T Nation

Is It Too Late for the Masses?

  I was working out in a rec center gym yesterday (school was closed and we are renovating our basement right now and my friend was at lacrosse practice so that was the only option). The gym isnt that bad, but there is only one power rack, 3 flat benches, one decline, one incline, two seats for seated presses, 1 adjustable free bench, one free bench, and one flat one. Also, there was the whole cable set-up and dip station, still not that bad. 

 But once I was benching (the bench was facing away from the the TVs and toward all the cardio machines), I just realized how many cardio machines there actually are there (at least 70). And 95% of them were filled, all of the people just staring ahead at the TVs. But this was the kind of rec center that was surronded by a neighborhood, and most of the customers are the people who live there. Why go to the gym when you can run outside I will never understand.

 On the dip machine, everyone (i mean everyone no matter how strong they were) used the assistance thing for dips. Why use the assistance weight when you can do the same reps without it? How do I know they could do the same reps, well, all of them were doing 10 or less reps. Then I wanted to dips to finish off my workout, so I go over there and I see someone just standing on it. I ask if I can work in, and of course he says, I got one more set. 1.5 min later, he finally starts his first rep of his last set. Maybe since I am younger, people believe that they have more right to any machine than me.

 I was doing deadlifts, in what I assumed was a overhead press platform because the pins were at my head. I used this because with the safety catches taken off, the bar was almost at the floor. Nowhere else and power rack was being used. Then of course, the college kid always comes over and trys to tell me that deadlifts are too dangerous. I tell him in the nicest way I could, "I am sorry, but I know what I am doing and I need to finish all my sets anyways since I started." Then he says that I should listen to him since he is older and stronger. I ignore this and just start by set. So he goes back to his curling with 10s on each side and over head pressing with the same weight. The whole time I was there, he was doing the exact same thing.

 My final, but good interaction, at the gym. I was going to bench first in my workout since I feel my bench could be better, so I want to save all my strenght for it, but I can't so I just do squats. After my second working set, an older guy comes up to me and says "You know, you are the first person your age that I have seen come in hear and do squats all the way down.'

 You may be wondering why I am posting this. Well after this endeavour to a rec center gym for the first time in months, and reading Yahoo! Answers also for the first time in months (I just wanted to see what was still being asked after I stopped answering the same exact questions 6 times per week in the Diet & Fitness section. I use the information acquire on this site), I finally realized how misinformed or, more accurately, uninformed people actually are and how the few principles that provide the best gains are ignored. I mean I read the other stories, but now I really understand what is going on.

This posed a serious quesition, is it possible to actually teach the masses or is it too late? No matter what, the current population that actually know how to work out is still going to be a very miniscule amount. Should we just give up on spreading our message to those already hypnotized by the commercial work out plans and principles? Or should we still try and convert as many people as we can to prevent from falling into the ineffective programs and doomed lifes of monotonous exercises providing absolutely no results?

Teach them what? How to correctly lift 'eavy weights??

That’s not what the masses want to know. They want to have a Brad Pitt body and they want it now, and by the way they don’t want to work for it.

They aren’t interested in form and technique and complex programmes, they want to take a pill that will “blast the fat off your body!!!”.

Think about it, if they’re watching TV WHILE ‘working out’ (not training), where do you think their headspace is?

Stick on your ipod, get in your zone and leave them behind.

I think you should make it your purpose in life to go to everyone on a treadmill and tell them how ignorant they are. I’m sure they will pay attention to you.

I work at a rec center that has a gym. It’s pretty much all cardio and a handful of machines. I work out at a local gym around the corner and everyones always asking me why I dont just go to the rec because the rec is only $100. I try to explain that theres no barbells let alone a squat/power rack. They don’t really understand. From my experience the only reason people are in this gym is because of the price.

Your comment about the old guy saying that to you about squats is awesome. The last two times I did legs older men have come up to me and my work out parter and said the same thing. Its a good feeling.

[quote]A-Dog wrote:
Teach them what? How to correctly lift 'eavy weights??

That’s not what the masses want to know. They want to have a Brad Pitt body and they want it now, and by the way they don’t want to work for it.

They aren’t interested in form and technique and complex programmes, they want to take a pill that will “blast the fat off your body!!!”.

Think about it, if they’re watching TV WHILE ‘working out’ (not training), where do you think their headspace is?

Stick on your ipod, get in your zone and leave them behind.
[/quote]

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight!” -Ronnie Coleman

So I’m watching breakfast news (BBC), and they’ve got a PT and one of the guys from Mens Health to talk about mens fitness and how guys are hitting the gym more often - body image basically.

The presenter asks “So what would you consider obsessive; 3/4 times per week?”

I was like, wtf? Luckily the MH guy told him twice a day was obsessive but it just shows how little people know about, well, anything really.

Most people haven’t got the time or inclination to invest energy into a pursuit which actually takes quite a bit of work. People are lazy fuckers. You cannot educate those that want to be educated not.

Fuck the masses.

I don’t get you people who care so much if other people are fit or workout right, I’d rather more people be slobs, there two advanatages here:

  1. makes the rest of us look better.
  2. they die quicker = less people on earth, which is always a bonus.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
I don’t get you people who care so much if other people are fit or workout right, [/quote]

A great number of the “workout” crowd which has been drawn to the Nation over the past two years or so is vehemently anti-bodybuilding. Not the “fit” kind, the big-as-work-ethic-allows kind. This outright debasement of the goals of such a large portion of the population creates a pretty poor environment. Who wants to be around that type of targeted negativity?

So basically what most of you are saying is that the masses are doomed?
But I still always feel sorry for the people who are trying to change but are completely misinformed. For about two weeks on FOX morning news, they had a gym segment that was only about how to train your abs. Therefore, this would lead the people trying to change and get better to believe that this is the most important factor in training. I know this is extreme, but some people are gullible.

There are people out there that go to personal trainers because they have “certificates”, and they want to work hard, but with the information given, it is not going to become effective. I have seen this happen.

Now, I do understand all the cardio people and the ones that do not want to actually lift heavy, but shouldn’t you try to assist people that have potential?

[quote]Vash wrote:
A great number of the “workout” crowd which has been drawn to the Nation over the past two years or so is vehemently anti-bodybuilding. Not the “fit” kind, the big-as-work-ethic-allows kind.
[/quote]

the reason this site has so many of the “workout” crowd is because working out is popular, and because of this more people are drawn here, if it wern’t so popular this place would have less people and those that were here would be more serious.

[quote]Vash wrote:
This outright debasement of the goals of such a large portion of the population creates a pretty poor environment.
[/quote]

piss poor enviroment where? your gym? tmag? do you need a support group to workout?

[quote]Fulmen wrote:
Fuck the masses.[/quote]

Yea dude. Who cares what they do?

I’m not completely apathetic to their plight.

I think you’ll find that, generally, adults don’t usually like to be told what to do and how to do it, particularly males.

Then there’s the whole “can’t be bothered with that” side of it. Lets face it, learning to run on a treadmill is pretty fucking simple. Learning how to deadlift isn’t.
Afterall, “I just want to have an 8 pak doood why do i need to work my hammies?!”.
The more I think about it the more I agree with Fulmen.

On reflection, I haven’t seen too many peanuts in the gym for some time. There’s always too much curling going on etc. but I frequently see good solid squats and even some powerlifting technique, and thats at my commercial gym.
I’ll be honest, from what I hear from you yanks, it sounds like i’ve got it easy here down under in terms of gymtards.

The situation you’re describing is the same in EVERY aspect of life. The vast majority of people are lazy and scared and will never change. That’s life. Only a select few are willing to learn new things, challenge themselves, take responsibility for their life, and improve themselves.
And these people who are willing to do what it takes almost always self-select. They will seek out help.

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
So basically what most of you are saying is that the masses are doomed?
[/quote]

[quote]Natural Nate wrote:
The situation you’re describing is the same in EVERY aspect of life. The vast majority of people are lazy and scared and will never change. That’s life. Only a select few are willing to learn new things, challenge themselves, take responsibility for their life, and improve themselves.
And these people who are willing to do what it takes almost always self-select. They will seek out help.

ukrainian wrote:
So basically what most of you are saying is that the masses are doomed?

[/quote]

You’re a cynic and a moron.

haha people going to gyms to run on treadmills is hilarious.

the masses have never enjoyed bodybuilding. to them were just some weirdos or nenderthals. thats how it will always be. like they say, if it was easy everyone would do it. maybe im crazy but i always think of things on a very primitive/biological level as to how things are and shit.

and when i see the big motherfuckers at the gym i think, if we were cavemen these guys would be the ones in charge of shit and theyd be fucking the hottest girls. then i see the skinny or fat guys or ugly girls and think that theyd never pass on their genes and theyd probaly get kicked out of the tribe or someshit.

i also am grateful i have these weights becuase without them id still be a skinny bastard because i dont have those mesomorph genetics so i gotta work hard as hell to be on that top dog, alpha male status.

Yeah, you’re right…because the average person is in great shape and very healthy. And financially successful. Oh and that whole obesity thing where millions of people are fat fucks and dying as a result because they refuse to stop stuffing their faces and get up and exercise…that’s just a myth.

[quote]SouthernGypsy wrote:

You’re a cynic and a moron.[/quote]

You wanna change the exercise world? Start with your kids! The biggest babies in the world are the adults. They want it now, cheaply, and with little or no effort. Old dogs really have difficulty with new tricks. Kids, on the other hand, are eager to learn, understand effort/reward, and react without regard to their money. :wink: So get them on the right track early.

I worked in a fitness center-type place like you mentioned. Really, if someone just wants to drop a few pounds and stem off death awhile, then I don’t fault them for it. Although not the most efficient way to go about it, running on a rat-wheel and doing a few curls may be all that person wants or needs.

The ones I feel sorry for are the ones that you can tell are really trying (in the sense of intensity and effort and downright passion) but going about it in the totally wrong way.

And I’m not talking about form or splits vs. full body or too much isolation, because whatever works for you works for you. I mean in terms of “looks the same month in month out using the same weights/volume”. Those guys have a chance of catching a lifeline because deep inside they care and want to really lift, they just lack the tools or the smarts.

[quote]LiveFromThe781 wrote:
maybe im crazy but i always think of things on a very primitive/biological level as to how things are and shit.

and when i see the big motherfuckers at the gym i think, if we were cavemen these guys would be the ones in charge of shit and theyd be fucking the hottest girls. [/quote]

This is not crazy. At least I don’t think so since I think like this a lot.
Ever notice how most extreme sports junkies, motorcyclists, and sportsMEN in general are male. Testostorone’s a hell of a drug.
Anything competitive is likely to be male dominated. I don’t think this is a sexist comment, rather a simple observation.
Read a book called Human Instinct by Robert Winston. Very interesting, particularly the section on instinctual polygamy.

But we digress. The fact more men consider jogging on a treadmill to be acceptable shouldn’t be suprising in this talk-show wonderworld we live in.

So long as you’re not a eunuch and lift hard - who gives a rats arse what’s going on in the “other” part of the gym (Hotties are an exception -thankyou caveman instincts).