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Stupid things that don’t work at the gym

September 21, 2012

I go to the gym all the time, in fact I am usually at the gym 6 or 7 times a week (when I am not sick, which I currently am). There are all kinds of things that people do that annoy me while I am at the gym, like the guy who does a dumbbell exercise RIGHT in front of the rack blocking all of the weights or people who don’t clean the cardio equipment. But nothing bothers me as much as the people who are clearly wasting their time. There are two types of people who really stick out as people who are wasting their time and have no idea what they are doing.

Guy Exercising in a Trash Bag

I don’t understand why but I frequently see people exercising while wearing a trash bag. I assume that they think that they will burn more calories by exercising with the trash bag on. I am curious whether someone told them to do it or if they come up with the idea on their own. I imagine their logic goes a little something like this: exercise leads to sweat and exercise leads to weight loss, so more sweat means more weight loss.

man run trash bag exercise

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. If a person wears a trash bag while exercising they will retain more heat and will sweat more. The person will temporarily lose water weight, but as soon as they drink water to rehydrate they will gain that weight back. Wrestlers often use this strategy to temporarily lose weight before a weigh in but it has no impact on your long term weight. The only impart wearing a trash bag will have is increasing your odds of heat stroke.

Woman doing 50 Reps on a Machine

To be honest I only see a guy exercising in a trash bag like once a week, on the other hand I see someone doing like way too many reps on too light a weight every time I go to the gym. They will set the leg press to 20 pounds and then sit there and do 50 reps over the course of 5 minutes. There is no point to exercising this way. It isn’t enough weight to challenge your muscles to get stronger and you will burn almost no calories leg pressing 20 pounds. You would lose more weight by just walking, which is the easiest form of cardio.

The point of weight lifting is to increase or maintain muscle mass. If you are going to do weight lifting then challenge yourself so you get benefit out of it. You should not be able to do more than 15 reps at the weight you choose, and probably more like 5 to 8 reps. If you are looking to lose weight then choose cardio to burn calories, not really, really light weight lifting.

7 Comments
  1. The only time I’ve seen guys working out in trash bags/sauna suits is my guys at the MMA gym in the last day or two before weigh-ins when they’re cutting for a fight; obviously their water intake is heavily restricted at that time as well and the loss is just for the purposes of making weight. The women doing a thousand reps of a useless exercise is SO common, though. A friend of mine, whom, to her credit, has lost over 150 lbs and is just starting to exercise, told me proudly she had done 100 reps each of adductor/abductor (a useless machine if ever there were one). I told her if you can do 15 of something, it’s too easy. She didn’t get it.

    • You are right, there are not many people people who wear the trash bags when they workout but a ton of women and middle age men who will sit there and do 30 to 50 reps. Wow, 100 reps?!? That is really pushing wasting time to the next level!

  2. Hahaha at a gym I used to work at there was a guy who used to train every day in a garbage bag. I finally asked him about it and he told me he had a drug test coming up so he was trying to see all the weed out of his system!

    • LOL, I would never have thought of using a garbage bag to sweat out drugs. It isn’t a problem I usually have..

  3. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone working out wearing a trash bag… maybe it’s an American thing? As for doing lots of reps on low weight yep I see this at the gym all the time!

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