Slang for odd and usually dangerous or pointless behavior in the gym.

Going to a gym can be an exercise in humility. Regardless of what you are competent at there is usually some activity that will expose some weakness you have. I personally can use the large muscles of my thigh to stand up carrying an impressive amount of weight but standing in Warrior Pose makes tiny muscles at the front of my leg above the ankle give out quickly. I am heavy, muscle bound and inflexible which means I am absolutely terrible at some kinds of physical activity.

Point being until you train something you’re not going to do it well. Regardless of how well trained you are elsewhere. But that is the entire point of this.

But because of toxic masculinity or misinformation what should be a personal and private act to get better becomes an exercise in public exhibition.

To qualify as gym fuckery an activity has to be impressive or showy, pointless or dangerous, a misuse of the facilities, and easier than doing the right thing.

Case in point. A lat pull down machine is a difficult exercise for many because you rarely pull yourself up by your back muscles alone. But if you literally bounce the weight stack up and down by using your body weight jumping back and forth like Spiderman it looks like you’re combining an agility drill with a weight bearing exercise to make it harder but in actuality are just a counterweight. The cable should’ve significantly distressed after this making it a danger to you and others. You walk away marking down you did 8 reps with 150lb. You will also have scrawny back muscles.

This actually represents an evolutionary step to earlier gym fuckery when some people would use their entire bodies and momentum to complete that exercise. There’s a famous YouTube video of a guy literally walking one of these machines across the floor by throwing himself violently back and forth with body weight and momentum doing the work.

Some gym fuckery represents a bona fide attempt to make something harder not easier. A case in point is someone trying a back squat while standing on a balance ball. That activity will certainly make tiny muscles in your knees and ankles strain furiously to adjust constantly. But it’s an easy one way ticket to snap city or hideous injury when the ball bursts. Enjoy your knee surgery or wheelchair. For the record CrossFit is this sort of thing elevated to an AmWay style cult.

Often times it is just ignorance. One of the funniest things I have ever seen is a recent immigrant in a hijab with her face pressed into the seat back of an abductor machine grabbing the seat back sides for dear life and trying to force the machine apart by doing bent over splits. Out of respect for Islamic etiquette I found a female trainer who quickly showed her how to sit down at it properly and push against the pads with her outer thigh to do this instead.

Case in point in this is the guy who wears a weighted vest to do leg presses (where the additional weight is irrelevant) or an altitude simulator mask for bicep curls. A mask like this restricts air flow and simulates rarified air at higher altitudes. It’s used in running and cycling to make the lungs work harder and optimize oxygen use. Not relevant in anaerobic exercise.

When stupidity is done long enough by enough people it ceases to be fuckery and becomes elevated to bench pressing with your feet on the bench or swinging your body at the bottom of a bicep curl and becomes broscience.