It's been ages since you've hit the gym, or gone for a run. You've given up on fitness, and into the primal human lust for calorie-rich junk. You have made peace with baggy jeans & loose t-shirts, cropping out the (man)baby bump in photos & always taking the lift. Always.
Once day something snaps. You decide to give 'it' a go.
Welcome to the gym. An odd kingdom where swole bros & slender divas are on the quest to be the next Zeus & Aphrodite. You pay for an annual membership upfront to save a couple of hundred bucks, and limp home with a single kidney.
On the first day, you saunter around pointlessly in this sea of human sweat & primal grunts, find yourself a (relatively) quiet corner, and pick the lightest weights you could find.
You get a couple of reps in. This is easy, course you were in better shape than you thought! Suddenly, the sleeping weights wake up, and get heavier by the minute. You've paid in full, they have to impress nobody now.
But you are committed. Like child soldiers for runaway African warlords.
The trainer had looked in disgust at your baby bump, and instructed you to get 'at least' 15 reps in without breaks. You are in far too deep now, there is no way to go back. You feel your legs turn to jelly, your soul is quivering like a goose on winter nights, you grip the dumbells with all your might, make funny faces and clench your ass to hold it in. A fart escapes.
The sound startles the dudes and divas. An odd scent cuts through the musty stench. The entire room's gaze is fixed on you. Welcome to hell.
The (Literal) Art Of Gym Faces:
Believe it or not, an artist in California decided to take your ugly gym face and transform it into art! Chris Finely’s exhibit of seven paintings titled 'Drool, Snatch, Clean and Jerk' is based on weightlifters as they perform the 'snatch'.
Your 'gym face' is never pleasant to look at. Your forehead may be dripping sweat, your mouth has an odd grimace, your lips are snaring, and you're trembling like you’re ready to implode.
However, your ugly gym face is your body’s way of trying to make you stronger during strenuous workouts, explains Bill Hartman, P.T., C.S.C.S., owner of Indianapolis Sports and Fitness Training.
Why do we make funny gym faces?
Your body reacts in strange ways when you are working out, and your face is no exception. These funny faces are basically the smart connections that your brain executes so you can gain strength & power in your lifts.
When we lift heavy weights, we sub-consciously do a process of mental and physical preparation to lift without getting hurt. We use involuntary strategies controlled by our brains that are designed to enhance physical performance - to get our A game on. These inner neural strategies can be translated to 'making funny faces'. The weird grimaces originate in our jaw, that's why our whole faces look kinda crazy.
Funny thing is, you can’t stay expressionless while trying to work out. Try it for yourself, and you might notice that you can’t lift weights as easily. Then, let your face do its thing, and you’ll likely be able to pick it up.
So make your weirdest gym faces with abandon. Your good health depends on it.