I made a post before Thanksgiving that started a little controversy.
I was simply making the observation that a lot of women you see in gyms don't appear to be following any kind of plan--they just go in haphazardly and do a few random exercises that don't get them anywhere. I may be wrong, but I feel like this is more often the case with women than men.
Anyway, some dedicated gym-rat women who work in my office read it and took offense. I came to work the next day to find a scarecrow in my likeness being burned in effigy on my desk. The punishment got worse when they stopped putting in a good word for me with their attractive young friends. (One of these co-workers, Jenna Autuori, assistant to the editor-in-chief at our sister magazine, Shape, was even moved to write this.)
Even if this world-shaking discussion somehow managed to escape your attention in the midst of government bailout negotiations and the OJ sentencing, I feel the need to follow up. Now I wouldn't say I speak for all men out there. I'm not a huge sports fan, I've never seen an episode of 24 or the Jason Bourne movies, and I maintain some (though few) standards when I drink. Still, I feel like most guys would agree with me on the following.
Don't tell us your trainer is "the best" when you look EXACTLY the same as you did six months ago when you hired him/her. If your goal was not to change a thing about yourself, why did you pay someone to beat the crap out of you for an hour, three days a week? If you did everything the trainer said to do and you still look like you need a trainer, it's not your fault, it's the trainer's.
Don't be afraid to enter the weight room. Yes, the areas with the treadmills and the big inflatable bouncy balls look more inviting, but you're not going to change your body there. You really won't. Even though some of the guys in the weight room look like they could kill you, they really just want to hit on you. And while that could be a fate worse than death in some cases, it's worth the risk. Learn to love, lift, and rely on free weights.
Don't do any kind of deadlift with your back rounded over. It hurts us just to watch, and it will hurt you too one day. Failing to keep your lower back in its natural arch when you bend forward at the hips with a barbell in your hands places a lot of pressure on the discs between your lower vertebrae. It can lead to a herniation.
Don't do chest flyes thinking that it will make your boobs bigger or support them better. Well, you can do them when we're looking, but don't spend too long on it. Chest exercises have been said to improve the look of the breasts, but it's not because they have any effect on the shape of the breasts themselves--the pectoralis muscles underneath are what get worked. And pressing exercises are better than flyes.
Don't come to the gym with your boyfriend. It ruins the view.
I expect Jenna or others will be back with their lists of what they want from guys, and I'll probably leave tonight and find my car has been shaving creamed, but what the hell.