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What You Can Learn from a Gym loner (article)

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What You Can Learn from a Gym loner
By: Anders JP Eskilsson, December 28, 2017



I’m quite sure you have seen them while you have been training over the decades. They train alone, move slow and quietly between each exercise and hardly ever speak to anyone. They seem unimpressed by anything, rarely smile – sticking to their own business. I’ve seen them over the years; introverted; they don’t care about any flashy gym clothes; at many times covered up in hoodies, probably listening to thrash metal bands like Megadeath or Pantera.

When it’s time to put it some work behind the iron, the previous calmness implodes and transforms into a fury of power that can move extreme weight in a very strict way. Control is the thing – if you can’t control the weight, don’t lift it. There aren’t anyone doing it better than these guys. It always feels like they are one step ahead of everyone, they might not be the biggest guy around, but often the strongest.

Most of the times, they don’t compete, they just like the fundamentals of bodybuilding: getting stronger, eating clean and adding mass. Although, once or twice every second year or so, they might have been experimented with a diet they studied extremely well before implementing it. Probably academic literature because bro science from the net wouldn’t be good enough. After working hard throughout the prep, the shirt might come of, and boom an impressive freakin physique comes through.

They are timeless, unaffected by trends – and doesn’t have a clue who this or that “Instagram stars” are, simply because they couldn’t care less. It´s all business for these guys, no vanity – they are in the gym to do damage – to get stronger and bigger – nothing more, nothing less.

Boiled down there are a lot everyone can learn from the gym loners.

You don’t have to be ultra-social in the gym, just because you are around people with the same interests as you, or for that matter, snap selfies every minute just because you live in a social media society. It can actually benefit your physical progress by not carrying the phone into every freakin training session – and check the feed, like it or not – it will disturb your concentration in one way or another.

Instead the focus should be on the power within and future goals; and the deeper mental states of training – and aim for the endorphin release by challenging your strength through how much weight that can master.

The lonely bodybuilder can be a great contrast to realize that today’s society is way too ego-centric and t many times unhealthy. In some cases it seems like the value of a person is graduated by how many followers they got on social media…and not for who they really are or their work ethics in the gyms.

I personally think that it might be better to complicate things and maybe even be a bit introverted during career periods to reach the higher levels of potential. I’m not sure that Dorian Yates would have been so successful if he would have lived a more extroverted lifestyle while he was competing. The same thing goes with Phil Heath…but also like a lot of non-competitive bodybuilders, like the gym loner.
 

muscle_n_blood

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This is me for many years. I've hooked up with few training partners, and when I did, they were seriously serious. In 45 years in the gym, I've dated 2 women I actually met there
 

Jdave

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I would classify myself as the person that article describes- especially the music


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I fit the description almost 100%. No training partner, no phone, no music, cheapest clothes I can find, barely talk to anyone.

It's just me and a stopwatch.
 
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I find those who train hard and train alone, not spending time on their phone or wasting the majority of time talking to be great and friendly individuals when you approach them.
I have met a few over the years and we could have worked out for a year or four before we spoke, but they’ve mostly been nice and share a common passion.
Except for one asshole I met...when I first started training and was a bit intimidated by him, I asked him one question or said hello and he was a total dick.
Hopefully he isn’t around anymore. RIP Asshole.
I sure would have liked to smash him in the face with a 10lb plate.
 
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I find those who train hard and train alone, not spending time on their phone or wasting the majority of time talking to be great and friendly individuals when you approach them.
I have met a few over the years and we could have worked out for a year or four before we spoke, but they’ve mostly been nice and share a common passion.
Except for one asshole I met...when I first started training and was a bit intimidated by him, I asked him one question or said hello and he was a total dick.
Hopefully he isn’t around anymore. RIP Asshole.
I sure would have liked to smash him in the face with a 10lb plate.
You're not making yourself sound so great there either.

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Lol. I’m just being honest.
Probably the biggest jerk I have ever met. Made me feel like I was going to go no where in the gym.
And the smashing in the face with a plate is an over reaction to explain how disrespectful he was. I used it to help get my point across that his ego was so high, that he probably thought he was a god.
I just wrote what I was thinking at the time.
 

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love this write up. thats what the gym is all about. sweatpants and a t shirt and get to work. i only know 2 peoples names in the gym ive gone to for 5 years now.

its a strange thing looking the same people in the eyes over the years and never knowing a single thing about them. i wouldnt change it if i could, because honestly i dont give a fuck what your name is or what you do for work. ive heard it all before office job steve with the i used to bench 500 pounds in college.
 

asashouryu

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This one hits home for me too. I'm there to work out, not to socialize. That being said if I have/had a training partner at some point(s) or another you talk a little with them about the workout...but I just don't get the smartphone, thing. I can't believe how many people waste time and take up seats on equipment/benches/in front of mirros looking at their phone...GET OUT OF MY WAY. I'M HERE TO WORK. I want to scream, but I also don't wanna get kicked out of my gym..so I politely ask them if I can work in. :)
 

Lift4Life

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love this write up. thats what the gym is all about. sweatpants and a t shirt and get to work. i only know 2 peoples names in the gym ive gone to for 5 years now.
I can relate LOL! It's kind of bizarre how you know someone, ask what's up and even work out with them but don't end up asking what their name is :D
 
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Not surprising many of us here can relate to the characteristics of the gym loaner.. the 2% applies to gym members as well.

The numbers may grow but how many are serious and dedicated enough to make real changes to their physique. Many put in the time but not the effort and they never progress.
 

JameoN

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Many don’t understand the introvert. It’s not that we’re angry or mean we just prefer to be left alone. Our faces stone cold, not that we are cold, in fact I like nothing more than cuddles with the wife, but that when put in a room with alphas we don’t show weakness or the need for help. I am to busy with thoughts of my next set or excercises to actually care what you think. Ask me for spot ? I’ll be there. Ask me about proper form? I’ll help where I can. But if you wanna talk about the weekend you got the wrong guy. When hoodie comes off? Oh boy! It’s time to do work. The only word coming out of my mouth is UP!! Whilst I push past my pr’s. Leave your weights racked ? I’ll put them away, because honestly your shit was to light for me anyways.
 
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At my old gym guys would spend more time socialising or looking at themselves in the mirror than actually working out. They were there for 2 to 3 hours sometimes sitting on a bench texting friends while others were waiting for that sane bench.

I had only a few training partners there, some wouldn't show up without even letting me know (that pissed me off) so I started working out alone. My training sessions don't exceed 45 min. I do everything back to back and I don't talk to anyone. If you want to talk to me wait until I'm done.
 
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Really it comes down to two types, those that are there to put in real work and those that aren't, their just looking for "something to do" or so they can say "I went to the gym" like its a badge of honor or something.
Unfortunately the latter is more dominant, especially after the holidays.
Given what CJM is all about I'd be surprised if we had many social butterfly's on here but you never know I guess.
 
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I’m the loner type. Literally .. garage gym, just myself, loud music, weights and training vids playing on the flat screen. Nothing or no one to take you out of the zone (y)

Not much of a people person. “Do you know how f*cking stupid the average person is”
Ricky Gervais.
 
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I even listened to a full two Pantera albums on Tuesday this week at the gym lol. Only difference is that I use the least weight I can to get the results I need as I would like another 20 years out of these elbows lol. I've been training 23 years this year and never dated or made a single friend at the gym other than when someone talks to me while changing. Occasionally the proprietor of the gym to show respect. For a long time I changed at home to avoid this. The gym is my church, don't talk to me while I'm at my service. It's the one place where all the chaos of the world is gone, nothing exists but the current or next set. I visualize every rep and close my eyes during sets. I push past the pain and train to utter agony, I can't even imagine having a conversation in that state. My opinion is that if you can talk between sets your not training hard enough. Hell I still puke every leg day, often back days too.

I miss the gyms that would put the stereo in the corner and allow you to bring a Pantera CD. :p
 
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