T Nation

The Metrosexual Gym


#1

I recently had to spent a work week in a large city to attend work related activities. While there, I found the closest gym to train at so I wouldn't miss any workouts. There was a "fitness facility" only five minutes from my hotel room, which offered a cut rate for those staying at the hotel. I was on a very tight schedule and didn't have time to go to the local weightlifting gym as I usually do.

I guess I'm spoiled, but if this is the trend of commercial gyms in large cities, it is indeed sad. This was a large facility which had a lot of money poured into it. But it was obviously designed to sell memberships and not get results for the members.
My observations were as follows (I was there six times in three days):

  • Let me just say right off the bat that all their "trainers" should be taken outside and shot. I have never seen more bad form and advice given.

  • The "free weight area" was half the size of the aerobics room. There is just something really wrong with this. Most of the time while I was there the aerobics room was empty, but I did see a class for twig women who wanted to learn to lift light weights while standing on some kind of thingy. They had another huge area just filled with Hammer Stength and other machines. People seemed to be using this area mainly for conversation.

  • I couldn't use the only squat rack they had as the cross bars on it would not allow me to go deep enough (I'm 5'6"). Now I am of the opinion that half squats are a helluva lot worse for your knees than full squats. But while there I never saw a single person even attempt going past a half squat. That's probably how those "trainers" showed them to do it.

  • The bench presses were built for midgets. These were the lowest bench presses I had ever seen (and I've seen a lot). I was laughing that it was almost like doing floor presses. BTW, they only had two benches which is what every one wanted to use. So when I was doing my eights sets of triples with 135, I thought these guys were gonna split a gut since I was doing more than three sets. And no, none of them asked to work in with me.

  • No room to deadlift, but I did it anyway. Had to sneak the chalk in.

  • I have never seen more of a collection of metrosexuals in a gym. And it didn't take long to figure out why: the music they were playing would drop anyones T levels. Thank goodness for MP3 players. There were so many pussies there I was wondering if they had a veterinarian on staff.

  • WTF is it with the stability balls? Can we get over this fad now?

  • I finally realized where the majority of the members were; doing cardio endlessly. I counted at least twenty treadmills, eighteen ellipticals and a bunch of other cardio machines. But the funny thing is, the majority of them were just jogging along, some reading, some just watching one of the five plasma TV's mounted on the wall. No one was really working at it! Just going through the motions so that they could say they worked out.

  • The men and women who utilized the weight room all did the requisite three sets of ten reps. No one strained, no one made any noise (except for me). It was like the Stepford Wives gym. All the while I'm feeling these staring eyes while I'm doing barbell shrugs with 185.

What a bizarre experience. I will be so glad to get back to my gym tomorrow. I'm going go give the owner a big kiss and tell him thanks for keeping it real.


#2

However, if you asked any one of them, they would swear they were about to die from the strain and effort. Seeing the same extremely overweight people on the same cardio equipment for months without seeing any changes in them should make some people consider the effectiveness of their actions.


#3

Hahahahahahahahahaha.

That sounds like my gym.


#4

Actually the majority of them were skinny-fat. Some of them actually had magazines or cut out articles with routines they were following. I saw several "one set to failure" workouts. And failure is just where they were headed.

The women would bring their Shape magazines in and go get the pink dumbells (actually they were orange) out of the aerobics room to do their kickbacks with. I just shook my head. I really had to restrain myself from saying something at times. But I just turned up my music and paid attention to what [b]I [/b]was doing.


#5

Hahahahaha!

The thing I've always hated most about the commercials gyms I've been members of has been the music. I thank god that I have a key to a personal studio now that I can visit any time I like.

And I choose the music too.


#6

Makes me remember why i started training at home.When working out became popular i grew tired of dealing with pricks that couldnt squat or bench over duece & a quarter struttin around like peacocks in their gay little workout clothes and bitchin that their cold when you would open a door for fresh air when your doin high rep squats ,deads etc. with heavy weight.Most of these guys would stand around a bench and socialize while doing a couple sets of benches and some curls.

I would tell them maybe if they actually did something they would'nt get cold.Then all the little bitches would hang together and mumble to each other .Most of these guys were just there to try to pick up chicks.The owner of the gym started catering to them and babying them because their type was the new majority at the gym.Plus they all worked for the local Fire Dept. Yes I no, not all Firemen are PUSSIES.


#7

Gojira, reading your posts is like drinking a cup of coffee. Black. Right off the burner. I loves me some coffee.

I have to remember, I was once one of those no-result seeing fools. And I knew it all. When going to Gold's. Now, I go to an even fruitier gym, one very much like your description. When not concentrating on myself, I have dreams of grandeur, imagining what I could do if I could lead a bunch of T-disciples. The first thing? Diet. Without this fundamental building block, there will be no results; not ever.

{Edit: Thank you for that little quote BIG "I likes me some..." When I see something I like, I use it. I try to give people their credit, too. Sorry this was late}


#8

You just perfectly decribed the Gold's gym in my town.


#9

I meant to ask on my way out how much the dues are, but I forgot. Best they charge a premium rate for that shit.

Me, I'll take my no steam room, no plasma television, five bench press, three squat rack, two power rack, GHR and reverse hyper, chalk-providing gym anytime.

You can FEEL people deadlifting while you're upstairs changing.


#10

I love fitness centers. I get the best workouts anywhere. The reason being that the one I used to go to had proper squas racks, power racks, and benches. Even a decent dip/chin station. But barely anyone used them other than me. In an entire summer, only once did I have to work in with someone, and he was actually squatting properly and lifting heavy weights.


#11

Gojira, for some reason, I thought I saw your location as Montana, but it's Ohio? Maybe you talked of riding your scooter in Montana or Wyoming? I remember seeing a pic of your Indian Cruiser... ah well.

"Health clubs" aren't in the business of "results" as someone alluded to before. The expectation of success would be too hard to market. What I mean is, if you were guaranteed success, and you didn't achieve it, wouldn't that be misrepresentation and grounds for lawsuits? For the mass populace to fail is a good thing for the industry. And "they" sure have made it easy to fail. I wouldn't be surprised if they offer Boston Cream doughnuts while running on the treadmills!


#12

sound like the la fitness i go to here in s.d. actually it sounds like all the la fitness' i have been to. with the exception of the equipment. all the la fitness i have been to have everything you will ever need, and then some. plus they don't have contracts. its month to month which is great. the music makes me want to go to sleep, how can i throw iron around while listening to "listen to your heart", by i don't know who. love my ipod.they have four "curl" racks, and half a dozen benches.


#13

Four curl racks? My LA Fitness has only one. And one power curl rack.


#14

No 35 pound plates, only 25's and 45's (yes, they had dimes and nickels too). This is like the third place I've been that doesn't have any 35 pound plates. Oh and they were those goofy plates with the holes in them.

Only one set of collars (cause no one uses them anyway) and only one bar that they work on. They just spin on the other bars. Weird.


#15

One of my friends said that the fitness center at Va tech actually made you work out with a partner.


#16

I work at a pretty much metrosexual "gym" (heaviest dumbells less than 50lbs, no bars, only a Sith machine - not a misprint - doesn't stop people from doing Sith curls or standing french press though).
The whole purpose of the place is to sell memberships and massage fat peoples egos "no you're working really hard, honestly 20 mins on a recline bike twice a week will get you down to a size 18 in no time at all".
The "instructors" may know what they're talking about, maybe not, but their job is more of a customer care role than anything to do with fitness and after a while you just switch off.
Look at it as natural selection, the more "gyms r us" there are, the fewer infestations real gyms will have of lifticus stupidus.


#17

The "Q" fitness center (a branch off from Balley's that may or may not even be around anymore) didn't allow anyone muscular to wear tank tops. If you didn't work out in a shirt that covered your arms, they made you wear a loaner shirt that fit pretty much like a night gown. No kidding. This was so none of the out of shape people would feel self conscious by seeing someone in better shape than they were. I worked out there one day and left. the Cinnamon-Apple air freshener and the extreme catering to obese people was too much.


#18

Wouldn't that be Lifticus stupidus?

Sorry, the biologist in me just takes over sometimes.


#19

My gym (and I use that term loosely) is a Planet Fitness.They have on the first Tue. of every month pizza nite and the second Wed. bagle morning. The closest location to my house took care of the squat rack curls problem- no squat rack no problem. A location a little farther away still has a rack. The managent also cut the shafts on the leg press machines so only four plates on each side can be added. They got rid of the steel plates and got rubber coated ones. With the rubber mats and rubber dbs and rubber plates our local library is more noisy.


#20

It's genetic you know... Gotta keep them in that bubble, dare they see someone who actually puts in the hard work.