T Nation



I read this week that my gym is being taken over by Gold's, not sure if this is a good thing or not.

I am a little bit hesistant as my gym has quite a nice history, with Mike Mentzer having moved to my town to train here in 1980 after he lost the Olympia (at the time it was state of the art). It's got a load of nautilus gear and other unique hand made equipment at the moment, and a mere 6 cardio machines. Now all of sudden we're getting a "juice bar" and "body pump" classes. Not sure if we'll lose the 24 hour access passes either. Any one familiar with the Gold's chain?


Yeah, I've been to a few. They've gotten to be more "fitness based", rather than hardcore lifting focused. The last one I was in (last year) did not allow chalk, had a long list of rules to abide by and had televisions everywhere (which I find disturbing). It was way too clean and the clientele was, well, pretty lame. Everyone stood around watching the tube between sets. It was pretty weird. But they pretty much stayed out of my way, so that was fine with me.


The one I have a membership at is filled with people who stare at anyone who actually has any size on them. Many of them are elderly. Many of the women bring their kids with do step aerobics while their kids are in child care. The hours of operation suck and the guy who works behind the counter doesn't lift weights but apparently has no problem finding food.


Gold's may not be ideal, but you could be worse off. The one in my town is pretty good, good weightroom where you can do your own thing, as opposed to the 24-hour fitness place next door, which has all kinds of rules to keep the people that actually like picking up iron from bothering the housewives. As far as I can tell, Gold's is better than most of the big chains.


You have elderly people at your gym who have size on them? :slightly_smiling:

The problem I have with Gold's, and most other large commercial gyms, is that they only keep the quipment in stock that generates the most money. Cardio machines bring in the soccer mom's who plunk down their membership dues a year at a time, then never come back. Weight equipment brings in the "wrong" type of crowd, i.e. the Prof. X's, that scares off the soccer mom's. They have some equipment sure, but they only keep their cardio stuff truely up to date.

Case in point - the Gold's around here has 20+ ellipticals, 40+ treadmills, numerous exercise bikes, and 3 or 4 rowing machines.

They have 1 squat rack...


I have my membership strictly for the cardio equipment. I mean, if you are going to do mind numbing cardio for an hour, you might as well have a flat screen, a juice bar, a fan blowing on you, scented air freshner and some chick in biker shorts sweating her fine little ass off running in front of you.


Hmm, all of this is what I imagined might be the case. Shorter opening hours, tons of cardio gear everywhere and a "juice bar" and "pro-shop".

At the moment it is filled predominantly with people who actually are there to work out. I imagine the re-branding will see it turn into just another club where effort is optional and stylish hair is mandatory.


I was in a dodgeball league that played in a Gold's gym at one point and I didn't see anyone with stylish hair there. I don't think you have to worry about that.



Are you in England or US ? Wherebouts is this gym you mention ?


Well... the Gold's at which I was a member had a hard time keeping the equipment in working order. It took them a month or longer to replace a pad or fix the cable stations. Cheap no-caring jerks.


It's not necessarily a bad thing. Gold's is a franchise that any gym owner can purchase (for about $25K the last time I checked). For that money you get access to a lot of stuff, but it's really up to the gym owner whether he wants to go totally metro or not. I've been working out at the same gym for about 10 years now. When it became a Gold's Franchise (about 3 years ago), there was some effort to attract the spandex crowd, but it still has a power cage (pwr rack, OL/DL platform, fat bars, chalk, etc), 5 squat racks and an outside training area with 2 more squat racks and lots of rusty freeweights. Although I preferred the old "dungeon" days, it's still pretty nice.


It's in my home town here in Swindon, Wiltshire. The gym in question used to be called 'Everybody's Fitness Centre' now it's called Primebodies. Not sure what it was called back in the 80's though.


The Gold's in my town is open 24 hours, allows chalk, has plenty of freeweights, maintains the machines that they have, and I've never seen rules posted anywhere.