you're reading...
Blog Posts, Stories

CBL Day 8: Gym Drama

May 15 – Lifting Day

Butter and nori 60g fat, 0g carb, 0g protein
Coconut-creamed spinach 28g fat, 8g carb, 4g protein
LIFT – weighted pullups 25×5, 5×6 / shoulder press 105×8, 95×10
Sweet potatoes 1lb 0g fat, 90g carbs, 5g protein
Whey protein (2 servings) 0g fat, 0g carbs, 100g protein
Chicken and rice leftovers 20g fat, 50g carbs, 20g protein
Indian snacky cakes 40g fat, 60g carbs, 10g protein
Chocolate bar 35g fat, 45g carbs, 6g protein
183g fat, 253g carb, 145g protein (3239 cals)

Leave a rep in the bag: anecdotally, reverse pyramid training (lift the heaviest weight first!) is tremendous for long-term strength gains, but it contributes to burnout if you go to failure on every set. Last winter, I saw rapid strength gains for a month on the protocol, but got stuck at the same weight on *every* lift from weeks 5-8, and thus, I bailed. Thankfully, this isn’t just a problem for me. Read this informative post on the pro’s and con’s of RPT: http://www.roglawfitness.com/rpt-for-the-win/

So my new philosophy is going to be to ‘leave a rep in the bag’, only increasing the weight on a lift if I feel like I could have grinded (ground?) out one extra rep. How does this apply to my last workout? Exercise 1: weighted pullups at 25lbs, a bit less than I’m used to training with. Five reps without too much grunting. I drop the weight to 5lbs, and the sixth rep comes with terrible form and (gasp!) a near-full kipping motion. Next time: 30 lbs for the first set, stay at 5lbs for the second set. Exercise 2: shoulder press at 105 lbs, 8 reps without a problem. 95 lbs, 10 reps with some serious back-arching. Next time: 110 and 95.

Alright, so this is going to turn into a full-fledged novella when it’s cleaned up and descriptified, but here’s what happened at the Y while I was lifting. It started with an innocent little note taped to the mirror near the lighter dumbbells: “Please do not drop weights.” I groaned to myself, but couldn’t think of the last time I *really* dropped a weight. I let them down nicely, even on a failed hang power clean or a heavy deadlift. But the large (6’5″, 240 or so) 40-something guy doing dumbbell bench presses decided not to listen.

Clank. Clank. With a flourish of her blonde ponytail, an employee/trainer jumped from her office and rushed to the scene. “You’re not allowed to drop the weights.” Her first mistake.

“Have you ever lifted a weight in your life?” the man asked, incredulously. “If you ever have, you’d know that you can’t let the weight down safely on this lift unless you drop it.” (He’s kinda right.)
“Well, this is the policy.”
“Listen, honey, I’ve been lifting weights here since before you were born.” He started on his next set, not making eye contact. She put her hands on her hips.
“You’re not listening to me.”
“I am. I just don’t like what you’re saying. Your problem is, you read all about lifting weights and get your master’s degree, but you don’t have life experience. I do.” He drops the weights again, harder.
“If you’ll give me your name, I can have my boss talk with you -”
“Don’t you worry about my name. I’ll talk with Jim myself. You’re trying to turn this gym into a damn Zumba class.”
“I don’t appreciate your tone of voice. I’m supposed to enforce this rule, the concrete underneath can’t handle you dropping the weights anymore. I don’t want to have to report you.”
“You’re not much of a people person, are you? I’ll talk with Jim, and when I do, I’ll tell him to fire you.” She walked away, her face flushed. He elbowed his friend in the side and mumbled something, glaring at her as she walked back into her office.

So that happened.

Tonight: burger experimentation continues! There’s a farmer’s market on the walk back from work, and I’m gonna grab a couple fresh veggies for a salad of some sort to pair with my yet-to-be-determined buffalo creations. I feel so European.


2 thoughts on “CBL Day 8: Gym Drama

  1. On the weight dropping issue, while I am not a big fan of weight drops and I do try to avoid them, if the gym was really worried about the well being of the customers they wouldn’t tell people not to do it when you should. I was recently (like 4 months ago) doing dumb bell presses with a weight that was a little over what I knew I could do and failed on the press. Trying to be a good gym constituent, I tried to gingerly lay then down and wrecked my shoulder. I am currently STILL rehabbing this damn thing and lifting light all because I didn’t want to make a lot of noise. Moral of my story, next time I am dropping the weights, and the gym employees can complain if they want.

    Posted by ruffyen | May 17, 2012, 2:15 pm
    • The more I think about it, the more it is about courtesy, to the gym and to your fellow lifters. Sometimes it’s impossible and unsafe *not* to drop a weight, and in those cases, it’s gracious to say “oops, my bad” and try to let the weight down a tiny bet less forcefully.

      Posted by cortisolfiles | May 18, 2012, 1:56 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: