I've often found gyms to be the intimidating domains of brutish, oiled-up behemoths who look like they'd eat up unwelcome beginners such as myself quicker than a pre-workout protein bar.
Reddit user GnashBrowns had a similar experience with these disparaging adonises, laughed all the way out of the gym just because of his relative inexperience:
Don't really know where to start, but here goes. I've never been strong/big or anything close to those words. I'm 19, 6'5 and 130lbs/59kg. I often go to the gym with my friend but I don't go when he's unavailable because I'm not confident going by myself.
Few days ago I started the Stronglifts 5x5 & GOMAD because nothing else seemed to work. It was also a few days ago when I realized I'd have to start going by myself if I wanted this to work. So today I went to the gym for the first time by myself, feeling pretty nervous. Headed to the locker room and reviewed the proper forms for squatting, deadlifts, and overhead press.
"A couple people laughed. That hurt more than falling down."
First exercise was squatting. I warmed up with 55 then started 65 for the 5x5. Everything went pretty well until the last rep on the fourth set. Took a nasty spill and landed on my right knee to prevent myself from falling backwards. A couple people laughed. That hurt more than falling down. I got back on the horse and finished up the last set at 60.
Next exercise was deadlift. I never really got the hang of the form for a proper deadlift so I practiced it while looking in the mirror. Started my first set at 55 but couldn't get the form down, my right knee kept buckling and gave out on the fourth rep, causing me to fall once more. Same people laughed and got many looks in my direction because of the loud noise.
Feeling completely embarrassed at this point, I put the bar and the weights in their places, and left with my head hanging low. I know everyone experiences failure once in a while, but having it served to me firsthand coupled with people laughing just destroyed my confidence.
It's a shame that immature and unhelpful gym rats like these actively make the sport so impenetrable. However, there's one man who has nothing but love for every aspiring weightlifter, regardless of their experience level...
The one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger!
That's right - the Californian Governor took to Reddit to offer some amazingly inspiring advice to the demoralized beginner, much to the envy of all those who first laughed in his face.
Terminate all self-doubt
I love it! I feel like I could run a marathon after those invigorating words, and I'm not the only one...
A whole heap of newly inspired Redditors were pumped up by Arnie's words
GnashBrowns himself was blown away by the personal message, which brought national attention to his story.
"I've never felt this empowered in my life"
I've personally had doubts about the supposed joys of weightlifting, but wait until you have a listen to the big man talking about "the greatest feeling you can get in a gym", which he likens to an orgasm:
Wow, I might just have to give this sport another shot!
I'm sure it won't be long until Arnie is back to offer more of his sage wisdom...