras that you often cringe at. I’ll let you fill in the blanks for the types of people I am referring to. So moving back to relevance, what I am trying to say is ‘Can you honestly say that these ‘extras’ actually improve your performance?’ Modesty goes a long way in life but for some reason it just doesn’t exist in the gym.
3. Personal Trainers
It seems to me that everyone is a personal trainer these days. After all, for 5 grand and 12 weeks you too can be an ‘expert’ and ‘earning $100,000 per year.’ Similar to becoming a real estate agent, personal training is essentially one those safety net jobs. (i.e. its the job you do when all else fails). I’m not trying to shame anyone that’s gone down this path (honest work is honest work) but considering the stigma that is attached to some professions, shouldn’t that make you want to avoid being the stereotype.
Put simply, PT’s are what a DJ is to a night club. Necessary, but you aren’t a god. However you might view yourself, any one who has just graduated from a course (or gained minimal experience) is exactly that; a graduate. You still have a long way to go before you could even consider yourself an expert (it takes 10,000 hours on average to be good at anything – that’s approx 5 years of full time work). You could ‘minimise’ this time by working harder and longer but you still have to do it; something which would be of much greater benefit to all parties concerned rather than walking around with your new found skills and diagnosing people with medical conditions and criticising people for not having a towel.
Just like any industry, office or working environment, there is a time and a place for everything. Sadly, for some reason, multiple parties at the table think the gym is a place where these rules don’t apply. I could rant for hours about gym related things that annoy me but I think you’ve started to get the point. What really matters is you are doing something that benefits you. You aren’t at the gym to prove anything to anyone but yourself. So if everyone could pull their fingers out and give them a wash, we’d all be better off.
This concludes this gym related rant and the emotions they drag out of me. Stay tuned for a sequel.
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