What are the chances?

A couple of days ago I was at Club Sport, the “Health Club” that I go to in order to swim. I have written about it before, huge aerobics rooms, juice bar, snack bar, pro shop, along with the very shiny weight room full of expensive machines and one squat rack crammed in the corner that is normally unused. And of course the 4 outdoor pools.

What do you think you might be as UNLIKELY to find in such a place as an Alien playing chess with a wine drinking Predator?

Weightlifting shoes.

And yet I found them. As I was changing into my swim trunks, I noticed a guy next to me changing from his street shoes to a pair of Pendlay Do-win’s, the classic grey models. A good choice. I pointed to his shoes and asked him if he competed in weightlifting. He said no, he just had them cause he was serious about training and they were great to squat in. As I complemented him on the cool shoes, he noticed my “Pendlay Barbell” t-shirt and said hey cool, you got that shirt the same place I got the shoes! I said yeah what a coincidence and we both went our seperate ways.

At first I just thought the whole thing was kind of funny. But, I think there is something big behind randomly seeing weightlifting gear in a mainstream gym. Could it be that we are going mainstream? We certainly aren’t there yet, but are we headed in the right direction? I think so.


6 responses to “What are the chances?

  • Chad

    Wow…. He had no idea who he was talking to huh…. I did that myself once. I was talking to this random guy I bumped into about my experience with the USMC. Turned out that random guy was Brian Chontosh, USCM Officer and recipient of the Navy Cross. I wish I could do that conversation over again…

  • Nick Horton

    I’ve had similar experiences in commercial gyms. I do think there are some elements of what we do that are creeping into the mainstream.

    Though, the fact that he didn’t realize that the “Pendlay” on his shoes referred to you is funny.

  • Stu Johnston

    I had no idea what Glen looked like until I saw him interviewed by that Irish dude. I’ve known the name for at least seven years. Much younger looking than I had thought.

  • John Harris

    I believe Olympic Weightlifting is headed in the right direction solely because of Crossfit. Everywhere I turn, I hear about Crossfit and Olympic Weightlifting is their core strength movements. Although I believe Crossfit is responsible for causing Olympic Weightlifting to go main-stream, they aren’t serious about competing in the sport…So this leaves even more room for the sport to progress in the right direction once some of the Crossfit gyms start getting serious about “The Sport of Olympic Weightlifting”.

  • Chris

    Here is a problem with Crossfit as an exercise medium, weightlifting as a competitive sport, and why the former is closer to bodybuilding than it is to the weightlifting. From a Crossfit gym’s trainer: “I am a wife, mother of two very active boys, figure competitor and Certified Crossfit trainer. I understand the demands of balancing a busy life with the desire to stay fit, healthy, strong and energized…” Figure competitors by definition are worried about what they look like nude. Weightlifting competitors worry about how much weight they can put over head, irrespective of what they look like.
    Or, this, “…After spending over 15 years with traditional “body builder” type of workouts, I became interested in CrossFit based on a conversation with my wife…” no mention of ripping the proverbial lion’s head off (hat tip Shankle).
    Or this: “…CrossFit has been, for me, the pathway to fitness. I spent a lifetime trying different methods of working out, but until I found Cross Fit…”
    One is about working out and then high fiving others in a sweat pool of exhaustion. The other is about lifting very heavy weights using every means necessary to do so irrespective of how healthy one is or how fit one looks.
    I think that the true path to mainstream awareness is through the high school, middle school, and other gyms where people are interested in strong not figures and a good workout.

  • John Harris


    My point was not that Crossfit is the right way to train for Olympic Weightlifting on a competitive level, but that it has brought much popularity to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. You are right, Crossfit style training is certainly not going to cut the mustard if you want to excel in Olympic Weightlifting.

    Although using high schools and middle schools to bring Olympic Weightlifting to the mainstream would be nice, it hasn’t happened that way. For the most part, schools do sloppy power cleans but know nothing about the sport. Florida schools are the closest it’s come to promoting O lifting but even they fall short. Their school meets (I believe) consist of the Clean, Dead-lift, and Bench.

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