Copycat GymratPosted: January 24, 2012
Today while I was working on my last circuit of Workout B, the core circuit, I noticed the girl next to me watching me. She looked like she was in between exercises and didn’t really know where to go next (or maybe she was just resting, who knows?), but the next thing I knew, she was doing the hip crossovers I had just completed two sets of. It was a little more noticeable because I wasn’t doing them in the normal static way they are usually done, but rather in a quick, flowing, momentum-based way that really engages my entire core. Maybe she had already planned on doing that move today, but I still smiled to myself thinking I might have inspired her just a teeny bit…
All this got me thinking about how one time, a friend’s mother, who was a trainer, gave me a workout plan at our local gym. The day I set out to complete it, moving around the gym from place to place, I noticed I kept ending up near another woman. Sure enough, she noticed too, and (very politely) said, “Are you following me?” I laughed (awkwardly) and asked her if she was doing a plan made up by the woman who gave it to me, and, indeed she was. Luckily, we were both almost finished, but it was pretty comical.
In general, I think that mimicking others can be a great tool. There are SO many exercises and variations of exercises out there that it’s impossible for one person to know about all of them. Other gym-goers can be a great tool to learn new moves that you may not have read about or been taught before. Others may have a different style than your own, and this might help you branch out a bit or prevent yourself from getting stuck in any kind of workout rut, doing the same moves or type of moves over and over forever.
And while it’s always great to pick up a new move and shake up your routine a little bit, of course, it can also require some learning and modification. It’s definitely important not to try something that is out of your league or that you are unsure of how to do, and you should also be aware that the other person may be using improper form themselves. But, if you can remember the move and look it up later, or even approach the other person or a trainer and ask for a little advice on how to do it, you’ll be able to add something new to your arsenal.
I do this fairly often with BF – He gets all kinds of plans made up for him from his baseball strength and conditioning coach, and I am frequently asking him to show me some new moves or demonstrate the proper form for some exercise I heard or read about. I’m always excited to learn something new, and it’s usually easier to see someone else do it (provided they know what they’re doing and are using proper form) than to just read about it online or in a magazine.
They say ‘imitation is the biggest form of flattery’ and I think that sort of applies here. I have to say (assuming the girl even got it from me and didn’t already have it planned today…) that I was a little flattered today when she borrowed my move. And hey, if it helped her out too, then it’s a win-win! So go ahead, look around, be a copycat, learn some new moves, and maybe you’ll even make someone else’s day in the process!