No Judgments Fitness?
I don’t go to the gym often but when I do, I judge people but its probably not what you think. I judge people by two simple things in a gym:
- Adherence to gym etiquette. Do they just abandon their weights on the floor when they are done? Do they block the rack of weights by doing curls right next to the mirror? Do they just move towels and water bottles off equipment to use it rather than asking who is using it and if they can work in? Do they bicep curl in the solitary squat rack when there are dozens of other places to do them? Its fine if a newbie doesn’t understand gym etiquette, we were all there once. However, if someone has been to a gym enough to know the rules but yet does not bother to follow them judge-scooby gets out his white wig and gavel.
- Seriousness and Effort. I judge everyone I see working out on seriousness and effort but its not what you think, its relative to where they are. Someone who is 100 pounds overweight and gasping for air on the stationary bike for 45 minutes gets an A+ for effort whereas a guy with a God-tier muscular physique that came out of a syringe who mindlessly texts for 5 minutes between sets then does a set seemingly as an afterthought gets a solid F grade for effort … and thats only the start of my harsh judging.
- Form. I judge people on form but I am a very easy judge here because I realize that I don’t know everything and I certainly do not know the goal of their training. I always am looking around to see the exercises people are doing and what benefit they are getting from it. What I judge on is rather unusual. The only time I am a harsh judge on form is when its clear that the person thinks they are accomplishing one thing but clearly are doing something clearly different. The reason I judge harshly in these situations is that they always present needless risk of injury without any benefit. Some examples:
- Someone doing “incline press” whose hips are so elevated that they are doing bench press on an incline.
- Someone doing endless swings from a pullup bar fooling themselves they are working lower abs.
- Someone doing “barbell curls” with so much weight that its all legs and back swinging the weight up in jerky little micro-reps.
So yes, I judge at the gym but I am just as harsh on an overweight newbie as I am on a seasoned powerlifter. I don’t pretend to represent everyone in the gym, I just can tell you what I think and what I judge on. Yes, I know there are a lot of mean asshats in the world. There are people who make fun of obese people, disabled people, old people, unattractive people, foreigners, and homeless people. A lot of those asshats in the gym and they will harshly judge you just as they will harshly judge me. Guess what though, if you were not obese these jerks would find some other reason to judge you and make fun of you because they are insecure. The only way that insecure people seem to be able to become a tiny bit happy is to take other people down a notch – pity them and their pathetically shallow lives.
There are only two whose judgement you should care about, one if you are agnostic: your own!
Who cares what others think? Lift like no one is watching!
I understand that people who are obese people have been made fun of for years or even since childhood, they are sensitive about any comments at all relating to health or weight but it is helpful to sort this out. Here are the classes of comments I can see that an obese person will get:
- Insults and being made fun of. This mean comments come from insecure people who want to somehow make themselves feel better. These hurtful comments can also come from young kids and ignorant people. Unfortunately, these comments can also come from friends and loved ones who think that shaming will somehow help a person lose weight.
- Making moral judgements. This is what “no judgements means to me, for example – “He is obese because he is too lazy to exercise” – making a moral judgement without any information from which to make it. Anti-depressants and other life saving medications have the unfortunate side effect of weight gain and one cannot tell this by looking at someone.
- Constructive criticism. Obese people often seem so scarred by the above that they immediately shut their ears to constructive criticism too as a defense mechanism. Constructive criticism is advice critiquing your approach to solving a particular problem, in this case, obesity. An obese person needs constructive criticism more than most other people and they should welcome it rather than get defensive.
Find your inner genius!
When I was in school, one person won the spelling bee, the pinewood derby, or the science fair – their was first prize, second prize, third prize, and the losers. These days, everyone in school is a “winner” regardless of effort, talent, or genetics. This isn’t preparing kids for the harsh reality of life where they are judged every minute of every day by their bosses. Teachers judge and give grades to students. Bosses judge and give performance evaluations and raises. Those are valid judgements that need to be made very day to keep companies and societies running. Then there are the unfair judgements. Every minute of every day people are judged on their appearance, the way they dress, how tall they are, and how obese they are – that’s just the way it is. Is has been shown that tall people make more money and get better jobs than shorter people, that is not fair at all because its simply a genetic lottery. If you are short, obese, “stupid”, or “ugly” you need to do the best you can with the hand of cards you were dealt. You have to focus on your strength and advantages rather than wasting time worrying about what you can’t change. Everyone is brilliant, the sad thing is that most people never find out what they are brilliant at because they have such a narrow view of what “brilliant” means. Being able to do long division in your head but that is only one type of about a thousand kinds of genius. Please find your inner-genius and become proud and self-confident!
Find A Supportive Environment
The solution is NOT to surround yourself with people who constantly say “you poor thing, have a donut!” but the asshats of everyday life are not the solution either. Find yourself a support group who understands and truly wants to help you. Some small locally owned gyms are like this or you might need to find a supportive online community like sweat4health. Whatever you do, don.t give up. Despite what many would have you believe, being clinically obese is unhealthy, very unhealthy. Even if you have the deck stacked against you because of prescription medications you must take, there are still things you can do.