T Nation

My gym in Oklahoma

You remember the printed T-mag coupons that you could clip and leave anonymous for the idiots at your gym? We need those for the gym managers, too. I have a suggestion for T-mag that I’d like other readers to contribute to. I want T-mag to write a polite, well-reasoned, influential article directed at the MANAGERS of gyms on what kind of place they ought to run. Seems we all gripe to each other about our gyms, but the managers seldom hear it, or are reluctant to change. So I want T-mag to write the quintessential “how to make your gym better” article that each of us can print and mail anonymously or in person to our gyms.

For example, my gym has these serious flaws: Music. Probably the most common complaint–easy listening dentist’s waiting room music. It doesn’t have to be blood-and-guts metal, but something a little more “up”. So what if there are little old ladies? They joined a GYM–just like WE did.

Hygeine. Naked men leaing against counterfronts, spitting in sauna drains, walking with sweaty bare feet…

Labelled freeweights. Our gym uses disc weights, not preformed iron, but neglects to label them. So you have to search and do math to find and distinguish the 60’s from the 65’s by adding the discs. Use paint to mark the weights, and if possible have a labelled caddy where they can be stowed, instead of a general “tough” rack where they’re all mixed up.

A place for personal item storage other than lockers. we all know that people bring jackets and duffle bags into the weightroom with them. That’s fine–but build a shelf for it. Otherwise, people stack their stuff up on the wrting counter where it sits in the way of people who actually record their workouts on paper.

I think other readers should write suggestions, too, and perhaps T-mag could write an article. I even have a title for it: “What your gym members wish you were doing to improve your gym: An anonymnous guide written to fitness club managers.”

Dear Gym Owner, Please consider the following as some advice to improve your facility. First, For ANY male to wear a string top, he must have trained at least 5 years and have a body to support it. Also for any woman to wear spandex, there must be NO unsightly buldges, rolls of fat or overall lack of body…especially with belly shirts or sports bra/spandex combinations. Second, please keep your personal trainers AWAY from me. If I look like a newbie, that is fine if they approach me, however if I am benching over 250 and using good form…I DONT need their advice. Also, all PT should look GOOD…no fat out of shape males or females telling fellow out of shape people how to lift. They should NOT have people doing 1/8 squats (I have seen this) or stupid exercises like shoulder lat raises when they have NO shoulders to begin with. STOP calling Tai-bo a great aerobic excercise (which it is I guess) which also teaches self defense (IT SURE DOESNT!!). As far as your facilities, keep similar machines for similar bodyparts together. In other words, the standing calf should be next to the seated calf and donkey calf machines. I DON’T like hobbling all the way across the gym to the seated calf after I have done 35 reps on the standing calf. Also…all aerobics instructors shold immediatly be forced to stop saying whahooooo!!! during workouts. It makes it sound like a strip bar in there and I have the overwhelming desire to go in their with a fist full of dollars and begin stuffing them in thongs screaming “take it all off!!”" LOL!

Very Good idea. The gym I go to, used to have a suggestion box, but everyone constantly put in suggestions about the music and the worthless aerobics classes. Because the aerobics classes are not self contained we get to squat while listening to some techno crap with some miniature version of a woman yelling “and one and two…” over the music. Ohhh, it’s horrible, but ownership changed and the box went with the old guy I guess, now the box is just for the aerobics people to suggest how make their classes better and we are just forced to stuff our suggestions in there, where they can be ignored, I assume they’re ignored at least, because the aerobics classes still haven’t been blown up, or at least moved to the great out doors. Suckers drying their nuts with one leg propped up on a bench is a bit out of control too, fucking guys. Something to include would be an area to perform actual lifts, like deadlifts or cleans, otherwise we have to block off half the gym and do it in the middle of the floor, and an extra squat rack might be a good idea, maybe it could take the place of one or two of those damn crunch machines.

If you don’t like your gym take your money elsewhere. By paying membership dues, you’re telling the manager his place offers more value to you than all the other gyms in town, which is probably false. The gym I go to is fantastic – it has two racks of barbells, a massive wall lined dumbells (two pairs of dumbells for each weight, in 5 lb increments), a deadlift stand, two squat racks, a smith rack, tons of smith machines, all the standard machines (grouped by bodypart), a large cable center, about a million aerobic machines, a swimming pool, sauna, and hot tub, plentiful and roomy lockers, and unobtrusive staff. It also happens to be a 24 Hour Fitness center.

No excessive grunting. Excessive being defined by me on an individual basis. No peeing in the pool. No peeing in the water fountain. No peeing in the shower. No peeing on the toilet. No walking around naked all over the locker room. No making out. No music. No doing exercises on stations which are not meant for those exercises (ie curls at the squat rack). No really skimpy outfits.

Here’s a related issue: When ever there’s a suggestion to add equipment (as if there were room), the pat answer is – get this – no money! I worked at a Bally Total Fitness (another oxymoron), where the total focus of the staff was to generate fees (probably common to any club). Didn’t matter what type: memberships, supp’s, “training”. So where did all that money go (the club got $200 for 4 “training” sessions, while the trainer got 50)? When there’s a constant parade of new members generating annual contracts (most of whom never see their second month in the facility), how can you say there’s no money? Here’s a suggestion to find money – sell the freakin’ Kaisers and get 40 squat racks! With extra plates! Okay, I feel better now…

Where in oklahoma? City wise.

Northwest Oklahoma City.

Its been a year since I worked out there, but there is a gym on just east of Britton and May that is pretty nice.