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10 Craziest "Exercises" I See In My Gym Every Week!

I Wish I Was Joking...

Posted by Scott_Herman - November 19th, 2018

In today’s article, I thought we would have a little fun. I want to share with you 10 of the craziest, dumbest “exercises” that I’ve seen in my gym since moving down to Florida. I wish I was making this stuff up, because some of it is pretty hilarious! So let’s start things off with a bang!

Exercise #1: Seated Barbell Biceps Curl

I know you can lift more weight by doing half curls but this is taking it to a whole new level. There is absolutely no benefit to doing a seated barbell curl. You can’t even break 90 degrees on the way down during the eccentric portion of the movement. If you want to do a seated curl, it’s very simple – you grab dumbbells and you do it the right way!

Seated Barbell Biceps Curl

Seated Dumbbell Biceps Curl

Exercise #2: Triceps Pushdown (Elbows Out)

With this movement I know you want to be able to lift the entire stack, but hunching over the bar with your shoulders pronated forward and your elbows flared out isn’t the way to do it. You’re not hitting those triceps as hard as you possibly can. However, there is a catch as to why people do this – most of the time when I see dudes doing this, it’s so they can look in the mirror so they can admire that tricep flex on the way down on every single repetition. But if you want to see triceps gains and not just look at them in the mirror, you need to do proper form which is elbows by your sides, chest up and full extension on the way down.

Triceps Pushdown – BAD FORM

Triceps Pushdown – PERFECT FORM

Exercise #3: Uneven Bench Press

In a video it might look like this could work if you have one side of your chest lagging or smaller than the other side. But what’s really happening while you’re doing these reps is that you are straining the entire side of your body where the heavier weight is on, not even allowing you to properly bench the weight and place all of that mind-muscle connection you need in your chest in order to break it down to see growth. This does not work!

Bench Press – Uneven Plates

Bench Press – PROPER FORM

There are exercises where you can potentially hold the barbell straight up and just bring one arm down at a time, kind of like a single-arm dumbbell bench press, but doing it this way, absolutely not! If you want to grow your chest and one side is lagging compared to the other, all you need to do is bench more consistently and work with progressive overload.

Exercise #4: Cable “Bent-Over” Row

This is done on a lat pulldown machine and you basically sit like you’re about to do a reverse lat pulldown and then once you get into position, you lean all the way back and start pulling the bar to your belly button in order to simulate a barbell bent-over row. There’s just so many things wrong with doing it this way, not to mention that you’re not going to be able to overload properly. That’s because the weight won’t go that high on the machine and the weight you try to use in order to overload is probably going to pull you out of the seat as you start to go heavier. Lastly, you’re not really getting that nice deep stretch that you want in your lats because the position you’re in isn’t really allowing that to happen. So if you want to grow your lats and you’re having a hard time, don’t try to invent something new, just stick with what you know – barbell bent-over rows.

Cable “Bent-Over” Row

Barbell Bent-Over Row

Exercise #5: Ab “Quarter” Crunches

I’m willing to bet that quite a few of you reading this are guilty of this! You got to the ab crunch machine, you load as much weight as you can on it because you want to build some big blocky abs, but then when it comes time to doing the reps all you’re doing is quarter crunches at the top of the movement. Let me explain something. The machine has a range of motion that forces you to arch your back in the beginning and crunch at the top because that’s the range of motion you need to do to work your abs! If you only had to do a quarter crunch, it would be designed to allow you to only do a quarter crunch, so drop the weight and do full range of motion!

Ab “Quarter” Crunches

Ab Crunches

Exercise #6: Behind The Knee Triceps Extension

This would be one of the most awkward and hilarious exercises I have seen at this gym. Just because you can bend over and the barbell can fit behind your knee caps doesn’t mean that you invented some new exercise that nobody has ever thought of before. Someone probably thought ‘wow this is really natural, this is going to work really well for me’, but it won’t. It’s almost like basically doing a triceps kickback, which when it comes to building muscle is pretty much a useless exercise.

Behind The Knee Triceps Extension

If you’re trying to build big triceps and you want to do a movement with the barbell, what you need to be doing is an incline skull crusher. It keeps constant tension on the triceps throughout the entire range of motion, takes pressure off the elbows as long as you do it on an incline and you will be able to overload with a LOT more weight than doing it bent over with the bar behind your knees.

Incline Skull Crusher

Exercise #7: Barbell Shoulder Press To The Face!

This is probably the most dangerous exercise I’ve seen. You’re literally watching the barbell come down to your face and then pressing it back to the top of the movement. I have to admit, the guy I saw doing this had a lot of weight on the bar. I had barely any weight and the few times I actually did touch the top of my nose, it really hurt! This is super dangerous and it’s almost like it’s an excuse to not do full range of motion because technically the bar stops at your face so that’s as low as you can bring it. But if you want shoulder gains and you don’t want to kill yourself, do it the right way, bring it down to the top of your chest and repeat for reps.

Barbell Shoulder Press – BAD FORM

Barbell Shoulder Press – PERFECT FORM

Exercise #8: “Assisted” Single-Leg Pushdown

I don’t know who started this exercise, but it’s probably one of the most useless movements you can do to try to target your glutes, for a couple of different reasons. Number one, you’re not really in a position where you’re stable enough to do as much weight as you probably can do. Number two, in order to activate your glutes yes you might be getting a stretch at the top of the movement, I can understand that, but in order to fully activate your glutes in the FLEX you have to be able to push down and through with your legs. When you’re doing it on this machine, yes you can push the weight down but you cannot get a full extension with that hard glute flex!

“Assisted” Single-Leg Pushdown

If you really want to get those glutes on fire with a similar exercise, all you have to do is a step-up on a bench. It works a lot better, it’s going to require you to have a bit more stability as you step-up and control yourself on the way down and when you get to the top of the movement you will be able to flex those glutes to take full advantage of the flex at the top of the movement.

Dumbbell Step-Up

Exercise #9: 21s (Biceps Curls)

I have to admit, I’ve talked about this several times in the past but I am seeing it in my gym and I’ve had to go over to a few different people and explain why it’s a pretty pointless and useless exercise to do. Just because you get a pump doesn’t mean you’re getting muscle work. A pump is just blood going to the area and doing 21 repetitions is going to cause a pump whether you do it the wrong way or the right way. The only difference is if you do it the right way you’ll actually progress with the movement and see some muscle growth. When you do it the wrong way, all you do is get a pump.

There’s absolutely no reason to do a biceps curl from the bottom to halfway (7 repetitions) and then do halfway to the top (7 repetitions), there’s just no point in doing that. You need to do full range of motion! Believe it or not 21s were originally designed to basically do a tri-set for shoulders. You could hit the front delts for 7 reps, lateral for 7 reps and then bend over and hit the rear delts for 7 reps. That’s what it was originally designed for.


So if you want to try something for your biceps that’s going to absolutely destroy them, you have to check out my MERCY 30s. You do 10 repetitions with your arms really wide on the barbell, you do 10 repetitions with your hands really close together on the barbell and then you do 10 repetitions with a neutral grip on the barbell. Then your biceps explode, regrow and get bigger!

Mercy 30s

Exercise #10: 2 Inch Leg Press

We’ve all seen it, some of us have maybe even done it. You load up as much weight as you possibly can and then you literally just do a 2 inch negative before returning back to the starting position and repeating for reps. What a lot of people like to do on this exercise is put their legs really close together so that their knees hit their chest at about the 2 – 3 inch mark. They kind of use that as an excuse saying that is full range of motion. Let me tell you a little secret – put your feet a bit wider, push your knees out and then bring all the weight all the way down on every single repetition. You are going to see a lot more gains and you’re going to be less likely to hurt yourself.

2 Inch Leg Press

Leg Press


This is probably the dumbest, most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I’ve only seen it once, that’s how rare it is but it DID happen and we’re going to call this the Fake Out Leg Press. I saw this dude in the gym literally load up the leg press with as much weight as he possibly could and then started looking around at people. He got down on the leg press, put his feet up and then pretends and acts like he is going to do the movement. He sits there for a little bit and then after preparing like he’s actually going to do the lift, he stands up and starts looking around again. He did this three times in a row!

All I could think is that he was basically trying to time his movements of standing up and getting down with maybe other people, who he thinks were watching him, about to do their own sets, seeing him and then starting their own sets. I think he used that last bit of time while they were on their own sets to make it seem like he actually lifted the weight. It was the most ridiculous hilarious thing I’ve ever seen!


These are just a few of the craziest “exercises” I’ve ever seen in the gym. I can think of a lot more where this came from so don’t be surprised to see a part two sometime in the future, with more fun “exercises” you can make sure you avoid!

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