Think back to the last time you were in the gym. Think about who was in there, what they were doing and what they were doing wrong. See how many of these defective rep types you've spotted (hopefully, not in the mirror!).
1. The "Trampoline" Rep
What goes down must bounce back up. The "Trampoline" rep is most often found on the bench press (surprise).
Here's a hint - if your rib cage hurts more than your pecs at the end of the set or if you have an indented groove running across your chest so deep and straight that you could pour water across your chest into a bottle without spilling a drop, you may want to consider lightening up the weight a touch. Leave the CPR to the professionals.
2. The "I Can't Believe It's Not Styrofoam" Rep
This style is commonly seen being done by anyone afraid that if they lift anything heavier than a wet piece of paper, they'll instantly develop massive, manly muscles (if only it were that easy!). The key to this rep is removing every bit of resistance that you can from the exercise.
The weight should appear to "float" as it's being lifted. If any strain or effort is felt, stop immediately before there is any danger of breaking a sweat and consult your medical specialist.
3. "The Spotter Made Me Do It" Rep
If your spotter has to stretch out before your sets, that's a big giveaway. If people pat your spotter on the back and say "good set" to them when THEY get done helping YOU, take note.
If you have to yell encouragement to your spotter instead of the other way around, you're guilty. Do your body (and your spotter) a favor and lift within your means.
4. The "I Swear I Did This Weight Last Week" Rep
This failed rep is immediately followed by a shaking head and a disbelieving stare at the weight. Watch for the "somebody must have switched the numbers on these weights because there's no way these are the same ones I used last week" look in the eyes.
The lifter will never reduce the weight after this humiliation, just go directly to a different exercise to try again.
5. The "Funky Chicken" Rep
This list would not be complete without a nod to the most entertaining rep of them all: the "Funky Chicken Rep." Let put it this way - if a bunch of sugar-crazed, sock-footed kids scrambling for scattered Piniata-candy on a freshly waxed floor looks more coordinated than you when you're lifting...
6. The "I Shouldn't Have Drank So Much Water" Rep
Characterized by a somewhat cross-legged stance and an urge to keep the do-or-die rep (and hopefully everything else) in you.
7. The "Spitting Cobra" Rep
Deadly accurate from great distances, the spitter will project a wall of saliva onto a mirror 10 feet away. Don't walk in front! You'll regret it (and need a shower)!
"Who needs to breathe properly. I can lift more weight when I hold my breath."
Perhaps, but you can also lift more weight when you're CONSCIOUS.
9. The "Half-A**ed" Rep
Doing a rep in this fashion can leave a person dangerously unbalanced. Use your whole a** and don't be a dumb a**.
10. The "I'm Too Sexy For This Weight" Rep
Done by a person spending more time watching their "form" than watching their form.
The person caught kissing their bicep in the middle of a dumbell curl is a definite culprit.
You might also catch them licking their own bodyparts...
11. The "We All Scream For Ice Cream" Rep
Sometimes a good scream is just what you need to get that last rep. But, sometimes it just isn't. If you find you need constant attention from everyone else in the gym, just wear a t-shirt that says "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" or something like that. Screaming is fine when it's merited. Screaming like your leg is caught in a bear trap while you're doing wrist curls is not.
Don't Be That Guy!