Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Gym Superstitions

“Everyone knows that bad things happen when the plates face out. My hairdresser’s cousin knew a girl who got pregnant because her boyfriend lifted with the plates facing out. True story.”

And during yesterday’s CrossFit class the guy behind me about to squat 315lbs was suddenly yelled at to stop and re-rack. Why? The coach has a superstition and needs the white numbers facing out.

From the outside, gym superstitions sound pretty absurd, but it got me thinking… what do I do at the gym that I consider “routine” but others may see it as a bit superstitious?

I’m a lousy runner so anytime I do a decent run I automatically bless that outfit as my running outfit. I’m convinced that anytime I tackle a run I need to be dressed in my blue Nike shirt with my blue Asics sneakers to have maximum performance.

Anytime I do an isolated exercise or stretch I start with my right side of my body – never, never with my left. And if I’m on the elliptical I cover the timer with a towel and never look at it before at least 20 minutes have passed. And I have certain machines I like to use, I’ll wait for them even if others are open.

Why do fitness fanatics and athletes develop these superstitions? Quoted in the article by Ryan Clark, Richard Lustberg, a sports psychologist based in New York, said the reason for developing superstitions is simple: It’s a “coping mechanism” to deal with the pressure to succeed. “Athletes begin to believe, and want to believe, that their particular routine is enhancing their performance.”

So maybe I have a few superstitions and maybe I’m a bit delusional in my belief of my success but it’s working, so they’re staying. Melissa Byers wrote a great article about her workout oddities and if you have any weird gym-related things, add them in the comments!


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cutoffs are prettty magical. i feel and look stronger, and a big part of lifting is mental so i feel stronger and i have a greater drive. i am also wearing my lettered cutoffs usually so i’m repping not only myself but the frat so i have to go hard or go home!

Comment by browntown

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