If the Church is the place for your spiritual well-being, then the gym can be your place for physical well-being.
In the gym, the sweat from your efforts are the cleansing waters of a baptism. The grunts and groans of effort are the hallelujahs of rejoicement. And the clanging and banging of iron weights are the rhythmic chants of uplifting hymns.
There are those who claim you should not sweat, that sounds of effort should never escape your mouth and weights that are so heavy to elicit noise should not be hefted.
If you read my book, you will learn what I say to those who espouse moderation, it is my same answer to those who decry genuine effort. Instead of claiming the strain of others are a distraction; feed off of their energy and strengthen your resolve from their struggle. You would also be surprised to discover, that those who put out hardcore effort, are often the first to help those who truly want to learn and improve themselves.
Image via Wikipedia
I have been lifting weights on and off since I twelve. I will never forget the day my Mom and Dad purchased my first weightlifting set from Sears. I hurriedly opened the box. The contents were 110 pounds of plastic covered cement and a short 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, noise and energy of a true weightlifting gym. I am brought to life by the clanging and banging of the iron, the grunts and groans that pass the lips of men and women as they try to blast out those last few muscle-building reps. It is cathartic, motivating and uplifting all at the same time.
I’m not sure if it is just me, but their seems to be an effort afoot to stop hard training, to cap enthusiasm and stifle the travails it takes to get real results. About a year ago, I was finishing up what was, to that point, a great workout. I was working two large opposing muscle groups; chest and back. I was on 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 as part of a superset. Well, I was brining the iron down to the floor with some good old fashion banging. The sound of the weights against the rubber mat 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. Like a piston of a high revving engine, I was rapidly moving up and down. Upon completion of the last set I re-racked the weight. I was soaked in sweat and my grip was almost completely shot; the bar slipped and the weights came crashing down onto the rack.
Gasping for breath I stood up tall, full of self-pride. 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 acknowledge my apology. So, I edged a little closer and said it a bit louder. Finally, the person reluctantly accepted.
I was so ticked off that to burn off the excess energy, 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 PUT SOME ACTUAL EFFORT INTO YOUR WORK OUT YOU MIGHT LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN YOU DID A YEAR AGO!” But damn my parents raising me to be polite. I just stripped the bar, something this person did NOT do, 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 move from exercise to exercise only pausing long enough to change the weight. I try to be considerate: I place a towel down on the benches, 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 appropriate place on the rack and, I even put them in order if someone else didn’t.
So, am I out of line to workout so hard that iron weights ring aloud?
Am I incorrect to push a set to failure that on occasion the weight slips?
Is pushing one self passé?
Is brutal, barbaric,muscle bombing defunct?
Is old school clanging and banging dead?
Please, say it ain’t so!
Never stop grunting!
Never, ever stop clanging and banging!
Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,
************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.************