Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Seven Deadly Gym Sins

They have been an icon of religious ideology for millennium, but the fact of the matter is, the 7 deadly sins apply to all of life, and the gym is no different. These “sins” will interfere with your ability to create a new and better you, and if you aren't careful will make it damn near impossible for you to ever create a new and better you. Here’s how the list translates..

  1. Luxuria (lechery / lust) - I'd be lying if I didn't admit that more than half of the days I have gone to the gym has purely been to gawk at women, and while I am there I might as well exercise. Two factors though. It's not what got me there to begin with, and it isn't why I go now. It better not be the ONLY reason you have ever gone, because you not only waste your own time, but you ruin the place for others that probably go there to, well.. Work out. Worse yet, if you get yourself mired with the “lechery” tag by too many people who find your goals to be too far from actually “working out” you’ll get singled out and treated poorly. This makes it hard to go to the gym.
  2. Gula (gluttony) - Some would say that gluttony got us to where we needed to go to the gym, but there are other forms of gluttony you have to worry about to. Like perhaps the term "glutton for punishment?" Don't think that a constant state of pain is a good thing. As a matter of fact it isn’t so for the love of God DO NOT be gluttonous on your work out ethic. It took me years to start getting past the one hour workout mark and a decade to get past an hour and a half. Don’t waste your life at the gym, because it is just a tool to accent your life outside of it.
  3. Avaritia (avarice / greed) - Don't be selfish or greedy with equipment and people's time at the gym. We're all in this together and if you haven't learned to share a machine you are actually missing out on the benefits of it, like proper resting times and heaven forbid new friendships. This also applies to what was stated above in Sin #1. You start to become one of “those” people. Others at the gym will start to bemoan when they see you at the gym if you have a greedy and unreasonable streak, and isn’t it hard enough to get healthy without being a jerk?
  4. Acedia (sloth / discouragement) - You are the best advertisement for you. Show up to the gym everyday looking like crap and that's pretty much how everyone will see you. Get discouraged easily and not only will you miss out on what your goals were to get you there, but you will start becoming a cursed object to others as well. If you get up for the gym then the gym will get up for you. A clean look and attitude (not to mention a smile) turns you into a magnet for other people, and loneliness is another thing that makes the gym stink sometimes.
  5. Ira (wrath) - I've often said that a Great Set at the gym is when you put the weights down and you feel like you could start flipping over all the machines in there. A “Perfect” Set is when you can not only control that rage but turn it into a laugh now and again. Today is just a day. One of many, so don’t bring your temper to the gym. Find things that are humorous about your workout. I noticed one day that I make a weird squeak now and again, and the squeak makes me laugh, and trying to replicate it makes me really laugh. Above all else being angry at the gym gives you another opportunity to be one of “those” people, so just don’t do it.
  6. Invidia (envy) - I can't tell you how many people have taken the time to judge me, the 165lb - 30" waist without a single thought or inkling about the 210lb 36" waist guy who started his journey at the gym. Bad news for a lot of people out there but that is a lot of the reason that I am the most helpful people at the gym, but at the same time the least forgiving. The people who walk around judging the healthier (or sometimes the less healthy) never seem to get anywhere with their workouts. It’s all about YOU, not THEM.
  7. Superbia (pride) - Most people sitting at home with a really bad injury have succumbed to this one. As a matter of fact I know of hardly anyone who got injured when their ego and pride were perfectly in check. Remember the most important rule of the gym applies to the deadliest of gym sins, "I don't go to the gym to show off. I go to the gym so I can show off at the beach."  For that very reason alone, always remember to keep the ego in check, lift just a hair lighter than you know you can, and show off your cool new t-shirt, and not how much you can lift.

Probably nothing worse than having someone, anyone tell you what to do. Of course it isn’t any good to be one of the people that others avoid either. Most of the 7 deadly gym sins are written out to help you avoid being “that guy” (or gal) at the gym that makes others uncomfortable. I have told people over and over again that a good relationship with your gym and the people there will make it a second home. The healthiest among us has made it such and there is no reason why you can’t too.