I Have Never Seen . . .

There is one thing that I dread more than people talking to me in the gym, and that would be bringing attention to myself. The reason is very simple, attention attracts talkative individuals. Now don’t get me wrong, by no means do I think I’m above anyone else. It’s just that I go the gym with a preconceived plan, and don’t have time to engage in unnecessary and unwanted prattle while executing it. 

I pride myself on being stealthy in the gym. Execute the planned workout for that day, and leave without anyone realizing I was actually there. However, for sone unexplainable reason, it would appear that my carefully crafted guise has been breached. 

The agenda on that day was legs: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes and Calves. I added abdominal exercises, since I was now after the coveted, yet illusive six pack. I had successfully decreased my waist by an inch, and while the six-pack, would look impressive, I was more concerned with strengthening my core to help with squats and deadlifts, along with various other compound movements. 

Now that I have painstakingly detailed the agenda for that day, let me tell you how the workout unfolded. I began with a superset of hamstrings and quads, by utilizing the seated curl and leg extension machines. I immediately drew attention to myself when the locking mechanism did not engage, and the stack came down with thud.

This prompted the guy behind me to inquire if I had broken the machine. I hid my annoyance at being questioned, assured him that was not the case, and indicated the stack had merely slipped. After completing four sets on each, I moved to the leg press machine, to do a tri set of legs, calves and barbell floor wipers (Troy Adashun). 

The set up was fairly simple for the barbell floor wipers. It consisted of placing a mat next to leg press machine, and a thirty-pound barbell. I completed the legs and calves press, and was getting in position to do the barbell floor wipers, when I noticed the guy on the pec deck curiously looking at me.

He approached after I had completed the set . . . 

“I’ve been coming to the gym for years,” he smiled. “I have never seen the exercise you just did.” 

“They’re call barbell floor wipers,” I quickly retorted. 

“They must be good for those,” he said, gesturing to my midsection. 

I chuckled uneasily as I completed the tri set. It was unfathomable that in less than thirty minutes I had managed to attract so much attention. I wished it would have stop there, but it continued as I did lunges with a twist on the Smith Machine. (John Meadows). 

Perhaps, I had become self-conscious, but it seemed like no matter what exercise I did on this day, it garnered some form of attention. It happened again while I did weighted cocoons, (Dipak Sharma), weighted knee raises, and screwdrivers (Jeff Cavalier).

So out of the ordinary was the day, that I had to let a guy work in between sets on the ab crunch machine as I did a superset of those and screwdrivers.

This inexhaustible depiction of the events at the gym is not for naught, but to explain a simple, although some characterized it as being a complex concept, as to why most individuals find it hard to start, yet alone stick to any form of exercise program.

The old adage is apropos . . . “You have to go through what you don’t want, to finally get what you do want.” 

Let me elucidate how we got to that particular day in the gym and how the aforementioned adage applies. I would rather do any other exercise than hanging knee raises. In the beginning, on the suggestion of Dr. Jim Stoppani, I used ab straps. The reason being, to focus on the abs as opposed to trying to sustain myself in midair while performing the exercise.

Fortuitously for me, I lost ab straps and had to resort to doing them the harder way. I could have easily removed them from my exercise routine, but since they were touted as the best for lower ab activation, I did them. The serendipitous effect was it helped with my pull and chin ups.

Now why am I explaining all of this?  

It is actually very simple . . . A wish is merely a goal without a date attached to it. 

Most individuals wish they could have a better physique. Wish they could be disciplined to lose weight. Wish they could have a washboard midsection. Wish they could put on more muscles. When in reality all they need to do is simply make a decision, and set a realistic date for its attainment. 

Why won’t they if that is all it takes? 

Accountability is the debilitating factor. When an individual makes a formal declaration of their intentions, they ultimately will be judged on whether he or she succeeded or not. Most cannot face the humiliating snares from family members and friends, who from that moment on will remind them of their abject failure. 

Henceforth, why you find me in the gym doing various abdominal exercises in order to achieve the all-day abs look by June 1, 2022. The fact that I have no affinity towards doing weighted hanging knee raises is of no consequence. I need to do them to achieve the look I want.

Barbell floor wipers and weighted cocoons, which I have grown fond of, helps me tolerate the weighted knee raises. So, I go through what I don’t want, to ultimately get what I do.

I never gave any thought that these particular exercises would garner so much attention. It was telling that although the old man claimed to have never seen anyone doing barbell floor wipers, he knew exactly what I was doing them for.

I learned a very valuable lesson that day. Someone is always watching, whether you are aware of it or not. For some, your actions will be characterized as showing off, and alienate them from achieving their goals, while for others, it will inspire them to continue, when they were at the point of giving up.

So, although I am adverse, to attracting attention, if it comes as I pursue my goals, I will deal with it. If it means that I must politely stop momentarily to listen to an individual express admiration for a particular exercise I am performing, so be it.

“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it., for I shall not pass this way again.” (Etienne de Grellet, Quaker Missionary). 

Such a simple formula for goal attainment: 

  1. Decide what you want 
  1. What are you willing to give up to get what you want 
  1. Plan your work and work your plan 

You want to lose body fat. You want to add on more muscles. You want to build endurance. You want to get into a pair of tight-fitting jeans. You want to stop wearing loose fitting clothes. You want to stop sucking in your gut . . .

All of these things can be attained if you simply attached a date to your wishes. So, as I go after the elusive six pack, I am reminded that first we must go through what we don’t want, to finally get what we do want. 

See you in June . . .

Barbell Floor Wipers 

Weighted Cocoons 

Smith Machine Lunges with a Twist