T Nation



My old training partner and I once promised ourselves that we would open our own gym, and put a stop to all the nonsense we have witnessed in commercial fitness centers over the 20 plus years we have been training.

He on one hand has at least parially acheived this goal, I am still dreaming. But we came up with a list of rules for the "old School Gym". here they are:

-no spandex, baggy pants, sweatshirts with hole cut out of the neck, and none of those dental floss-like tank tops either.

-chuck talyors, weight lifting or throwing shoes allowed only. anyone caught with those "ATOMIX" SHIT WILL BE PELTED WITH ROCKS AND GARBAGE!

-no curling in the squat rack

-if you cannot deadlift it, you are not allowed to shrug it! anyone caught shrugging more than they deadlift will have the option of either leaving the gym or completing the "Finnish Deadlift Program".

-no mirrors, exept one small one in the bathroom, if you are caught flexing in front of it see above rule RE footwear.

LOL, these are just a few, anyone want to add to the list?

 You do know mirrors allow you to check your form during an exercise and work towards correct any imblances/bad form, right?


You gotta have mirrors, but here's what ya do.

Make it known: "No Flexing Allowed".

Install 2-Way Mirrors.

Cut small holes in the wall below the mirrors.

Get the shotguns and beanbag-ammo that Riot Control uses.

Anyone caught breaking the rule is shot in the bodypart they were flexing.


Why do you need mirrors? Olympic lifters do the most technical lifts going and they don't need mirrors. when you're doing compound movements with heavy weights, who has the balls to compromise form to check themselves out in the mirror?


I think he means real gyms, no toners allowed. Check out WSB, or the Ironmind training tapes of Szymon Kolecki, no mirrors there. If you're using a mirror to check your form mid-lift, you're not focussed. That is what training partners are for.


I feel bad about having to put mirrors in my small gym,but once I make a success of the place they shall be the first thing to come out!
Oh and no allowing anybody to do the "1,2,3 I am building my body for life" count on each rep.


I hate mirrors. Especially in front of the squat rack, or a platform.


Come on you have never flexed in a mirror at a gym during a work out? I find that a little hard to believe.

I used to work out at Chalets (sp)(Mark Chalet) gym in Capitol Heights MD. Mark hates body building, loves power lifting but he is not dumb. He has an AWESOME setup, two gym's in one place. Go back into the power lifting room there wasn't one mirror of piece of cardio equipment in the gym. In the "Body Building" area every wall had a mirror on it. Know what, all the power lifters would walk by the bodybuilding room and you could see them sneak a peak and a flex every once in awhile. EVERYONE does it.


On most exercises, if you can conscious of the mirror, you arent working hard enough.


I don't think mirrors are useless for all lifts. It's just that most lifts don't allow you the luxury of looking in a mirror, so they're typically not necessary. And for surreptitiously checking out the oppostie sex (or gender of your poking preference).


I think gyms should install Carnival mirrors. That'd be fun.


Mirrors will actually harm your technique. Get'm outa there!



I see you mentioned allowing throwing shoes! Are you going to have an indoor ring in this place? I ask because if I were wearing a pair of those hard sole Zoom Rotationals while lifting I'd be sliding all over the place!

Gotta love throwing shoes!


No, Patricia! Then the bodybuilders would never leave. That is, if you put in the mirrors that widen you. If you installed the make-you-skinny mirrors, then bodybuilders would avoid the place like the plague.



Have you ever secretly flexed in front of the mirror while pretending to stretch? Me neither.


My worst injury thus far occured 6 weeks ago and it happened when I looked into a mirror when the bar crossed my knees on a max deadlift. I was struggling and instead of concentrating, I thought I'd take a look and see how my form was. Dumb, since my form was fine until I looked. My focus went from high on the wall to straight in front of me, I lurched forward, lost my arch, rounded, dropped the weight and pulled muscles I didn't know I had.


If you're caught putting plates on anything and they're facing out, then you get circumcised (no matter if you already are). I dunno the punishment for ladies that do that.


If they had the carnival mirrors that make your head big and your body skinny, that would be funny. Shit, isn't every bodybuilder theoretically like this?

JK to those who are in it.


actually, my motto is: the only time i look in a mirror is the 10 minutes it takes to shave, after that, my bad looks are other peoples problem!

if i looked into a mirror too much i would probabley start a diet or something crazy like that for Gods sake!

here are some more...

-no headbands

-no two man benching(you know, when the spotter gets a bicept workout)

no psyching allowed for a set on ANY machine exercise

if you have hair on your back, LEAVE IT ON! if you are losing it on your head, SHAVE IT OFF AND GROW A GOATEE!



thats right, throwing shoes! as a matter of fact, i the floors will be oiled up and everybody will be forced to go barefoot! try a 400lb squat under those conditions and you will definitley be OLD-SCHOOL!!!!