A few months ago I moved to Vancouver, Canada, and one of my objectives for settling into the new environment was to find a good gym. Easier said than done when I knew next to nothing about the city, where I would be living or any people who could refer me to a decent gym.
So I went for Fitness World. Yeah it seemed like a bit of a chrome-tastic neon-lit toning studio, but with a number of locations I figured that I could find a decent place to work out.
How wrong I was. Although writing this will re-open some wounds for me, I thought some of you might get a laugh out of my misfortune.
Here?s a quick precis of the various crimes against humanity that I was unlucky enough to bear witness to.
1.Curling in the squat rack
Sure, we?ve all seen curlers in the squat rack, but you?d be surprised how many permutations on this I saw, such as:
*stretching in the squat rack
*doing crunches in the squat rack
*hanging out and shooting the breeze in the squat rack.
I would add that there was only one rack at the various locations I went to.
2.Fashion faux pas
If I knew what I was going to see, I would have gouged out my eyes a long time ago. Lowlights include:
*dudes who would wear lycra cycle shorts without a loose over-hanging tshirt to act as a buffer zone between their visible manhood and my searing retinas
*guys with the aforementioned lycra monstrosities who would accessorise with the always cool clipped on cellphone
*one dude whose workout uniform was tank top, denim cut-off shorts, studded belt and construction boots. I kid you not.
You couldn?t turn in that gym without hitting someone curling some dumbbells. I guess that?s what you get in a gym that has one squat rack but 4 chest press machines.
I only saw 2 or 3 guys squatting in the time I was there. Once I thought I saw a guy deadlifting, but turns out he was just spotting his buddy doing barbell curls. It was close tho!
*Guys swapping recipes on the gym floor- and I don?t mean recipes for their favourite protein shake. I believe they were discussing quiche.
*Dudes with 12? ?pythons? hitting arm shots in the mirror
*the Friday evening arm-and-chest pump extravaganza
Fortunately I am now at the relative paradise that is the Olympic Gym, so I can put all this behind me... I never thought I?d be so happy to see a bunch of battered old 45plates and a dip station with weighted belt.
Be warned people- do your homework before you move to a new city!