T Nation

Gym Threatens to Remove Heavy Wts


Hi all,

I thought this might be something that you guys would aprpeciate.

I recently went to train with my mate at his gym, not too far from my own, and as we were training chest I told him that it was time to crack out the 65kg dumbells for flat bench. So in our usual fashion (and maybe a little more so because its a rare treat to train with eachother) we psyched eachother up and there was bit of yelling, nothing that anyone could find offensive though.

Two days after the session my mate rings me to tell me that the gym is threatening to take the 65kg dumbells because they've had complaints about him yelling when he uses them.

I wonder how this sounds to the rest of the heavy lifters on this site...


Whoever threatened him is a jack-ass.

Threaten back. If they take away those weights, you should both threaten to cancel your membership and not pay any penalties/fees, since you only joined because they had those weights.

Then slap him in the face, call him 'Susie', stick his head in the toilet and give him a swirly.


Tell them you'll have to instead use a combination of the 5/10/15/20 all together and tie them up for atleast 2 hours.


That's an empty threat. They'll gladly give them part of their membership back.

You guys have to realize that commercial gyms HATE guys like us.

We show up all the time,lift heavy, put wear and tear on the equipment (b/c we go heavy and work out consistently), not to mention the fact that we probably scare the living shit out of all the fat housewives and flabby chuckleheads who just like to "workout" and are afraid to lift heavy because they'll get all "bulky"

Gyms lose money on guys like us. Ideally, they want the fat housewife on the monthly dues autopay who comes to the gym twice a month. they take their money and they help keep the gym looking all shiny and new (so they can attract even more customers).

Face it fellas (and hardcore ladies), at commercial gyms, we are bad for business.


Any gym manager who threatens to remove the heavy dumbbells probably can't lift them...


Careful, OARSMAN; it has been my experience lately that anytime anyone who has any focus and intensity and makes statements like you and the original poster just did (which I 100% agree with), it seems like a 'pussy posse' always forms to tell people like us to "take a chill pill".

Not that I think you'd be bothered, I just wanted to get this on here early in the thread and see how many of these dickless wonders post something like that.


That's the type of customer that all businesses want. Heck, that's the type of citizen governement wants.

Beware of the Matrix.


You are probably right. Don't make the threat unless you mean it!


That is horrible. I got threatened numerous times at the first gym I trained at to not lift heavy weights. I had been making some serious progress on my deadlift and was setting 405 down on the floor many times a month. A few people complained about it and I got booted. I didn't try to fight getting the boot either. I'm actually glad that I got kicked because I found Titanium Barbell as a result.

Now 405 is warm up weight..


I am dumbfounded that a gym doesn't expect people to lift heavy shit. I can't believe you took it so well...I would not have.


Orwells 1984.


That's crazy. Who's gonna be a member still, 5 years later when all the "would've beens" have come and gone? You and your mate.

Still, they wanna treat you like that, they shouldn't be surprised when you guys find another gym, or set up a co-op of your own with like minded lifters.


You need to either :
1. find a new gym
2. buy equipment for your own gym


Find a new gym, then pee all over the lighter dumbbells. Or at least shit in a skillet and put it on the check in desk or something.

Go out with a bang.


New gym.

Look, man, your buddy trains at a gym near yours, right? He should cancel his membership and either a) Join your gym if it's not also run by spaghetti-armed wankers, or b) you guys should look for a hardcore gym, or c) Invest in your own equipment.

Seriously. For the cost of one year's worth of gym membership, you can get a decent power rack and a few hundred pounds of Olympic plates. That makes a perfect start. After that, you just keep adding little bits of equipment here and there as you can afford it; a dipping/chinning belt, maybe some dumbbells, more plates, lat/cable machine... whatever floats your boat.

Candyass gyms are a waste of money. Invest wisely.


Holy shit, what are you guys doing lifting those big weights? They are only there for show and not to be lifted.....like a nice big rack on a stripper, you can look but you cannot touch.......ask them to give you the dumbells so you can use them at home and then they will not have to deal with you anymore. I am sure if they want to remove the dumbells from the gym they will have to call you to help them move them to the back room or garbage or wherever they want to put them. I think your gym should take a picture of you guys lifting the heavy dumbells and make a poster on the wall that states someday I will not....(hopefully this picture works that I am trying to post)


Oarsman, I never thought of us "hardcore, consistent lifters" being bad for a gym's business, but I see your point.

The more stories I hear about commercial gyms, the more I'm grateful for my alumnus membership at the gym of my alma mater.

This "gym" isn't trying to make a profit. It just collects an "athletic fee" from students to cover its costs. It hasn't improved much over the years, but the athletic fee and alumnus membership is a pittance. Besides, the best thing about it is that no hardcore lifters get hassled by the staff.

The gym only sometimes has a personal trainer there. Heck, the football players even sometimes train with their shirts off! It's pretty fun and cool and hardcore.

There is no air conditioning so it can get pretty brutal in there, but you adapt. In fact, the hot conditions in the summer maybe keeps the less dedicated people out of the gym, which, for a hardcore lifter, is a welcome result.

There is one problem however with the lack of air flow. The gym smells. Anytime you have that many people in a hot room, doing exercise, with a lack of air circulating, you're going to have foul smells. Add to that the fact that some guys just have no concept of anti-perspirant and walking into the gym you think, "My god, how do I manage to train in here?" but somehow you adapt. Unfortunately, most women stay away because they seem to be less tolerant of these things, and I can sympathize with that. They say it's "gross."

But I put up with it because in this gym I can:
- lift as heavy as I want and nodody complains
- do any and all olympic and powerlifts
- use chalk

So just having the freedom to go about my workout at this gym really makes me grateful when I hear the stories here. Moreover, the gym patrons are 99% students, with the odd prof, staff or alumnus. So it's a pretty young crowd. I imagine I'd feel pretty frustrated if I was training at a traditional gym, and a housewife set down her yoga mat just in front of where I was about to attempt a PR on my deadlift. Guys will still regularly walk up to my loaded deadlift bar and do their curls in front of it, but they're considerate enough to move it away when I get up to do my next set. So we all get along fairly well, relatively speaking, to what a lot of you guys must contend with.

The worst thing I get is guys doing stuff like curls on the powerlifting platform when there is no place anywhere else for me to do power and oly lifts. But I try to be congenial and reasonable and everybody seems to try to accomodate each other so we can all get our workouts in. I'll usually just politely ask someone if I can "work in" with them in the spot on the powerlifting platform where they're doing curls or DB laterals, etc. Then once they see I'm doign something like cleans or psuh press there, they almost invariably just continue their exercise somewhere else. I think they realize they can curl anywhere, but I can't safely do cleans anywhere. Moreover, the powerlifting platform has a big sign in front of it that reads, "Powerlifting Platform is for Powerlifting only."

But I never get mad at anybody, even if they're doing some silly stuff like curls in the power rack. I just ask to work in. Nobody has ever said no, and once they see you're doing squats, they kind of take the hint that you really need the rack and they do not. I find if I'm friendly and accomodating everybody is very cooperative.

Also, because I'm bigger than most guys there, I think you just get a bit of respect and people accomodate to you just for that reason. I don't bully anyone off equipment at all, but guys that were previously kind of "goofing off" at a station or doing curls in the rack kind of thing seem to just walk away when they see you're squatting heavy and so forth.


Sounds like you're the asshole here. Don't yell at each other when you're using weights, it's pretty simple.

It sounds like they have no problem with you lifting heavy weights, they just don't want you to be jackasses about it. I don't know why everyone thinks this is so unreasonable. If you really can't get a workout in without screaming at each other, then find a different gym where people are ok with screaming.

I remember a quote from Jim Wendler which I'm going to paraphrase here "We tell them 'Go to a different gym' they hear 'Go to the same gym and treat everyone like crap because I am the man!'"


Finally, people comparing this to 1984 and the matrix are being really melodramatic. It's not like they are doing anything particularly sinister here, they're just catering to the bulk of their customers. If you're going to blame anyone, blame the customers not the gym owners.


It is the gym owners. The most profitable time of year for the fitness industry is in Jan, because that's when everybody makes their New Years resolutions.After a few weeks/months, they stop coming and the gym still makes cash. That is who the commercial gym caters to. Not people who move weight.