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Thursday, February 21, 2008

How the Big Guy Loses Respect in the Gym

When a big guy walks into the gym, it's almost the environment of a prison yard. The bigger you are, the more respect you have. People aren't judging you based on how hot your girlfriend is, what kind of a car you drive, or how your hair looks... People are thinking one thing and one thing only. Muscle. That's what everyone came to the gym to work on, and if you've got the most, you are the alpha male.

Every gym has a least one or two of these monstrous characters. Some have many, in which case, they become nothing but an average Joe anyway. But when these slabs of muscle enter a regular gym, they are respected for their sheer size. For that 40-60 minutes of lifting, they are the kings of the gym. When they ask you for a spot, you're flattered by the fact that he thinks you're strong enough to help if something goes wrong while he's benching 50 million lbs. Then part of you is thinking, what am I going to do if this monster's arms give out for some reason. Regardles! s, you give them a spot to the best of your abilities because, after all, this is HIS gym.

However, I have encountered several giants who walked into the gym with everyone in aw, only to walk an hour or two later with everyone snickering at the buffoon. There are several ways that a guy can go from king of the gym to joke of the gym. First, involves clothing and body hair.

There are 2 things that are understandable:

(1) A guy who can't help having a big hairy back

(2) A guy who worked hard for big muscles and likes to show them off by wearing minimal clothes. The problem arises when these 2 understandable circumstances are combined. If you are a big guy with a wooly back, you're going to need to hold off on wearing the little powerlifting spandex tank tops.

Another way the big guy can lose respect in the gym is by grunting when grunting is not gruntworthy. Although I am not a fan of grunting, I understand that when a guy is lifting every plate ! in the gym it may be appropriate. However, these large mammals! are so used to grunting from the big stuff, that sometimes they forget they're just doing their warm-up, and need to understand that grunting is for when you are struggling, not for broadcasting yourself to the gym.

Finally, big guys lose respect in the gym when they use terrible form to lift even more weight than they already can. It's quite pointless for him anyway. He already knows that he can lift more than anyone else, and he should know that everyone around him is probably impressed by his strength. But when I see him throwing all of his weight into doing some hammer curls or cheating in any other exercise, it immediately demonstrates inferiority.

Why? Because I've seen another guy from another gym lift that much weight before, and they did it the right way. If this guy lifted the max weight that he can do while maintaining non-cheating form, I would never know what his good-form max was. But now I know, and I can compare it to people I've seen in the past who hav! e done it the right way.

So I think everyone would agree that guys who are 280 lbs of muscle carry a lot of weight (respect) in the gym. But that can always change if they act like an idiot.

Ryan Mayberry is the Co-Founder of an online social medium with a core focus on Fitness and Health. A place where people of all levels of fitness can share tips and recipes, track their workouts, and join their gym's online community. You may visit his personal blog which is also a feature provided by FitConnect.

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