T Nation

Hey Chris S, great guest atomic dog!

I think I’ll print that out and pass around copies at the 24 hour fitness I’m forced to attend. (No other gym close by.) Good article!

great article chris,

i think it should be mandatory for every citizen to read your article on pollution. it would really clean up this country.

I’m afraid to admit, but I go to a fitness center. The problem is that I work there so I get to go for free and I get great deals on suppelements. I guess I was taken over to the dark side by the power of the almighty $.
My fitness center however isn’t as bad as the one Chris described. They have decent free weights, couple squat racks, and the chicks are good.

I thought Chris Shugart was describing the place I train at. With all the pretty boys with gold chains and spandex hot pants…I don’t care much for the “fitness center” atmosphere either but let’s face it: hard core dungeon gyms are a thing of the past. Why? Women mostly. The ladies (one half of the potential membership base) find that atmosphere intimidating. Also owners want as little liability as possible so machines always outnumber free weights. Harder to injure oneself on a machine I guess. Recently there was a story in the local artsy newspaper here in the Tampa/St Petersburg. It was about a couple of masters powerlifters…anyway the Y is being remodled, and they decided to eliminate these guy’s powerlifting room. Too bad. This is all too common. These poor guys gotta find a new place to train now. Good luck. Someday I hope to have a home and my own home gym. But by then I may be too old for it to matter.

Thanks, Paul et al. Glad you guys liked the Guest Dog.

Sadly, a real hardcore gym would go out of business these days. In fact, someone opened up a great little hardcore gym in my town last year. Loud rock music (and you could bring your own CDs and they’d play them for you), good equipment, monthly fee with no contract, great environment. It lasted 8 months and went belly up. The gym I described in my article (a Gold’s franchise) is doing very well however. The T-man type of crowd is just too small of a target audience for a gym in a medium sized city, I guess.

We’re about to ditch our gym all together. We’ll get out of the contract if we can, but if we can’t we still won’t be using the gym much now. As of this weekend we have completed our home gym - we got a power cage. Now, with all the other equipment we’ve collected we can do almost every exercise we did at the gym. We bought some used laser cut weights from Play It Again Sports to add to what we already had, and now no need for a 45 min drive before we can train. I also won’t have to worry about what I wear or what anyone else thinks. Chris’ article is partly to blame, I’m tired of listening to Britney Spears when I train. I’m tired of the “dating scene” going on around me. Don’t get me wrong, If I were single, the gym would be perfect, but since I’m not, I tire easily of being hit on. I more excited about my workout tonight than I have been in a very long time.

Good article Chris! I have to admit I work out in a ‘fitness center’ type gym…and I like the air conditioning! I have found that the time of day I work out really affects the intensity of my workout. I’ve been there with the ‘after work’ crowd, and sure there’s lots of eye candy, but way too many people are there to tone. And watching women check their makeup in the weight room mirrors makes my stomach turn…god forbid their mascara run from the three drops of sweat on their brow. I work out early in the morning. The only people who are in the free weight area are there to WORK. Ok, fine, there are a few older women who use the bright colored vinl weights at the end of the rack, but they are not the majority. World has a ton of cardio machines, but and classes, but they also have tons of free weights and plenty of benches, racks, etc. If you have to go the ‘fitness center’ route, it’s not a bad place to be!

Oh Man, I sure miss the weight room from my high school, only machines were for leg extensions/curls, everything else required you to get down and dirty. Squat racks and benches made by the school shop class, as burly as could be, nothing chrome plated, all black, and damnit if it was ever under 95 degrees in there, oh how I miss it.

Your article made me want to step back a few years to High School!!! My “weight room” was exactly that. It was a place where you pumped iron. Everything else was secondary. It was tucked away in corner of the senior building, half-underground and hidden away. Dark, hot in summer, and equally as extreme in winter (the concrete made it sooooo cold), it was hardcore. No smith machines, only one machine station for the basics, and all free weights. Those were the days…

What timing. I read the article again before I went to the 24 Shitness and I stood there and watched some guy curl at the squat rack while I waited. I hope you guys don’t look down on someone using the squat rack area for doing deads. (No one squat at my gym unless it’s under a Smith Machine)

Enjoyed your article very much, Chris. I wish the gym I attend was more hardcore, but it looks like its traveling in the other direction. If you have the time, I sure would like to get your advice. I have a post on now titled “3 weeks on the T-Dawg”. Anxiously awaiting your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

I must have missed it, Paul. Been on the road a lot. Send it to me at cs@t-mag.com and I’ll look it over when I get the chance.

Definitely enjoyed this weeks installment of the Atomic Dog. Well done Chris! Not to put down any of the other sections of the mag, but this is turning out to be one of my favorite sections every week. A lot of the pieces help me to reflect on this sport that has become part of my identity over the years, and it’s just neat that there is a whole world of people out there that share the same views and opinions as I do.

Hey Krak…

You should train at my gym. No one squats in the squat rack at all, so I can deadlift to my hearts content. The only problem is the rack has the only mirror, so all the guys who move the preacher curl in front of it to watch themselves either have to move away, or get a close-up view of my straining arse…!

As regards curls on the squat rack, just go up to the gym supervisor, and tell him to do his job. If you make it out that its his/her responsibilty to keep curlers of the squat rack so the equipment will be used properly then it should eradicate the problem

I disagree Chris. I think a hardcore gym can survive in a medium-sized city. In fact, I go to a gym that is very much how you described the weight room you go to now.

There are three large fitness centers in our city as well as two smaller “athletic” clubs and a YMCA. In addition to that, we have a hardcore gym (www.gainesvillegym.com). And for only $99 a year, it’s a good deal. Of course, you get what you pay for, so don’t expect it to be clean or air conditioned. But if you want a variety of squat racks, benches, dumbbells scattered throughout, power racks, etc., they have it! I tend to train without my shirt because it’s so hot and Coach Davies training programs have left me dripping in sweat. And no one seems to have a problem with it. And don’t be afraid to bring chalk for some Olympic lifting on the platform.

So if you're ever in the area, let me know. I'll take you to my gym for a good workout. Your testosterone will flow freely, and you can grunt, growl, sweat, swear and listen to heavy metal music anytime you wish.

I’m about to finish out my contract this month. Get this, I had to send a written letter through registered mail by the end of this month to get out of it. They only give you two opportunities to quit every year. Now I’m taking over the gym here at the UN building (Austria) that we in security use. Not much space, so I have to go the very basic route. Power rack and more plates and heavier dumbells. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to convince these guys that we need more weight. They all keep telling me that nobody needs anything heavier than the 60 lb DBs. Look, they even have some old cement weights and a weider bench with the pins close together. It’s a fun challenge trying to get everyone into the idea. Wish me luck with this everyone. The duty Sergeant just saw the name of this site and gave me a long lecture about hormones being bad for me. Somebody please help me!!! This place is force feeding me E