T Nation

How to Know if Your Gym Sucks?


#1

So lately I’ve been getting the feeling that my gym kinda blows lol. What are some criteria you guys have for a decent gym?


#2

Enough squat racks
Enough platforms
Enough non-slippery benches
Decent or better bars
Standard size plates and enough of them
Dumbbells at least up to 150 lbs

That’s the minimum, and pretty much enough to do whatever you need. Note enough: if it’s a small gym, enough could be two racks and a bench. Enough plates is around 1000-1500 lbs with 45s, 35s, 25s, 10s, 5s and even 2.5s if you have two racks and a bench. Add another 500 lbs per extra rack/bench.

Bonus items making a gym above average:

Competition bars (squat, DL)
Specialty bars (safety squat, cambered, American, etc)
FatPad benches
Monolift
Calibrated plates
Bands and chains
Squat boxes
DL blocks
GHR
Reverse hyper
DBs up to and beyond 200 lbs

Bonus items making a gym awesome (bonus equipment will not be needed for this):

The right people


#3

Haha couldnt be worse than my gym wirh no squat rack, dumbells that only go to 35 kilo,has a smith machine so forced to do squats on that, really tiny space,to many cardio machines . Doesnt even have a barbell


#4

1 smith machine hybrid rack atrocity
0 platforms
2 benches that are SLIPPERY and SHAKY
4 horrible bars including a bent 15kgs bar
smaller than standard plates and not enough of them
heaviest dumbbell is 30kgs

Well, turns out I’m in a shitty gym. Not that that’s going to my excuse for being weak.


#5

Really? I can’t believe that this is even a thread! Suck it up buttercup, and utilize what you have.


#6

If they let me join it is a bad gym.


#7

@MarkKO sounds like he goes to a special kind of place.

I think the Y that I go to is awesome. It actually has a platform and bumper plates. All the free weights, racks, plate loaded and traditional machines you could need. 2 basketball courts and indoor track that’s only 6 laps per mile.

And best part of all - - Kid Zone. I can drop my kids off for 2 hours a day while I work out. It’s a lifesaver.

Note: it’s 3 stories tall. Floor 1 is basketball gyms, locker rooms, lap pool & kids pool. Floor 2 is corporate offices. Floor 3 is track, racquetball courts, studio, and all weights & cardio equipment.


#8

@ChickenLittle it was not supposed to a serious thread. I originally had it in off topic. I still go and do my best, but the equipment is subpar and at times kind of dangerous


#9

#10

@Benanything jokes on you, I love that damn song


#11

@JMaier31 it’s a good gym, for sure. The owners actually give a damn and there are a fair few decent people who train there.


#12

Only 1 requirement for a good gym, your able to make progress on what your training for. If you need fancy stuff like monolifts, specialty bars or reverse hyper you better be pretty strong already or your just making excuses why your not. Aside from equipment I’d say not being crowded is the most important, a crappy gym that at least has a squat rack is probably better than a gym with everything you want with tons of people where you can’t even get a drink of water without losing your spot.


#13

How crowded it gets is the biggest thing for me. My gym has lots of cool stuff but they’re no good when you have to wait 20+ minutes to use each piece of equipment. I could do pretty much everything I want with a bench, bar, rack and plates.

Other than the basics I’d like it if my gym had a sled, some farmers handles and some sort of area to use them.


#14

I’m not asking for anything special, I just would like the owners to maintain or even fix their equipment. When something breaks around here either they take it out, or it just stays broken. Example; someone popped the speedbag 2 months ago, not really a major fix. Every time I ask about it they just ask if I would to buy one and donate it, keep in mind this place is almost 50 dollars a month and the largest gym in town. Not trying to bitch but I don’t think the customers should have to pay for upkeep.


#15

they can run their business however they want to, and you can leave whenever you want to. The customers should have to pay for whatever the gym owner decides they should pay for, or go to another gym.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a gym with owners that fix things as soon as they are broken. You have to go to a really high end gym to expect that. As far as your specific issue, it’s because it’s a fucking speed bag that nobody but you and a few of your friends gives a shit about. This is the main reason stuff doesn’t get fixed quickly. If enough people complain and the owner feels as though memberships are in jeopardy, he’ll fix it. You’ve stayed at the gym, and haven’t threatened to leave, right? And nobody else has left over the bag issue? That’s why it hasn’t been fixed. No incentive for the owner to get it done.

Here’s the thing about gyms. Every gym caters to a different crowd. At the commercial gym I go to during the week, I expect things to be pretty well maintained, particularly the machines, because that’s what’s popular. I do not expect bars to be replaced regularly, or new plates bought regularly, anything like that. I also can’t expect any specialty weight training equipment to show up at any point, even if I mention to the owner that there are a dozen or so guys who would use it, because the gym has 1000+ other members who don’t need it.

The strongman gym I go to, on the other hand… if an under utilized machine breaks, it may stay broken for 6 months. But if the yoke breaks, or a log, we’re gonna have a new one within a week. And specialty bars show up all the time.

Neither of these gyms are good or bad per se, they just have different clients to cater to. Your regular commercial gym attendee might describe the strongman gym as a shithole. Your strongman gym clients may describe the commercial gym as a shithole.


#16

@flipcollar I understand that it’s not the gym owners job to fix anything that breaks. I’m looking into switching to the other only option in town that’s not planet fitness lol


#17

@flipcollar I know my example was shitty as well, pretty much the only reason I haven’t left yet is because my job pays for half of it. I’m trying to find out if the other option matches my discount, which I have heard they do.


#18

A good range of equipment is key (basically what Markko wrote is spot on) also playing non-crappy music is a nice bonus. I just consider myself lucky really that I do most of my training from home…if I didn’t well…yes, I’d probably have to find a more badass gym.


#19

Basically this covers it. The equipment you need will be dependent on your goals, other than that, it should be well maintained, clean, not too busy and not full of jerks.


#20

Ask not what your gym can do for you, ask what you can do for your gym.