Sunday, September 30, 2007

Gym Gyan

In Chennai, most neighborhoods have a public gym - there is one in Chetpet, Nungambakkam, Besant Nagar beach and so on. They have a set of parallel bars and then some weights and dumbbells. The local students hang out there in the mornings or evenings discussing body building and so on.
In such places, there are always some people who offer wierd advice - advice that apparently shows their expertise. These are well-meaning people, but some of the bits you hear are pretty unusual.
When I was in college and used to hang out at the local gym, there was one guy who was always doing parallel bars. He told me one day that if you did parallel bars, muscles in your legs MOVE to your chest, thereby making your chest look big, while your legs are very thin.
That is, according to him there was a single muscle that went back and forth between the chest and legs - depending on if you were doing Squats or doing parallel bars.
It seems pretty stupid now, but I completely believed him. One of his suggestions to keep the muscle from moving was to keep the legs bent at knee level while doing bars. With the effect that you look like you are going to the toilet while doing the bars.

One of the people who used to hang out was a state baskettball player. He made knowledgeable comments on working out so we asked for his advice on how best to workout. He became enthusiastic and suggested that all of us gather early morning at 6 AM for a visit to the Chetpet gym.
We did. He got us to run towards Chetpet from Nungambakkam. While running he kept going back and forth, trying to make us run in formation. Unfortunately, most of us were not even fit for NCC; we kept talking to each other. I rememebr that one of us actually held hands with another WHILE RUNNING. And we ran too slow - we were basically walking.
The basketball player was getting increasingly annoyed - he yelled at us. We did not care. Suddenly he screamed at us and went running back. Left us, in the middle of the road.
We just walked down to a tea shop and then returned.

One other guy traded stories of his days of working out. He said they had a "Guru". He said the Guru's legs looked like Hanuman's. Now this Guru firmly believed that a good workout meant you have to sweat a lot. He accomplished that by having the workout in an asbestos shed and then CLOSING THE DOOR AND WINDOWS! I would sweat if I was in such a room, WITHOUT working out - but these guys believed their Guru was the greatest because he made them sweat.

No comments: