Talking to your box or gym buddy becomes second nature while training. There is no better way to get through a tough workout than to chat between sets and exercises. However, as we are all competitive by nature we sometimes smoke screen the truth to get our partners pumped or to cover up our fitness insecurities. Here are the top 10 things people in the box or gym say versus what they actually mean…
1. “It’s okay, it’s only a short workout”
Is it okay? This is definitely not what we are thinking. In any short workout you push yourself harder as you know the end in nearer. This extra push that you’re inflicting on yourself is more lethal than fatigue in a longer workout! Experienced athletes may say this, but secretly they know what is about to come. Pain. If you hear anyone say this, ask if they said the same immediately after finishing a ‘short’ workout like FRAN or DIANE.
2. “This is not a good workout for me”
The classic bluff! We all know someone who always says this. It’s usually someone who is ripped to shreds and is about to make you look silly as soon as that workout countdown starts.
3. “I’m sore from yesterday”
An excuse used very frequently by pretty much all box or gym members. The person saying this believes that it might gain them some slack that day in training, allowing them to go lighter or move slower than normal. Isn’t everyone sore every day? That’s the by-product of hypertrophy, right? However, what someone who says this doesn’t realise is that their gym buddy or coach still expects them to lift the same weights and move in the same way as normal. A pointless expression.
4. “You need to get under it faster”
This is one of the worst pieces of weightlifting advice people give. There’s a reason you missed the lift, and it certainly wasn’t to do with your speed under the bar. This is usually due to factors that occur before this. For example, if you miss a jerk, it could be your dip under the bar, your drive through the shoulders or your foot position on the catch. These all need be flush to catch a heavy jerk.
5. “Come on, you’ve got this! It’s all in your head”
Most of the time this piece of misleading advice comes after a failed attempt or when someone is tired. This doesn’t only apply to life in the box but to any sporting arena. There’s a reason someone is saying this, and it’s usually because the person has not ‘got this’. What people mean is, “Carry on until the finish regardless of the result, we’re proud of you, this is entertaining to watch so have another go!”
6. “They’re bigger than you”
Unless they’re talking about Arnie, don’t let this bother you. What someone usually means when they say this is, “Here’s an excuse to lose to this person.” Or, perhaps the person is unknowingly, or knowingly, knocking your confidence. Sure, they may have bigger arms or legs, but this doesn’t mean for one second they can move faster, for longer or lift heavier. Leave it to a workout to decide how ‘big’ they are in the fitness world.
7. “Training outside is lovely”
The loveliness lasts until you have to complete a workout outside. What they usually mean is, “It’s nice to run for around for five minutes in the sun before getting sweaty, sunburnt and bitten by bugs!” Anyone who has trained outside in the summer knows it can be worse than training in a controlled gym environment.
8. “I feel terrible because I haven’t had my pre-workout today”
This is a cry out for caffeine! Saying this is the last resort from saying, “I’m not feeling like working out today” in the hope you reply with, “Me too, do you want to skip the gym today?” This is definitely NOT the answer you should respond with. Provide some encouragement and try to change their mood. If this doesn’t work, buy them a coffee or share some pre-workout. They’ll soon be singing from the same hymn sheet.
9. “But I scaled the workout, so it doesn’t count”
This comes up daily in probably every box – and it shouldn’t! What this means is that the person is too ashamed of their score to put it on the whiteboard. If anyone hears this, they should encourage the person and explain that scaling isn’t something to be ashamed of. Ask the questions: Did you sweat? Did you have fun? Did you push yourself? Maybe they used a lower weight or did a few fewer reps, but that’s okay because they listened to their body, avoided injury and did more than the person still sat at home on their sofa.
10. “Do you have any tape?”
This is usually the last resort after missing countless lifts or not being able to complete a gymnastics movement. People who need tape will ask for it before attempting a lift or workout and not midway through. This usually means, “I’m having a bad day at the gym, please don’t have any tape so I can use this as an excuse to stop.”
* Blog by Joe Taylor. An ex-semi-professional rugby player, Joe is currently training hard ahead of the CrossFit Games Open, which starts in February 2017. This is the world’s premier test of fitness. He is currently wearing our ALL-TRAIN 215 and F-LITE 235 V2 training shoes.