The death of clanging and banging?

I have been lifting weights on and off since I was 12 years old. I will never forget the day my Mom and Dad purchased my first weightlifting set from Sears. I hurriedly opened the box containing the 110 pounds of plastic covered cement and the iron barbell with the plastic sleeves. I was in heaven, it was that day I began pumping plastic. A few years later,  I graduated to a commercial gym and it was there that I discovered the meaning of the phrase, “pumping iron.”

To me there is nothing quite as exhilarating as the smell, the noise and the energy of a true weightlifting gym. The clanging and banging of the iron, the grunts and groans as men and women try to blast out those last few muscle building reps really brings me to life.

So what has brought me to the title of this column?

Well, I was finishing up the other morning, it was chest and back day and I was doing my last of 36 sets, super-setting decline flyes with dead-lifts. I only had about 225 on the bar, but as we all know the dead-lift is a brutal exercise, more so when done last and even more so when done in a superset fashion. Well I was brining iron  down to the floor with some good old fashion banging. The sound of the weights against the floor ramped my adrenaline causing a release of energy to explode me upright.  At the top position my dead stop caused the weights to shake and there was the clanging.  I was really  moving, up and down like a piston. After my last set I re-racked the weight. I was soaked in sweat and my grip was almost completely shot thus the bar slipped and the weights came crashing down onto the rack.

I stood up tall, full of self-pride because I just completed three  more reps than I did last workout. Then it happened — the  person next to me muttered under their breath, “Jesus Christ.”

I paused, unable to believe what I just heard. I thought to myself you have to be kidding. I wanted to shout “THIS IS A GYM!”  Of course my parents raised me with manners so I walked over and apologized. This person did not even acknowldege my apology, so I edged a little closer and said it a bit louder. Finally, the person relunctantly accepted.

I was so ticked off that to calm down I did six more sets, three more supersets of machine benches and bent over rows. I noticed the mutterer was talking to someone else and when I was done with my sixth set the person finally went and did another set. I wanted to yell again, “MAYBE IF YOU WOULD ACTUALLY WORK OUT YOU MIGHT LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN YOU DID A YEAR AGO!” But dam my parents raising me to be polite. I just stripped the bar, looked over and said, “good-bye.”

Honestly, is it just me? When I go to workout I am there to workout. I don’t sit around for 10 minutes between sets, I place a towel down on the benches; I take my sweat with me,  I allow people to work in, I always lift under control,  I rarely drop a weight, I respect the equipment, I strip every bar and every machine, I replace the weights back to the stacks, I put the dumbells back in their apporpriate place on the rack, I even put them in order if someone else didn’t.

So, am I out of line to workout so hard that iron weights make noise?

Am I incorrect to push a set to failure that on occasion the weight slips?

Is old school clanging and banging dead?   Say it ain’t so!


Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to and He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at and check out his website
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