I sure hope you all get a good weekend of rest, because there’s a major national holiday on Monday that all of the GymGeek Nation should know about: National Bench Press Day!
Ok, clearly I’m kidding. I’ve just always found it interesting that there’s an unwritten rule that Monday’s are for bench presses. I still shudder at the thought of waiting in line for the bench press stations at the UCF Rec & Wellness Center back in school (and we’re talking about a school with the second highest undergraduate enrollment in the United States).
There really is no explanation for this phenomenon, other than most meatheads like working their show-off muscles while girls are mildly interested in working out at the beginning of the week.
I bring up the bench press not because of the high traffic on a certain day. That’s not so much a pet peeve as it is a necessary evil at every gym. I’ve adjusted by doing my leg workouts on Mondays, just to knock out a tough day early. Besides, no one’s fighting me to do squats!
So without further ado…
This Pet Peeve Has a History…
I’ll be the first to admit it; finding out your one-rep max is a very important measuring stick when tracking your progress, in terms of muscular strength. In fact, I do it once every two months just to see how far I’ve come.
But what about the guy that only does one rep…for ten sets? It’s a head-scratcher to me. All it does is get you tired, defeating the purpose of building both strength and endurance. The idea of weightlifting is making your body efficient.
Doing your bench press in this fashion is a lot like driving a luxury car as fast as you can for ten seconds, hitting the brakes, resting at the red light, then doing it again at every…single…light. All it’s going to do is beat the crap out of the car (or in this case, your body).
If your goal is to get stronger and bigger, you’re far better off doing three or four sets of four to six reps. It’ll be much more taxing than doing ten sets of one while also giving your body a reason to recover. Again, it’s about muscle efficiency.
So to this guy/gal, I leave you with this; use it as a measuring stick, not as part of your routine. Besides, on National Bench Press Day, you’re also going to piss off A LOT of people waiting to get work done! Also, you don’t want to end up like THIS guy, right?