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Man, That Must Hurt!

So I am doing my weightlifting routine this morning at the gym, when a guy sitting next to me engages futilely into doing some curls with 40 lb weights, one in each hand.

Don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with attempting to do curls with a 40lb weight in each hand, if you can pull it. For all I care, be my guest. Except in this case, I could see that he did not have yet the upper body strenght to pull that move. And let me tell you: There are few things more painful to watch than a guy huffing, puffing, rocking back and forth, turning red in the face, and generally hurting himself in an attempt to look Ubermacho.

Mr. 40lb dumbell is not the first guy I see doing something stupid, not will he be the last. Do people think that women are going to fall at their feet because they are grunting harder than anyone else? Are they trying to keep up with the other male specimens around? Do they have the same self-preservation instinct as a drunken lemming?

Me, I have learned my lesson long ago. If you go and tell someone "Please don't do that, you're going to injure yourself," you will most likely be served with a nasty rebuke. So at this point, all I can do is do my running commentary inside my head, using my inner voice.

"Dude! That hurts!" and "I do hope your insurance covers your physical therapist. Really."

And yes, my inner editor is fully engaged at this point.

There is a very funny video that they show at my Gym. It shows a really beefed up man, wearing a little Speedo, all oiled and ready to impress the ladies, posing in front of a mirror. Next thing you know, he emerges from a room in the gym labeled "Posing Room," and eyes meaningfully two ladies who are running on a threadmill. Then he tries to walk, but slips (presumably due to the excess oil that he has rubbed onto his body), and falls on his butt in front of everyone. At that point, the two ladies look at each other, laugh, and mutter "Poser."

Oh, so appropriate!

Nevertheless, there is a point to my snarkiness. Quite often, people will think that by lifting more than they can safely do, they will get better results. Sadly, the only results they will get is injury.

Now, I can understand this in a beginner (like Mr. 40lb dumbell), but I have seen the same stunt pulled by what appear to be seasoned weightlifters.

I would not like to be in their skin when they get tendinitis, or worse, spine injuries.

The lessons to be learned are:

a) Push yourself, but not to the point of stupidity,
b) Form is better than excessive weight, and
c) Nobody really cares how much weight you are lifting. Really. And if someone thinks that you look silly because you are not lifting the 100lb dumbell, that someone is probably a poser.

So do yourself a favor, go on and have fun, push yourself safely, keep your form, and don't injure yourself.

Your body will appreciate it, and you may need it later.



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
So funny
And I would add that most guys seem to think women want biceps. Most women, on the other hand are looking at butts. So, Dude, do some squats! You have no ass!
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
Re: So funny
Oh yeah!
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: So funny
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
Men aren't the only ones who engage in this dangerous behaviour.

A few years ago, I was working out at one of the Fairfax County Rec. Centers. I did martial arts for many years, and I still occasionally incorporate some of my martial arts moves and stretches into my exercise routine. I did one particular stretch which is for a side kick - leg extended to the side (don't hyperextend the knee!), hip rolled down, straight line from shoulder to hip to knee to heel.

A few minuts later, I saw a woman of about 30 attempting to do the same stretch, but her hip was rolled back and there was no straight line from shoulder to heel. I gently asked if she was doing that move because she had seen me do it a few minutes earlier. If so, she needed to realize that I was a trained martial artist, I used to teach martial arts and that if not done properly, this particular stretch can take your back out. She glared at me, muttered something about being a know-it-all, and walked away. If she had said, "Yeah, it looked interesting & I wanted to try it," I would have happily showen her how to do that stretch without hurting herself. She probably had a backache from doing it wrong - now who is the know-it-all?
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:46 pm (UTC)
Sheesh I haven't even started my weight training yet and I already know this: "It's not the weight it's the repetition!"

Aug. 30th, 2006 05:03 pm (UTC)
Nope, not the repetition, either. Form is the root. Form. Form. Form. Many repetitions at low weight wears out joints and doesn't build much strength. Form calls in the right muscles and protects the other muscles and joints.
Aug. 30th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC)
Once upon a time...
I was visiting my (at the time) Anglo-American boyfriend who was working in Washingston DC. He is, amongst other things, a squash player and he'd already organised a game with a work collegue before we knew I would be visiting. So there was I sitting in the sports centre waiting for him to finish when I get chatted up by this 'I'm so great' guy ... who virtually ran away when he discovered that I prefered speleology to racket sports! Tee Hee. I think I am occasionally wicked to men who think too much of themselves.
Aug. 31st, 2006 08:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Once upon a time...
Yeah, they are fun to mess with :-D
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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