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New gym
Tomato05 posted:
I've had to join another gym recently, as I moved to another area in my city.

I miss my old gym! Still, this gym is not bad.

What bothers me though, is the way the dumbbell rack is stacked here. They are in two rows, one above the other. The heaviest dumbbells (which I cannot use, the real monsters) are at the bottom of course. The ones I use are on top (I use up to 20kg, or 22kg ones for one exercise). That shelf is quite high for me (I am only 5ft 2").

I have osteoporosis and I have to be very careful how I lift heavy things; I have had 2 back fractures. I could happily lift the heavy dumbbells of the rack in the previous gym, where they were all low (2 different rows on 2 different walls, both low). I squatted a little, and then let my legs, which are quite strong, lift me.

I find that lifting these dumbbells from chest height makes my upper back very unhappy. My legs can't aid me any more at that height, and my back takes the full impact. I now lift them off, one by one, very gingerly. However, putting them back is even worse, so I now just leave them on the floor next to the rack. .

Others will view this as poor gym etiquette and I am probably going to get disapproving glances, but I don't have a choice! This is a real problem for me...
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
I'm guessing there must be another rack with the lighter weights because 20 kilo weights are not light. I think the only thing you can do is ask someone to lift them off for you when you start. You can put them down on a bench between sets if a bench is available, and then ask someone to put them back when you're done. People in gyms are almost always very willing to help, and there's no shame in asking. And if you're lifting this much weight (not sure what exercise you do with it, but it is heavy), then you certainly have nothing to be ashamed of. There's no point in risking hurting your back if that's your concern. Go ahead and ask for help. It will put your mind, and your back, at ease.
Tomato05 replied to Rich Weil, MEd, CDE's response:
Thanks for the advice, yes, I think I'll have to ask others to put them back. I feel a little guilty, because they're there for their own exercise, not to help me, but like you say, they probably won't mind. And it's not worth the risk of injury to do it myself.

And yes, the light dumbbells (up to 10kg) are a different type and are on another rack. I use them for biceps and shoulder exercises. When I started exercising I could hardly manage with a 2kg dumbbell. Now, 6 years later, I can do deadlifts (straight-legged) with two 17.5 kg dumbbells. I do a "Sumo squat" with one 20kg dumbbell, triceps "skullcrusher" with a 20kg dumbbell, back rows with 15kg dumbbells, etc. Others sometimes look a bit surprised, as I am 5ft2, and quite small, though not as thin as I used to be!

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