The Screaming Muscles

Did you know that?

“The New England mussel produces sound with its byssal threads, which are used to attach themselves to hard substrates. At temperatures above 10 degrees centigrade, mussels can produce snapping sounds by stretching and breaking the byssal threads, these sounds are not intentionally produced.”


Don’t say you never learn anything from my Blog. Yes, the humble New England mussel and I have one thing in common, unintentional sound when exercising. For the wee mussel it happens when they stretch out to attach themselves to a rock, and me, when I am trying my best not to smack GymGuyMark in the face with a 16kg kettleweight. Yes, yet again my friends, GGM has upped the pace at the gym!

Take Thursday for example

  • 15 minutes of 6.5km/h covered a mile, by myself with new bright pink Ipod headphones working beautifully
  • 10 minutes on cross trainer, 5 going forward and 5 in reverse, GGM giving it chat on the sideline because he still has the alien growing out the back of his leg and can’t do cardio! Aye right!
  • Then weights time

The weights room at The Western Tennis Club Gym is up the stairs and as my poor legs were already in a slight jelly like state I was quite pleased when GGM said we would start on arms.

Cue the start of the involuntary sound! Apologies all you fit fans out there but I can never remember the proper names for the exercises so here is my version and the associated sounds …

  • Lying on my back on the floor lifting weights: sound produced, very heavy breathing
  • Trying to persuade my arms to lift two 8kg weights from right angle up to my shoulders: sound produced, Owwww
  • Trying to do a squat type thing while lifting a 16kg kettleweight: sound produced, two swear words and a few ‘prayers’
  • Leaning on the window ledge to do tricep dips: sound produced, severe weirdness from my knees, sure something ripped!
  • Swinging a kettleweight from the floor over my shoulder to try to smack GGM in the face: sound produced, ******* hell
  • 30 sit ups, might have been more but I think I passed out and lost count: sound produced cannot be clarified as it is before the watershed

kettle weights

So like the humble mussel whenever I stretch, lift or try to grab on for dear life to a weight, many many involuntary sounds escape my mouth and I apologise to those around me who have to listen to it. But underneath the whining, moaning, swearing, calling GGM all the names of the day and ‘praising God’ there is a very happy Gymophobe who finally feels that this might be doing some good!

G x

PS I have no idea what a New England mussel looks like!

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