Last year it was all about Crossfit, so the gym was full of happy assholes performing noisy, compound and disturbingly ballistic movements with barbells, or marching about with 45-pound plates held aloft like a priest elevating a chalice. Trends change, and ligaments tear, so there is less of that going on lately, plus the gym chain put up signs prohibiting power cleans, a staple of this crossfitty stuff.
Now I am stumbling over something where I must have missed the press releases, because all of a sudden I find that assorted gym members are squirreling away two and three pairs of dumbbells and maybe a couple of fixed barbells by their chosen bench, embarking on a complex schedule of sequential exercises that use this weight and then that one and then the other one again. Unfortunately, this sequence appears to be performed in extreme slow motion. The other day some guy in a maroon shirt hogged the twenties, the twenty-twos, a thirty pounder, a forty and sixty pound barbell for a half hour, during much of which time he was at stack stations elsewhere in the serious weight room, doing pushdowns and so on.
Two days later it was some blonde woman with a fancy accent training a guy who could just about bench two thirties. And twenties. And was doing something with the seventeens, of which we have only one pair. It went on for the better part of an hour during which those weights were scattered around the base of the bench to which he had riveted his ass. For most of this time they seemed to be doing dips.
I really hate it when some style of workout becomes The Workout. I hate it even more when people think that because they are on the cutting edge, they can behave as if no one else has paid to use the facility. I have never been fond of running to tattle to the teacher so I have not blown the whistle directly on any of these dopes yet, but I did tell the Minotaur that the practice was getting annoying. He supervises, from his post at the manager’s desk, a whole array of cams that goes everywhere but the locker room and the back corner where people still surreptitiously chalk up and do proscribed deadlifts. Unlike the dumbbell hoggers, we are inconveniencing no one.
The Minotaur, who does not train where he works, routinely locks out three hundred and some pounds over his head, and has to pivot around his own muscles when he walks. This horseshit should end soon.