T Nation

No Talking in the Gym Crap

OK, I have read in the articles here where the experts tout that talking in the gym is a sin. Throw a towel over your face and focus before entering the gym and after that no more than one sentence. The gym is for focus work only and any talking in the gym breaks concentration, disrupts developement, and moreover you can’t make maximum gains because conversation limits your focus.

First, let me say I was called out on this because I had a discussion with my wife on the way out of the gym, and because I work out with my wife.

That said, my point here is that there is a mentality going on that it is a cardinal sin to talk more than one sentence in the gym, or else your not serious, cant reach your maximum gains, and I feel that is simply not true.

One question from the no speaking premise comes to my mind: why is it such a disruption to my focus to hold a conversation while switching exercises, or loading plates, whether I am talking to Ghandi, Arnold, god, myself, or staring at some girls ass and thinking about what I would do with it?

Why can I not hold a conversation while switching plates and or exercises, then take 30 seconds before my rep to focus on the task, then bust ass on the set at hand? Why cant I refocus prior to my set?

Does it really seem that impossible to talk between exercises, while waiting for a machine, or loading plates, then focus before a set?

Before you answer…I ask you to stop and think. I am sure you have seen martial artists break concrete blocks within moments of a conversation. Do you think breaking the blocks was not a concentrated effort? Didn’t the martial artist take a few moments after stopping the conversation to concentrate before breaking the blocks?

Perhaps you have watched pro lifting videos in which the lifter conversed more than one sentence prior to the lift; however, they took a few seconds prior to the set to focus, then they ripped the set off.

I am sure you can find videos of such feats if you have never seen them, and if not I can link them for you.

My point; all this no talking more than one sentence in the gym is crap. Any well focused person can talk about politics, bitch about work, check out the girls ass on the on the stairmaster, or whatever they desire while loading plates/switching exercises, waiting for machines/racks/etc., then take a few moments before their set to focus(a good partner will know to shut the fuck up), then rip one off as if they never spoke to anyone 8 hours before. I think everyone has waited for some sort of equipment sometime in their gym career.

And if that focus is not possible, then how can anyone possibly explain breaking blocks which requires the force of a car wreck at 35 MPH?

Don’t get me wrong, I too see people in the gym talking during a set, talking in my way, talking over a machine I need, or simply just talking for the sake of talking and not working out. Sometimes I think my gym is the community social gathering spot, and sometimes a singles pick up joint. My point remains that you can speak and focus too. Talking can also lead to a longer workout, but if the shoe fits…wear it. If it works for you, then do it.

I have worked out with power lifters and their workouts are loooong and involve quite indepth converastions. Their conversations do not impact their ability to train. They do a set…talk a while…then rip another one off.

My point here is that speaking more than one sentence at a time in the gym does not make for a wrecked workout, does not mean a weak workout, does not mean you are not serious, and if it does then you may have a weak mind. Focus before your set and rip the set out. Let your partner focus and rip it out.

If your time between sets is shorter, than you talk less, more rest between sets means you can wander more. Waiting for some equipment? Check out the chick over there, then grab the equipment over there, focus, and rip one off.

Anyone with me on this?

Shut up and lift.

[quote]allNatural wrote:
Shut up and lift.[/quote]

Ha!!

And dude,I’m pretty sure they would agree with you and were just probably annoyed at those who go to the gym for “social” hour.

Name me one ‘EXPERT’ who has said this.

It is usually said by wannabe tough guys and other ‘fools’ on this site to show everyone how serious they are about lifting.

Whatever floats your boat. If there is any talk it should be focussed on the lifting like technique pointers. Or anything motivational like “stop being a pussy” or “you can do better than that you walking vagina”.

But then again I had a training partner years ago, damn good lifter was putting up a near 700lb deadlift. He would crack jokes between every set, and even on assistance exercises would try to make me laugh during a set. I never made better gains than when I was training with him.

I belive Ian King had a process in his training facilities where once you pass the gate (or some other marker)there was no talking except for what was essential for training. You were there to work not chit chat.

I agree with this, to a point.

I have been debating using a MP3 player at the gym because of all the talk going on the hour I am there.

Your point (which is a good one) is based on being focused. I sometimes can use some help in that area when someone is talking about something I am interested in hearing. I find I loose focus and waste precious time. I am very busy with life and need to get the most out of the gym hour as possible.

So, for me and many others, I think being a “MP3 wearing, stare at the bar and invite no conversation kind of lifter” is the best. But, if you are very focused or have plenty of time to hang out and talk, have at it.

Every gym & every lifter is a different case & you need to decide what is right for you and your goals.

CT

Petedacook, your post is quite verbose.

You’re a chatter, aren’t you?

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Petedacook, your post is quite verbose.
[/quote]

Not to mention repetitive.

Very few people take issue with a little conversation between sets. The problem is with people who go to the gym for social hour and then maybe lift a few plates in between conversations.

Personally, I wear my MP3 player and don’t talk to anyone unless forced to, but that’s just my preference.

I wanted to use the preacher bench at my gym for my last few sets before going to work. Time was tight, and some guy was using it. After his set I asked if I could work in. He said “No problem,” and then sat down again for his next set. This set lasted 5 minutes, as he paused at the bottom of every rep, telling me about his kids, how he was just returning to lifting after a long layout, how good he was at coaching and lifting, etc, etc, etbloodycetera. After he’d fucked off, I took five minutes completing my three sets and then went home.

THAT’S the sort of thing that serious lifters (not that I am one) take exception to. Use the equipment or get out of the way. Not an unfair credo in my view.

[quote]Woppa wrote:
I wanted to use the preacher bench at my gym for my last few sets before going to work. Time was tight, and some guy was using it. After his set I asked if I could work in. He said “No problem,” and then sat down again for his next set. This set lasted 5 minutes, as he paused at the bottom of every rep, telling me about his kids, how he was just returning to lifting after a long layout, how good he was at coaching and lifting, etc, etc, etbloodycetera. After he’d fucked off, I took five minutes completing my three sets and then went home.

THAT’S the sort of thing that serious lifters (not that I am one) take exception to. Use the equipment or get out of the way. Not an unfair credo in my view.[/quote]

Well said. If you are huge and muscular and happen to joke around in between sets a little but are focused like no one else whenever under some weights, no one would fault you for talking. If you are some out of shape guy talking about random pop trivia, someone is probably pissed off at you and wishing they had some headphones to tune you out.

Results speak louder than words…no pun intended.

To me talking is only a problem when it slows down sets, which tie up equipment. The gym is a great place to strengthen and build relationships, but the focus of what you’re there for should always be first. Politics, and personal problems belong in the juice bar.

You go to a gym with a juice bar? Do they even have free weights?

Talking is not a sin. Talking just to hear yourself talk is. But thankfully, cranked up headphones beat the social butterflies every time.

[quote]lizard king wrote:
Talking is not a sin. Talking just to hear yourself talk is. But thankfully, cranked up headphones beat the social butterflies every time.[/quote]

Sometimes I wish they didn’t have volume restrictions on some of these headphones. There is one guy at my gym who doesn’t lift. He just talks as loud as possible about random shit to anyone who will pay attention to him. Sometimes, the headphones just aren’t effective enough.

Mostly because your loud talking is distracting to those trying to concentrate on pumping out one more rep, or trying to get into the rhythm for a cardio work-out.

There are talkers at my gym that are way louder than the top setting on my mp3 player.

If you need to have a conversation, there is usually a place in the gym up by the front desk (away from the weights and the cardio machines) where you can talk as much as you want. Really, it is all about respecting others in the gym. Not that big of a deal to take your loud conversations or cel calls up by the front desk.

JMHO Thanks in advance.

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I like bringing my CB radio to the gym with me…

“Breaker, Breaker this is Southern Gypsy, what’s your location? Out”

[quote]travis7 wrote:
I like bringing my CB radio to the gym with me…

“Breaker, Breaker this is Southern Gypsy, what’s your location? Out”[/quote]

ha ha ha I love it. The Nextel DC phones always bleep in my gym. My friends use little snide comments about those guy’s love it.

How about the turds that come in and talk to the girl on the t-mill.

I don’t say shit but GRRRRRR. I need to stay focused in the gym so no talking at all for me. Get in there and lift.

I’m a talker. I like talking. It’s something I’m VERY good at. I’m known for it in my social circle.

But that’s not why I’m in the weight room.

I’m not there to socialize. I don’t a give a fuck about your car, your trip to the NASCAR event this weekend, or how many days until you leave for Hawaii. I don’t have the time to waste; I have to lift and get to work. I don’t have the energy to waste; I’m trying to push myself here!

I’ll say “Good morning.” I’ll say “Excuse me.” I’ll say “Are you done with that?” When lifting with someone, we’ll talk about what to do next, how much weight to start with, how much weight to add. We don’t discuss weekend plans until we’re done with the workout and we’re back in the locker room.

People who trade “a single sentence” don’t bother me in the least. But you people who get into conversations in the weight room that can be heard 50 feet away while I’m trying to focus? STFU.

I’m a nice guy. I’m a really nice guy. But you yappers in the weight room annoy me greatly, and I wish you’d take your conversation somewhere else.