16 May 2015

Life Lesson: Don't Be a Macho Dick

Pancakes > Workout
One thing that I really like about my gym (aside from that they sometimes blow off workouts to get some flapjacks, see photo) is that the competition is friendly. It can be competitive but you can tell someone flat out that you want to beat their time and there is nothing macho in it. This comes from the top down: the coaches set the tone and the macho stuff is known to be not acceptable. You just want to do your best and if someone else motivates you that is up to you. You are competing to do your personal best, not necessarily beat other peoples times. And if it is then you can joke about it. There is always someone faster / stronger than you anyway so who cares? It's between you and the weights. 

That said: I got up early to do a circuit workout class this morning with my friend at his gym. It was tough. The circuit was super long so we just went through it twice. There were about 9 people in the class.
  • Sled push 40 yards
  • Rope wave thing up and down 40 times total (20 each arm)
  • 12 burpees
  • 12 standing butterflys, weighted
  • 12 plyo push ups
  • 12 standing rows
  • 12 bw dips
  • 12 plank chin ups
  • 12 bench press (weight varied by person)
  • 12 pull ups
  • 12 squats (weight varied)
  • 20 sec hard run on the treadmill
  • 12 box jumps
  • 12 shoulder presses (weight varied)
  • 12 lateral raises for more shoulder work
  • 12 bridges on the swiss ball
  • 12 tricep press downs
  • 12 bicep curls
I did a crushing clean to overhead and thruster/pull up combo workout (I want to rename that workout 'the nightmare') 12 hours ago (so many 12's!) so I was pretty blown out before we started. When I got to the new gym this morning some guy I had never met introduced himself and gave me the most aggressive handshake ever. I am a fan of the firm handshake but this guy tried to squeeze my hand like he was wringing out a towel. Since I have a very strong grip from jiu jitsu and the gym work I was immediately annoyed because, really guy? It's like that? Because if it is I can definitely crush your hand if that's how you want to do it.

He is about my age and roughly the same height as me, very fit with a runner's build: lean, thin upper body, not much shoulder or arm bulk. I do circuit type workouts like it is my job and one thing I know is that the skinnies cannot do the strength stuff. Burpees maybe, pull ups and push ups and dips and presses: not so much. So we did the warmup and Macho Dick was in a huuuuuuuuge hurry to finish first on the WARMUP. He is such a tryhard, took it sooo seriously. What's the rush? He had his most serious face on. Even though he was doing some of the the warmup work wrong - he wanted to be first all the time. I just wanted to talk to the girls. Whatevs.

It's time to start the circuit and the fastest people are supposed to go first because we do the exercises in order. There are two sleds. Macho Dick heads straight for a sled. He cannot wait to whip some ass. After some prodding I go first with Macho Dick - I would much rather hang back and kick it with my peeps but whatever let's get this over with. He is super excited and really goes for it on the sled, finishes way ahead of me. I hope he feels good about this because there's a lot of work left to do and I am going to grind him to dust.

He rushes to the ropes and cranks those out. He rushes to the burpees and wait a minute... he seems to be slowing. Gets to the plyo push ups and now I am caught up because there is only one station and have to wait for him to finish. At this point the sled push appears to be catching up with him. He struggles on the dips (lol weakling) while I power through the plyo push ups and the row. I am now caught up to him. This is odd because it seemed like he was going to kill it after the sled push. I swap an exercise to pass him and keep on keeping on, finishing my first circuit well ahead of everyone else.

Macho Dick is looking a little worn but he's still in it, albeit much more slowly. It is gut check time: finishing first is off the table; now he has to figure out how far behind he will end up. Which sucks for him because he is clearly very invested. Another thing the gym has taught me: you learn a lot about yourself when you do not perform as well as you expect. Do you work through it or do you quit? Fight or surrender? (For me it depends on the day: some days the bear eats you.)

The workout is hard. Everyone is struggling, including me. Look at that list. That's a lot of shit to do!

I head back out and hit the sled again, start the whole thing over. It is damn tough this time around because I am feeling used up from 12 hours prior and I get no breaks because all the stations are open. And also the trainer has ramped up all the weights for me. Nice. So I do my thing, grind out the work and after about halfway through round two I see Macho Dick WALK AWAY DURING THE WORKOUT. Not take a breather - everyone is doing that - but literally exit the facility.

Where does he go? What does he do? Did he have an important call to make mid-workout? Not sure. He had to take an extended time out. LOLOLOLLLLL By the time he returned I was just about done. Ahhh what happened man? Did I break your will or did you sprain your ego? Bit of both? :-/

Finished up my workout and waited for everyone else to get done. Macho Dick finished last which is utterly unimportant except he wanted to make a big deal out of it.

Being a Macho Dick is lame if you are first or last or anywhere in between. It is not important. No one cares except you and the other asshats. Just do your best and encourage others to do the same. Effort is what counts; this is not a race. Everyone starts from different skill levels and works to improve. No one takes anything away from you if they finish before you, and you do not take anything away from anyone if you finish before them. 200 pounds is always 200 pounds.

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