They open the door to the local corporate gym you belong to. They walk over to the bench... they put some weight onto the bar. So, they do a set…they send a text. They do another set…they send another text. They prop up the phone to take a video, and work for a time to get the angle just right…they do a set. Then they sit down…they post about the set. After a length of time, they ponder another set…but instead, they stay seated on the bench and begin checking for “likes.” As time passes, eventually, they do another set…they miss the attempt. They sit on the bench, text about why they missed the weight…explaining how they were “probably good for ten more pounds.”
Is there a modern solution to this high-technological issue? An app perhaps that someone like you, a serious lifter who reads elitefts, can use to get them off of your bench?
Perhaps there is an emoji that symbolizes your emotions when you have to wait for them to get off the very piece of equipment you need while they just sit and scroll.
The Difference Between a Lifter and an Influencer
The gym is your fortress of solitude, but clearly, it is their local Starbucks. And yes, that IS the piece of equipment you want to train on, and yes, they continue to use it like some worn-out sofa in their living room.
You are the lion, they are a lamb. You are goal-driven. They are somewhat rudderless and drifting along the social media currents. You are the type of lifter who understands that each day is fleeting and training time is more precious than gold, because once the training day is over you never get it back. But here, in this place, your two starkly different ideological views of the gym collide.
As far as you are concerned, one’s training day has either been invested or it has been wasted. There is no middle ground, there never has been, and there never will be. Anyone telling you differently is only trying to make themselves feel better. You understand this so you invest, you covet, you savor and you utilize every moment of that finite training time. They squander it with a collection of texts, only to go home and continue more of the exact same.
The lion could care less how the lamb chooses to spend their time, but they do care if the lamb's non-training time is happening whilst occupying the very piece of equipment the lion requires for their training.
Recent: Strength, Power, Muscle and AI
An Inner Dialogue Conversation with a Phone-Obsessed Gym Goer
Your philosophy is what it is, and that makes you want to share with them your thoughts that might read like this. Phone scrolling gym goers, by all means, stay on the device and enjoy texting and posting and “liking.” Stay on it as long as you wish. Scroll to your little heart’s content. While you are at it, stay the same today as you were yesterday. Stay the same today as you were last month. Stay exactly the same today as you were last year. Actually, feel free to be the very same as you always have been. Never any strong(er) never any bigger, never any healthier, never a single bit more powerful. That all said, make absolutely sure that as you scroll and stay exactly the same as you always have been, do so while staying off a piece of equipment actual lifters require the use of. That piece of equipment we train on to become better than we were last year, to become better than we were last month, to become better than we were yesterday, and to become better today and every day going forward.
To you, anyone and everyone has the right to waste a perfectly good training day, or for that matter, a lifetime of training days. But nobody has the right to impede the ability of others to reach their training goals due to their lack of discipline, drive, determination, desire, diligence, work ethic, intensity, and consistency while at the gym.
The corporate gym problem is a difficult one as you and that bench-scroller both pay a membership. There is no high-tech answer, however, there is absolutely an old-school solution. That solution is right here on elitefts, as far as I am concerned. Make the leap, take the plunge, and build your own fortress of solitude. Build your own basement or garage gym. Be the King or the Queen of your own training castle.
Do not be discouraged by all of the machines in your current fitness center, instead, start logging the machines and items you actually train with. That list is going to be much shorter than you thought. Having been in the lifting game for decades, some of the strongest, most powerful, best built, and heavily muscled lifters I have trained with, built themselves with the basics and did so in their garages or gyms that were a thousand square feet or less with those very few who were like-minded.
No, there is no app to get someone off of that bench you want to use, but once you are the master of your own gym domain, the only ones using that bench will be you and your training partner.
Think it over. Create the vision. Build the plan. Make it happen. Carpe Diem. Seize the day!
Eric Maroscher is the owner of the Monster Garage Gym. Cofounded by Phil Daniels, NFL Defensive End, Monster Garage Gym is a premier powerlifting gym in the United States. Eric is the leader of the Maroscher Powerlifting Team, a two-time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, two-time APF National Powerlifting Champion, WPC North American Powerlifting Champion, and a multi-time APF Illinois State Champion.