Hi. I’ve never been to a gym in America, or outside the my country for that matter. I’m gonna describe what it’s like in the gym I go to everyday.
They say it’s one of the best sports facilities in the country. Here, the national team for basketball trains. Journalists hailed it as a revolutionary gym with all the sports-specific equipment you need.
However, I don’t train where the athletes train. I train downstairs where recreational people like myself train. It has a Smith Machine, a standard bench press bench that can’t be adjusted to be inclined, a bunch of Nautilus machines for legs, a lat pulldown, a seated row, dip/chin assist, a chest press machine, a cable machine, 4 moveable benches and a preacher curl station. It also has a bunch of treadmills along with other cardio machines, dumbells that range from 1-100 pounds, 14 45lb plates, 2 of each 35, 25, 10, 5 and 2.5 pound plates, 2 Olympic barbells, 1 short barbell and 2 EZ barbells.
Yup, we have Nautilus machines… BUT WE DON’T HAVE A SQUAT RACK! We don’t have a power rack either. There are squat racks and power racks where the athletes train, but none for the recreational people. It pisses me off that I have to pay twice as much per month just to squat in the athlete’s room, which I don’t, so I’m stuck with Leg Presses.
Ah, and gym etiquette, my favorite subject. People in my gym don’t know how to return weights properly. Whenever I enter the gym and start my workout, I’d see 45lb plates mixed with the 2.5’s in the weight racks. Some plates are on top, some are at the bottom. Nobody seems to have common sense regarding to where the plates should be placed.
And did I mention that many people DON’T remove the plates from their barbells after they’re done? So I’m never sure if they’re finished or not. This is especially annoying after people deadlift and I have to remove those weights myself.
Even dumbells aren’t spared. I’d either find them scattered on the floor or sitting in the wrong place of the dumbell rack.
But wait, there’s more! You wanna know how people train here? I’ll give you a word: lightbulb. Yup, There are a lot of guys in this gym who are a lot bigger and ripped than I am, but if you see their legs, you’ll know what I mean. I envy their upper body size and definition, but their legs are so skinny compared to mine. I heard one of them saying, “I haven’t trained my legs for a year.” Someone even told me to drop leg training altogether.
Only a few of us do deadlifts, and I never saw anyone do a full squat other than myself (then again, blame the squat rack, or lack thereof). I see people doing 1/8 squats, though.
You know what their favorite exercises are? You guessed it - Bench Presses and Bicep Curls. Ah, let’s focus on curls. I know this guy who treats his preacher curl as his pride and joy. Furthermore, I see people who were doing Bicep Cleans (a wonderful exercise… for your back) and Inclined Shoulder Curls (yup, it took more shoulder than bicep). There was also this one time I watched a guy doing 90lb preacher curls with 1/8 ROM. I mean what’s the point of doing preachers when you don’t stretch your arms?
What about Bench Presses? I’ve seen people lift 115 lbs with… come on, I know you know. That’s right - 1/8 ROM (keep in mind that 115 lbs is the average bench press that people in my gym lift). I know partials are good when done right, but they never use full ROM, which is essential when preventing injuries.
The trend here is that lifting more weight is always better. Most people here can’t drop their egos and lift with proper form.
And you know the worst part? There are trainers here, professionals at that, but people don’t listen. One trainer told someone to train his legs, but the guy said, “No thanks. My pants will get tight.”
Most of what I have learned in weight training and everything I learned in gym etiquette came from the internet, and it pains me that one of the best gyms in my country have people who can’t train the way they should.
To end on a good note, my gym is fully air-conditioned and just has the right temperature to make you sweat at just the right amount.
I give this gym a 5/10 rating. Based on what I said and on your own gym experience, how would you rate it?