This guy is one weird character. He is about 5’9 and 210 lbs. He’s in his thirties. I know some things about him because he works with Chad (and used to be his roommate), and some from talking to him when we were on speaking terms (we are again now, I’ll get to that)
He’s quite strong, but in a meathead way. Like shrugs with 6 plates, and benching 365 for several reps (with an illegal arch and bouncing the bar off his chest). I’ve seen him squat 405 for reps, but they weren’t to parallel. His best exercise is the seated military press, which he peforms with 315+, and an incredible back arch so that only the top of his head is touching the vertical part of the bench. So basically a bench press without a bench. It’s sort of like juggling chainsaws – unsafe, pointless – and I couldn’t do it – but it’s entertaining to watch.
The craziest thing about PJ is that he spends so much time at the gym. Frequently, I’ll go in, see him through the window already on the gym floor, do my workout, leave, and glance through the window to see him still working out. Now I spend 2 hours at the gym, easy, plus maybe 10 minutes or so to change/drink protein shake. I estimate – and this is only an estimate – that he spends 3 1/2 to 4 hours there at a time.
PJ will easily go 20-30 minutes between sets. He really only does one or two exercises a day. So what is he doing there for so long? Talking to people. When we got along, I used to simultaneously enjoy/dread his presence because he is a very amusing guy who knows everything about everyone and is full of funny stories. Even with my best efforts to cut our convos short, he could easily add 20 minutes to my workout.
Now, PJ will talk to anyone, and I mean anyone. I saw him talk to a 45 year old woman about pro football for an hour straight one time. I’ve seen him talk to those weird old guys at the gym that most people avoid. And for like 20 minutes straight. Once, I saw him talk to a decent-looking but broad-shouldered 18 yr old college basketball chick for an hour and a half. “Yeah, so?” you say, “it’s called spitting game and obviously he was doing well or she’d have brushed him off.” Well, when I mentioned it to Chad, he told me that PJ was friends with her mom, that she was a lesbian, and that she was going back to school the next day. So it’s not like it got him laid or anything. (I don’t think I’ve ever talked to my wife for an hour and a half straight and that includes 16 hour car rides.)
Usually he would talk to me about supplements. He has been a manager of several vitamin stores, and is very persuasive. This is what he usually talks to other lifters about. He has several (much skinnier) proteges and a lot of other guys who take his advice. This is also the source of our first disagreement: PJ told me that all humans have 3 feet or 30 lbs or some ridiculous amount of waste material in their colons that has been building up for years. I – politely – told him that this is a hoax. He went ballistic, and started ranting and raving about enemas and laxatives.
FINE. YOU WANT TO WALK AROUND ALL UNHEALTHY WITH IMPACTED FECAL MATTER IN YOUR COLON, BE MY GUEST, I WAS JUST TRYING TO HELP YOU, FINE, YOU KNOW WHAT? FINE!!!
So I put my headphones back on and just carried on with my workout. I had a talk with Chad about the situation, and learned that:
- PJ has been cranky ever since he started taking “tons of prohormones”
- PJ tried a “colon cleanse” three times IOT to quit dipping, and after spending half the night sweating it out on the toilet, he was back to dip the next morning
PJ seemed to forget about his demand to purify my colon, and we got along fine for another few months until I was talking to this guy we both know, who wanted to become a personal trainer. (I was doing some band pulling so I had my headphones off & was in relaxed mode) PJ walked over and joined the convo. He told the guy that he wouldn’t have much time to workout when he was a personal trainer. I politely disagreed, and said that when I was a trainer, I had plenty of time to work out since I was in gyms all day long.
YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT BRO? I WAS A TRAINER IN THE TOP CLUB IN [city] FOR 10 YEARS. I SAY “A” – YOU SAY “B”, IS THAT HOW IT IS? YOU JUST WANT TO CONTRADICT ME?
Then he stormed off, leaving me and personal trainer guy looking at each other like WTF. I felt disrespected, and vowed not to talk to PJ again until he made some attempt at apology. Three months went by. He avoided me. In the first two months, sometimes he’d even leave the gym when I showed up. I mean, sure it could have been a coincidence, but I never saw him leave the gym before. A couple of times I passed him and involuntarily nodded at him (I’m not good at shunning)
During this time, his workouts became increasingly wacky, and more and more talking-filled. Like 90 minutes to even do his first set. And one day his workout was 135, 185, 235 x 10 on trap bar deadlift. And that took him an hour.
The other day, though, I spoke to him just to ask him if he wanted the matching 45s. He’s a stickler about matching plates – I couldn’t care. He said no, but then later on, said to me “You’re making a lot of leeway in your workouts.” Because of his emotionless face as he said it, it took me a moment to gauge whether this was an insult or a compliment, until I realized that it was a malapropism, and he meant “headway”. So I thanked him and we discussed (my) training for a few moments.
So there you go, encounters between the two crankiest meatheads in the gym. I’m sure you’re thrilled. It’s like watching Animal Planet as two chimps, warthogs, moose, or other not-that-impressive animals circle each other warily, each trying to establish dominance over some crappy section of the forest – then both back away.
Weight: 194.6 (down 1.8 lbs)
Didn’t train today. Sick with sore throat that I got from my kids. I dunno, I haven’t been sick for at least 111 days, so there’s that. Hopefully get back in there tomorrow morning.