One of the themes from The Wizard of Oz, is generated by the Scarecrow. He was ashamed that he didn’t have a brain, so much so, that he went on a long journey to ask the Wizard for one.
‘The Battler’, has no brain and combines this with having no shame.
The Battler is out of its element everywhere. Nothing comes easily or naturally, everything is hard, however The Battler prepares itself for only ease at every turn and is alarmed at encountering only difficulty: And it has no idea why.
In the gym, The Battler does not warm up. Because, ‘oh yeah, I forgot to’. Once it has been made to warm up, The Battler has no ability to gain any benefit from doing so. It will writhe and gyrate, doing ‘something’, but totally miss the point of whatever has been prescribed or recommended. Sometimes it will copy what it has seen other lifters doing but can make no connection between what and why.
The Battler does not make even the most rudimentary assessment of the lifting area before starting. He or she does not consider the pin height for the rack to be of any importance whatsoever, and unless every single warm up set has been written down for it, it will just load the bar for the first work set and go ahead and unrack it. Even the most obvious obstacle in The Battler’s way will go unnoticed. Anything out of place will remain undetected by The Battler until it actually steps on it, crashes the bar into it or gets choked out by it.
The Battler begins every set by clipping the bar against the rack or J-hook. When squatting and benching, it will clip the rack several more times during every rep, but no rep will look anything like the last. Routinely, the 4th rep will be much better than the 2nd rep and the likelihood of failing on a rep does not increase proportionally as each rep is completed; Failure can occur just as likely on the first rep as it could on the last.
The Battler will find the only bent bar in the gym to lift with, and then will wonder curiously why ‘it feels so weird’. Quality of the bar or plates is not a consideration for The Battler, as The Battler is cocooned in the abstract numbers of its magic program or behaves as one would at a buffet, sampling everything, piling potato salad on top of its prawn cocktail, conditioning work on top of its strength phase.
The Battler will manage to get chalk in its mouth, in its eyes, in its ears and almost certainly set off an asthma attack or allergic reaction. The Battler is the only person in the gym that has asthma, and everyone knows about it. The Battler will miss several training days because of unusual ailments and it has no gauge of the difference between injury and pain. It will stop lifting because it scratched itself (don’t want to get tetanus now) but then insist that it can complete the next set despite being crushed on the last set of 5 by the 2nd rep. When it does have some sort of injury, it will be rare or unusual kind, as the Battler thinks that it is a unique snowflake that needs individual attention. Because it does not behave rationally, it will injure itself in strange places and strange ways and want to tell you the story of how it did it.
The Battler absolutely loves to load the bar with multiple small plates and has absolutely perfect timing in doing this at the busiest time of day when other people need small plates on their next set. The Battler is also expert in finding a solution to its equipment problems at the furthest distance from where it is lifting. Instead of looking around in the immediate area, The Battler will go on a 5 minute expedition around the gym in search of what it thinks it needs for the next set.
No amount of eye rolls or groans will indicate to The Battler that it is talking way outside of its experience level and asking spurious questions, the answers to which should be intuitive anyhow.
The Battler will strain terribly on light sets and make groaning noises like two seals mating, but insist that it can get the next set ‘no problem’. The Battler is forever boggled by rudimentary training concepts and does not understand when rest periods are either severely too short or grossly too long.
If The Battler ever senses that someone else around them is struggling or stressed in some way, the Battler will offer unsolicited advice with the absolute certainty of an authoritarian.
The Battler is not self-aware, it does not know that it is battling. The Battler will never change, never overcome and never succeed and The Battler should never be approached for your own safety.