I remember the first time I ever worked out with dumbbells… I really had no idea what I was doing. There I am standing in the middle of a gym by the dumbbell rack, trying to choose the right weight and having no idea what I’m really supposed to do. I swear that everyone in the gym is looking at me, staring, and trying to figure out how strong I am before I pick up what’s sure to be a tic-tac next to what they lift on a regular basis.
There’s grunting going on in all directions, Metallica is playing on the radio overhead, and I keep hearing weights slam in all directions as I nervously pick up some dumbbells to do some biceps curls. I finally grab the weight, lift 35 pound dumbbells off the rack, and I start to curl as fast as I can, secretly hoping that everyone’s impressed by how fast and heavy I’m able to lift. I knew I was one of the fatter people in the gym, so, inside, I wanted everyone to assume I must be fat and strong. I mean, if I can throw the weight around like this, it must mean that I’m actually able to lift double the weight if I just slowed down, right?
Wrong. There I am curling away when all of the sudden I take a glimpse into the mirror and realize that there’s someone else who’s clearly more jacked than me lifting 25 pound dumbbells behind me… and he’s going slow and steady, but he’s barely making the reps. At first, I start lifting faster to show him how weak he is, but then, all of the sudden it dawns on me that I’m doing it all wrong. No sooner do I realize this than I feel this sharp, sudden pain in my back and the dumbbells go crashing down to the floor.
At this point, I’m nervous, seeing stars, and collapsed on the ground. What is everyone thinking now? How will I ever be able to stand back up and try to work out again? Is this just useless anyway?
I start wondering whether or not I’m even cut out for lifting weights, whether any girls may have seen me, or whether I’ve actually injured myself in the process. This guy’s face is burned in my memory as I’m crouched on the ground, holding back the tears, and wishing that the stupid dumbbells didn’t make so much noise as they went crashing down.
I get it… I’m done lifting with weights… there’s no point, anyway. I’d rather just do cardio. Then, out of nowhere, I feel something on my back, hitting me at about 75 beats/minute. I look up and glance back, only to realize that it’s the girl I have the biggest crush on in my school. “Are you okay? Hey, Kareem, are you okay?” Not only did she see me, but she was actually helping pick up the weights and place them back on the dumbbell rack. I’m such an idiot! And a weakling!
The funny thing is, I’m more concerned with how I look than how I feel. I rise up to my feet and totally lose my balance. I had hurt my back and didn’t even know it. It was throbbing, my head was rushing, and my face was beat red with embarrassment. I knew I’d never be the same… I was morally wounded.
Fast forward 15 years, and here I am today teaching you how to work out and lift weights with the best form in the world. I’m showing you how to progress an exercise from bodyweight to dumbbells, safely, and make yourself look great in the process. Little did I know at the time that dumbbells would actually be the key to eliminating all of my joint pain, balancing out my muscles, and building a physique that helped me meet my wife. If I had only known that at the time, I probably would’ve just taken the time to learn how to do things right, instead of crawling into my turtle shell and refusing to use dumbbells for another year.
Have you ever experienced something embarrassing in the gym or seen someone else do something as stupid as me? C’mon…. share with us so we can all laugh at ourselves and see how far we’ve come.
Have a great day,
by Dr. Kareem F. Samhouri, CSCS, HFS
Neuro Metabolic Fat Loss & Fitness Expert
For more work out tips check out my Free Video 5 Useless Exercises