The Crowd at the Gym

crowded weight room
Photo credit:

I’m more or less feeling better than Monday but not as good as yesterday relative to sleep. However, it’s amazing what a cup of coffee, a glass of water, and a banana can prepare you for, even is you don’t feel as rested as you’d like when facing the squat rack.

It wasn’t just lack of sleep and the weights that made my morning at the gym difficult. As time passed, more and more people came in until the joint was packed. I guess I shouldn’t complain that so many people want to workout, but with limited access to equipment and only an hour to get everything done, I wish the weight room wasn’t so popular. To top it off, one of Chase’s training class students came over to my bench while I was resting and took a 10 pound weight plate, one I was going to need later.

What is it with these ladies and taking stuff from a weight bench in active use?

Anyway, more on gym etiquette and other sorrows in a minute. Here’s what I did. Rested ~120 seconds between sets on average. This is Round 2, Week 2, Workout B (4×8).

Barbell Back Squat in Squat Rack

8x 135lbs/61.23kg
8x 160lbs/72.57kg
8x 180lbs/81.64kg
8x 180lbs/81.64kg

Barbell Close Grip Bench Press

8x 85lbs/38.55kg
8x 115lbs/52.16kg
8x 125lbs/56.69kg
8x 125lbs/56.69kg

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlifts

8x 155lbs/70.3kg
8x 175lbs/79.37kg
8x 205lbs/92.98kg
8x 205lbs/92.98kg

Barbell Overhead Press

8x 55lbs/24.94kg
8x 60lbs/27.21kg
8x 65lbs/29.48kg
8x 65lbs/29.48kg

Photo credit:

Barbell Standing Curls

8x 55lbs/24.94kg
8x 65lbs/29.48kg
8x 75lbs/34.01kg
8x 75lbs/34.01kg

Body Hang w/Shoulders Engaged (Bodyweight)

x35 seconds

Dead Hang (Bodyweight)

x10 seconds

Body Weight Upon Awakening:

191.3 lbs/ ~86.77 kg/ ~13.6 stone

Height (for reference):

6′ 2 3/4″ or 74.75 inches/1.89865 meters or 189.865 cm

As you can see, I didn’t toss in any extra bells or whistles. I just did what was required, which took almost the entire hour. I didn’t want to dilly-dally around because there were so many people in the free weight room, and believe me, they were a heck of a distraction. There were only a couple of guys, regulars, who knew what they were doing and who stayed out of the way for the most part.

In addition to Chase’s class taking weights from my weight bench, they had a tendency not to put anything back where they found it. Barbell clamps were left lying on the floor, and the misappropriated weight plate was hung on a hook on the decline bench (and like a parent picking up after messy kids, I put the various objects back where they  belonged).

I wanted to say something to Chase, but it felt too much like telling tales out of school.

Deep breath. Let it go.

My back squats went pretty well. Given the limited access to equipment I mentioned above, I felt sort of rushed to get through the squats so I could grab an available bench. I can do everything else in my Workout B routine at a weight bench, but if both of them are “consumed,” I’m SOL (Strictly Out of Luck).

I goofed up the first warmup set of close grip presses by setting the weight 10 pounds lighter than I should have. Oh well. The working weight still felt challenging for 8 reps per set.

muscles used for a deadlift
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When I set the working weight for my deadlifts at 205 pounds, I momentarily thought I’d gone crazy. Isn’t that too heavy for 2 sets at 8 reps each? After getting the barbell off the floor, the answer became “no”…fortunately.

But when I looked back on round one of week two, I saw that my working weight for 8 reps was 180 pounds, so from one circuit to the next, for deadlifts, I increased my weight by 25 pounds.

Not bad.

The overhead barbell presses went OK except for the last working set, when I wasn’t sure I’d make it past the sixth rep. I did and hit my goal for this lift. The same for standing barbell curls, and from one round to the next the weight increased by 5 pounds for both exercises.

Looking back to round 2, week 1 again, I see that the curls didn’t give me any trouble, but the overhead press was challenging at a working weight of 60 pounds.

I hope this all means my program is working and I’m getting stronger.

After curls, I thought of doing some zercher squats, but the squat rack was occupied and I was tired anyway. I decided to do my usual body hanging exercises and call it good.

I’m disappointed I didn’t get to do anything “extra,” but pleased that I’m still hitting all of my goals.

I happened to notice that my weight has been steadily decreasing over the past several days and my pants have been fitting better, which is a good thing. Looks like I’m getting control of my calorie intake vs output again.

I also want to mention that a couple of days ago, I got an automated email from the Lou Ferrigno “Change” Tee campaign saying that the campaign ended and the target number of t-shirts were sold.

You may recall me mentioning that this campaign was created by Lou to help raise funds for The Alzheimer Drug Discovery Foundation.

The campaign may have ended, but now everyone who made a purchase/donation will have to wait for the t-shirts to be printed, packed, shipped, and then to arrive. The shirts won’t be shipped until September 9th.

I can hardly wait for my shirt to arrive.

Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk

Just for giggles, or maybe for the sake of motivation and nostalgia, I watched the pilot episode from The Incredible Hulk television series (1978-1982). It’s held up pretty well over the years, apart from the clothing styles (bell bottoms), and I like Lou’s initial performance as “the Creature”. He seemed more menacing and mysterious than the later sessions of the series.

Lou played a hero on television, and now through this t-shirt campaign, he can be a hero again in supporting better treatment for victims of Alzheimer’s.

I’ll be honored to wear the t-shirt into the gym and lift for the sake of change.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis


3 thoughts on “The Crowd at the Gym

  1. I guess the problem of people not putting their weights back in place is a common thing in almost every gym. Personally I would feel guilty for the others and the gym owner if I would not put things back where they should. But it looks like some people don’t really care about the others in the gym. Great to hear you notice your bodyweight dropping like you wanted to, James.
    Lou is great as the Hulk. The only hulk where they didn’t use CGI. I watched the series when I was a kid and it’s great to see Lou is still in pretty good shape and an inspiration for others.


  2. @Hsampson: You’re welcome.

    @Gilbert: I’m sorry to hear this is a common problem. I wanted to imagine most people knew how to behave in the gym.

    As far as Lou Ferrigno goes, yes, he seems to be one of those guys who is an inspiration on and off the television screen.


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