The "Back in The Day" Bro: Dealing with the worst guy in the gym

"I used to be able to overhead squat 305, but..."

"Back in the day I could snatch 275, but..."

"My clean used to be 365, but..."

 Uncle Rico: The ultimate OG "Back in the Day Bro."

Uncle Rico: The ultimate OG "Back in the Day Bro."

These are actual statements I've heard in the gym over the years. They come from one of the most annoying gym types - the "back in the day bro". The BITDB will regale you with tales of his former glory - while then flooding your gym time with a constant stream of excuses about why he is no longer awesome. 

Let me be perfectly clear: I.DO.NOT.GIVE.A.FUCK what you "used to lift". The reason this bro is the worst, is because he is trying to take away the most beautiful aspect of lifting - there is nowhere to hide in this sport - the weight either goes up, or it doesn't. You can or you can't. 

Your, probably total bullshit, stories are only being shared for two reasons. One, you suck, and it is much easier to simply tell horseshit tales than to work at getting better and two, you suck, and you want to downplay my current PR's with your fairy-tale ones.

 The weight either goes up, or it doesn't. Nobody cares what you used to lift - and your stories are probably total bullshit anyway.

The weight either goes up, or it doesn't. Nobody cares what you used to lift - and your stories are probably total bullshit anyway.

In addition to having once been a "lifting god", this annoying excrement of humanity also catches fish "this big", dates a supermodel who he met at summer camp so you probably don't know her and once climbed Everest - and any other feat that you can't easily disprove on the spot.

A wise man once said, "Nobody cares about the 10's you used to hook up with, they only care about the three's you're pulling now." 

This all goes back to the importance of competing. The BITDB doesn't compete, because no judge is going to give you points because you told an annoyingly long story about how you once squatted 500 pounds - before you blew your knee out playing grab ass, or handball or whatever it was that lead to your current state of pathetic weakness. 

In CrossFit, this bro will also spend an inordinate amount of time while warming up for a workout explaining why they are scaling the weight. It's never simply because they aren't strong enough. All the ridiculous stories of fatigue and injury aside - here's a newsflash: Nobody cares that you are scaling. I didn't even notice that you had 10's on the bar for a workout that calls for 45's - I'm too busy loading my 45's to care. Now that I've had to listen to you explain how "back in 2008 you did this RX" and put up a time that would have placed you in the Games, but dammit, you only got 4 hours of sleep last night, so now you can't even lift the weights. 

Instead of simply working out, now I've taken an active interest in destroying your time with your scaled weight, with my RX weight. You've turned my mood from indifferent to your mindless ramblings, into one in which I must not only wreck your time, but humiliate you at the same time. I might even move my heavier bar over so that you can watch what it looks like when a real man works out.

 Telling stories about how much you used to be able to lift, is annoying - but worse than that, it attempts to take away the most beautiful thing about lifting - you either can or you can't. That's all that matters. Photo by Adam Trevillian.

Telling stories about how much you used to be able to lift, is annoying - but worse than that, it attempts to take away the most beautiful thing about lifting - you either can or you can't. That's all that matters. Photo by Adam Trevillian.

The BITDB also offers unsolicited advice - he is an expert, I mean he must be to have laid waste to the weights like he did "back in the day". He will offer cues and training tips, usually shit he has seen on YouTube or read in an article while commenting about squat depth on some person's social media video.

 But now I can only squat one...cuz, ya know, I got this knee thing.

But now I can only squat one...cuz, ya know, I got this knee thing.

So how do we deal with the BITDB? We all know someone who fits this bill. Engaging in conversation with this bullshit artist is the worst thing you can do. He will immediately seize on to any interaction as an opportunity to expound on his stories. Unless you want to spend the next hour hearing about his performance at an unsanctioned lifting meet in 1996 - don't engage!

Ignoring him is one tactic that works well - but I've found one that is even more successful. Tell him the truth - tell him you don't give a shit what he used to lift. You don't give a shit what his Fran time used to be. You don't give a shit what he and his pals used to quarter-rep squat in between jerkoff sessions in high school.

The weight either goes up or it doesn't. The sooner he realizes this, the sooner he can move on to some other poor sap who might be naive enough to believe him. You are far too busy hitting PR's in real life to spend another second hearing his bullshit.