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 that 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…

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  1. Michelle Cardenas

    Apr 26, 2009 — 8:01 pm

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

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