The Annoying Gym Goer Series (The Lat Pulldown Guy)
Posted Nov 03 2008 3:06pm
Every gym has an annoying type of lifter. You know - that one person that always seems to be there when you’re trying to get your work done.. And for whatever reason, they ANNOY the crap out of you.
Being a personal trainer, I spend more time in the gym in one day than most people do in an entire week (or month). Combine this with that fact that I can’t help but observe other people’s sessions, analyze their exercise selection and exercise form, and it’s inevitable that there is going to be a lot of stuff that gets under my skin.
This week’s winner is: The Lat Pulldown Guy.
Who is the lat pulldown guy? All I can tell you is that he’s an older gentleman, with a protruding gut who apparently thinks it’s effective to stack as much weight as possible on the lat pulldown and use any means necessary to get the weight to move.
No joke - He actually lifts his butt completely off the seat, grasps the handle, and then flings himself back down into the seat while swinging his body backward in order to move the weight.
Why don’t you just stand up, grab the handle with both hands, and walk the weight back tug-of-war style?
What is he trying to accomplish? I don’t know.
Does he look strong by lifting three quarters of a stack using the technique of standing up out of the seat and violently rocking backwards? NO
Is what he is doing working in getting him to his goals? NO (remember his gut).
It’s amazing how you I can tell from watching someone perform one exercise, that they are completely wasting their time in the gym. Usually it won’t bother me, but when the gym is crowded and my client and I can’t get on the lat pulldown because lat pulldown guy is showing off how “strong” he is, I get a little bit frustrated, to put it lightly.
There’s also the added bonus that he likes to ignore you when you try to work in with him. Yeah, he just kind of stares straight ahead, pretending to mentally prepare for his next grueling set of violently rocking back and forth.
I mean, if you’re so strong, go do a bodyweight pull-up. I’d pay to see that. Of course, he’d probably grasp the pull-up handles and jump in the air to get up (that is, even if he can jump that high).
So what can we learn from lat pulldown guy? Bear with me here..
Though he is an extreme case, we all may have an exercise where we could benefit from knocking back the weight a little bit, and getting back to proper form. We must remind ourselves the purpose of the particular movement that we’re trying to execute. An article I read recently reminded me how important proper form is on the deadlift, and I realized my form has been a little sloppy of late - so I cut back the weight a little bit and returned to deadlifting with solid form.
WEW! I feel better.
Do you have a particular annoying gym goer you’d like to rant about? Please comment and get it off your chest!