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The Pump

This post is also available in: German

“The pump is better than coming in a woman.”*

It’s been a long while.  Some nagging injuries and laziness have kept me out of the gym (I mean the real gym with plates of iron, not the one you froo froos go to for your spin classes and low impact hiney-toning spazrobics), but I’ve returned. After only a couple of months the strength and the feeling of being able to take on anything that comes my way is back.  And there’s no going back to being a couch potato; weight training is just too beneficial not to make it a lifelong commitment.  Ferchrissakes, it actually reverses the aging process!

Gaining new strength and mass has always been an uphill battle for me.  I’m a natural ectomorph, which means women who like barrel-chested stocky men should look elsewhere.  If I were playing for the other team, I’d never be invited to any “bear” parties.  Getting older also means muscle gains come slower and recovery times between workouts get longer.  Injuries happen easier as well, which explains why the older guys in the gym are so focused on proper lifting form.  Going to failure on the warm-up set and crashing the bar into your chest on every rep is a fool’s game played by the wet behind the ears.

A few things I’ve noticed about gym culture:

It’s not hard to spot the roid muscle from the natural stuff.  Guys who juice have a weird inflated look to the muscles, and their skin seems paper thin.  Plus, they have the tell-tale “roid gut” which looks like they swallowed a ripped keg.  Good for impressing other guys; not so good for impressing girls.

Girls using the hip adductor machine are placing towels over the pelvis.  Sweet Jesus, is nothing free anymore?  Your privates are already clothed, it’s not like we guys are getting a zoomed porno shot of your goods. Taking recreational glimpses in between our sets of girls on this exercise machine, legs spread as wide as they’ll go, gives us masturbation material for at least a couple nights.  Don’t reduce the joy in the world.

Creatine, BCAAs, and whey protein are your best (legal) friends.

The gym pickup is totally possible.  Yeah, we’ve all heard how women don’t like to be hit on at the gym where they are “under construction” and not fully prepped to be approached by guys, but nevermind that.  I find a spot next to a cutie to do my bike or treadmill warmup, preferably one not wearing headphones, though if she is a light tap on her arm, smiling, and a motion to take off her headphones works well.  Here’s where I come in with the fun stuff.  Never be serious in a gym pickup.  That’s a killer.  Usually there’s a TV set nearby so I’ll say something like “I can’t believe what’s on this TV.  Sports again!  And golf no less.  What’s a guy gotta do to watch a little Desperate Housewives in the gym?  Is that too much to ask?” Anything to get her laughing and smiling, because if you look around that’s the last thing girls are doing in the gym.  Get her attention, open with a situational observation, then playfully flirt.  That’s the basic formula.  Once I’m in, I start vibing.  Running the treadmill is fucking boring so most girls I’ve successfully opened would welcome a 10 minute conversation.  I wait for her to start asking me questions, then move into my close.  I tell her I have to get back to my real workout but that I liked talking with her and we should hang out.  Then I suggest a date to meet, usually one not too far in the future.  I don’t have a phone with me, so I say “Just give me your number.  Don’t worry, I have a feeling I won’t forget it.” Then I get back to working out so it doesn’t look like I’m at the gym to pickup chicks.

Alright, back to throwing iron.  Here’s motivation to set an example for all those pasty-assed nerdos hiding under their mama’s beds:

*Arnold later retracted this statement


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