Your First Clue You Shouldn’t Be Training People: Abs and Leg Press Day

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Waaaasssssuuuuppppp!?!?! Didn’t think you’d hear from me until Monday, right? So, here’s the deal. It’s Black Friday, and like any woman within a ten mile radius of a shopping mall, my girlfriend decided she wanted to head to the local mall and drag me along to lower my sperm count check out some sales.

Thinking ahead, I made sure to bring my laptop with me so that I could sit down at the local bookstore and snake some free WiFi while she’s out doing whatever it is she’s doing/buying me the entire box set of Lost on Blu-ray (Yup, that’s a hint).

You see, my parents live out in Middleofnowhere, America and only have access to dial-up, so it goes without saying that using their internet is pretty much a wash. We can send satellites to the far reaches of our universe, but we can’t get my mom high speed internet? Goddammit NASA!!! Fail.

Anyways, the reason why I’m writing this short little blurb is that I had to share a quick story from earlier today. Lisa and I headed to my old stomping grounds to train at the local gym in my hometown this morning, and while it’s always nice to see old friends and chat with people whom I haven’t seen in a while, it never ceases to amaze me just how dumb most (not all) bodybuilders are (nice transition, huh).

To make a long story short, the local “I go to bodybuilding shows, so therefore I’m a bodybuilder” guy was taking two (lets say fairly overweight) people through HIS workout as my girlfriend and I were warming up. Mind you, this guy isn’t even a trainer, but because he’s in relatively good shape, people tend to listen to him.

Okay, today we’re going to start with abs. Lots of abs

if that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is. Not surprisingly, all three go off and spend a good 30 minutes doing every crunch variation known to man. Stability ball crunches, cable crunches, machine crunches, you name it, they did it. My girlfriend walks up to me and says, “are you seeing this?” Even she was flabbergasted at the eye sore we were witnessing. Afterwards, it only made sense to follow this with leg presses and hack squats. Of course, dummy – abs and leg press day!

The funny part? The bodybuilder guy had to spend a good five minutes putting on his knee braces before doing the hack squats. Coincidence?

I’m just going to say this and get it over with: the last thing anyone needs to do is follow a bodybuilding routine. Okay, sure, if you’re a COMPETING bodybuilder (that is, someone who actually steps out on stage), and you need to throw in some dedicated isolation work to bring up a lagging body-part, then go for it bro. Have at it.

Yes, I’m being serious.

Outside of that, it’s a complete waste of time. I know I’m going to rub some people the wrong way when I say that, but I wholeheartedly back that statement up. People move like crap, and you’re only exacerbating said crappiness by placing them on machines that do absolutely nothing in terms functional strength, performance, kinesthetic awareness, movement quality, balance, etc.

What’s more, it makes absolutely no sense to me to spend an inordinate amount of time doing “abs” when I can have someone perform bodyweight squats with push-ups in the same amount of time and burn twice as many calories and work their core in the process.

Not only that, there’s a reason why many people tend to develop nasty joint issues when they use nothing but machines a vast majority of the time. Pattern overload anyone? Jesus, it really gets my goat when bodybuilders take people through bodybuilding routines.

I guarantee this same guy who was doing his leg presses with four plates on each side (not a lot of weight, mind you) with his 1/4 ROM no less, would get absolutely dominated if I walked him over to the squat rack, put 185 lbs on the bar, and told him to squat it – to depth. OMG, I would totally pay to see that.

The coach in me really wanted say something: Come on! Really? Crunches???? For crying out loud, not the leg press!!!. Do anything but the leg press. Stick your finger in an electrical socket for all I care. In the end, however, it wasn’t my place to to do so. Instead, I just settled for a little piece of my soul dying.

(Steps off soapbox)

I know this wasn’t really anything content heavy, but I had to get it off my chest. I feel better now. Besides, this guy’s going to get a rude awakening tomorrow when Lisa shows up and reps out on the trap bar what he was doing on the hack squat. Muhahahahahahahahahaha. *strokes evil beard*

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