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Gym Idiocy - A New Low?

I’ve been watching the so-called personal trainers at the commercial gym I go to and I think I’ve witnessed new lows in idiocy…

We’ve all seem curls in the squat rack right? How about push ups in the Smith machine? The trainer set the bar to the lowest level and had the trainee doing pushups off that bar. Normal pushups, no extra range of motion. OTOH, maybe this is one good use of Smith machine.

Some PTs push the Swiss ball really hard, but I thought this one was funny. Shoulder presses on a Swiss ball, but NOT seated on the ball, laying prone on the ball. That’s right, the shoulder press movement transferred to a horizontal plane with the girl’s chest on a Swiss ball. Can anybody tell me which muscles benefit from this?

I wonder how much money these guys get paid.

[quote]yorik wrote:
I’ve been watching the so-called personal trainers at the commercial gym I go to and I think I’ve witnessed new lows in idiocy…

We’ve all seem curls in the squat rack right? How about push ups in the Smith machine? The trainer set the bar to the lowest level and had the trainee doing pushups off that bar. Normal pushups, no extra range of motion. OTOH, maybe this is one good use of Smith machine.

Some PTs push the Swiss ball really hard, but I thought this one was funny. Shoulder presses on a Swiss ball, but NOT seated on the ball, laying prone on the ball. That’s right, the shoulder press movement transferred to a horizontal plane with the girl’s chest on a Swiss ball. Can anybody tell me which muscles benefit from this?

I wonder how much money these guys get paid.[/quote]

Sounds like you go to my gym. Do you live in St. Pete? I’ve seen the push-ups you describe, only I’ve seen the trainers having their clients doing them with the olympic bar on the lowest weight catch of the walk-in squat rack (about 3 feet off the ground). Basically, they are doing it on a 45 degree angle, so it doesn’t even give the same benefits as a regular push-up done on the ground, but every day there they are.

Check out the “Amazing Gym Sights” thread, if you want to hear some more unreal shit.

[quote]yorik wrote:
I’ve been watching the so-called personal trainers at the commercial gym I go to and I think I’ve witnessed new lows in idiocy…

We’ve all seem curls in the squat rack right? How about push ups in the Smith machine? The trainer set the bar to the lowest level and had the trainee doing pushups off that bar. Normal pushups, no extra range of motion. OTOH, maybe this is one good use of Smith machine.

Some PTs push the Swiss ball really hard, but I thought this one was funny. Shoulder presses on a Swiss ball, but NOT seated on the ball, laying prone on the ball. That’s right, the shoulder press movement transferred to a horizontal plane with the girl’s chest on a Swiss ball. Can anybody tell me which muscles benefit from this?

I wonder how much money these guys get paid.[/quote]

What level were these trainees at? As for the push-ups, the person may not have been at the level to do a normal push-up on the ground so it is normal to have them start at a level like that and progress to the floor. As for the swiss ball exercise, it could’ve been a part of a Prehab or Rehab protocol for shoulder and scapular stabalization. Why it was done on the swiss ball could be attributed to many different things. In general, some PTs enjoy using the swiss balls and balance discs, etc. But the exercise itself may have had some value.

-LH

[quote]yorik wrote:
How about push ups in the Smith machine? [/quote]

After sets of tricep exercises like close grip bench or skullcrushers occasionally I’ll move immediately to a smith machine set on knee high and pump out close-grip pushups and then partials. I think if more people focused on their workout instead of what everybody else is doing they’d have much better results.

All I can add is that I have several elderly and overweight clients. Pushups in strict military style are all but impossible for these folks. I DO use the “bar pushup” fairly often. I own my own studio so this does not appy to me but I WOULD NOT keep someone from squatting or benching to do this. And I wouldn’r even own a Smith machine.

As for the prone military press? No clue. I’ve also seen standing “bench presses”. Not exactly a bang for your training buck move if you ask me.

[quote]LevelHeaded wrote:
What level were these trainees at? [/quote]

Unfortunately, the same as they started at when they began training with their PT many months earlier; a couch potato in gym clothes.

[quote]
As for the push-ups, the person may not have been at the level to do a normal push-up on the ground so it is normal to have them start at a level like that and progress to the floor. [/quote]

I agree, but that is just it; they never progress! Their PT has them doing the same limp-wristed, non-intensive exercises day in and day out, and their clients never seem to improve. Good for business, though.

[quote]E-man wrote:
yorik wrote:
How about push ups in the Smith machine?

After sets of tricep exercises like close grip bench or skullcrushers occasionally I’ll move immediately to a smith machine set on knee high and pump out close-grip pushups and then partials.[/quote]

Right, as a burnout exercise, I totally understand, but as your primary? And would you pay someone $40 an hour to make you do half-assed pushups?

My results are just great, as I am quite focused. Unfortunately, I’m an unwilling, captive audience to this nonsense for the 10 minutes I am warming up on the recumbant bike. The Smith, the walk-in squat rack, the matted “stretch” area (where most Swiss ball work is done) are directly in front of me. When I’m lifting, I barely notice these peoples’ existence.

I guess I’m somewhat fascinated with this because I never did ridiculous shit like this when I was a noob, and certainly wouldn’t have paid someone to show me how to do exercises I could have learned watching Richard Simmons. I waddled my fat ass into my local hole-in-the-wall gym in 1987 with my 14th birthday money and bought a membership. The owner wrote me a solid, total body program and I did it without supervision week after week and got great results. No one-legged, Swiss ball balances, no 5 lb. dumbell trunk twists, just solid, simple stuff that worked. There wasn’t nearly the amount of information available (or even known) back then compared to today, and yet more people are doing more inane exercises than ever!

I don’t obsess over it, but I am curious as to why most people can’t seem to be bothered to do even the smallest amount of reading up on the topic of exercise, but would rather pay someone a ludicrous amount of money to teach them ineffective exercises and pat them on the ass.

Is he standing behind her staring at her ass while she flops around on the ball?

Eric Cressey I believe advocates using the smith machine to do pushups, but one-arm ones. Kinda like a progression until you can do them off the ground.

For my clients who can’t do a normal pushup on a flat surface, using the smith machine bar is quite an effective bodyweight exercise instead of applying too much externl loading (if the client is new to training or obese).

I agree that most personal trainers borderline on mentally challenged, but don’t be so quick to judge a particular movement/action for the simple fact that you don’t do it.

-Nate

The shoulder press thing sounds like a shoulder stability drill. There are a few that I do that sound very similar.

The ball may have been because women have breasts, and benches will squish them. The ball was probably softer.

On a different note, but in keeping with the title, I was goofing off yeasterday while doing GHR’s. I had a 10 lb. medicine ball that I was holding out in front of me. Thought it would be a good idea to smash it off of the ground and catch it while stretched out horizontaly, but the bounce bashed me in the face, split my lip, and knocked me silly.

My partner just about shit himself laughing, and I joined him as soon as my senses returned.

Ha Ha! Top That!

[quote]Digital Chainsaw wrote:
I don’t obsess over it, but I am curious as to why most people can’t seem to be bothered to do even the smallest amount of reading up on the topic of exercise, but would rather pay someone a ludicrous amount of money to teach them ineffective exercises and pat them on the ass.[/quote]

Shugs alluded to this in one of his blogs (I think). It seems most people view exercise as they do taxes. Many pay somebody to do their taxes for them and don’t want to know the details, “here’s 100 bucks, just do my taxes for me, kay?”. Many people follow the same approach to fitness, “I don’t care about the details, just tell me what I have to eat and what exercises to do”.

Yeah, I think it’s crazy too, as I don’t see how my body and its health is in the same league as my taxes, but that’s how it is for some people.

[quote]E-man wrote:
I think if more people focused on their workout instead of what everybody else is doing they’d have much better results.
[/quote]

And would also keep the number of idiotic posts to a minimum, so people who are serious about their lifting could share some intelligent information.

Funny personal anecdotes by the witty comedians on this site, keep posting please. These are always a good read.

[quote]Digital Chainsaw wrote:
E-man wrote:
yorik wrote:
I am curious as to why most people can’t seem to be bothered to do even the smallest amount of reading up on the topic of exercise.
[/quote]

True, it always amazes me when people know every characters life story on “Lost” or “Desperate Housewives” or better yet can quote an NFL teams stats for the last 10 years but have no fucking idea where or what a quad or deltoid is yet they want to look like the people in the magazines. When is the meteor coming to wipe all the weak humans off the face of the Earth. I hope it’s soon.

[quote]Digital Chainsaw wrote:
Sounds like you go to my gym. Do you live in St. Pete? [/quote]
Actually I live in Orlando. The gym is a popular chain that bought out the membership when my relative “hard core” gym went under.

I find the personal trainers fairly entertaining to watch between sets. They have the girls do some fairly funny stuff sometimes. Sometimes its more flirting than workout. And the routines for the gals generally consist of 3 sets of 15, and I heard one trainer say that when the gal can do 25 reps then she should increase the weight.

Admitedly, I don’t know their plans or the trainees goals, but I don’t think anyone on this site would do this stuff.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
The shoulder press thing sounds like a shoulder stability drill. There are a few that I do that sound very similar.

The ball may have been because women have breasts, and benches will squish them. The ball was probably softer.
[/quote]

Perhaps, but my ART practitioner was astounded when I told her the story, and she also teaches weight training.

[quote]yorik wrote:

I wonder how much money these guys get paid.[/quote]

At my gym they make between $45 and $60 bucks an hour and I understand that to be pretty cheap.

[quote]E-man wrote:
I think if more people focused on their workout instead of what everybody else is doing they’d have much better results.
[/quote]

At my old gym I used to watch quite a lot, because we had several dead lifting competitors and lots of hard core lifters. This new place doesn’t have the same caliber of lifters, so “watch and learn” doesn’t apply.

Some people used to watch me and would ask about some the “exercises you’ve never tried” that I learned on this site.

[quote]vroom wrote:
That’s right, the shoulder press movement transferred to a horizontal plane with the girl’s chest on a Swiss ball. Can anybody tell me which muscles benefit from this?

Is he standing behind her staring at her ass while she flops around on the ball?[/quote]

He was stabilizing her feet so she wouldn’t roll away, so, yeah, I guess he was.

[quote]Miserere wrote:

Yeah, I think it’s crazy too, as I don’t see how my body and its health is in the same league as my taxes, but that’s how it is for some people.[/quote]

You got it! And the thing is, unless you’re using buckets of drugs and competing at an elite level, diet and nutrition aren’t nearly as complicated as taxes! For most sedentary people it can be as simple as:

  1. Stop eating crap.
  2. Move.

Obviously, those of us on this board have loftier goals, but for the slovenly majority a brisk, 1-mile walk after dinner every night could be just what they need to give them the look and/or health benefit they want.