T Nation

Gym's Janitor Gave Me Fitness Advice?...


#1

So a couple weeks back I was benching, and I see a guy wearing the standard shirt that trainers at the gym wear. I had never seen the guy before, but I needed a spot and no one else was available. After the set was over he commented on the arch in my back. I don't remember his exact words but he was implying there was something wrong with it.

Now I'm kind of paranoid, because this supposed trainer is saying there's something wrong with my arch. I actually over the next couple weeks had other trainers looking at my form, and they all actually complimented me on my cadence with the reps and stability of the arch, so that's good.

After a 2nd set of benching he asked if I stretched between sets. When I said 'no' he said, "I like to do this" and went over to some chinup bars, and hung from them with his toes barely touching the ground, and proceeded to rapidly sway and jerk his body back and forth. I'm now thinking "is this guy batshit?"

So a couple days ago I'm at the gym, and I have to use the bathroom. I'm walking towards them and I see the guy come out with a mop and bucket. Sure enough he had just mopped in there and since then I've seen him a half dozen times mopping/cleaning the place. Shouldn't this guy probably NOT be giving out advice since he's wearing a trainers shirt and people might actually take him seriously???


#2

You answered your own question


#3

That's a full service, highly qualified gym there...even the JANITOR knows his stuff.


#4

Is the dude big?


#5

not really. Better shape than most of the populous? Yeah. Bigger than me? no.


#6

Then take it with a grain of salt I guess. I thought the dude might have been an old washed up bodybuilder or something. Watch out though, he might be crazy.


#7

You know you need to get in better shape when the janitor feels that he can give you advice.


#8

Well, if it is any consolation, former Ukranian olympic competitor Alex Chtanine who trains strength and conditioning at a gym owned by Craig Wolfley called the MASC told me to do something very similar between sets when I was learning the olympic lifts.


#9

just because he is a janitor doesnt meain he doesnt know his shit, those stretches might be something he does and what works for him. like therizza said, take it as a grain of salt.


#10

Yeah, maybe not jerking around and flopping about like a fish, but stretches like that are good for the lower back. Maybe he wasn't so crazy after all. Or he's read a Pavel book or two.


#11

I may have misjudged him. There was no one else around and I had to use him as my spot on my first ever 285 bench attempt today (got it) and 300 (barely missed). He's actually a great spotter. I feel like a dick for posting this now.


#12

Haven't you ever seen Good Will Hunting?


#13

I know how you feel. I had a teacher when I was in High School, who looked like he couldn't bench 185. Really nice guy. He would always com in the field house after school and give us "tips" on weight lifting. Of course, at 17 we all thought he was just annoying. After all, he didn't really look like an athlete/former athlete. One day he comes in and one of my buddies was just finishing a set of bench and he made a comment about his form. My buddy says, "why don't you show me?" He lies down on the bench in his khakis and a long sleeve button up shirt and hits 6 reps with 245. I about shit myself. Needless to say, we all listened more intently from that point on.


#14

Lift like a powerlifter not like a bodybuilder. ARCH BACK, tuck shoulderblades in, push yourself 'in' the benching position with your heels and 'pull' out the bar and bench motherfucker bench!


#15

Damn that was exactly what I was going to say - leave your math homework lying around & see if he does all the theorems for you - just kidding.

But seriously, if he is the janitor it's best to be his friend - not only is he there mostly all the time (after, all it appears to be his job) he can discern between the BS that trainers may sprinkle around liberally & give you some actual useful advice.

I'm sure during his shift he sees it all, from the hardbodies to the soccer moms doing all sorts of shit with bad/excellent form.

Not sure if it bothers you that he is the janitor but if he is giving you his 2 cents make sure it's change you want.


#16

yah, he's actually a decent dude.


#17

The janitor in my high school was someone who I considered a friend. He also helped me get more involved with bodybuilding because the guy was huge compared to me back then. What does his job have to do with anything?


#18

I don't think the OP made that much of an issue per se in his post... rather I guess it piqued his interest in that the janitor "of all people" was able to give him some pithy advice & tips.

Not to slag on the OP but in general (& I'm guilty sometimes as well but becoming more conscious of it) people have a tendency to judge others based on their job titles sometimes. It's always best when possible to learn about other people's experiences. I've always tried to make it a point that I can learn from new people everyday, regardless of their job.

Sometimes it's the people who you don't expect in life to be your hero or mentor end up becoming that. That's reaching but I hope you get what I'm trying to say.


#19

I had a guy act all weird toward me recently. Someone said something and I said something to this older guy in response. After that the older guy kept trying to talk to me, standing next to me all weird like. I kinda felt sorry for him and I also wanted him away from me:)


#20

For some reason I imagine all janitors to be secret wizards. It's like they are some secret, mysterious brotherhood who saty around late doing their quiet work when others have left. Who knows what goes on in a janitor's cleaning area when no one is around? Also, from my experience, janitors seem to change every few years. It's like they pack up their modest belongings and magically travel to another part of the world... be it school corridoors, a gym ... to continue their never ending quest of janitoring.

Also, all janitors should be skinny, lanky, jamaican rastas, who constantly appear to be a little on the weed. I think it just adds to the wizardly mystery.