Operation Plastic Weights has commenced. (For comparason’s sake I’d love a guy to do the exact same experiment and report his findings. Any volunteers?) I just called a ‘women’s athletic club’ to set up an appointment to tour the facility. I was assured that there are over 90 classes a week, and 70 cardio machines available. (sounds good so far) There are tons of weight machines, that are all made for women - basically just scaled down in size from the ‘normal’ ones. (that also sounds good, since i’m 5’1") I asked about free weights and was told ‘we have plenty of plates for the machines, you can work at any weight you want’ so i said ‘no, i mean free weights: dumb bells, preset bars, how many squat racks do you have?’ the reply ‘oh we have lots of them, we didn’t hold back on anything.’ (um…i’m not sure about this particular response) I am heading in for a tour tonight…and will report in later. (Kudos to Joey Z for getting me moving on this with his ‘Only God Can Sculpt a Muscle’ post.)
Michelle: This should be fun! Keep us updated!
Michelle, it’s obvious your last name is Durden and you’re gonna stir it up, “GO YOU GOOD THING!!”
I’ll GLADLY volunteer for this experiment. There are a few of these “women’s only” gyms in my area, too. Although I think my chest hair may raise some eyebrows in the locker room. I’ll let you know what I find out!
Hey Michelle, where’s that picture you promised us all. You’ve got to either come up with the pic or risk being banned from the Sick Bastards Club.
oops, i guess i was unclear…i’m looking for what a guy would hear when they called a gym… i have a feeling they wouldn’t be told all about the areobics rooms and cardio machines. demo - get my address from chris shugert if you want to call/visit a few gyms…and hell if you want to try the same experiment at a ‘women’s only’ gym go for it!!! laugh avoids roids: honey, life is getting in the way…but when it settles down i’ll see what i can do!
Sorry Michelle, I learned about “Women’s Fitness Centers” the hard way. I tried to tell them that my beard was a side effect of the Pill, but no dice. I never even made it to the locker room (damn!). Chris, can you send me Michelle’s E-mail addy? This sounds like fun, considering I lift in a dungeon and do my cardio outside.
Why aren’t there any guys only gyms? Not that I’m complaining about those spandex girls. There should be more places that are the exact opposite of what michelle described.
Natey: There are a few gyms left that fit the bill. I used to belong to a gym that was 20x40’, 95% freeweights, box squatting, and the only cardio was the heavy bag and jump rope.
First of all, I’m most flattered that you found some
inspiration in my post. Not unlike Demo Dick, I, too,
became instantly AROUSED by the prospect of your
assignment, at least until I realized what you actually
meant by it. The “W-A-C” seems like a decent choice,
as opposed to a “Spa Lady” type of establishment.
Hopefully, the “W-A-C” will provide “a male-distraction
free enviornment” that doesn’t engage in the same
FLACCID mindset found in SL! Unfortunately, most
“girls-only” fitness clubs don’t encourage their
members to become stronger women.
I would really enjoy taking part in your experiment, but
it just might take some doing since I have already
trained at most of the gyms within a 40 mile radius of
my house. Besides most of the people who work at
these gyms suddenly disappear from sight when they
see me coming because they know, that I know,
that they DON’T KNOW!
Funny thing, never once did any of the sales people at
any of the places I visited ever try to sell me on any
of their cardio/sculpt classes. I guess they probably
assumedthat I am not a “class” person!? They’re they
go, making assumptions again! God speed on your
mission! Joey Z.
operation plastic weights – OPW --report 1 (part 1 of 2)-
establishment 1 surveylence is complete. two rooms of carido classes, one full of yellow bikes and a ton of cardio machines. beautiful locker room and saunas. then on to the weight room..... *GAG* a million brand spankin new 'women-sized' cybex machines. i say...you said you had free weights? so she showed me the lone squat rack, bench, in/de-cline bench, and preacher curl. and dumb bells ALL THE WAY up to 50 pounds!!! she assured me that everything i could ever possibly need was there....(except i'm already over 50 for my db rows... oops!)
OPW report 1 - part 2 - next was the membership question. how many members do you have? - with only one squat rack, etc, i’d be s.o.l. if three people wanted to work out! - she assured me that though there were over 250 members at the gym only 4 or 5 women that she knew of used the free weights at all, and since I workout in the morning I wouldn’t have to worry because I would definatly have the area to myself. ‘Most women start off on the machines and never get off of them, they are so much easier to use, just adjust the seat, place the pin, and push. no fussing with plates or anything like that’ i asked why the staff did not encourage people to move to free weights, since they give a better workout and are more versitile. she assured me that machines are just as good and wondered who told me free weights are better? At this point the tour was about over from my perspective. We went back to her cube and she wanted to know what I thought. I tried not to laugh. I told her that with only 5 women who use free weights who would help me with new lifts, form, and spots? Well, I was informed that one of the trainers was an experienced body builder and she worked with all of the women who use the free weights…she’d help me with anything I could ever need. she’s available to work with every afternoon - oops! i’m only there in the mornings! i told her i’ll let her know what i decided.
gym number two is this weekend…
Great detail, I can picture her response to your questions, reminds me of those sci-fi movies where you have the sheep-people who accept all they are told and controlled by the androids (personal trainers) then all of a sudden you arrive and and stir the pot… alarm bells go off, thought police involved. Did her tone and demeanour change when you asked about not putting people on free weights, and who has been filling your head with that sort of thinking?
I could never work out there - I’d spend my whole time trying to make T-training converts
and never get a good workout in. This is great info Michelle - good job.
This place sounds exactly like the gym I work at. The Cybex equipment are pieces of crap and i constantly tell the gym staff and managers that. I am a trainer in this gym and they think that i want more DBs and weights for my own use. They say that they don’t get 50lb+ Dumbells because they don’t want to turn the gym into a Bodybuilding gym. The problem is most of my clients, 3-4 who are over 50 can throw around more weight than that. There is no chin up bar, only a assisted machine and you shoud see the looks i get when i do towel chins using the crossover machine’s cross bar.
On occasions I have trained a client in the “power rack” for nearly an hour, and not one person has tried to work in with us.
Which brings me to my next complaint. Someone in this thread just had a go at personal trainers. I am getting realy fed up with this. Allthough there is some real fools out there, generaly guys who can’t do any other jobs, so they turn to PT, even though they don’t know squat, there are a lot of good ones.
I have male clients over the age of 50 who can do chinups, heavy squats, cleans and a whole lot more “functional lifts”. I have a female client who is almost able to do own body weight chins after 3 months. Another femal client in now OH squatting 20 kg for 8 reps (rock bottom) and back squats 60Kg for 12.
They are all worked extremely hard and the word “tonned” is barred from my sessions.
And at least one more of my co-workers at this gym is doing the same good work. I love coaching and consult athletes as well, but i have to pay the rent and PT does that. So please don’t generalise so much.
I still wonder: Assuming that the main reason people
go to the gym is to improve their lean-to-fat ratio,
doesn’t it then stand to reason that one must gain
lean FIRST. And assuming that BIG Compound
movements also BURN BIG CALORIES both during and
looooong after one leaves the gym, why does
the “plastic-weight mindset” still dominate women’s
fitness? How many calories can one really hope
to expend while haplessly waving around small plastic
weights or mindlessly cranking out “1- plate only”
weight machine-exercises? And all this is done without
ever sweating, or breathing hard, or (God forbid)
attempting to use 2 plates!
Michelle, do you think there is even one “non co-ed”
gym on the entire East Coast that could come close to
passing your test?
Snaus fair call, I didn’t make myself clear, there are a lot of very good personal trainers the problem is that a lot are like androids/robots who don’t look at what the customer needs and just give the same program to everyone regardless of requirements. Certainly the ones I come in contact with know less about nutrition/ different exercises than me, they ask me for ideas and I know jack shit compared to most here, (Kelly B, Nate Dogg, Mufasa etc).
passing ‘my test’? well, there are one three women’s gyms here and they are all part of one company. so no on my city…the one i went to is the ‘newest’ and ‘most updated’ and you know about that trip! i’m going to expand my search once Demo and i have hammered out the details. luckily i have VERY cheap long distance so i can start looking in other cities “hello, i’m going to be in xxxx for a few months on a project for my company can you tell me about your gym?” i’ll report back soon!
The reason that people take swipes at trainers is that, for the most part, trainers at mainstream clubs (the ones that new clients are sent to) are average schmoos that have no clue about effective weight training. When I worked at a Bally’s, I was one of 2 trainers in the facility that could train clients and get results (out of the 8 trainers that worked there). The others were basically there to give floor orientations and sell training contracts. From what I know, that’s pretty average in the industry. So, while people are taking broad swipes at trainers in general, just remember, they’re not talking about you inparticular. Smart blondes have to do the same thing, as well as socially adept engineers. Chill.