Monday, February 22, 2010

Guide to Group Workouts I: Midlife Crisis Edition

If you have long since passed 40 and started to work out not too long ago under the illusion that you could still become a professional bodybuilder, fitness competitor or strongman, this simple 10-step guide can help you establish your reputation as a shitkicker as well as help you maximize attention while at the gym.

Step 1.
Before you set foot in the gym, it is important to groom. For men, this means adopting one of the two following regulation hairstyles, depending on your follicular density; 1) shaved head or 2) see-thru ponytail. If you opt for hairstyle 1), you need to follow up with a fake tan and various bracelets. From option 2) follows by necessity a scruffy, unkept beard and a complexion reminiscent of a hung-over vampire, save from a trucker's tan (optional), with a celtic cross necklace as the only allowed accessory. Irrespective of hairstyle, it is adamant that you get yourself tribal armband tattoos. And remember: "Obsession" by Calvin Klein, Axe or rancid sweat work for any occasion as far as fragrances. For women: Dry, peroxide-blond, jet-black or extra-fake red hair. The blond hairstyle requires lots of spray-tan, while the latter two also work with Caspar-the Friendly Ghost complexion. Regardless of hairstyle, apply copius amounts of make-up, lather up with fragrant body lotion and be sure to use at least half a bottle of perfume. Depending on the pay level of day job (hairdresser, cashier, waitress or kindergarten employee), get one of the following regulation tattoos: Shoulder blade dolphin, heart or "authentic" chinese characters, or tramp stamp and accessories: navel piercing or implants.

Step 2:
Before you can arrange for yourself and at least two of your comrades-in-arms to arrive at the gym, you need to assemble the season-independent workout attire. For men, this means one of two acceptable looks: 1) Ca. 1976 Muscle Beach transplant, or 2) Badass biker wannabe. In either case, make sure that the tank top or XS Li'l Boys' tee is extra snug to show off that upper body, and that you're wearing extra baggy work/workout pants to hide those scrawny, never-exercised legs ('cause you've got bad knees and/or a bad back which prevents you from squats and leg presses...plus you've read that those exercises might hurt the knees or back and they're damn hard). The only allowed exception to this rule is if you belong to the subclass known as "Brightly colored bicycle shorts and tank top delusionites". As far as colors and design, you can never go wrong with camouflage-patterned tank tops, Ed Hardy tees, GASP wear or something featuring the Harley Davidson logo. For women, it can apparently not be tight, ill-fitting and small enough as far as workout attire. Preferably with an exposed belly button, irrespective of fitness level. Make sure that you've got a car that matches your look. For men, this means either a chopper or a truck (season-dependent) for the badass biker wannabe, or some type of horse-power abundant sports vehicle (alternatively a Hummer). For women, either a small black, red or pink sports car or a token BMW SUV.

Step 3.
You're now ready to assemble your crew and get to the gym. Remember: You've got to roll at least deuce deep - preferably three - so if you arrive before the pack is all there, hang out at the counter, talking loudly to the gym staff or in your cell phone. Make sure that the ringtone on your cell phone doesn't betray your physiological age, but rather something from the present top 40, alternatively gangsta' rap (for men only). As you enter the workout area, make sure to carry at least four invisible suitcases.

Step 4.
Did you remember to train, say your prayers and take your vitamins this morning? For the affluent middle-aged male, some hgh and ~600 mg/week of deca and test. For women: Clenbuterol.

Step 5.
Carry a workout bag (GASP) large enough to hold two weeks worth of clothing and shoes. Stock said workout bag with workout gloves, and belt, wraps for every joint on the body, water bottle, at least one shaker bottle containing protein powder for post-workout consumption, towel, amino acid and creatine tablets, little pink tablets, and Icy Hot.

Step 6.
As your crew gets ready to get swole, make sure to occupy approximately 47% of the gym area, including as many benches, dumbbells and machines you can get your hands on in order to mark your territory and make people understand that something big is gonna go down. Get really annoyed if people are trying to cramp your space.

Step 7.
Talk loudly amongst yourselves and shout in order to psyche up/garner attention for the monumental feats of brute force and athleticism to follow. If you can throw some punches in the air in the general direction of your invisible enemies and the mirror, it's a plus. Make sure to start the punch from your shoulder, dropping your guard and sticking your chin out as you menacingly deliver the knockout haymaker to your transparent nemesis. Wonder why that douchebag working out next to you is looking at you with a smirk.

Step 8.
Use 75% heavier weights than your one-rep max for every given exercise and loudly proclaim that you're "Gonna get 10 or 12". At this point, workout partners need to launch a barrage of motivational clichés including "Let's get SERIOUS", "Time to play the GAME", "LIGHT WEIGHT" and "Squeeeeeeze it!". Use full-body movements to complete the reps, no matter the intended muscle group or exercise. As the lifter completes his or her set, and consequently as the spotter completes a set of another exercise (i.e.; spotter does bent-over rows for most of the weight for bench press), make sure to give an "ALL YOU" shout of enthusiasm.

step 9
As you drop the weights to the floor/starting position thus generating maximum noise and resulting attention, walk angrily away from the equipment, shouting that it was easy, and that you could've at least done two more reps. Sometimes the acoustics make it difficult to reach absolutely every corner of the gym, but give it a try anyways. remember; how are people gonna know that you're buff and swole if you don't inform them of this fact? Flex biceps and chest in the mirror (irrespective of muscle groups worked that day). If you're working out with a woman in your crew, loudly remark how you're warming up with heavier weights than her maximum effort. If you're a woman hanging in this crew, it is customary to remark how the males use more weights to warm up with than your maximum effort. Exclaim your intent to use even more weight for the next set. Damn; that motherf*cker with the NC State hat working out next to you is looking at you and shaking his head again.

Step 10.
Smear Icy Hot on all your aching joints and hobble out of the gym while sipping a protein shake and hi-fiving.

8 comments:

Anders said...

Ctrl+Prt Sc.
Thanks, I needed that, since I'm moving towards midlife crises and have little experience with the gym.
:D

Btw, love the expression "tramp stamp", alternatively "ass antlers". Still waiting for an suitable opportunity to use either in polite conversation.

Damn; that motherf*cker with the NC State hat working out next to you is looking at you and shaking his head again.

LOL!!! :D

Anders said...

Oh. I forgot: Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

Wilhelm said...

Tru, tru...hate da GAME :-)

Wilhelm said...

Oh...and; It's good to see that you're setting yourself goals :D

Anders said...

Yeah, I'm still contemplating whether strong man or mr. universe would suit me best.

Wilhelm said...

Tough call

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