T Nation


Hello all,

I have a really funny story to tell… I am out in California for work this week and have been going to this god awful yuppie golds gym where if you drop your bar after a dead lift you get removed from the gym… I hate places like that… Anyway I walked in and saw the squat bar loaded with 4 plates a side. This was of great interest to me because I have been thinking a lot about squatting with my recent choice to change to box squats to correct my form. So I decided to watch from a far when this guy wearing a belt,Knee wraps, wrist wraps, and Doc Martin shoes approached the bar. I stood from afar hoping to see some really good squats to learn from instead I saw the most scary thing I have ever seen. This mans approach was great his pull off the bar was as good as any. His shoulders were tight is gut filled with air and his base was very steady and stable. He lifted of well and the bar was bending from the weight. He took a step back and prepared his stance fore the squat. What I saw next was the most horrible thing I have ever seen. As he lowered the weight his heals came off of the ground, his wait bent and his back was almost parallel to the floor, the bend in his knees was minimal the squat looked more like a good morning then a squat. Somehow he managed to get it up twice. I though he was going to fall over. He saw me watching and asked me how it looked. I suggested box squats to help his form… BAD IDEA!!! He proceeded to tell me that he squats more then anyone in the gym and his form is perfect. First off if he squats more then anyone in the gym at 415lbs it is only because no one there squats. I camly agreed with him and congratulated him and said still you should try box squats just to work your legs in a different way. And he asked me how much I can squat in order to prove he knew more them me. I said at my best I do like 315 like 5 times but I went down in weight to correct my form with box squats… Then told him I am only 5’6" and have been lifting for only 1.5 years. I asked him how long he has been lifting he said 9 years and he was at least 6’ tall. He then said to me, when you can lift what I lift you can correct my form… He walked away holding his lower back in pain. I laughed it off and finished my work out…

“…holding his back in pain.” That says it all.

Whats with all the pethetic golds gyms out there? Yesterday my gym was closed, they were painting everything so I decided I would check out the world famous Golds gym. Boy was I excited, that is till I paid ten bucks to get into the door, to find machine after useless machine. A rack of dumbells, a rack of barbells, and just tons of cardio equipment. I had no place to deadlift, ofcourse there were machines to mimic deads, but cmon!!! The place was filled with people on treadmills.Golds gym my ass, more like geeks gym.

The lesson in this is something that I learned from my training partner when I first started working out : Unless you really know the person and they seriously want a critique of their form or whatever, it is usually best to avoid the question if you can or just say it looked fine. I have seen some real crazy ass shit at the gym I go to but never, ever say anything. I know the guy asked you for your opinion but as your experience points out, unless you know the person, it really is not worth your time to get involved in the first place. Some people can take a critique and others just want to be told how f***ing great they look. Even if it looks like they might end up paralyzed at any given workout.

Welcome to California gyms! Now you know some of the crap us Californians put up with every day. Can’t wait to get my garage gym.

Any t-men from Medesto California that is where this happened… I have to pay 15 bucks a day to go to that gym… Sucky Sucky

Wow. This is terrific. I just walked out as operations manager of one of these Gold’s Gyms. The owner was a real pompous-assed clown. My war story is as follows: Some dude is squatting like 650 over in the freeweight area. The GM makes me go over and make him stop grunting. She then proceeds to tell this guy, a sheriff mind you, that if he needs to grunt then he shouldn’t be lifting so much weight. I have betrayed my powerlifting roots and hope I may atone for my sellout ways. I’m surprised no one has complained about the boy band pumping away on the clubcom.

What a fucking a dumbass! I were there I would have had to do a beltless, wrapless set with 405 for 15 rock bottom just to make him cry and shit his pants. I hate assholes who think that because they moved the weight they are actually doing the exercise.

Sorry, not from Modesto.

As for music, that is the one thing my gym does a good job on. The only problem is they play it so damn low that you can barely hear it.

No Shit I wanted to do the same but I cant do 405 =-( But none the less I could do 315 better then his fake ass…

My current response is to comments like that is one that I stole from Chris Shugart. “So if I could squat another 100 pounds it would mean that I know more?” Say it with a perplexed look on your face, as though the idea never really occurred to you. You’ll get all kinds of reactions.

although well intentioned, mind your own bussiness. you each will reap the benefits and pay the costs of your respective training

I agree 100% with BigRipFreaky.

Very nice tought dman! I totally agree with you.


Just to play Devils advocate here and stir the pot a little. The guy is squating 415 (Not bad) and not sitting at home eating bon bons and watching reruns of Gilligans island. My point is, he IS a brother of the Iron. His form, in your estimation, was bad but not knowing you at all and how you formed your advice to him was key in this exchange.

Lets switch this around and say your doing box squats before him and the exact same exchange takes place but the roles are reversed. Do you come on then to post about the ignorant gym rat who tried to give you advice on squating?

All in all, I agree with Dman and BigRipFreaky. Advice to people you don’t know is never welcome. To many factors that you can’t know about.

I had a guy who wanted to work in with me while I was chinning. I weigh 265 pounds and chins are hard excercise for me. This cat jumps up rips off 15 good ones, drops off and looks at me and says “Thats how your supposed to do them”. He weighed 130 pounds, maybe.

Good point man…

Yeah Golds Gym is shit, its the same here in North Carolina. As for the queer boy who cant squat, sooner or later he see the error of his ways. Probably have to learn it the hard way though.

Yo, if some pipsqueak said “that’s how you’re supposed to do them” to me after finishing a set of chins, I’d crush his head between my asscheeks and then squeeze out a loaf for good measure before I let go. I could do 15 chins no problem when I weighed 150; now that I weigh over 200, have a pair of legs, and do my reps with decent form, 10 is a challenge. 15 chins – big fucking deal, I say.

Hey man, where ya at in N.C. Im in WNC. I know a really good hardcore gym if your near here.

LOL, Your right of course. But the little bastard grabbed his stuff and beat feet before I could recover from my shock. Saw him a couple of times after that but he would never make eye contact with me again.