So you’re at the gym poppin’ out some heavy squats (great form and all) and a man comes up to you and says “mind if I show you how to get more out of that exercise?” Has something like this ever happened to you? Well, it happened to me recently and now I have a clinger.
Being the polite person I am, I responded with “Sure! Show me what you got!” Take note that at the time I was probably squatting 135 lbs. or more to below parallel for somewhere between 8-12 reps. My goal is to really try to maintain my muscle as I diet down for summer, so I like to go pretty heavy. So the man says “I don’t think you’re gonna like it, but I’ll show you anyways.” I’m pretty open and I see the guy training other people all the time, so I’m actually open to hearing what he has to say. He proceeds to show me ball squats using a small medicine ball to squat down to while supporting an olympic bar loaded with a couple 5s or 10s as added weight. He then had me perform 3-4 sets of 20 reps. Woo wee! Those were no joke. You haven’t lived until you’ve done high rep ATG squats. They’re great squats, no doubt about it, but there’s a big problem with the situation.
He doesn’t know my personal goals – Being that I’m a female, he probably assumed that I’m trying to “tone.” I shudder at that word. What if….just MAYBE….my goals are power and strength? Bustin’ out 20 reps of low-weight squats probably would not be my exercise of choice. Don’t assume that just because I am a woman I have the same goals as women who read SHAPE magazine.
Since I accepted his advice once, he gives me unsolicited tips and shows me different “shaping” exercises on a regular basis now. My other issue is…
I like to be left ALONE during my workouts – He’s said it himself; he knows I’ve been training for a long time and I know what I’m doing. I wasn’t born with this figure. I built it…by myself. So does he really think I NEED his advice? I also really like to just get in and out of the gym. I don’t like putzing around, chatting with people, and simply wasting time. I realize that the gym is a social place for a lot of people, but not for me. So please…just leave me alone….
I really do like some of the exercises he shows me and I might throw them into my workouts here and there AFTER I do my heavy training. I understand the importance of tension throughout lifts and I know you CAN get a lot out of lifting lighter weights, but I still think it’s important for me to lift those heavier weights if I really want to build or maintain that muscle I have.
The purpose of this post? To let you know that I promise I will NEVER be that guy and you shouldn’t be either. A stranger’s workout is none of your business (unless it looks like they are about to majorly hurt themselves….maybe). You can watch and mumble under your breath, but keep it to yourself.
Rant over. Happy training! 🙂