T Nation

Best Gym You Have Been To?!


I just wanted to start a thread where we can all discuss the best Gym/Training Experience that we have had over our lifting careers. Describe the best Gym that you have been to and what made it so great!


OK, you start.


Peaks Weightlifting Club in Flagstaff, AZ. It's an Olympic lifting club. The rates are awesome and the coaching top-notch. The coaches don't even charge a fee!! I went there on leave from my unit and spent five days learning/relearning cleans and snatches. I paid 15 days of fees just because I thought they kicked ass even though the coach said it was all good. He even thanked me for dropping in to learn. The young women there were damn strong!! They made me look weak, and they were hotties. I gotta go back.


I know it is not a gym but my favorite place to work out was a barn. I built racks out of wood places for pull ups, dips and anything else you could dream up.


I've been to a bunch of gyms in my 15+ yrs of training and my favorites are:

Gold's Gym, Middletown, CT (now closed and the first gym I ever worked out at)

Atilis Gym, Wildwood, NJ

Norther Liberties Ironworks and Old City Iron Works, Philadelphia, Pa

Zak's Gym in CT (now closed)
Tully's Gym in CT (now closed)

Gold's Gym, Bristol, CT

I've been to a bunch more that I've liked but DAMN it's hard to pick one....

It's easier to pick gyms I hate...lol



Yeah, that's the 2 story one right???

I went there a long time ago and thought it was pretty cool... You from CT???


If you're ever in NY check out Bev Francis'

Other than that, the gyms I've worked out have sucked balls (including jy current one) with the exception of World Gym Las Cruces, NM.


Yea the cardio equipment is up top, it used to be a tractor trailer repair shop, or something along those lines.

I am from Southern CT, so it is a bit of a hike - but like going up there when I can


I just worked out at The Yard in Hermosa Beach, CA the other day. I liked it a lot, smaller atmosphere compared to a Gold's or 24 Hour Fitness and right on the water with hotties hotties hotties walking by all the time.


I am in CT half of the week, so I don't have much time to travel to train. But I am a big fan of the place


in china there is no middle ground, just very very good or very very bad, very very expensive or very very underground. the gym I went to was the latter and my newspaper asked me to write an article about it, here it is...it was the BEST EVER gym I EVER went to cos it hasd the same sense of community that T-Nation tries to foster...article follows
sorry for the length....

School of Hard Knocks

?This one,? he points to another ragged scar across his abs, ?was because some guy threw a piece of cake at me in the street?. I try to nod understandingly, terrified of this giant Chinese dude covered in scars and muscles. ?Also, he disrespected my grandmother.? He smiles and I?m sure I see gold.

I?m in what could generously be called a gym hidden away on Wensan road. It?s actually nothing more than a garage with healthy amounts of tarp, but it?s clean, devoid of running machines, posers and only costs five RMB a go. Here, no one is going to open the door for you, teach yoga, enthuse about Pilates or stand about after three reps pattering water on their face scowling or smiling at potential fuck buddies.
It?s full of gangsters doormen and bodyguards. They come here to lift things, really heavy things. And I?m pretty sure if I bitched about there being no hot water in the outhouse-shower thing or enquired when the spinning class started they?d laugh gently then snap my neck.
These were massive guys, the biggest Chinese dudes I?ve ever seen, hulking around the gym, spotting each other then playing cards between sets. But they were also pretty nice guys as hired muscle goes. Helpful but not patronizing. After watching me for half an hour they came over and complimented me on my form but suggested I could ass some more weight?tas they did that for me they started asking me what I was eating, telling me how to improve my diet, adding giant slabs of metal to each set with ?no problem, no problem?.
There?s lifting on your own and there?s lifting with seven giant scarred dudes shouting COME ON!!! in your face; that?s training to failure. After I regain consciousness we?re all sitting on overturned stools in the driveway, pools of sweat collecting around each of us, eating what seems like a ton of watermelon; sweet, red glittering pieces that I?m having trouble lifting. After the taxi-drivers? top three questions (where are you... what do you? how much ?) I ask about them and their scars. One guy is missing half the fingers on his right hand.
?I was fighting this guy, he pulled out a machete and was going to cut my head so I put my hand up to protect me?. My fingers instinctively close around each other as I listen and my balls shrink to the size of raisens and make a mad dash for my insides. ?He went to prison but got out,? tripod fingers going for another piece of watermelon, ?he?s a very good business man, I bought a car from him?.

A month later and much sturdier I walk to the gym but it?s gone. There are ghosts of the weights on the floor. A lot of the tarp has been taken away. No one knows where they went or what happened. I move apartments and join a ?respectable? gym; luxurious considering it has lockers and hot water. But it?s not the same, there?s no vitality or urgency. Those guys worked out for their livelihoods and the safe protection of their remaining fingers. They didn?t pose or show off or act like dicks simply because they didn?t need to. Here, girls coyly ask you to spot them lifting 20 pounds then pout when you laugh at them.


Key Gym in Boca Raton Fl. You had a key & could go 24 hrs. Don't think it's there any longer though.


Fletcher's House of Power.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Powerlifting gym.


When I was a teenager, I visited my cousins back in Chicago. I went to the Leaning Tower Y and saw the only true "old school" gym I've ever been to. Very inspiring.


Bad Attitude Gym just outside Dallas TX.

Completely decked out with EFS equipment and several Elite lifters. I seriously thought about moving there to train with them...


All that time in Connecticut and no South Side? C'mon, man! :slight_smile:



I second that as a former Long Islander, if only for the great atmosphere.


Peak Performance NYC gets a vote for the awesome equiptment. GHR, reverse hyper, prowler, bands, chains, boards for pressing, two power racks, safety squat bar, weight releasers, etc. But, despite the great equiptment there are very very few hardcore lifters.

Steel Gym gets my vote for most inspirational for a bodybuilder. And also for knocking down the stereotype of all gay men looking feminine. It can be quite a shock to many guys who lift when they hear men twice their size acting like a bunch of giddy girls as they walk down the street. Most guys there are bigger than the "big guy" at most gyms. Victor Martinez comes from there as well.



Thanks, I appreciate the invite, but I have no need to embarrass myself right now lol...

I need to get my training in order and then I'll take you up on your offer...if it still stands.