Welcome to the spookiest gym session you’ll ever experience—where ghosts do deadlifts, witches bench press, and zombies are all about that squat life.
We’re conjuring up something special for you this Halloween: 3 hauntingly compelling stories that blend fitness wisdom with eerie twists.
So grab your protein shakes and magic wands, and prepare to be educated and thrilled. Trust us, you don’t want to miss this fantastic workout adventure!
The Phantom of the Deadlift
Once upon a chilly October night, Jim walked in for his late-night workout. The gym was unusually empty, just the way he liked it. A sudden cold breeze swept through the room as he approached the deadlift platform.
Ignoring the chill, Jim started loading up the barbell. He’d been stuck at a 300lbs deadlift for weeks, and tonight was the night he’d break that plateau. Just as he began to chalk up his hands for his 3-plate (315 lbs) pull, he heard a whisper: “When doing deadlifts, focus on keeping your chest up and driving through your legs, not your back.”
Startled, Jim looked around. He was still alone—or so he thought. Shrugging it off, he approached the barbell but then heard the same voice again: “Set up your feet approximately shoulder width apart. Keep the barbell touching your shins prior to lifting the weight. Brace your core, pull yourself into the barbell and push the floor away with your feet. Only once you create this maximal tension, you can stand straight up.“
His eyes wide, Jim didn’t question the phantom’s advice. Keeping his chest up, he powered through his legs -and boom! The weight lifted as if enchanted, and he finally broke his plateau! As Jim learned, maintaining proper form is crucial.
Useful lifting tips
Consistency Over Intensity: Jim’s success didn’t come from pushing too hard, but from consistent effort. A balanced routine with incremental weight increases is key to long-term strength gains.
Brace Your Core: To help drive up the weight using the correct muscles, make sure you take a big inhale and aim to inflate your abdomen laterally. Think about pushing outwards and building pressure through 360 degrees of your torso. This will create as much intra-abdominal pressure as possible, to maintain a neutral (straight) spine throughout the lift.
Overjoyed, Jim looked around to thank his mysterious coach, but no one was there. Then he noticed something peculiar—a second set of footprints in the chalk dust near the platform, footprints that seemed to vanish into thin air.
The Witch’s Bench Press Brew
Meet Sarah, a fitness enthusiast and a regular at Gold’s Gym. On Halloween night, she decided to tackle her bench press challenge. The gym was adorned with cobwebs and fake spiders, but Sarah was focused. Her goal was to bench press a plate, (135 lbs) a weight that had eluded her for weeks.
Just as she was about to give up, a woman walked in, dressed in an uncanny witch costume. She made her way to the bench press area and began mixing something in a cauldron-shaped shaker bottle. Intrigued, Sarah asked, “What’s that you’re making?”
The witch grinned and replied, “It’s my special pre-workout brew. A dash of focus, a sprinkle of stamina, and a hint of pumpkin spice. Would you like a sip?”
Desperate to reach her goal, Sarah said yes. The witch smiled, “It will only work if you push the barbell up and back, and push backwards with your legs.” Confused but curious, Sarah agreed.
She set up her body on the bench and dug her shoulder blades into the bench. She then pushed backwards with her legs and all of a sudden her body felt much more stable. “This is called leg drive,” the witch said, “…it feels magical.” Almost instantly, she felt energized – perhaps the pre-workout brew kicked in. She took a deep breath, braced her core and with newfound strength, lifted the 60-kilogram barbell with ease, pushing the barbell backwards as well as upwards in a “C” motion. She did it!
Useful lifting tips
Use Your Legs: When bench pressing, remember to engage your entire body, from your legs to your grip, just as Sarah did with newfound strength. It’s considered a compound movement for a reason!
Warm up Wisely: Don’t forget the power of a good warm-up while having your preworkout. It can enhance your performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Eager to thank the mysterious witch, Sarah turned around – but she had vanished. All that remained was the cauldron-shaped shaker bottle, empty but for a note that read, “Form first and pre-workout for thirst.”
The Cursed Squat Mirror
Lucas had one lift he couldn’t conquer: a 2-plate (225lbs) squat. On Halloween night, Lucas saw something new in the gym—a mysterious antique mirror framed in ornate, cobwebbed silver placed next to the squat rack.
Curious but skeptical, Lucas read the sign next to it: “Mirror of True Form—Face your weaknesses and unleash your strength.” Intrigued, Lucas unracked his barbell and started his squats, all while watching himself in the antique mirror.
Something strange happened. The mirror didn’t reflect his struggling expression but showed him executing perfect, fluid squats with a confident look. Inspired, he adjusted his posture to match his reflection and descended into a squat. This Lucas, the weight felt different—manageable, even easy. He completed the set and finally squatted 225lbs.
Elated, Lucas looked into the mirror to find his reflection, giving him a thumbs up before it reverted to a regular mirror. He turned to share the news but realized the gym was empty. Even the mirror had vanished, leaving only the squat rack and a lingering sense of accomplishment.
What can we learn from Lucas’s eerie experience? Sometimes, seeing ourselves succeed can be the catalyst for actual success. Visualize the correct form, envision hitting your goals, and your body might follow suit. Need something more specific? No ghosts or witches here, just solid advice you can take to the squat rack which could be your game-changers, no matter the time of year:
Useful Lifting Tips
Hit Depth or Drop The Weight: For squats, the importance of proper form cannot be overstated. Focus on depth, ensuring you go as low as your mobility safely allows. If you can’t achieve a thigh parallel to the ground, drop the weight and improve your depth. Remember: if you have a “butt wink” you’re not staying as tight as you should be – this is a sign of your core not being tight. Engage your core and go as low as your mobility allows to prevent injury.
Keep Your Lats Engaged: Make sure you’re engaging your lats from the beginning of the lift to the end. Drive your elbows towards the mirror and downward to prevent them from flaring out and backwards. Engaging your lats will stabilize your entire spine and ensure a good bar path as you squat, preventing injury and maximizing your strength.
Seek Expert Advice: Whether it’s a personal trainer or a seasoned gym buddy, having a second set of eyes can provide valuable insights into your form and technique.
As the tales suggest, sometimes the unexpected can be our greatest ally in conquering fitness challenges.
Want to craft your own gym story? We invite you to try out a 1-day pass at Gold’s Gym. Who knows? You might just discover the motivation you’ve been searching for.
See you there!