Jim’s EFS Wednesday Training Crew

My first experience in the EFS gym…

“Are you wearing…gloves?” asked Jim, with a smirk on his face.

“Yes, I don’t want man-hands!”

Weights stopped clanking and…silence. Everyone stared at me as though I’d just said the most ridiculous thing known to man.

Five minutes later my little black gloves were in the trash, and my hands were wrist-deep in chalk.

In the commercial gyms I’ve used, chalk was illegal. If someone used it, they were escorted to the side by a teenaged personal trainer on a power trip, and then never seen again.  I didn’t even know what it felt like to use chalk.

Ah, my little lifting gloves. It was hard to part with them- they’ve been through a couple of recent PRs.

It all started when I asked Jim to use the EFS gym.  As an employee, yes, I get to use the gym. Some of you are jealous, I know. No big deal, I thought. I would go in by myself, do my workouts and feel no pressure, right? Wrong. Jim invited me to lift with his crew on Wednesday. At first I was beyond excited to get back in the gym. Due to moving and the fact that London, Ohio, doesn’t have many gyms to choose from, I hadn’t seen the interior of a gym in a week.

Right before I entered the door to the empty warehouse, I smiled, but inside I was a nervous wreck. What was I doing? I was about to train in a place people would DIE to train in, and to top that, I would be doing so in front of people who knew what they were doing!

Now, I’ve only been lifting weights for two years (and yes, that includes doing squats with five pound dumbbells), and using a barbell for three-quarters of that time. Two years ago, if you’d asked me what EliteFTS was, I would have shrugged my shoulders. I was afraid of weights and firmly believed that using them would make me look like a dude. This is funny now that I look back on it. So all of you guys with girlfriends or wives who are afraid to pick up weights, you have my permission to tell them it will be okay.

Gloves had to be tossed into the trash. They were too fashionable for EFS

As soon as I put my bag on the cement floor, I was frightened. I no longer shivered from the iron cold gym; I shivered from nerves. The metal music boomed over the speakers and blurred in the background of my thoughts.

They are going to make fun of me…my life is over…I am going to get fired from EFS after this… what if they think I’m beyond help?

“What are you doing today?” Jim asked.

“Legs,” was my response.

After taking an abnormally long time to stretch and warm-up, glancing around the gym and at the crew already started on the bench, I mustered enough courage to stand up. I decided that maaaaaybe squats were not a good idea. So, thought I’d play it safe with deadlifts, along with some back and shoulder work.

After my first set, the “gloves” episode happened. After my second set, Jim shouted from across the gym, asking, “What is your plan?”

Hell if I knew!

“You always have to a f%&^ing plan,” Jim exclaimed. “I have a plan. It is….” He started rambling, and all I heard was “Blah, blah, blah.” I was too busy asking myself what my plan was.

I was allowed to use chalk in a gym for the first time- EVER!

My workout was just a hodgepodge of stuff I put together. I wrote it down in a book and just tried to improve every time. I’d forgotten my book, so I was even more lost. That’s when he told me to pick up the weight I had and rep it out three times.

When I did four reps, he yelled at me.

“I said three!” shouted Jim.

I was told to load on 20 more pounds and do that six to seven times. Then, for the rest of the workout, I was told what to do. Haha! And I was not going to argue with that.

Apparently they give every newbie a hard time, so that was relieving to hear. I was scared for no reason.

Yes, the crew was intimidating. They lifted with bench shirts that I’ve only seen on YouTube, but they were all there to help each other - and, to my surprise, to help me grow as well. Somehow I got invited back today for upper body work. Jim is helping me create a plan so that he doesn’t have to yell at me every day! I’ll write later what it is going to consist of because I don’t even know yet!

As I was walking up the steps to work today, I was glad I was not graded on my poor performance last night and fired from EFS. But, that thought left my head as quickly as it came when I realized how sore my lower back and hamstrings were!

“I hate you,” I pouted to Jim. “I’m so sore!”

“I told you that you’d be sore!” Jim exclaimed like a little kid. “And I bet you didn’t even think you did enough to get sore.”

He was right, I didn’t think I did enough. I was wrong, very wrong.

Stay tuned for more updates on my progress and stories from the EFS gym.

Jim wondering what the hell I was doing.