Leave Your Ego at the Door

December 13, 2007

I’ve been in the fitness industry for a long time and I’ve seen some very “interesting” things. One of which occurred last week while I was working out. There was a gentleman doing barbell curls inside the squat rack at Gold’s Gym in Brooksville. First, let me just say that the two bodyparts I see being bombarded and overtrained the most are biceps and chest. Every man seems to want them bigger and better and expect that to happen NOW!

Well, this man’s quest for bigger biceps was no different than hundreds of thousands before him. It was obvious that he believed it was all about how much weight he could lift, not necessarily about how hard his biceps were really working. His barbell curl looked more like a crazy hyperextension for his lower back than anything even remotely resembling a biceps exercise.

Picture this, if you will: he had a 45 poud plate on each end of the olyimpic bar, totalling 135 pounds, including the bar. The man himself only weighed 150lbs, give or take, and that’s with his clothes on. He grabbed the barbell with a grunt and instead of curling the weight with the strength of his biceps he leaned forward to almost 45 degrees and jerked his back up and backwards until he was leaning 45 degrees in the other direction! His arms stayed bent at 90 degrees from beginning to end, never having gone through any range of motion that would help him in his quest for larger arms mass.

I decided I should try to give him a pointer and maybe he’d accept my advice. I guess I should’ve mentioned that he was in his mid to late 40’s and I’m 33 (yeah, I know, I look much, much younger, lol). I approached him and asked if he minded if I showed him something that could help him and he said, “Sure.” So I go on to tell him that if he simply dropped some of the weight off of the bar and corrected his form that he’d get much better results and his biceps would actually start to grow again.

I was told in no uncertain terms that, ” I’ve been doing this for 20 years! I know what I’m doing!” Well, ya know something, he really didn’t. Less than 30 minutes later I overheard the same gentleman telling another gym member that he was fighting off a nagging back injury. Well, imagine that! Looks, folks, injuries come and go no matter how safe we are in and out of the gym, but why go looking for one just to say you lifted a certain amount of weight. Had this guy checked his ego at the door and done his lift SAFELY there would’ve been much less chance that whatever lower back issues he was battling would still be existant.

I see it all too often and I’ve seen it for too many years. You might even be one of them. If you are please take my advice and check your ego at the front desk. Watch what kind of results you can get once you actually start to feel your muscles working instead of simply lifting as much weight as you possibly can.  When was the last time you’ve seen me barking at the ceiling because the weight was too much? Exactly my point.

So there’s my first of what I hope to be many stories and issues I can relate to you over time. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.

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