Q: What’s your opinion on people who scream loudly during the last few reps of a set? I ask because I remain relatively quiet no matter how hard I am pushing, and my partner yells and screams. He tells me I’m “not being intense enough” and feels I am not training to true failure. What do you think?
A: That’s an amusing question because every time I’m in the gym and hear someone screaming at the top of his lungs, it’s some skinny dude leg-pressing 20 plates but only moving the weight a few inches or a novice lifter with zero chest mass doing his 10th set of cable crossovers.
I’m not sure why there is ever a need to scream no matter how hard you’re working—even if you’re deadlifting or squatting. I know that I’ve always been one of the most focused and intense trainers in just about any gym at which I’ve worked out, but I have never “screamed” during a set. Now, I’m not saying that when pushing to failure I’m so silent you can hear a pin drop, but nobody would ever have to cover his or her ears, even if training right next to me. In my opinion there are only three legitimate reasons for needing to scream out loud in the gym:
1) You are stuck under a bar weighing 300-plus pounds while bench-pressing with no spotter.
2) Someone accidentally drops a heavy dumbbell on your foot.
3) While training, you find out that you just won the weekly Powerball lottery.
Other than that, I believe that anyone who is yelling, screaming and carrying on so the entire gym can hear is simply looking to draw attention to him- or herself in an attempt to appear more “hardcore.”
So, if your partner is not built like Branch Warren or Ronnie Coleman, I can guarantee that others are only looking at him as being foolish and annoying—definitely not the image he is attempting to portray.
So keep doing what you’ve been doing, staying intense and internally focused and concentrating on how hard your muscles are contracting rather than acting as if those around are hard of hearing!
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD, “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System,” is available at Home-Gym.com. His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at X-Workouts.com.