Grunters - Is There Any Need?

A short and sweet rant...here it comes. 

There are some nights when I'm working in the gym and the members on the 'other side' of the gym (the section with all the machines!) seem compelled to make noises that are similar to the mating call of a greater spotted baboon on heat (that's not a real animal by the way). A variety of noises emanate from the male gym goers, usually when they are on the bench or doing bicep curls and the sounds are rather haunting and very loud, only to be drowned out by their friends who are spotting them (in other words doing at least 50% of the work for them) shouting, "go on, all yours" .

I'm a huge believer of intensity of effort and encourage my clients to work hard, but we don't tend to let out lots of noise in the process. We just crack on and get it done. The most we usually have is a few whimpers at the end of a particularly tough set (that's usually the only sound they can muster because they are spent!). What I've started to wonder is the purpose of all that noise. I've come to the conclusion that it's probably for show. A way of announcing to the rest of the gym that the lifter is pushing some serious weight, "urghhhhhhhhhhh, I am strong like a bear!" 

I was recently watching a documentary series, One Born Every Minute. It's about a maternity ward and well you can imagine what it's all about! Anyway, there is this wise old midwife that often drops a few pearls of wisdom into each show. This week there was one particularly noisy mum to be that was making a hell of a racket (now, in my opinion she can make as much noise as she wants. If ever there was a maximal effort that requires a big grunt, then pushing a baby out of your body is it!). Well, not according to the midwife who promptly told the mum to be to stop making so much noise and concentrate on pushing 

"focus that energy of making a lot of noise and direct it to popping out your child!"

The lightbulb went on for me. What great advice and words of wisdom that I think a lot of lifters would do well to listen to. There may be times when you need to belt out a good old URGHHHHHHHH to squeeze that last repetition out but do you know what, I think that more often than not you need to shut up and focus your attention on getting rep out and not some noise that announces to the rest of the gym that you have just completed a tough set. 

I see (well, hear) guys every night making a lot of fuss about every single repetition. Come on, is there really any need? If women giving birth have to shut up and push, then I think someone lifting a barbell with some weight on should also keep a lid on it and concentrate on the job in hand!


Back To Blogs