He returns his bag to his shoulder, exits the locker room and heads to the bench press. Free weight bench press of course. As he places his bag under the bench he looks around, a smile quickly forming. He recognizes a friend. This friend isn’t necessarily a giant, but there is something respectable about his physical prowess. As they banter, our bodybuilder tips back his water bottle—a full gallon jug—and takes a drink. Placing the cap back on, the conversation concludes with a handshake. With a hint of interest, he directs his attention to the reception desk. His hand nonchalantly rises to shoulder level as his lifting partner smiles and returns the gesture. Noticing he nearly ignored the receptionist, the partner stops and charmingly offers his sincerest of apologies. The receptionist appears to want to tell him he needs to sign in, but quickly reconsiders. Skipping the locker room, the partner (also carrying a giant duffel bag) heads straight for the bench press. The heartiest of handshakes completes the greeting and signals to all that they are about to begin
And begin they do. Our man grabs a ten pound plate, and begins warming up his shoulder and rotator cuff. One arm making deliberate movements, the other hand feeling the concerned area. Switching hands he repeats the process. His friend then takes the weight and does the same. During this ritual—which dates back to the first time they, not wanting to irritate their mentor, skipped warming-up as a consequence of being late to a work-out and then tweaked their shoulder—they discuss briefly how their shoulders aren’t quite 100%, but that they feel good enough. This minor chit-chat serves as a vocal warm-up, as much as a health conscious discussion. It is their way of talking about the weather. Finally, our man grabs a 45lb plate from the rack and loads it on the bar. The warm-up has officially commenced.