Do Not Brag About Your Leg Press

This New York Times article yesterday about a Manhattan gym that caters to billionaires and business titans contains this bit of braggadocio from one of the gym's members:

Then there's James D. Robinson III, co-founder of the RRE Ventures investment firm and former chairman of American Express. Mr. Robinson, 76, can leg-press 900 pounds, leaving fellow gym members in awe. "I wanted to do 1,000, but they wouldn't let me," he says.

Do Not Brag About Your Leg Press

Sure. (James D. Robinson is pictured at left, in those pants, which he knowingly wore to pose for a photo in the newspaper.) Not so amazing when you recall that old Pat Robertson was bragging about being able to leg press 2,000 pounds a few years ago. This whole leg press discussion is bullshit, for reasons which include the following, many of which were ably pointed out at the time that Pat Robertson was boasting about this bullshit:

  • The leg press record for Florida State University football players is less than 1,500 pounds. The reason these old dudes can put up such hefty numbers on the leg press is because...
  • Their form sucks. They are not completing a full, deep rep. It's much easier to move a heavy weight through a shortened range of motion. Not to mention...
  • The leg press is a stupid exercise for morons, anyhow. It's a purely artificial way to lift weight that bears no resemblance to actual human motion, and it is preferred by gym morons because it is much easier to put up huge numbers on a machine than in a more useful exercise. As Mike Debonis said, bragging about your leg press "is like bragging about how fast you can do the TV Guide crossword puzzle." It is a definite moron indicator. Because, of course...
  • If you want to do a real exercise involving your legs, you do squats. Everybody knows that. Seems funny that they didn't mention that to you, James D. Robinson, at your super expensive futuristic gym for the ultra-rich, right? That's because your gym sucks.
You have big strong legs, James D. Robinson? You can leg press 900 pounds? I will give you one hundred dollars out of my own pocket if you can squat half that. A mere 450 pounds. Shouldn't be a problem for you. Contact me at once to collect this easy money.

[Photo: Debra Roby/ Flickr]