Archive for the ‘Gym Teacher (Life Lessons)’ Category

I was in the gym just the other day, working my ass off on sets of heavy Overhead Presses.  I had already completed a few light warmup sets and 2 of my 4 planned work sets when I took a quick peek in the mirror hanging on the wall just beyond the power rack I was lifting in.

C’mon now… you know you do it too.  Just don’t stand there staring and flexing too long or you’ll look like a complete twat.

I had eaten really well that day, taking in plenty of quality calories, and my pre-workout formula was kicking in hard, so I had a REALLY nice pump going in my shoulders.

Not to toot my own horn but, I have pretty decent shoulders to begin with, so the insane pump on top of my natural size made me overly impressed with myself. Not a good thing to do. Don’t ever start thinking you’re cooler than you are. I definitely was guilty of it that day.

When I train, most of the time I wear my Beats and listen to Slipknot or some other equally disturbing and aggressive music. That’s my way of shutting the world out and to keep myself fired up to train hard.

On that day, after leering at myself for far too long in the mirror, I was bobbing my head to some form of kill your mother music when I caught a glimpse of a couple of guys out of the corner of my left eye.

I glanced in their direction and noticed them standing in front of the cable station, both of them staring at me.

Neither of them could have been more than a buck forty, soaking wet, and I’m sure they were doing cable crossovers in order to “shred” their chests, which they had no business doing. I felt like telling them to man the fuck up and do some bench presses to actually build a chest but I decided to let them be. After all, I’m not their trainer and they didn’t ask for my advice.

So, I took a sip of water, let the song ‘Psychosocial’ flow through me like electricity, and dug in for another intense set of presses.

After grinding out the 8th rep I slammed the weight back in the rack and stepped back to catch my breath.

I feel someone’s eyes burning a hole through me…

Have you ever just known, because you could “feel” it, that someone was staring you down? Creepy…

I look over at the cable station and, sho nuff’, Junior and Billy (I have no idea if that’s really their names but they looked like a Junior and Billy) have their lil’ eyes cast upon me in a gaze that tells me they’re either about to profess their undying love to me or they’re gonna smack me in the head with a fucking dumbbell.


I felt the blood rush to my face and I knew, without looking, that my ears were fire engine red. What in the hell could have these two jack assess so interested in me that they’re not even trying to get their “chest shred” on?

I tore my Beats off my head and started their way like a damn Brahma Bull going after a Matador. I decided come hell or high water I was going to find out what these little dip shits issue was!

After bowling over a couple of defenseless women and a few small children (COMPLETELY kidding) I made my way to jack ass number 1, who had finally turned his attention from me to talk to his buddy.

As I approached they must’ve seen a look on my face that said I was either:
a) A cannibalistic serial killer who intended to make them my post-workout meal
b) A complete psycho, hell bent on ripping their legs off and using them as a barbell
c) All of the above

because one of the guys immediately turned and hauled ass towards the water fountain for a drink, leaving his buddy to meet his demise on his own.

“What the fuck are you staring….” I growled, before he cut me off.  The other, apparently much more courageous, guy started explaining immediately….

“Dude, you have got freaking big shoulders” the courageous kid says to me. “Do you always do barbell presses?”

Wow… Now my face is red for a different reason. Turns out, I’m the JACK ASS.

After thanking the kid I explained to him that Overhead Presses are a great compound exercise to help you build size and strength in your shoulders. I tossed em’ a little advice on their chest workout too, instructing them to do more basic, heavy compound lifts, like the bench press, if they want to build muscle and get strong.

It was the least I could do after thinking about where I would bury the bodies once I was done with them, for absolutely NO reason at all.

I headed back to the power rack to finish up my sets with another lesson learned in mind. And, like so many other lessons learned in the gym, it was one I could and should apply to the rest of my life.

The point is I was too quick to get frustrated, upset and angry for no reason at all. Why? Because some guys who were just starting out, who are exactly where I once was, were impressed by my body and interested in learning how I do it?

I let it ruin my motivation for what had started as a kick ass training session. I packed up my gym bag and walked out the door thinking about the experience. I promised myself that from now on I will get all the facts and completely consider the situation before I let something bother me, make me angry, or drag me down.

ANOTHER life lesson learned in the gym.There’s a lot of them to learn, if you pay attention.

Guys and Gals, if you’ve been around the gym for a while, and have some experience under your lifting belt, I encourage you to keep my experience in mind. Don’t be so quick to judge the newbies. Be willing to offer up some advice, give them a spot or lend them a helping hand.

After all, at one time you were right where they are now. Believe or not, a lot of those new people are looking up to you in a way. You’re the example of who and what they want to be.

Remember how you felt when you first started going to the gym? Was it intimidating? Was it confusing? Where you envious of the amazing bodies around you? Would you have loved for those more experienced people, with those amazing bodies, to give you some solid advice that would help you get the results you were looking for?

New people: One day YOU’RE going to be one of the people with an awesome body. One day people will look to you for guidance and advice. You can be really cool, and most likely make their day, by spending just a little time to point them in the right direction. You should do it. It’ll make you both feel better.

And when you’re busting your ass, building your body to even more impressive levels, and a few new guys are watching you from across the gym, take it as a compliment. They just wanna be like you.

Until Next Time,

Michael Wheeler
Hey guys, have you ever had a time when you were being watched or “stalked” from across the gym? lol
Have you ever given a new gym rat some solid advice? I’d love to hear about it below!