T Nation

Gold's Not for Strength Anymore

Hello, new poster here but my most recent experience with Golds gyms in the KC area has me ready to tell everyone serious about lifting that they are going the way of Bally’s. If you ever wanted neon and spandex back…Golds is headed toward becoming a meat market.

If this has been discussed in past…sorry. Here is my letter of cancelation I just sent today. If I get any kind of response…I’ll post a follow up.

Any chance T-Nation has looked into this already?

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Gold?s Gym
6501 South Frontage Rd.
Merriam, KS 66202

To Whom It May Concern:

I am canceling my gym membership of 4 years. Please stop the automatic withdrawals immediately and remove my information from your membership databases.

It has been brought to my attention by TWO separate Golds gyms in the Kansas City area that power lifting is not supported. I have been deadlifting and squatting since high school and have even earned a degree in Exercise Science, yet I have been told by both gyms that I am lifting incorrectly and that none of their other members lift that way.

I turn 40 years old this year. My lifting experience has spanned 25 years and included time as a bodybuilder, college rower, and now as a Highland Games competitor. In that time I have studied lifting techniques from all schools of thought?power lifting, hypertrophy, Olympic lifting, rehab?and yet it seems that I am not lifting according to the new Gold?s standard of ??please only use the machines and don?t get sweaty?.

Today, I was at the Westport gym finishing my second set of deadlifts with 470lbs. My goal is to pull 600lbs on my 40th birthday and I just raised my max deadlift to 525lbs a month ago. I was well on my way to that goal, but now I find that Golds will not support me in my effort for strength and fitness. A lady who introduced herself as ?mother of the owner? asked me if I was done. I explained that I had two more sets to do and she responded??If you can?t put that weight down any softer you are done now.? She then proceeded to tell me that many other lifters lift more than that and don?t put the weights down that hard. I have NEVER seen another lifter pull what I am pulling in either of the Golds I have attended in four years. I know for a fact that anyone attempting to put over 400 pounds down on the ground ?slowly? will destroy their back and will most likely never lift again. Her comments are not only extremely rude, they are very dangerous.

In a previous incident in the Westport gym I was doing partial deadlifts off the rack with 650lbs. On my second set I was told that the gym had a new manager (from the northland) who said that I was going to scare off a client he was trying to sign up.

My lifting at the Westport gym had increased in the last two months because I was told that they were NOT like the northland gym. They did not have a daycare to worry about and their lunch time was light. In fact, I set my last personal record (PR) of 525 there. However, now I find that the same attitude against power lifting has contaminated that gym as it has in the northland gym.

I stopped lifting at the Vivion Rd Gym because I was told the following in one day?.
-You are scaring off the families (by a friend of the manager)
-You are making it hard to sign up the 65 year old ladies ( by an employee at counter)
-I have lifted that and never made any noise (by the manager, and I was pulling 450 for reps)

Anytime I tried to discuss what was happening, I got a variety of reasons why I was being told this?one even included that I was yelling, which I have never done. The reasons were grunting too loud/making too much noise, banging the weights too much, someone just complained, not the way we do it, etc. This was despite having adjusted my lifting, stopped wearing my headset, and attempted to make my pre-lift psych up muttered instead of spoken. The story changed so much every time that I finally got the hint?.I was not allowed to power lift at Golds. Golds does not want any serious lifters. Regardless of the numerous people in both gyms that have complimented me on my lifts or said that it was motivating to see someone lifting heavy.

I have always been a courteous lifter. Not once have I ever left plates on a bar or on a sled. Any weights that I take to use always end up back on the rack (including weights already there). I have spotted other lifters, I have helped other lifters. I always wait my turn and have never taken anyone else?s weights. The opposite of which has happened to me countless times, but I continue to go out of my way to make lifting a good experience for others. It is too bad Golds customers will never see me or my money again because what you are getting is all the slackers and the posers that don?t care about leaving sweaty benches, weights all over, and standing in front of mirrors blocking weight racks from other users.

This letter will be posted to a variety of forums that I participate in and will be sent to my entire contact list.

Thank you for your time, and again please cancel my membership as of my call today (04/14/09) and stop the automatic withdrawals.

yeah I’ve been in a few and they dont look any different from any other shiny gym with shitty equipment. All the ones ive seen are recently built though so i suppose they would not bother with legit racks and bars.

Place is a dump. better to give your money to independently owned Olifting of power lifting gyms. or even sport performance gyms will let you train there sometimes without coaching.

-chris

nice. thats the problem with these chains. they cater to the people who will not use the gym. they dont cater to the people that use it.

tell me what do you think about this idea… ->everytime this happens, we should post it where ever possible, advertise it, get as many hits on the links as possible, and then forward them to all the major gym players, so that eventually we might have enough voice that they’ll allow us to do the most basic shit that all the other stuff stemmed from without worrying about getting kicked out of our gyms anymore…surely somebody would see the neglected market

They need money.

Truth is, gym rats are not profitable for gyms.

We come 5 times a week and use alot of equipment, clog up the floor, look very intimidating, and make others feel bad about themselves.

But we pay the same monthly dues.

People that come once a week to bench and jog on a treadmill for a bit pay the same dues as we do.

And you cant fill a gym up if your not there.

my sentiments exactly. Golds Gyms here in Florida are just the same. sounds like the same type of shit Ive had to deal with here from the Golds that I go to.

[quote]brian.m wrote:
tell me what do you think about this idea… ->everytime this happens, we should post it where ever possible, advertise it, get as many hits on the links as possible, and then forward them to all the major gym players, so that eventually we might have enough voice that they’ll allow us to do the most basic shit that all the other stuff stemmed from without worrying about getting kicked out of our gyms anymore…surely somebody would see the neglected market[/quote]

The strength/bodybuilding market is way smaller than the market where average joes just want to get into shape. Losing one strength guy who just uses the weight to gain 10 average joes who fork out tons of dough for personal trainers and plans is more profitable for Gold’s.

In the end, fitness gyms are a business like anything else. It is all about the profit. As I have seen this happen at my gym with the change of management from a private owner to a chain corporation. Sometimes you have to listen to the requests they make but then try to make a compromise. Show the owner that you care about his/her gym and respect the business they run by showing you care for his/her equipment.

Heck, the owner of this fitness chain still lets me deadlift but I now deadlift once a week every morning at 230am so that no one else is there. If someone is there at that time, the owner will not mind as I am being courteous to his request of doing my best to meet his request and most people don’t train at that time anyway.

I even discussed to the owner about leaving metal weights for bench, squat and deadlift and the owner obliged. As long as you show you care and respect the owner’s business they tend to respect your goals in the process.
Communication is key but I also know other variables come into factor at every gym across america and some owners are not as lenient (close minded). I hope you find a gym that works with you and but keep in mind you might have to work with them to. Good luck!

yeah that is fucked.I lift at the Golds in Kirkland WA and they have no problem with banging weights and deadlifting.Its kind of a retirement community sometimes but generally its fine.But the hardcore gym is definately going the way of the Dodo.

Make one more trip to that gym and leave all the weight on the bars you use and get chalk all over the place.

[quote]horsepuss wrote:
yeah that is fucked.I lift at the Golds in Kirkland WA and they have no problem with banging weights and deadlifting.Its kind of a retirement community sometimes but generally its fine.But the hardcore gym is definately going the way of the Dodo.

Make one more trip to that gym and leave all the weight on the bars you use and get chalk all over the place.[/quote]

Then to finish, lockout 500 on deadlift and drop it, that will get a great reaction from the soccer moms and 13 years olds running around using every random machine in no particular order.

Why dont they have a private section for hardcore guys. I mean throw a power rack and olympic bar or two and some plates and say have at it. Scream, grunt, hell whatever, etc.

Sorry to hear about this bro.

I know a local gym that had a room set aside for hardcore lifters. They had the equipment they needed and they were free to go crazy, but they were also away from the regular folks. That gym has since been bought out by “Planet Fatass”.

Luckily I have base gyms and will have a full on pl/strongman garage gym at my disposal when I pcs this summer…oh yeah, and I will be right up the road from a little place called “Big Iron Gym”

[quote]VikingsAD28 wrote:
horsepuss wrote:
yeah that is fucked.I lift at the Golds in Kirkland WA and they have no problem with banging weights and deadlifting.Its kind of a retirement community sometimes but generally its fine.But the hardcore gym is definately going the way of the Dodo.

Make one more trip to that gym and leave all the weight on the bars you use and get chalk all over the place.

Then to finish, lockout 500 on deadlift and drop it, that will get a great reaction from the soccer moms and 13 years olds running around using every random machine in no particular order.[/quote]

Yeah, this would totally do a great job of dispelling the myth that powerlifters are just huffy, egotistical jerks that are a detrminet to the commercial gym.

Do you guys think these things through any? Shit like this is WHY commercial gyms don’t like serious lifters in the first place.

[quote]UpChucker wrote:
I know a local gym that had a room set aside for hardcore lifters. They had the equipment they needed and they were free to go crazy, but they were also away from the regular folks. That gym has since been bought out by “Planet Fatass”.

Luckily I have base gyms and will have a full on pl/strongman garage gym at my disposal when I pcs this summer…oh yeah, and I will be right up the road from a little place called “Big Iron Gym”[/quote]

Are you going to be at offutt?

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
VikingsAD28 wrote:
horsepuss wrote:
yeah that is fucked.I lift at the Golds in Kirkland WA and they have no problem with banging weights and deadlifting.Its kind of a retirement community sometimes but generally its fine.But the hardcore gym is definately going the way of the Dodo.

Make one more trip to that gym and leave all the weight on the bars you use and get chalk all over the place.

Then to finish, lockout 500 on deadlift and drop it, that will get a great reaction from the soccer moms and 13 years olds running around using every random machine in no particular order.

Yeah, this would totally do a great job of dispelling the myth that powerlifters are just huffy, egotistical jerks that are a detrminet to the commercial gym.

Do you guys think these things through any? Shit like this is WHY commercial gyms don’t like serious lifters in the first place.[/quote]

This is the problem in the first place, the fact that there is a difference between serious lifters and people who just go to the gym. I understand that its just not for everyone but i just could not imagine not training my ass off several days a week.

[quote]VikingsAD28 wrote:
T3hPwnisher wrote:
VikingsAD28 wrote:
horsepuss wrote:
yeah that is fucked.I lift at the Golds in Kirkland WA and they have no problem with banging weights and deadlifting.Its kind of a retirement community sometimes but generally its fine.But the hardcore gym is definately going the way of the Dodo.

Make one more trip to that gym and leave all the weight on the bars you use and get chalk all over the place.

Then to finish, lockout 500 on deadlift and drop it, that will get a great reaction from the soccer moms and 13 years olds running around using every random machine in no particular order.

Yeah, this would totally do a great job of dispelling the myth that powerlifters are just huffy, egotistical jerks that are a detrminet to the commercial gym.

Do you guys think these things through any? Shit like this is WHY commercial gyms don’t like serious lifters in the first place.

This is the problem in the first place, the fact that there is a difference between serious lifters and people who just go to the gym. I understand that its just not for everyone but i just could not imagine not training my ass off several days a week.[/quote]

I go to the shooting range maybe once a year at the VERY most, and fire MAYBE 100 rounds. There are guys there everyday that prolly use 1,000 rounds a day. They take it much more seriously than I do. Do I have no right to be at the range?

The elitism needs to stop if we want serious lifters to be able to lift unmolested in commercial gyms. We need to be ambassadors of the sport, not meatheaded jerks that live up EXACTLY to the stereotype that they have of us. There needs to be compromise on both ends.

The TC sets a STELLAR example with what he said in his post. He helps people in the gym, is friendly, and a good person. However, the image of serious lifters has been so badly tarnished that his goodwill is overshadowed by the acts of others. Him living up to their expectations is going to do no good to anyone.

Our Gold’s where I’m at is pretty good. They have dumbbells up to 150lbs, a good amount of free weights, and even a powerlifting room where chalk is allowed. I’ve never noticed them giving anyone a problem for heavy lifting, grunting, or even yelling.

I am glad to hear there are some Golds where real lifting is allowed. I have had to be sneaking in one of those chalk balls to my gyms. It is good in that it really does limit the amount of chalk that gets out and I just use it over my bag.

Basically, I should have known I out grew these gyms like two years ago. Too bad, as I still believed the idea of the gym that Joe Gold started…too bad.

But, I do have to admit to doing one bad thing. As I was having it out with moms, she said at some point…‘you have to put those weights away’. I replied that I had already quit my membership and she could put them away…it was spiteful…but no way in heck I was going to do anything cooperative after being harrased that way.

Pretty sure there wasn’t any chance of saving her attitude toward lifters. It was pretty set.

You should get a couple of skinny friends of yours and pay them to let you use THEM as your weights in that place.

Can you imagine what those spandexed fuckers will think when you start doing squats with your buddies hanging off of each end of the bar? Or start benching with them hanging on the ends? Hold one of them sideways and start curling him! Or deadlift them by putting a harness on them and lifting them by the back of their harnesses with each hand, kinda like a trap bar deadlift!

Those bosu ball punks will run right through the plate glass windows to get the hell away from you. Jack yourself up before each lift by yanking a smelling salt up your nose and then scream at the top of your lungs! Hell, stick a fake needle in your ass and “forget” that it’s there while you do some front squats.

THey’ll freak and you’ll have a nice last memory of the place before you start going to a real gym.

[quote]Invictica wrote:
brian.m wrote:
tell me what do you think about this idea… ->everytime this happens, we should post it where ever possible, advertise it, get as many hits on the links as possible, and then forward them to all the major gym players, so that eventually we might have enough voice that they’ll allow us to do the most basic shit that all the other stuff stemmed from without worrying about getting kicked out of our gyms anymore…surely somebody would see the neglected market

The strength/bodybuilding market is way smaller than the market where average joes just want to get into shape. Losing one strength guy who just uses the weight to gain 10 average joes who fork out tons of dough for personal trainers and plans is more profitable for Gold’s. [/quote]

i understand that, i just thought, hoped rather, that eventually we would create a voice enough to have more people cater, even if we are a niche…eventually, even a small group of people, can make a huge stink, even if they are a very very small minority (see gays, no offense)