I am surrending my dream of a gym where nobody struts.
I’ve been in Denver for three days, climbing the walls because my mom only has a rack of 15 lb dumbbells. But today we went over to the rec center and did some training.
A few observations:
Cutting the sides out of your shirt from armpit to hipbone does not improve performance. Unless all of the sassy gents surrounding me were working at peak performance, in which case, I would still say that wearing a sideless, sleeveless shirt is not a goal worth aspiring to.
If you drop a 315 power clean, it’s going to be noisy and people will startle. If you drop a 15 lb dumbbell after triceps kickbacks in purpose, just so people will say, “Hey! Who’s that pale soft man in the sideless, sleeveless, shirt?” you are a knave.
If you groan and moan, it does not sound like someone laying it all on the line or going to war with the weights. It reminds me of the girl and the tagline from Flashdance:
Something happens when she hears the music…it’s her freedom. It’s her fire. It’s her life.
Substitute “hears the music” with “dons a sideless shirt and groans for no reason” and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what I saw.
If someone is sneering at everyone while pressing 20 lb dumbbells overhead with a furious fury, then pacing around crazily like Tom Hardy in Warrior, and then you walk up and start pressing the 100 lb dumbbells while looking bored, they will still sneer and find a way to condescend to you. When this particular specimen antler crashes in the gym, in his cocky head the alpha is the one lifting dozens of pounds when hundreds are available.
Tapout shirts are not an indicator of performance either, sided or sideless.
It makes me very happy to see elderly people lifting weights and enjoying it. Quality of life is the best possible reason to move and get strong. Aging well is a goal worth aspiring to.
Nobody did power cleans.
Nobody did pullups.
There was a lot of bench pressing.
Only librarians do them all with style and verve and a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step and—feel free to continue inserting cliches.
Bandannas and kerchiefs make perfectly good shirts. They do not improve performance. However, if women are wearing them near men, the kerchiefs will probably up the tempo of the men’s lifting and groaning.
That’s about it. I felt strong, my shirt had its sides, and yes, I’ve totally given up on my dream of a gym where people are strong, courteous, and nobody struts.