From Bodybuilding.com's "Gym Humor" Section
This is a story about a workout that I witnessed somebody perform about 10 years ago in a university gym in Canada. It's a true story (just ask the ambulance driver!). Now, if you've spent any time in a gym, you've probably seen people using exercise form that is less than perfect. What I was about to watch, however, was the most atrocious exercise technique I've ever seen in all my years of training.
It was about 1 in the afternoon and I was just starting into my workout when I noticed "Dave" (not his real name) lay down on the bench adjacent to the one I was on. Like me, he was doing flat barbell bench press that day.
He was fairly short, medium build, wearing a tank top to show off what he plainly thought was a magnificent physique. It wasn't, let me tell you that right now.
Barbell Bench Press
"Dave" proceeded, without an ounce of warm-up, to load 225 pounds on the bar. He convinced some poor sap to spot for him then took the weight off the rack. It dropped straight down onto his chest like a stone. His spotter freaked out and pulled desperately to get the bar off his chest while "Dave" struggled and kicked to get the weight up. It was a titanic struggle. He looked like a fish out of water with a tomato stuck on his head. That's how red in the face he was.
Finally, they got the weight up and his spotter attempted to put the bar back on the rack.
"Dave" said "What are you doing? I've got 5 more reps!"
I almost choked. This was going to be an interesting workout...
"Dave" finished off by struggling out 2 more reps, then did 2 more sets just like that (with a new spotter each time, of course - nobody in their right mind would go through that twice!). "Dave" must have learned his lesson though, because instead of letting the bar drop and stop like on his first set, this time he actually bounced the thing off his rib cage like a trampoline, arching his back like he was being electrocuted.
It was time for squats. Now, I wasn't supposed to do legs that day but I just had to see this spectacle so I did legs anyway, just to be in the area.
"Dave" put 315 pounds on the bar right away. I watched him wrap his knees and cinch his lifting belt so tight he looked like a toothpaste tube that had been squeezed in the middle.
He recruited another sucker... I mean spotter, for his first set. He stepped under the bar, unracked it, stepped back and started to lower it.
It was like putting a bowling ball on a celery stick. His legs were shaking like Elvis on 10 cups of coffee. His back was so rounded over, you could have set a dinner plate between his shoulder plates without dropping a potato. He lowered the bar exactly three inches then held his breath and began to try and come back up. No luck.
His spotter stepped in, helped him back up and tried to guide him to the racks. No dice. He immediately dropped back down again. Two inches this time. I swear his knees didn't shake this time simply because they bowed in so much, they were braced up against each other!
He made his spotter do one more rep after that one, dropping only an inch on the last rep. Two more sets just like that followed.
By this time I had pretty much scrapped my workout for the day, completely out of morbid curiosity. I told the weight room attendant to dial "9" and "1" and keep their finger on the "1." His workout wasn't over yet!
Barbell Curls In Squat Rack
"Dave" unloaded the bar then set up in the same rack for barbell curls. He put a pair of 35's on the bar, which he had no business even doing for the "squats" he had just finished with, much less for barbell curls.
Luckily, he hadn't yet uncinched his lifting belt from the previous exercise, thereby saving precious seconds of time and, also, evidently cutting off the flow of blood to his brain.
He stepped up to the bar, took as wide a grip as I've ever seen anyone take on a bar, then lifted it to the start position. He took a deep breath and held it. Then, with totally straight and locked legs, he thrust his rear end backwards then forcefully thrust his hips forward, catapulting the bar up and off his thighs. He looked like he was trying to ring a doorbell with his hip bone.
The bar made it about halfway up before he locked his elbows and leaned back about 45 degrees to keep it moving. Finally, the weight made it to the top. He held it there for a microsecond then dropped it heavily to his thighs.
Then he did it again. And again. And again.
The only good thing I can say about it is at least he had the decency not to subject a spotter to it this time. I sat there wondering what he could possibly come up with for a finale and I was not disappointed.
And The Final... Pec Deck
He walked, or rather, strutted over to the pec deck and set the pin to the bottom of the weight stack. I motioned at a few nearby people to watch this as I felt something special was coming.
He sat on the machine, arms covered in sweat. He wrestled one arm pad up to the center position. Impressive. He turned and, with Herculanean effort, wrestled the other one to the center position. Veins starting popping out and his face was beet red.
I had a feeling this was it. I was right.
With the loudest bang I've ever heard, both his arms slipped off the pads, the weight came crashing down, and "Dave" was shot 6 feet straight out of the machine across the floor, skidding on his face right at somebody's feet.
Now, as an adult, I have never wet my pants, but I have to tell you, that moment was the closest I've ever come. That's how hard I was laughing.
I didn't see "Dave" back in that gym ever again.
The moral of the story? Big weights only look cool if you can lift them without getting shot 6 feet across the floor on your face.
f you've ever been to a gym on a regular basis, you've no doubt witnessed some pretty bad exercise form at work. In a previous story, I told you about "Dave," the guy who got shot out of the pec deck. You can read about him here.
And The Story Begins...
But this story isn't about Dave - it's about a lady I'll refer to as "Phyllis" (though a better name might have been "Hurricane Phyllis"). It was a cold, winter morning when I witnessed this lady's horrendous workout at a big name gym in Chicago and I'll never forget it.
I was sitting on the stationary bike, doing a warm-up when she walked in, stuffed into a pink spandex outfit 3 sizes too small, wearing glittery high heels and marinating in perfume.
She walked directly over to the treadmill and started it up. I had never seen anybody walk on the treadmill in high heels before so I figured this would be worth watching. I was not to be disappointed.
"Phyllis" was doing fine for the first minute so I went back to reading my magazine. Then I heard this huge "THUMP! Thumpthumpthumpitythumpthump..." I turned and looked and there she was, crawling on her hands and knees as fast as she could, desperately trying to slap the shut-off button every couple of steps!
I jumped off the bike and ran over and hit the shut-off button. She stopped but the treadmill, of course, kept going, rolling her right off the back end and flipping her over on her back. She flopped around like a big, pink, overturned and confused turtle for a minute. It was really, REALLY hard not to laugh. "Phyllis" was fine. She thanked me and walked off, like this had happened a million times before.
And this was only the warm-up...
I got back on the bike. I had a feeling this lady was going to be a lot more entertaining than reading.
She hobbled over to the pulldown machine, sat down then pulled the pin out and threw it on the floor. Not looking to bulk up, evidently. She took a grip on the bar wider than even a double-jointed orangutan could manage safely then started pull down behind her neck.
Now, this exercise is not good for your shoulders to begin with but she didn't stop the bar at just her neck. She continued pulling the bar down behind her back until the bar was all the way down at her waist!
I had never seen anything like it. She had turned the exercise into a wide-grip, behind-the-back pushdown. It was like she was trying to scratch her entire back with the bar. It was a good thing she had hardly any weight on the machine.
Ten useless reps later, she was done. My rotator cuff was aching just watching it. But instead of standing up with the bar and setting the one measly plate down gently, she just let it go and let that single plate crash down like a thunder clap. The bar whipped around and smacked her in the side of the head. Luckily for her, it seemed she had so much hair spray on that the bar just kind of bounced off - no damage done.
Without a backward glance at the weight pin still lying in the middle of the floor, she walked over to the free weights. At this point, I just knew "Phyllis" and free weights were not going to be a good combination - kind of like filling a child up with sugar, overstimulating them with games and cake, blindfolding them, spinning them around, giving them a hard club then telling them to swing at a cardboard animal filled with candy hanging at crotch level. Definitely not a good combination.
She picked up the lightest dumbells on the rack (I think one of them may have actually been a plastic novelty pen shaped like a dumbell and not actually even a real dumbell).
Side Lateral Raise
She stepped back and started doing dumbell lateral raises. Let me tell you, an albatross had nothing on this lady. She was flapping her arms so big, if she'd have had feathers, she would've been halfway to Mexico by the time she finished her set.
But alas, her grip must have been failing (and it was a good thing she was standing close to a cement wall and not a person) because the next thing I knew, she lost her grip on one of the dumbells. It flew out of her hand and smashed into the wall with a huge CLANG then fell to the floor with and even bigger CLANG! She set the other dumbell down and walked away, not looking the slightest bit embarrassed.
I thought I had seen everything. WRONG! The best was yet to come and she had only been in the gym 10 minutes.
She walked over to the adduction machine (the one that works the inner thighs), sat down and began doing reps. She must have done at least 20 sets of that single exercise over the next 30 minutes. Not a particularly good way to do this exercise but not dangerous in and of itself. It seemed to me like the party was over. Wrong again.
Somebody had evidently put it in this lady's head (though it was equally surprising that it didn't come directly out the other side) that doing squats would be a good thing for her. She went over to the squat rack (the open one, not the enclosed power rack - that, of course, would have been way too safe) and set herself under the bar.
Now, even before doing 30 minutes of adductions, I doubt this lady would have been very stable on this exercise. She took one step back with just the bar on her back then took another step, and another and another and another. She had totally lost her balance and was falling backward with every step!
Before anybody could react, she was stuttering out of the squat rack and falling backwards towards a rack of dumbells. She crashed into the rack, lost her grip on the bar and dropped it behind the dumbell rack with a huge SMASH!
Then she stood up, checked her hair in the mirror, pulled spandex out of her unmentionables, and hobbled out the door. I looked over at the weight room supervisor, who was snickering quietly.
"Does she do that all the time?" I asked.
"No." he replied, leaning back in his chair. "Sometimes she has a bad day..."
LOL, yeah, it's true. I hate it when people take up the squat rack to do bicep curls - it's even worse when they think they can curl 135 pounds and end up swinging the weight like a pendulum.
What's worse is when people drive around the gym parking lot for several minutes trying to save themselves 20 feet of walking.
Those were pretty funny!:laugh:
He also leg pressed with a 45 on each side and did 40 reps.
I have no problem with someone doing light weight but i think if you can do more than 14 reps at a time you should add a little weight. It wasn't like he was doing quick reps either.
Well, doing high reps (30 or so) has a purpose - the muscles develop larger glycogen stores. But, it's not as if a person would gain any muscle if they did it for weeks on end. But, it's good after 6-8 weeks of heavy lifting to do 30/20/10 program to increase those glycogen stores so the muscles have more power.
However, if you've previously dislocated your shoulder like me, that many reps can lead to injury - I was out 3 weeks the first time I did them so I avoid them at all costs now.
That's funny though. Kinda reminds me of an episode of The Fit Show I was watching. I don't remember the bodybuilder who was on there but he was saying it's ridiculous when guys load up the leg press with 800 pounds and only move the weight a few inches. Then later, there was some really skinny guy doing just that in the background, lol
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