Posted by: LYF | July 1, 2008

“You shouldn’t be lifting that”

I usually make it to the gym 3 times a week, which allows me to workout my entire body. And on the off days I try to do cardio. It’s a pretty decent system and its served me well for the better part of 4 years.

If you go to the gym often you will understand me when I say that each gym has certain “characters.” These are the people you see and instantly think “I thought people like you only existed in make believe.” For instance, I didn’t think I would ever see an 8 month pregnant woman doing shoulder press. I also never expected to see a guy wearing a one piece American flag giving me advice on how to conduct a proper “drive-by.” I certainly never expected to share a steam room with a 65 year old man doing squats. Naked. 5 feet away from my face. But who really cares? They’re usually good for a laugh. That is until you have to talk to them.

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine a 40 something year old white male. He comes to the gym with a full gym-bag. And I mean he brings his gym-bag into the free weight area. After circling the gym, while oggling the female patrons like a drunk college student making his rounds before last call, he plops himself down on a flat bench. Then he gets down to business.

From his gym bag he proceeds to unload tensor bandages, a back brace, 3 wooden 6inch by 6inch boards and 2 elastic bands. After everything has been removed he begins his workout. Ridiculousness then ensues.

This whole routine has provided me with lots of personal enjoyment; that is until one day I asked him for a spot.

And for those who aren’t accustomed to gym etiquette let me explain. When you are lifting weights and you are performing repetitions until you fail, its safer to have someone spot you. This person will help you put down the weights on your last repetition in order to avoid injury. It is very common to ask a stranger in the gym for a “spot.” Just a simple, “hey could you give me a spot?” normally does the trick. This guy had to make things difficult.

Me: Hey could I grab a spot?

RandomGuy: You shouldn’t be lifting that.

Me: What?

RandomGuy: If you need a spot then you shouldn’t be lifting so much weight

Me: Oh no, I’m not trying to do it once. I’m just going to do as many reps as possible until I fail, so I just need help on the last rep.

RandomGuy: You shouldn’t be doing that

Me: So you’re not going to give me a spot are you?

RandomGuy: No

Luckily another guy had overheard our conversation and was just as dumbfounded as I was. I turned to him and asked for a spot instead. He gladly gave me one.

Me: What the fuck is with that guy?

Spotter: Yeah, what a tool.

Me: hahahaha

I guess its best to leave gym characters alone and laugh at them from afar.


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