It seems like every Monday, every bro (chronic gym goers who emphasize looking good over form and function) in the gym is decked out in their new gym gear and grunting on the bench trying to move weight that is obviously too heavy. What is this? Why is this happening? Welcome to International Chest Day. Let’s break down what it is and go over the dos and don’ts of this well known, yet misunderstood day.
We all see them. How can you not notice the guys making the most noise in the gym? The fact that they can even attempt the weight they have loaded on the bar and not have their elbows, back, and shoulders snap off is a miracle. So, why on Monday? The answer is probably simpler than you realize. For the most part, chest is a fun muscle group to work out and it’s easy to get a pump by doing exercises like the bench press. That being said, after the weekend, people usually dislike going back to work on Monday and what better way is there to clear the Monday blues than with a little feel-good pump?
So what is the problem with this so far? Well, there isn’t one…yet. The Real problem comes when Mondays become an excuse to lift as much weight as you can with little regard to form. This probably stems from the fact that working weight decreases with good form due to less muscle compensation and activation from muscles that are not supposed to be involved in the lift. After Learning the correct form, the weight will come, the key is consistency and discipline!
The Dos and Don’ts
Don’t grunt excessively. Ugh. Don’t be the person that sounds like they are giving birth in the middle of the gym.
Do control the weight, your form, and breathing and you will fit right in with your gym fam.
Don’t have bad form. Lifting heavy weight for the sake of lifting heavy weight often elicits some compromise to form. You will not impress anyone with the weight that you can press if you look like something out of a horror movie while under the bar.
Do take the time to develop the correct form. There are few things more satisfying than seeing the impressed faces of your fellow gym goers as you finish a set with near perfect form.
Don’t forget to re-rack your weights. The next person that wants to use that bench does not care about how much you just benched, they only care about all the weight they must take off the bar before they can start their workout.
Do leave that bench in better condition than you found it. After you finish your sets, it is common courtesy to clean up after yourself and wipe down the bench.
When applied, these dos and don’ts will make you stand out in the gym as the patron not only wants the most out of their lifting session, but wants fellow gym goers to enjoy their experience too.
By: James Mingle