Hi. First post. I’m sort of a refugee from the Fortified Iron Olympic lifting section. I decided that I really need to hit my strength target in various lifts before I tackle weightlifting.
I was really enjoying an old thread about squat-rack curls and I got to wondering how I must appear in the gym to the average gym-goer and how I stack up to some of the very strong folks at T-Nation. I only ever do full back squats, deadlifts, weighted chins, overhead presses, weighted dips and the occasional clean, jerk, snatch, front squat and overhead squat. I’ve worked up to what I consider respectable weights, but I get the impression that everyone else in the gym is getting sick of me, like I’m some sort of show-off. The occasional “big guy” will come up to me to make small talk or a respectful comment about the weight I’m using, but I think everyone else thinks I’m a dangerous ostentatious jackass.
Here on the forum, I’ve seen a lot of negative comments about “145-lb soaking wet frat boys” or “his arms couldn’t have been more than 14 inches.” I’m just over 150 lbs at just under 5’10" and my arms are 14.25" pumped yet I can do chin-ups with 100 lbs strapped to me for reps (though not many!) and curl 100 lbs for reps. I can deadlift 350 which isn’t impressive in itself, but I’m sure that I’ll get to triple bodyweight in the DL before 2007. My squat sucks, but I’ve only just started training it heavy because I spent years brainwashed by the “20-rep squats will make you Grow!” mantra. Now I just train squats for fives, triples, doubles and singles like I do chins and the numbers are finally heading for the double bodyweight zone. I’m also just five pounds away from pressing bodyweight overhead with no intention of stopping till I get to over 200 lbs. I can dip for reps with a 100, but I have only a vague idea of how much I can bench.
The other people in my gym are NOT like the people on this forum. I’m the only one I’ve ever seen deadlifting in there (and I have been in there at all different hours for nearly a year). A few guys chin, but never with weight. I’ve seen a couple women squatting fairly heavily, but never as far as parallel. The few times I’ve seen guys squatting to parallel, it’s been with baby weights, never more than 135. I squat in the mid-200’s deep and I wonder if everyone else thinks I’m wrecking my knees. I’m also a little worried that everyone thinks I’m trying to show off. Yet I’m proud of my accomplishments so far and the only way to keep getting stronger is to keep piling on weights in the classic compound movements even if it makes the bench/curl/3x10 crowd uncomfortable. You should have seen the reactions when I started full snatching bodyweight or getting fairly heavy with the clean and jerk!
Yet on this forum I sense a profound lack of respect for 150-lb guys with 14-inch arms, even if they’re getting fairly strong. What would a guy like me have to do to get the respect of a more “built” dude who isn’t necessarily any stronger?
I hope this all comes across the right way. Thanks for reading.