At the time, this guy was using the squat rack, albeit the wrong way round, given he couldn't see where to rack the bar with his back to the rack. After pointing out that he is likely to get squashed under the bar if he falls forward and foul of the rack arms, he realised why the mirror is the other side of the rack; not for posing, but so you can see what you are doing with the bar. Obviously fairly new to this, I adjusted my response accordingly, though I may have sounded a little patronising:
"If you want to make your shoulders wider, you need to regularly perform the shoulder press."He questioned it as if I wasn't revealing some secret formula to building shoulders. But I explained that there is nothing untoward about body building. You just need time, patience and consistency. Pick an exercise and stick with it until you see progress decline. When this happens, change it. When it happens again, change it back to what you were doing before or change it again. Variation is sometimes all that is needed to overcome a plateau.
I think more often, people are under the impression that you can transform your body over night. I even see some guys who believe in this ideology so profusely that they think they have actually transformed their bodies in a few months, when all they have actually done is increased their body fat percentage through eating too much weight gaining supplements. I wouldn't mind, except they strut around the gym with their chest puffed out and traps poised like their lats are too big to stand with their posture otherwise, throwing weights on the floor to make some kind of statement (what is it by the way, I haven't actually figured this out?). These people identify themselves when they pick up 25 kg dumbbells and shout "encouraging" words at each other when they get to their sixth and final rep, before throwing the weights on the floor in the most irritating and cumbersome way possible. Well done, you deserve a pat on the back!
The truth is, these things take time. Don't expect to see results overnight and don't be consumed by what you read in magazines or on the internet; especially not from someone who is kindly taking your money for advice. If you think about it, magazine publishers and personal trainers aren't going to tell you how simple it is to actually achieve your goals, because then you wouldn't buy their magazines or pay extortionate rates for them to tell you how important it is that you use a bosu ball, balancing on one foot, performing bent over rows in order to build "the shoulders you have always wanted". Maybe I am wrong; maybe people want to balance on a one foot stood on a bosu ball, believing this is the best way to build their shoulders. Maybe the magazines are just a front for an undercover ring of one legged bosu ball shoulder press experts? If so, I'll stick to what I am doing and what I know works and mind my own business.
My one piece of advice that covers pretty much any muscle group is: Keep it simple. That's it. If you want to know how to build a particular muscle, just stand in the mirror and identify ways of flexing that muscle as part of a compound or in isolation. There will be many ways you can flex a muscle, but you need to identify what works best for you! Generally, everything boils down to three basic principles, since these principles are pretty much all that the body is mechanically capable of:
- Pushing / Pressing