T Nation

Q For All GG and YMCA Rats


For the people that go to Golds Gym or YMCA do they have a good assortment of free weights. I'm talkin free bars, like not a smith machine to do squat and bench. I'm talkin raw, like most T-folks like it.

Oh also an area to do Olympic Lifts? I understand each one is a little different.

They don't have 1 day passes or tours. So you have to subscribe to a full month atleast. YMCA even has a starting fee.



Even if they don't have "tours", they'll definitely let you look around.

Every Golds and every YMCA is different. You're almost certain to get better equipment at a Golds, but some of the Golds I've been to have also kinda sucked (some have been great).

Don't sign anything before at least looking around.


The Gold's I go to has a plenty large free weight area with power racks, etc. There is some open space you can do cleans, etc in. It used to be a real gym-rat's gym until the owner's wife was let loose during the remodel. Now it looks kinda... sissified. There's a decent PL gym here in town, but you pretty much have to be a personal friend of the owner to train there. Our YMCA is nice, but AFAIK, it does not have a large free weight selection.




The Y I go to in Charlotte has more free weights than anything else. Two flat beches, two inclines, two squat racks, two free bars, and five adjustable benches with a full asortment of dumbells. They also have the full compliment of a sled, dip station, two cable pull towers and other similar items.


I go to the YMCA in Montgomery Village, MD (well I'll be back there for good in a few days)...They have a small free weight section (room size wize) but have 2 flat benches, a squat rack, 2 pullup/dip stations, incline bench, a few adjustable benches, dumbells 5lbs-150ish I think. I've done deads and snatches and cleans there. You just have to clear a little area. People will stay out of your way and the older trainers love it cause it reminds them of "the old days". Good luck.


Have any of you seen a powerack at a YMCA? I've been to 2 in Toronto and neither of them have one.


Funny, a local YMCA I went to had the best gym of any I've seen commercially operated. Way better than the 24 hour fitness or Gold's Gym in my area. They had power racks, a bucket of chalk, and a bunch of powerlifters made up the majority of the clientele.


Hmm. I wonder how the YMCA operates. I mean, Gold's are franchised, so you are basically at the whim of the owner of your particular gym and his/her own preferences. Are YMCA all "corporate"? By that, I mean are they all operated by the same entity?