I walk into the gym, headphones on, acting like a rockstar… yea I do, because I know most everyone in that place and its fun to have a little bit of cockiness when walking into a place you are about to smash some iron at.
Usually the other lifters in our little corner of the gym – yes we are sequestered like Ebola patients – yell “what’s up” or call me a tool for walking in with my shades on… hey, you can’t always take them off when your hands are full with gym bags and shuffling through songs on the cell phone.
We crack jokes, make fun of each other, put each other down, talk about today’s workout… one of the guys at my gym is programmed by a real well-known strength coach (I won’t divulge either of their names because I don’t want to) and he always says to me, “look at today’s workout” and I have to scroll down the paper similar to reading Moby Dick and be amazed he isn’t dead yet from the sheer amount of volume.
Its working for him, but that would kill me. Then again he is young and I am 38…
I start warming up and the bar feels like icepicks in my skin. Its been said on more than one occasion that my warmup sets always look like hell and painful. Well they usually are!
I don’t practice what I preach, I admit it… I rarely foam roll unless I feel like a board left outside in winter. I stretch about once a year, if that. I’m an asshole when it comes to that. I should, but it takes away from socializing and texting on my phone. Hard to roll a piriformis when a text comes through.
I am of the belief that too much rolling and stretching is kind of counter-productive.. I’ve seen many people roll their faces off and STILL get hurt. I am not entirely sold on the merits of it unless needed, so I do it AS NEEDED.
I start to load up plates as my sets go up. I shuffle through songs to find one that fits my mood…
Blood for Blood “Spit my last breath” – not yet
MOD “Surf’s up” – ehhhhh too happy
Agnostic Front “Riot Riot Upstart” – a good one, but not quite
Warren G “Regulate” – I ALWAYS stop on this song. I could be going for a max effort to end all max effort sets and when Warren G talks, I listen…
Anthrax “Indians” – ok this is a keeper for the heavier sets. That breakdown is insane.. When Joey B. yells WARDANCE I could literally rip a face off, several faces.
Set over, eyes hurt, face hurts… either its high blood pressure or strain, who cares, the lift was good.
Plates come off, I walk to the water fountain for the 50th time (cardio) and start accessory work.
This goes by feel for me, no sets and rep scheme is planned out before I lift, just the exercises I will use. Some days I want to go heavier, some days I want to blow my shit up with higher reps (fuck you Paul Carter).
Then I leave swole, pumped, huge and with the inability to scratch the nape of my neck because I am too damn pumped to reach.
As I walk out of the gym, skinny kids with sleeveless shirts cut down to their waist (I really don’t fucking get that trend) are doing half squats, bent over upright rows and bounce and go benches. I say to myself, “self, in a year those kids will look exactly the same while you won’t be able to touch your own face because you are so swole”.
What you expected some tutorial or sciencey piece? Shit, that isn’t me… there’s enough of that crap out there, this is lifting, don’t think, just fucking lift.
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