It's weakness. More and more people are showing up in todays commercial gym facilities and just being ok with mediocrity. People today aren't going to the gym to get better, they are going to satisfy some asinine idea that they are supposed to be there. People walk into the facility and seem to think that just being there is going to do something to change their body or their health. The fact that you have to put in the hard work seems to escape people.
How is weakness contagious? If everybody else in the weight room is doing bicep curls and triceps kickbacks, chances are you won't find a gym buddy to help push you. Hell, weakness is so contagious that some gyms have even outlawed doing squats or deadlifts, two of the basic human movement patterns. If you don't know what you're doing in the gym, you probably won't find that role model that many of us had in our younger lifting days; the person who put you on the track to being a Savage. You'll settle for what everyone else is doing, and that sucks. What everyone else is doing obviously isn't working, since our obesity epidemic gets worse and worse with every passing year.
As a country, we have become accepting of sub-par performances. Every kid at tee-ball gets a "participation trophy". Young athletes that are too good are banned from scoring. A high school soccer team celebrates with a dance and has to forfeit the rest of their playoff's. Locally, a Boston high school football player was penalized for raising his hand during a touchdown run, which cost his team the state championship. Mediocrity has become the norm, and we punish those who are so bold as to revel in their success. This pussification of the country has extended into the way we train. The lunk alarm at Planet Fitness has reached the status of lore. Yup, we even have a gym that prevents people from training (what they deem) to be too hard. Not only that, but they give out free pizza to their members every Friday. I guess that's not so bad because pizza is now considered a vegetable.
What happened to us? When did it become ok to let your body become a pile of silly putty just so you could try and make more money? Is it really worth spending 60 hours a week at a desk, doing nearly irreparable damage to your body? When did strength become something that only certain people needed? It's one of our basic needs as human. Our ancestors relied on both their brains and their strength in order to succeed. Now more and more people rely on their brains to make a living, so we let our bodies go to shit?
Those people who do go to the gym have their focus on completely asinine ideas of what they want to look like, which is the complete opposite of what the opposite-sex wants. Women think they want to look like frail, skinny-fat super models. Men want women to look like Allison Stokke.
Keep it simple, folks. Use compound movements that let you lift a lot of weight. Do mobility and flexibility work a few times a week. Keep your bouts of cardio short and intense; use interval training. Get out of your big bulky shoes and get something lightweight and flat. For Christ's sake eat like an adult. Ditch the sugar and processed stuff as much as you can. Learn to cook real food. Lean Cuisine chicken and broccoli is not the equivalent of the same meal cooked by you. You work hard in the office, work hard in the gym. You want to be around to enjoy all that money you're making, right? Why complicate things? Go lift something heavy.