Friday, July 06, 2007

Progress, of Sorts

by B. Strong

The average age of the lifters in the weight room of my local university gym must be 22, give or take a year or two. (Give or take more than a year or two when I'm there, but we needn't delve into this further.) I was thus pleasantly surprised to see a poster on the wall that shows two early 80-somethings in a weight room. The caption reads, "you're never to old to workout [sic]."

Sort of pleasantly surprised, that is.

The grammar in the caption is wince-worthy, but such is life. At least it uses the correct form of "your/you're."

Also, the lifter in the photo should be using free weights rather than a machine for her shoulder presses, because machines are much harder on the rotator cuffs. But, any form of weight training is A Good Thing, given its demonstrated benefits for stemming age-related losses of bone density, muscle strength, and day-to-day functionality.

What bothered me most about the poster, though, is that the photo is of an elderly woman is being chatted up by an elderly man while she's (ostensibly) in the middle of her lift. In fact, the chatting man is just as much the focal point in the shot as the lifting woman, who is somewhat off to the side. Caption notwithstanding, the real message seems to be "you're never too old to hit on babes at the gym."

Just what 20-something male college students need to see.

OK, so I spent too much time thinking about this. What else is a lone lifter to do between sets?

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