Flying To Houston For A Workout


This one is going to the bucket of crazy things I have done. It was just another day in Oklahoma and I was getting ready to go to the gym for a quick workout. Well, thinking about getting ready to go to the gym, to be more precise.

While procrastinating, I was texting with my friend Cody who lives in Texas. He confessed to me that he was never comfortable going to a gym because back in high school he felt intimidated by all the football jocks whenever he was trying to work out. So, I jumped on the next flight to Houston and a couple hours later we were hitting it at the gym there.

The sad fact is that Cody is not alone and I have heard the same story from many people before. In fact, this is probably the second most popular excuse people use not to go to a gym (the first being the lack of time). But is it really a valid excuse?

I think not!

For that matter, nor is the lack of time, but we will save that argument for another post.

Most people do not know what they are doing [at the gym]

Yes, I said it.

What is really sad is the fact that even most buff guys thinking and behaving like they are the shit at the gym are doing things wrong!

I cringe whenever I see most people do simple tricep pulldowns or Russian twists. Most guys, in the effort to prove something to whoever they think is watching them, try to use more weight then they should. At the very least, it leads to crappy form and inefficiency. Continuing with the pulldowns example, many use shoulders and biceps to push down on the weight rather than engaging their triceps. In the case of Russian twists, there is usually a lot of shoulder movement from side to side. In either case, the target muscles are not actually being targeted and the improper techniques may lead to injuries.

Interestingly, girls usually do much better when it comes to proper form during weight training. I would argue it is due to the fact that nobody expects them to be the strongest so they are not intimidated with using less weight and actually focus more on performing the exercise properly.

The moral of this rant?

Forget about everyone else at the gym!

No, seriously, screw them!

Do your own thing and focus on doing it properly.

Do not know how to do it properly? Hire a trainer for a couple of weeks. Alternatively, watch a few YouTube videos (a few is the key here as some may not show things correctly but after you see a few you will get a sense of what a given exercise should look like). Heck, ask someone that looks like he knows what he is doing. Just do not try to figure it out as you go because it is easy to convince yourself that you are doing it correctly and end up in the group I described above.

Still, the most important point here is go and do it!

Many times, especially towards the end of my intense workouts, I get to the point that I use very small weights. As in 10 pounds for triceps or doing pushups on my knees. I am sure that looks silly, especially when a 6' 8" guy is doing it. But I do not care. I know feel I am doing the right thing because my muscles are in pain and are hating me.

In the end, that is what really matters - improving and strengthening your body. Leave the gym popularity contest to someone else to worry about.

Trip to Houston

So, back to the original thought. Cody did not feel comfortable going to the gym on his own and I had noone to go to the gym with at home so I figured I will head down south and show him the ropes.

Flights down had plenty of open seats so I headed out to the airport less than 40 minutes prior to departure, got on the flight and about two hours later was down there. Sure, it took a bit longer to get to the Golds gym in Houston, but now I have a cool gym story to tell :)