For the most part this last year I have not paid much attention to what goes on around me at the gym. I have the ipod blaring and focused on what I was doing. Since I broke 200lbs on squat, I have had to move my rest time between sets to 2mins. This has given me some time to kinda observe the goings on in my gym.
Needless to say some hilarity has ensued. I'm left just shaking my head at times at what I see. In particular there is this one guy. I'm sure every gym has him. There is no question the guy is strong and maybe he knows something I don't but for the life of me I can't figure out what he is doing. To give an example. He slaps 3 plates a side on bench press, then does 2-3 reps with MAYBE 1 inch of total movement.
Again, I couldn't even move 3 plates a side on bench or get it out of the rack, but everything I have seen and read tells me he would get more out of it by cutting back the weight and doing a full and proper rep. Now to each his own, but what I see is the young guys in the gym following his lead. Way to much weight with horrible form doing 1/2 or less of the full movement they should be for the lift.
The next thing I have noticed is the horrible personal trainers. Now, I work out at the local YMCA. So the staff are not what I would consider "experts". But still, they give one an one training as part of the programs available. I was doing my after lifting cardio and watching this one guy "train" an obvious total new gym member. Guy in his early 40's, very out of shape. He had this guy standing on one of those half ball things hooked up to those rope things they hang from the roof that seem to be the lastest workout craze doing all sorts of funky things.
I'm watching this and thinking to myself, way to complicate shit. Take that guy over to the free weights and teach him basic exercises. Now, I hardly expect him to show the guy squats and deadlifts, because well, they are not "sexy" enough. But hell, at least show him a basic split on the machines or something. The first thing I thought of when I saw this training session is that picture on the 5x5 report of a trainer with some poor schmuck doing squats perched on a swiss ball.
Now, I am not one to ever offer advice in the gym. It's rarely appreciated unless someone actually asks for it. It is hard though to watch the young guy doing bicep curls with 40lb dumb bells who is swaying like a tree in a hurricane to move the weight. I so want to go over to him and explain how he would get so much more from the exercise at say 25lbs with proper form than what he is doing, or hell ditch the curls and come do squats with me.
On a good note, and what kinda prompted this rant. After I finished up my squats yesterday I had a young guy, maybe 20-21 approach me. He commented on how deep I was squatting with the 225lbs and asked didn't it hurt to handle that much weight with no sissy pad. So, I got the opportunity to explain and show him the low bar squats and how to place the bar so you didn't need a pad. Then gave him the web address to Stronglifts and outlined the program. So hopefully a new convert to old school lifting.