It was a Monday (chest day!), and I was at the gym just minding my own business, getting on with my workout. Feeling a little adventurous, I decided to spice up my morning with some dumbbell presses. Upon scanning the rack, I noticed that the weights I needed were currently resting on the floor underneath a fellow gym goer. I really didn’t want to wait until he had finished his set, so I approached carefully and asked if I could work in, take it turns so to speak.
His response shocked me a little.
He looked up, with a sort of cautious look in his eyes, and muttered: “Well you’re bigger than me, so I guess you can take whatever you want”.
I didn’t really know how to react. I worked in regardless, saved myself a few minutes of waiting, and left him to finish his workout in peace.
Then it dawned on me. I’ve become one of ‘those guys’. Those guys that grunt as they lift, the ones that carry around a massive jug of suspicious looking neon liquid. The guys that wear either massive hoodies or tiny vests.
I’ve become a bro.
I remember when I first started at the gym. I avoided bros as much as possible. I thought they were egotistical, juiced up, aggressive monsters, that only went to the gym to intimidate others and seek attention.
A view I think is common among new gym goers.
But 10 years later I’ve become the thing I used to fear.
Ok, so I might be a bro. But I’m not aggressive, on steroids, or need to seek attention from others. I go to the gym for therapy, recovery, and self-improvement. The gym helps me deal with my MS, helps keep me focussed on my goals.
And now I feel a little guilty for judging ‘the bros’. We all have our own story, our own reason to train.
So before you judge a bro by his cover, think about what he might have been through. Why he might grunt, or yell, or pump himself up in the gym. Why he started going to the gym in the first place.
And if you’re afraid of going to the gym because you might be judged by a ‘stereotypical bro’, then ask yourself…
Who’s judging who?