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
************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

5 thoughts on “The death of clanging and banging?

  1. If you aren’t lifting hard till you can’t avoid letting those weights crash…you aren’t working out hard enough!
    The guys at my gym actually encourage each other- including me. “One more rep! Don’t be a wuss; push through it Workout Barbie!!” is what I hear all the time. When I rep to fail and those weights hit the floor, I receive tremendous praise. It’s fun for all fellow Sweat-ers. (Meaning my gym- Sweat Fitness)
    That guy was just jealous of your hard-earned muscle.
    Let those weights clang I say!

  2. Hello,
    I think it has to do with the proliferation of commercial gyms. They are more like social gathering than a place to actually work up a sweat.
    Some gyms even have a NO GRUNT policy.

    I need to be around a gym where you can sweat, grunt, scream out or even talk outloud for self motivation.

    Today at my favorite gym, we have competitors stripping down and doing posing routines. Dorian Yates is back to working out there. What more motivation could you ask for?

  3. I don’t think the sound of clanging iron or grunting should ever go away. Now, if you grunt on every lift and clang on every rep their might be a problem, it can be distracting BUT if you are pushing yourself harder than ever it makes sense to let out a grunt or clang that last rep.

    It just shows your pushing yourself harder than before. It’s good.

    On a business note, I believe one of my small retailer clients ( would be interested in paying your website $15 by PayPal in exchange for a small hyperlink in your right navigation (under your category titled “Blogroll” or a new category like “Recources & Merchants” or “Friend Sites” or “Supporters”). Let me know if this is of interest to you & I can have payment sent within 48 hours.


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