Tales From the Glitter Gym – The 105 Pound Dumbbells

Today my glitter gym became just a little more glitter. We have three racks of dumbbells. Rack #1 is a fine pairing of weights from 5 to 50 pounds. Rack #2 is a massive collection of weights between 1 and 20 pounds. Why the gym needs so many 5 pound dumbbells is beyond my comprehension. Rack #3 has weights between 60 and 105 pounds. I should say, it did go up to 105 pounds. Not anymore.


Photo 40kg dumbbell from Flickr user ken_san.

The manager came over and pulled the 105 pounders off the rack and then went into another room and came back with a heavy load dolly. I asked what was going on and he informed me they were making room for another pair of dumbbells.

Me: Heavier?

Manager: Nope. Lighter.

Me: Why?

Manager: Do you use the 105 pound dumbbells?

Me: Yes for rows.

He then loaded one dumbbell onto the dolly and wheeled it to a storage room. Then he came for the other. And in a moment, the top weight dropped from 105 to 95. The real gym I went to in Bellevue had dumbbells that went up to 200 pounds.

The fact he needs a dolly to move a 105 pound dumbbell across the room is the very reason the gym needs that weight. I thought about offering to farmers walk the dumbbells for him, but I didn’t want to be complicit in this weight room crime.

I understand that most members of the gym will never touch a weight that high, but they need to be there as a reminder that someone will. And the someone might be you someday. Strength training has a funny way of altering expectations about what is possible. Once one drops the nonsense of high-rep training and focuses on getting stronger, the weights start getting lighter.

This other guy just happened to be doing a dumbbell row with a 60 pound weight while my talk with the manager was occurring. I tried to elicit his support for the 105 pound dumbbells. He told me it didn’t affect him, since he doesn’t lift that weight. Of course not! What did I expect from a guy wearing a weight belt, gloves and running shoes? Or as I like to call it: the trifecta of stupid.

First they came for the 105 pound dumbbells, and I didn’t speak up because…

Published by


Critical MAS is the blog for Michael Allen Smith of Seattle, Washington. My interests include traditional food, fitness, economics, and web development.

One thought on “Tales From the Glitter Gym – The 105 Pound Dumbbells”

  1. I have to admit I am one of the ones who lifts the 5 pound weights. I have a new goal of 105 pounds!

Comments are closed.