Doctor Delts is really great at bench pressing, and is often able to hoist singles in the 400-500 pound range. I still give him a hard time, as I do to anyone who benches at the expense of doing pullups. He just laughs and tells me where I can go, and he’s not referring to anyplace in the gym. In fact, he is good at pullups even though he doesn’t do them much. Apart from his prodigious (and sometimes annoying) natural talent, this is probably because he does deadlifts.
Night of the Lifting Dead
Not only will deadlifts work your back and many other parts of your body, but they work your grip, whereas bench pressing requires no grip strength at all to speak of – witness all the lifters who don’ t even bother putting their thumbs around the bar. My sarcastic comments aside, bench pressing can increase pushing strength significantly. And of course, you can get muscle-y boobular areas by doing lots of them. Plus, you never know when being strong might come in handy.
Monica’s No Pushover
We were working out at the gym last Thursday night with Monica. She doesn’t bother with bench pressing, but does various pushup variations instead, and she’s very strong. I have decided to follow her lead on that. As our workouts wound down, the three of us were feeling expansive and decided to go out for a bite. We agreed on the new trendy wood-fired pizza place a few blocks from the gym.
The word had clearly gotten out, and we had to wait for a table. It was crowded and boisterous. We were waiting near the front of the restaurant, where a huge chalkboard listed the many menu items.
We’re Running a Special Tonight on Total Devastation
We were reading it and picking out things to eat, when a waiter with a tray of drinks passed in front of the chalkboard. Trying to avoid bumping into patrons, he banged into the chalkboard, and his tray flipped over. The drinks cascaded to the floor with a resounding crash of splintering glass, ice, and colored liquid.
When the Wall Breaks, the Table Could Fall
Then the real fun began. The chalkboard came loose and fell downward. The shelf under it cracked, slowing the downward momentum, and then the chalkboard began to topple outward from the wall. In one swift motion, Delts leaped in front of the falling board, catching it on his arms and shoulder, preventing it from striking a table across the aisle. Having absorbed the hard blow, he turned and struggled to push the board back towards against the wall.
He yelled, “guys, a little help!” Monica jumped to the left side and I grabbed the right, and between the 3 of us we pushed the chalkboard back against the wall. But then the small shelf completely broke off, leaving no support for the board except us. Delts pushed the board hard against the wall with both hands, and said, “grab the bottom of the board!”
Monica and I did so, and then Delts was able to move his hands underneath it, and we slowly lowered the board to the ground and leaned it against the wall. Relieved applause broke out, and I encouraged Delts to take a bow.
The nervous but relieved manager was surveying the damage. Delts pointed to the holes in the wall where the top corners of the board had been. “Tonight’s special is: you won’t get sued! You actually thought nails in sheetrock would hold that up?”
Cheapness Is Expensive
“Uh, yeah, that’s what they told me”, Manager Guy replied. “Free drinks for all three of you, and you, Big Guy, free meals for a month.” We said thanks, and finally got a table. Out of earshot, Monica said, “Mr. Generous could have avoided the whole thing by spending an extra 30 bucks to have the job done right. I figure that’s gotta be at least a code violation. He doesn’t want us reporting it. I say we hit him up for more meals and money.”
Monica does like to eat. She looked up and exclaimed, “Oh, wait – look at that guy over there. He just took a picture with his phone. That might be on YouTube and Facebook tonight. I guess I won’t worry about reporting it.”
I added, “Delts, too bad they didn’t get a shot of you holding the board up all by yourself. Now that would have been impressive!”
Benchmarks Of Success
“Right, Dave,” Delts said, smiling. “Now that you’ve seen how useful it is to be able to push like that, maybe you’ll shut up with the bench press jokes.”
I grinned and nodded, and admitted to myself that he had a point. But being a manly man, I wasn’t about to concede the point that easily. “Right, but you still suck at pullups.”
Delts’ smile took on an evil cast. Wide-eyed, he started coming around the table. I cowered behind Monica, and said, “Monica, save me from that Big Bad Mean Man who broke the wall!”