Gym tools

Is there a correlation between strength and t-shirt tightness?

If you frequent a gym and observe the alpha male gym rat, you might be fooled into thinking so. The dude flexing in the mirror, the one with cringe-worthy form, always wears a snug, second skin of a top. Either that or a wife-beater.

I can’t help but notice the ego-driven antics of men in small shirts. In recent months, I have witnessed curious behavior by a tank-top-wearing fellow at the bouldering gym. He’s near-sighted and exhibits classic male-pattern baldness. He throws himself on problem after problem, each well beyond his abilities, and can’t manage the first move. I’m not sure if there’s a term for this, but I’d call it grade posing. I suppose the next best thing to sending a V4 is standing next to one. Plus, it’s good practice to fall six inches.

At my local sweat box, the Ostrich Egg Award for biggest yet most fragile ego goes to a short and squat fireplug of a man who subsists on protein shakes. He monopolizes the equipment by loading bars before he enters the locker room to change into his workout clothes. Once he’s in the weight room, he marks his territory with a towel or water bottle. Someone moved his muscle-building cocktail off a bench once. Near fisticuffs ensued forcing the owner to intervene.

This chap, who is taller when prone, renders the basic biceps curl into a violent, dynamic, full-body exercise. He insists on doing weighted dips, but you need calipers to measure his range of motion. Don’t try to spot him when he’s about to drop an overloaded bar on his neck. He freaks out. He can’t hear his own primal grunting; it’s drowned out by death metal pulsing through a ubiquitous pair of headphones.


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