Allow me to preface this letter with a disclaimer and a reminder about satire:  I am not some gorgeous muscle-bound hardbody with Schwarzenegger arms and a 10 pack of shredded abdominal fury. Just like most Brits, I struggle with a fluctuating ratio of lbs that I would like to rid myself of once and for all (and possibly make progress towards achieving that sought-after stomach on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.) There was once a LOT more of me and I learnt my lessons the hard way. With that in mind, I present an open letter to the clueless obese males who waddle their way into the weights area without understanding the entire process. They serve only to clog up the equipment for more concentrated/determined humans, and ultimately achieve zero ends via their confused and disjointed attempts at a routine.

In closing, if you’re offended by this letter, either you’ve missed the point, or you may be the subject. 

* * *

Dear Obese Male in the weights room at the gym,

While it is great that you have finally decided to get off the couch and now attempt to lose some of that extra poundage hanging over your belt, you are going about it in all the wrong way. It’s likely you’re also probably hindering yourself through a false sense of accomplishment moreso than making any headway on the road towards achieving your goal. Given the years that have been spent forcing your stomach to process deep fried pizza suppers, it is understandable you may need a bit of guidance to undo the harm decades of sedentary existence have done to your jiggly mass. I hope this letter helps.

First and foremost, please leave your notepad at home. It takes more time to record your sets and reps than it does to actually do the exercise. The notepad scenario is dangerous and a stealthily dishonest way to postpone additional exercise. At your level of obesity, the pad is utterly meaningless. In six to eight months (depending on personal girth), you may actually see the muscles start peeking out from underneath the flab that covers them now; only then, in the interest of maintaining evenness, can you record progress professionally. But, until then, the notepad is an obvious excuse to give your heart a breather without actually recognising it as one. Who are you actually cheating?


Secondly, if you’re a mammoth plopper with a keg instead of a beer belly, you can drop the bicep curls altogether. You’re not doing anything for yourself (or anyone else) save self-delusion. It’s very obvious that you want to remove the fat and wow the ladies with your impressive arms, but bicep curls are the last leg of the marathon my friend. In order to even begin to see an outline of the muscles you want, you must remove the overcoat of fat that blocks them from view. In the weights area especially, the more obese the male, the more they seem to think bicep curls are the answer and the slapdash solution for obtaining that degree of deepened definition that’s really only available via Photoshop enhancement. I wonder how many fat people have l bulging biceps hidden behind a curtain of cheese and biscuits? The number is probably fairly high estimating by the amount of giants wasting time doing short sets of barbell curls before taking a rest. The bottom line: put the fork (or shovel?) down. Curls and cake don’t mix as well as we’d all like them to and if you want to have that perfect figure, bicep curls have virtually nothing to do with it until the very end. For the benefit of everyone in the gym and yourself, please give some thought to your routine and shift your focus to other areas.


What other areas? Well, I am sorry to say but these areas are ones that require a bit of physical effort, willpower, and determination. You must start with the man in the mirror; he is asking you to change your ways. And, no message could be any clearer: if you’re gonna do it, do it — if not, don’t pretend with the notepad antics and skewed work-out routines. To fully make a go at being leaner and healthier, one must combine the benefits of exercise (burning calories) with proper diet (eating healthily). Most doctors will agree on that equation. You don’t need a Bullworker or a fat-zapping belt device. You don’t need a tub of Maximuscle protein or concentrated bull hormone injections. Hey, if you’re really fat, you don’t even need a gym membership yet; go for a walk! I quoted the King of Pop above as a reminder to avoid drinking volumes of high sugar ‘pop’ or ‘juice’ altogether. Losing weight is no big trick; there is a two-fold process that has been proven to work in 100% of people in clinical trials:

  1. Don’t eat like a ravenous boar
  2. Use your muscles with some regularity

So, to the owners of bodies of every shape and size who are going about getting fitter and healthier by doing the two-fold process mentioned directly above,  — keep it up, you’re doing a great job. You all get the (Robert Redford) nod of approval:


But, Obese Male in the weights room at the gym, — while I applaud your efforts, I denounce your method. Either exercise is such a foreign concept that the entire process confuses you or you’re pointedly attempting to cheat yourself. Whatever your fancy, until you figure it out, please don’t continue to operate the (other) heavy objects wrongly. You’ll break them.


An ex arm-curler with a tongue in his cheek.