Just Because Arnold Did, It Doesn’t Mean You Should…

No woman who goes to the gym to do work wants to to be asked stupid questions like, ‘Do you come here often?’ while sweating profusely and gasping for breath after completing a circuit of intense training. Nor is fighting to keep your weights while doing supersets a fun adventure.

In an effort to avoid the crazies I get to the gym early; weekends included.

Saturday mornings are usually calm and quiet.

This morning was anything but usual.

To kick things off, I got trapped in the squat rack by the Strange Man doing pull ups. Apparently it is 100% acceptable to trap a woman in the cage and nearly kick her in the face while she sets up the bar.

Claustrophobia set in real quick.

I had to drop to my knees and squeeze underneath the safeties to escape. We finally settled on a plan that allowed him to ‘work in‘ while I wasn’t squatting 155 pounds.

My next exercise was a superset of extensions and hack squats. I took a giant swig of water and glanced at the hack machine only to find a man chatting amicably with his friends while sitting on it. He had the machine loaded up with 12 plates and wasn’t moving a thing.

The last thing I wanted was to encounter more craziness, so I made a new plan of attack for the superset.

After a few ascending sets of extensions, I caught the eye of my friend who was also training that morning. She was barely holding laughter in while setting up the cable machine for her next exercise.

I nodded knowingly.

The man with the 12 plates was still sitting there chatting and had yet to do one squat.

It was funny, but not that funny.

Then I saw it…

donkey calf raises

I feel like I am going to go to hell for posting this picture, but I just can't NOT...or something. GOSH!

Yes. This seriously happened over and over and over again. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Our gym is equipped with many options to train calves.

  • Seated calf raise
  • Calf press
  • Several lying leg presses
  • Smith machine
  • Seated leg press
  • Dumbbells and steps

Everyone was shocked. People openly stared. Comments were made.

The air was filled with awkward tension.

After each and every set of ‘Arnold inspired donkey calf raises’, calf comparisons where done on tippy toe. The man on the loaded hack machine cheered them on while not moving one ounce of weight.

A handshake, chest bump, and hug finished off the calf session.

  • Icing on the proverbial cake.

Apparently I need to get to the gym when the doors open to avoid the awkwardness.

Can’t a girl just train legs without something crazy happening?

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  1. I almost wanted to say that this post was going to be priceless without pics…but you had one and it was amazing! Wish I could have been there!!!!

    • If you were there, I have a sense we wouldn’t have been able to hold it together. It was so awkwardly hilarious!

      • I actually looked at the photo and ENLARGED it and couldn’t stop laughing. Is that bad??? Then my 4yr old asked me what they were doing….I was caught. For shame.

  2. Hahahaha, I love this! Never seen that one before but I’m not sure I could have kept it together!

    I had a man hop on the tm next to me a few weeks back and literally said, “So, do you come to this gym often?” Naturally, I had headphones in, so I made a big show of removing them, turning down my music, etc, hoping he would get the point. Nope, he just kept right on yapping. No bueno!

    • They are totally hilarious, and not in the funny way. I tend to furrow my brow a lot and try to avoid eye contact, but in specials cases like your ridiculous treadmill dude that doesn’t help.

  3. You won’t believe this, but I am following a plan from Bodybuilding.com ~ Jamie Easons LiveFit 12 week trainer. Today was day 31 for me and it had those donkey calf raises scheduled for today….not having a training partner (or wanting to ask one of the men at the gym to saddle me) l used the leg press machine instead. Too funny!

  4. That NEVER happens in our yoga classes. 🙂

  5. In defense of Donkeys: There is something about the bent knee position, the leverage, and the position of the movement that makes these unique to calf training. I have always been big on this movement because nothing gets to my calves more. That said, I own my gym, and I have devised a way to do these on my Smith Machine — after hours, when nobody is looking.

    Not speaking on behalf of, or defending the Tools you saw doing them, but they are a tasty movement 🙂

    • I understand the value of the exercise, but there are BETTER WAYS! Thank you for using the Smith Machine, you get a gold star in my book. 😀

  6. HAHA! I have thought about taking pictures of the strange things I see in the gym…and now you have given me confidence 😉

  7. Thank you for reminding me of my gym and making coffee almost come out of my nose this morning. I ha da tough start to my day and this lightened it considerably. Love a good gym-tool pic and a ridiculous gym scenario.

  8. OMG I wouldn`t have believed it if I had not seen the picture. That’s for real? Jeez.

    Maybe they were doing it just to get a rise out of other people? I know some guys who would do that.

  9. saw a guy today doing 50lpd barbell squat to shoulder press on upside down bosu ball supersetting with squats on smith machine and hack squat which he had 150lpd loaded. Thing is he was doing quarter squats, barely bending his knees to get into a squat…who am I to judge someone’s form or what exercise their doing; but when I saw him wobbling on the bosu I extended my stretching to be able to run over and pick the barbell off him and help him up just in case it ended in disaster

  10. Love it! I saw this calf exercise in the bodybuilding.com Jamie Eason program…seriously, I would never do this in a gym….or anywhere…ever. I think it is called donkey calf raise or something…..hehe…sigh! Stealth move, way to go:)

  11. oh my god….I spit out my coffee on the keyboard lol…hilarious

    PS my next post (in a few days) will mention you! hope thats ok!

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