T Nation

Fight the power.

Does anyone have any experience crusading against injustice in the gym? 8 months ago I cancelled my gym membership as I was going to university 200 miles away. It was a good, no frills, half-hardcore gym, with nearly everything I needed: squat rack, bench press, parrallel bars for dips, pull-up bar etc. I was happy with it, the membership wasn’t expensive and I could get the job done.

I returned to to gym yesterday for the first time in 8 months to discover that they’ve removed the pull-up bar and parrallel dip bars (they were combined in one piece of equipent), and replaced it with a shitty lat pull down machine with a maximum weight of 70kg/150lbs. I can’t do any pull-ups, chins or dips. Disgusting. Can anyone think of a reason that they’ve replaced a very good piece of equipent like that and replaced it with a horrible heap of shit that takes up more space? There was already a lat pull-down before I left, that was rarely used, so why another one?

They’ve sold their souls to Satan. New acquisitions include: leg press up to 100kg, leg adduction/abduction machine, another peck deck, more running/cycling machines. The cardio equipment was rarely more that 50% in-use 8 months ago, and when I went in at 7pm (supposedly peak time) there were only about 5 people on a total of 18 cardio machines, including cross-trainers and rowers. So what’s the need for all the cardio equipment?

The free weights area has been reduced to fit in these new machines, and there is no very little space to do power cleans (or any other movement) as they’ve crammed unnecessary machines into the gym at the expense of anyone who wants to lift weights. I was completely livid when I saw this, and considered complaining immediately, but I’ve decided to ask the T-forum what I should do to get the manager to re-install a pull-up and dips bar? I know the guy reasonably well, so I think I could negotiate with him. I can’t change gyms as every other gym in my small town is even worse. I thought I found sactuary from the other shitty commercial gyms in the area (fitness first being the biggest evil) and I return to this tragedy.

So what should I do? I’ve thought about a polite letter, and aggressive letter, a petition, a brick through the window, a 1-man protest march and a completely hostile rant at the manager. I could make a pull-up/dips station out of scaffolding, it’s not difficult, i might suggest they build one outside or I’ll do it myself. Maybe someone else here had the same problem.

I’m going to stop the rot before they completely sell-out and install soda and chocolate dispensers like the scum down at fitness first. They’re already halfway there with Mars bars being sold on the front desk.

And to badly quote someone:
“Evil only suceeds because the good do nothing.”

Find a new gym. Their target audiance is the much more massive group of “average folk” who have verry elastic demand. You on the other hand constitute a minority and have inelastic demand (you will still lift no matter what). When “average folk” look for a gym, free weight areas look just like dead empty space. They measure the quality of a gym by its number of machines, not by the lack of them (like you or I might). Furthermore, I’m convinced that fitness gyms don’t like big/strong guys because they “scare” the other patrons away. You may have the cause of justice and all that is good and right in the world on your side, but in America, market forces rule. Find a new gym.

you could go on weight watchers, start watching richard simmons videos and training like a 50 year old fat lady on all the new machines at your gym. just kidding.

 Run away and never look back - they've succumbed to the mainstream hype, and to the 'prettyness' of useless machines to atract new members.

 They've gone pink, because people pay good money for softcore shit that celebrities use, and that they see on television (have you ever seen a tv comercial for a Squat Rack, a Pull-up stand, or a Bench-Precss set?)

 They succumbed to what they think is good businessmanship by going mainstream to atract all sorts of people into their gym with pretty mahines - who dont know just how useless they are - but that is instead very poor businessmanship, as removing atheir only pull-up/dip stand (crucial to any gym), with another lat pulldown, a machine which they already had and never saw heavy use, and therefore no necessity for buying another one existed.

  Run for your life. These people are idiots running your gym. Find a new gym. No pull-up/sip stand, squat rack, bench press stand, and no deadlifts allowed? Then find another one. Remember, these celebrities make the mainstream hype atractive to all idiots (and there are many) who then drive gyms to go commercial and make more profit. They're running a business, and in all honesty being a good efficient, no-bullshit gym is a second consideration. Money always comes first, but it doesnt make hype right.

  Unfortunately this doesnt make life easy for a T-man like us. Hopefully, they will learn their lesson eventually. The current trend however, is to go soft and appease the 70% of the american popuulation that is overweight and thinks getting up from their sofa and walk up to the kitchen table is for more nachos is a form of exercise. Overweights are many and idiots are many. Gyms are going out of their way to appease these pink idiots with their softcore gyms and special aerobics class - to the music of Pink and the Backstreet boys. Hopefully it wont take TOO long for them to realize what they're doing is a)stupid and ridiculous, b) not giving them any decent results in any decent period of time, c) too expensive because of the cost of all the pretty equipment, and d) their hardcore counterparts got outstanding results following a hardcore, no-bull approach at the gym, or at home after everyone has gone pink.

  Wasnt their an AC/DC song 'Sink the pink, it's all fashion, anywhere, anyway, Im gonna shoot you, you're gonna die, sink the pink'. Somehow that sums it up.