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9/4/2012 10:34:00 AM -
Game Week/Assorted

FOOTBALL: I’m back to having some time to myself after working like crazy with the kids for the last week of camp. This week, we’ll find out a little bit about what kind of team we have this year, and I’m looking forward to it like I always do. We have a nice test this week – a non-league game against one of the better teams from a lower division.

These types of games are really a no-win situation for our kids. If we lose, we suck. If we win, big f-ing deal, because we were supposed to win. I look at these games a little differently than that. The way I see it, a football season is like any list of tasks you have to complete when you have a job. When you have a ton of shit to do, the best way to do it is to get the stuff you don’t want to do out of the way first. That’s what this game is: an unpleasant task to be dispensed with so we can move on to the more important things on our list.

This team will give us a good run, but we should definitely win, and win big. We have more talent, more depth, and (I hope) better coaching. Our prep work is done, everything is in place, and we’re looking forward to a great week of practice to take the kids to one of their mini-peaks this weekend.

COMMERCIAL GYMS: The end of camp also means I’m training regularly during the week at a rather annoying commercial gym in my neighborhood. I’ve written about this place several times before, so I don’t really mean to beat this dead horse again, but I trained there this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks—I’ve been training at the school—and they rearranged the gym while I was gone. I like some of the changes they’ve made, but I’m not too fond of some of the other moves. This made me consider something gym owners should definitely think about when arranging their equipment and designing their floor plans.

This gym essentially has three places to squat: a decent power rack and two of what I’ll call “squat stands.” The middle squat stand has an uneven floor, so it’s my third choice if I need to do anything in this area. The power rack is pretty good, but behind it to the right—I’m talking about three feet, maximum—is one of those Hammer Strength leverage shrug machines. The squat stand to the left is okay, but in the move, the owners lined up two racks of fixed barbells immediately behind it and to the left.

This means that if you’re using the power rack, you’ll typically have some guy doing shrugs in the leverage machine three feet away. And if you use the squat stand on the left, you’ll have someone taking off a fixed barbell and doing curls three feet away from you. This is especially inconvenient because these two things – fixed barbells and the shrug machine – are favorites of people who aren’t really serious about training, especially the shrug machine. This one is immensely popular with all the 19 year old kids who love to load it up with plates, do a couple of bullshit sets, then walk away and leave everything on it. It’s also the machine of choice for all the 45 year old Johnny Gym Guy dudes who’ll do a set, then sit there for ten minutes drinking coffee before they do anything else. These people also aren’t known for their consideration of other people’s space.

Now, I’m not saying every commercial gym needs a “hardcore” section where we can all use our bands and chains and chalk in peace. That’s not realistic, and it’s not what these types of gyms exist for. In any commercial gym, however, you’re bound to have at least some people who know what they’re doing. In my case, I train there sometimes because I’d rather not drive 30-40 minutes to my real gym for run of the mill workouts where I don’t need anything special to get my work done. When I’m early in a training cycle, like I am now, my schedule isn’t conducive to synching up with a bunch of training partners on weekdays. This sucks, but it’s reality.

Anyway, the idea I’m talking about here is that when gym owners are coming up with floor plans, they really should think about the average experience levels of the people who use certain pieces of equipment. When we’re looking at the “proper” use of certain pieces, the guy who uses a power rack is going to be different, in terms of his experience and goals, from the guy who uses the fixed barbells. Generally, I mean. I suppose there will be times when Power Rack Guy might use a fixed barbell, but they’ll typically be few and far between, and only for something very specific. When you have him constantly butting heads with the high school kid doing upright rows in the mirror with the 30-pound fixed barbell while he’s squatting with a decent amount of weight three feet away, however, it can get frustrating.

Just something to think about, right Phil?

Shouting out random Italian guys I know,
Angry Coach

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