A Modest Proposal

FIRST OFF, THE LITERARY AMONG YOU MIGHT BE HAPPY TO KNOW THAT I AM NOT GOING TO PROPOSE KILLING AND EATING CHILDREN IN THIS BLOG. JONATHON SWIFT DID THAT BETTER THAN I EVER COULD HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ HIS PIECE, IT’S A FUNNY AND ENLIGHTENING TREATISE ON HIS LIFE AND TIMES. 

“WELL WHAT THEN, BOB?”, YOU MAY ASK. “IF IT’S NOT ABOUT SELLING THE CHILDREN OF THE POOR TO THE RICH FOR THEIR SUSTENANCE, THEN WHY THE PROVOCATIVE TITLE?” WELL, BECAUSE THIS IS A SUBJECT THAT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE DOING HARM TO MY FELLOW MAN. BUT INSTEAD OF GIVING IN TO MY LESSER ANGELS, I’M GOING TO MAKE A MODEST PROPOSAL TO MY FRIENDS WHO FREQUENT PUBLIC HEALTH CLUBS. 

THERE IS DEAL THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE WITH YOUR FELLOW MAN ( AND WOMAN)  WHEN YOU GO TO A “BIG BOX” GYM. 

IT’S NOT YOUR GYM.

YOU ARE ONE OF MANY PEOPLE WHO PAY MONTHLY DUES TO USE THIS SHARED SPACE.

YOUR IDEAS OF WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DRESS, HOW TO USE THE EQUIPMENT, HOW LONG YOU SHOULD SIT ON A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT, NOT ACTUALLY USING IT, BUT TALKING ON YOUR CELL PHONE. AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON NUDE PERSONAL GROOMING IN THE LOCKER ROOM.  

BUT I DIGRESS.

WHAT I WANT TO ADDRESS TODAY IS WHEN I AM WORKING OUT ON A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT AND SOMONE WALKS UP TO YOU AND STANDS THERE.

AND STANDS THERE.

STARING AT YOU AND THE MACHINE, OR BENCH, OR WHATEVER. 

AND EVENTUALLY SAYS……( WAIT FOR IT, WAIT FOR IT….)

“ YOU ALMOST DONE?  HOW MANY SETS DO YOU HAVE LEFT?”

NOW YOU HAVE TO EITHER HAVE THEM WORK IN WITH YOU OR CLOCK YOURSELF. 

YOU HAVE THAT INTERNAL DIALOG 

“ I HAVE 2 SETS LEFT, BUT HOW LONG IS TOO LONG TO REST BETWEEN? WITH HIM STANDING THERE, STARING, WAITING  I’M NOT GONNA RUSH, GODAMMIT, BUT I DON’T WANT TO TAKE TOO LONG. HOW LONG DO I USUALLY TAKE, ANYWAY.” 

DAMMIT. 

SOMETIMES, AND BY THAT I MEAN MORE THAN ONCE, SOMEONE HAS COME UP AND ASKED ME IF I WAS DONE WITH A MACHINE I WAS WORKING ON WITH THE SAME DAMN MACHINE 10 FT AWAY, NOT BEING USED. BUT TELLING THEM THAT ‘ THERE’S THE SAME MACHINE RIGHT THERE. WHY DON’T YOU USE THAT ONE?” WILL BE PERCEIVED AS PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE, I KNOW THIS FROM EXPERIENCE. 

SO NOW WE GET THE THE JIST OF MY MESSAGE.

FOR MOST MUSCLE GROUPS THERE ARE MULTIPLE EXERCISES AND MACHINES WHICH WILL WORK IN A SIMILAR IF NOT IDENTICAL WAY. I KNOW, I KNOW, YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MACHINE, WHICH DOES EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO DO, EXACTLY THE WAY YOU WANT IT TO. YOUR TRAINER RECOMMENDED IT. IT MAKES YOU HAPPY. IT’S YOUR ROUTINE. I GET IT. 

BUT…

WHY NOT, IF THAT MACHINE IS BEING USED, TRY AN ALTERNATIVE EXERCISE? AT LEAST FOR 1-2 SETS, UNTIL “YOUR” MACHINE COMES OPEN? EXERCISING THE MUSCLE IN SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WAY BY USING A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT MACHINE, IS ACTUALLY A GOOD WAY TO FATIGUE THE MUSCLE AND BUILD IT. AND IT’S A NICE CHANGE TO TRY SOMETHING NEW, JUST TO BREAK THE ROUTINE. I ACTUALLY HAVE “NEW EXERCISE” DAYS WHEN I USE ALL NEW MACHINES OR EXERCISES. I DON’T ALWAYS LIKE THEM, BUT IT OPENS UP MY EYES TO THINGS I HAVEN’T EXPERIENCED BEFORE. 

HEY, I’LL EVEN HELP YOU OUT ON THIS. BELOW IS A LIST OF MUSCLE GROUPS / TYPES OF EXERCISE, WITH A SHORT LIST OF EXERCISES AND MACHINES TO USE. IT’S CERTAINLY NOT A COMPLETE LIST, BUT TI’S A START. HERE GOES;

CHEST / ARMS

BARBELL PRESS

DUMBELL PRESS ( FLAT , INCLINE OR DECLINE)

SMITH MACHINE PRESS

MACHINE FLAT PRESS ( OR INCLINE PRESS)

PUSH UPS

TRICEPS

CURL BAR OVERHEAD PRESS

“SKULL CRUSHERS” (CURL BAR PRESSES WHILE LYING ON A BENCH)

DUMBELL OVERHEAD PRESS

SINGLE ARM DUMBELL “KICK BACKS”

DIPS

MACHINE TRICEPS

BACK

PULL UPS / CHIN UPS  ( I KNOW. I HATE THEM TOO)

MACHINE ASSISTED PULL UP / CHIN UPS

LAT PULL DOWNS

LAT PULL BACKS

SINGE ARM DUMBELL PULL BACKS

FREE WEIGHT BACK MACHINES

BICEPS

CURL BAR

DUMBELL CURLS

MACHINE CURLS

CABLE MACHINE CURLS

LEGS

KNEE FLEX MACHINES ( HAMSTRING)

KNEE EXTEND MACHINE ( QUADS)

LEG PRESS MACHINE

LEG PRESS MACHINE ( FRRE WEIGHTS)

LUNGES

SQUATS

CARDIO

TREADMILL

ELLIPTICAL

STAIR CLIMBER

STATIONARY BIKE

REAL BIKE ( LIKE, OUTSIDE AND STUFF!)

RUNNING ( AGAIN, SUNSHINE, FRESH AIR, SCENERY…YOU KNOW?)

ROWING MACHINE

CLASSES . TONS OF CLASSES, STEP, CARDIO-KICK, OLD SCHOOL AEROBICS, SPINNING,            AND ON AND ON…)

AND ONE MORE THING. PEOPLE SAY THAT ONE EXERCISE IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER. WORKS THE MUSCLE BETTER, IS MORE EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE, ETC. ACTUALLY, MOST OF THEM WORK. AND MOST OF THEM DON’T WORK. YOU KNOW WHAT IT DEPENDS ON?

HOW HARD YOU WORK. 

YOU CAN KICK ASS ON AN ELLIPTICAL.

YOU CAN WALK THROUGH A CROSSFIT CLASS.

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN. HOW’S THAT FOR A CLICHE?

HAPPY HEALTH-CLUBBING!

TALK LATER,

BOB

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