Big rant coming, grab some pop corn, or ignore. The choice is yours.
Been having an interesting issue with an idiot in the gym recently. It's made me realise why, for a while, I hated bodybuilding. See, I would class myself as a "closet bodybuilder", and I had to remind myself of that when moving house a couple of years ago and rediscovering all my old bodybuilding books - and pumping iron DVD. It's not what I'm about personally but, bodybuilding does fascinate me, and I have a world of respect for bodybuilders, and I continue to learn a lot from them. For a while though, I had a bad attitude towards it. I know why that is now.
Commercial gyms and Personal Training ruined it for me.
In the commercial gym environment and the personal training industry, in general, for the most part, anything related to lifting weights is "bodybuilding". Personal Training certs actually just teach you very basic bodybuilding methods, through a bodybuilders lens. It's just annoying in that respect. Dynamic Effort? huh? Wtf? You should lift slow and controlled.... feel the burn..... shhhhhhh...... Just. No.
Then the idiots in commercial gyms. The ones that give bodybuilding a bad name, and make you embarrassed to say you like the sport (or, Art?). Of course, these people are NOT bodybuilders but, to the laymen, that's exactly what they are.
You get one specific kind of idiot - the Jonny Bravo of the gym. Juiced up, trains like an idiot, but trains hard, eats well, has done for a few years. BIG upper body, tooth pic legs, no a$$. There's on in my gym like this and he likes to think he's the Gym Police. If people leave weights lying around, he marches up and aggressively makes them put them away. Sounds good in principle, right? It's just annoying. It's also management via intimidation, by someone who isn't even staff. He also marches up to put people right if he thinks they're doing things wrong. Example - bringing the bar to a DEAD stop during DEADlifts, and making a little noise in the process (not slamming, though). You can see where this is going?
He's friendly with a female client I train who also happens to be one of my strongest. So, he's been gradually making stupid comments to her about how she trains. I've just ignored it but, he's getting more bold. You need to picture this - i'm 5'7, 180, and don't know what a Bicep curl is. This guys about 5'11, looks about 240-250, quite lean, 18 inch arms, etc. Massive upper body. First thing that happened was weeks ago, he came up during the DL session my client was doing and said, "if you keep deadlifting like that, you'll end up with a back like mine". I instantly responded, "well explain why my back isn't much bigger than yours, since I can DL almost double what you can???". No response, and tension has gradually ensued since. I knew I knocked his nose out of joint, I just didn't know when he would start again.
Fast forward a few weeks to Saturday. I walked in the juice bar area of my gym and he was there, speaking out loud about how a female trainer has the nicest a$$ you've ever seen (she was standing there, looking intimidated). It was very awkward. For the red blooded males here (all of you), the comment is accurate but, it's the delivery I have an issue with. He then turned to me, "is that not the nicest a$$ you've ever seen?". I just shook my head. I wish I said something else, looking back but, hindsight is good like that.
He then said, looking at my chalk-box, "you need to stop bringing in that chalk, it's all over that gym floor". I was still angry from not saying something to him earlier and said, "You NEED chalk when you lift HEAVY things, it doesn't surprise me that you don't understand that."
Tumbleweed blowing extremely slowly across the way.....
The female trainer pounced, "YES!! for lifting HEAVY! YOU won't know anything about that, will you????"
He stormed to the free weights area to start his workout. I then got down there with another client. As we're setting up to deadlift, and bear in mind, he's complained about the noise of the bar when clients lower it, he lets out this massive roar/scream, for about 20 seconds, doing decline DB bench press. I couldn't help myself, "Davie... You're making a bit of noise there, that's not good gym etiquette. And are you ok? Sounded like you just sh*t your spleen?".
His response was pathetic, "thought you were lifitng heavy and that's why you needed the chalk". I Said, "well, you'll notice that she's not chalked up yet, as this is a warm up set, but she'll be pulling close to your max in 5 minutes or so, don't worry."
The client, who also knows him, said, "you probably couldn't even lift this". It was 50KG. He said, "i'm lifting that with one hand". I looked around confused and said, "not sure what school you went to but, you're lifting 38KG DB's, that's 50KG on the bar......".
Later he made another comment when the client was showing me her callouses (lol), saying, "he won't have callouses because he uses his chalk". This confused me as much as it will anyone else and, for the record, I have a nice set of callouses lol. I just let go, "look at you, you're lifting 38KG dbs, to press, and you need to strap up. You wear those straps when you drink a cup of coffee. I use chalk because I HOLD ON TO the weights I lift. I don't tie myself to the bar with straps because I don't have the grip strength of an 8 year old girl."
I honestly expected anything here and not because I was scared for my safety but, because i'm supposed act in a professional manner and I was losing it. It was one of those moments that after I said it I thought, "i shouldn't of said that". I'm quite bad for those moments, my sister calls it Foot-in-Mouth-Disease. He just grinned and walked away. It was hard to not start thumping my chest and roaring like Tarzan.
This is has just been slowly building up though. This is the short version of the story, too, there's a lot more and i've tried to be as professional as possible up until now but the bottom line is, he's a bully. He uses his size to intimidate people. If he was skinny no one would take him seriously. He's got away with far too much, too. Members have left because of him and he's had a few warning by management but, ultimately, they are scared to do anything. I just don't believe the crap that comes out his mouth, though, and I can see past those big fluffy arms of his.
He'll either calm down now or it'll get even worse. Time will tell. I reckon he's calm, as he told one of my clients afterwards that I was "a very serious person" and, "you can't really joke around with him, you don't know how to take him".