T Nation

Time Between Sets at Crowded Gyms

I’m curious to know how people deal with the sometimes long wait times to use equipment during peak hours in the gym.
Workout programs often recommend a specific rest period between sets (i.e., 60 seconds/90 seconds, etc).

But when the gym is crowded, and you have to share equipment or wait in long lines, the workouts (especially supersets) become compromised. I’d like to hear how people deal with these circumstances.

[quote]Lorne wrote:
I’m curious to know how people deal with the sometimes long wait times to use equipment during peak hours in the gym.
Workout programs often recommend a specific rest period between sets (i.e., 60 seconds/90 seconds, etc).

But when the gym is crowded, and you have to share equipment or wait in long lines, the workouts (especially supersets) become compromised. I’d like to hear how people deal with these circumstances.[/quote]

That’s why I try to avoid busy times.

I’m not very confrontational, but I will let someone know if my program calls for a specific rest time, and so far everyone I’ve explained that too understood.

I’ve only ever said this when I was already using both pieces of equipment, but not when I’m the one asking to work in.

If someone’s already there, and I’m the one asking to work in, I wouldn’t feel right about asking them to accommodate my rest times, in which case I would try to find an alternate movement that is close to the one I waned to do.

You can’t occupy multiple stations at a gym during peak times. It would just be rude. Avoiding supersets would be your first and best option. It is one thing to tie up a bench for 10x3, quite another to tie up a bench and a squat rack for a ss.

That’s part of the deal of a gym. Using alternate movements can help avoid this. Many exercises are not practiced by the public.

Read Poliquin’s Prime Time Training Article,

personaly I just go early in the am or way later, avoiding those peak times.

Dumbells are the key. Just tie up on station by using say, the squat rack, and bringing your DB to it. Then you can do some shit with the bar and the rack and then s DB exercise as your SS or inverse/agonist move.

Once i’m in the squat rack I usually politely let people know that i will have to use it on a timed basis and they usually piss off or are accomodating to your times.

Like for example when i do my EDT work period for 20 mins I usually tie up the dips or back extension for the whole thing. But I make sure my alternate move is with DB so that I don’t move away. Most people are to intimidated by my sweating to come ask. And when they do they usually observe my frantic pattern first and work with it. I havent seen anyone do a real dip on that thing before any ways, quarter dips only take a few seconds.

-chris

[quote]Lorne wrote:
I’m curious to know how people deal with the sometimes long wait times to use equipment during peak hours in the gym.
Workout programs often recommend a specific rest period between sets (i.e., 60 seconds/90 seconds, etc).

But when the gym is crowded, and you have to share equipment or wait in long lines, the workouts (especially supersets) become compromised. I’d like to hear how people deal with these circumstances.[/quote]

Not trying to be an ass, but you have just reminded me of one of the main reaons why it was worth every bit of money (way less than you may think) and effort to set up a small, but very usable gym in my basement.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Lorne wrote:
I’m curious to know how people deal with the sometimes long wait times to use equipment during peak hours in the gym.
Workout programs often recommend a specific rest period between sets (i.e., 60 seconds/90 seconds, etc).

But when the gym is crowded, and you have to share equipment or wait in long lines, the workouts (especially supersets) become compromised. I’d like to hear how people deal with these circumstances.

Not trying to be an ass, but you have just reminded me of one of the main reaons why it was worth every bit of money (way less than you may think) and effort to set up a small, but very usable gym in my basement.

–Tiribulus->

[/quote]

I would question whether the average serious trainer would get everything he needs from a home gym assuming his goals are to build a balanced amount of muscle mass well above average.

If you max out most machines, there is simply greater benefit in going some place where you don’t have to keep buying new weights to match your strength level. That may work for those who claim to only be interested in powerlifting or 3 basic lifts. It may also work for beginners or those who simply aren’t planning on outgrowing their weight stack any time soon.

As far as peak times, that is why I train at night. There is no point in trying to jump in during peak hours unless I just want to be pissed off for an hour while some skinny dude finishes reading his novel on the HS machine.

This is why I head to the gym at around 8:30 - 9:00 PM. There’s usually 3-4 other people there at this time MAX, and they’re normally on the cardio equipment. This gives me around 2 hours of free reign to the entire gym.

You kind of have to adjust your programs to accomodate the way the gym is set up whenever you do supersets so you’re not running around all over the place. If it’s crowded, I try to hog just a bunch of dumbells and an adjustable bench.

Or you can recruit a training partner who will follow the same routine as you and switch off.

My gym is generally insane anytime after 12pm. My solution - I workout at 5am. Other than that, I just won’t go.

[quote]realpeanutbutter wrote:
Dumbells are the key. Just tie up on station by using say, the squat rack, and bringing your DB to it. Then you can do some shit with the bar and the rack and then s DB exercise as your SS or inverse/agonist move.

Once i’m in the squat rack I usually politely let people know that i will have to use it on a timed basis and they usually piss off or are accomodating to your times.

Like for example when i do my EDT work period for 20 mins I usually tie up the dips or back extension for the whole thing. But I make sure my alternate move is with DB so that I don’t move away. Most people are to intimidated by my sweating to come ask. And when they do they usually observe my frantic pattern first and work with it. I havent seen anyone do a real dip on that thing before any ways, quarter dips only take a few seconds.

-chris[/quote]

This is true. First of all, EDT rocks as a training method. Secondly, the frantic pace set by this method scares most people away. They don’t even bother asking. On the rare occasion that they do, I tell them I am completing a timed superset and I have x minutes left. They have always been accomodating.

But then I don’t work out when very many people are around anyway.

[quote]superstar wrote:
You kind of have to adjust your programs to accomodate the way the gym is set up whenever you do supersets so you’re not running around all over the place. If it’s crowded, I try to hog just a bunch of dumbells and an adjustable bench.

Or you can recruit a training partner who will follow the same routine as you and switch off.[/quote]

That’s what I really like about having a training partner. We’re doing EDT right now and we just flip flop back and forth for the 20 minute work periods. Helps keep us honest with pace and intensity too.

The only challenge is the 10 minute rest period. We usually camp out on our next bench or rack during that time and nobody usually bothers us. It feels a bit unethical, but haven’t had any probelms so far.

B.

I usually don’t have a problem, no one uses a squat rack (unless they are doing curls)

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Tiribulus wrote:
Lorne wrote:
I’m curious to know how people deal with the sometimes long wait times to use equipment during peak hours in the gym.
Workout programs often recommend a specific rest period between sets (i.e., 60 seconds/90 seconds, etc).

But when the gym is crowded, and you have to share equipment or wait in long lines, the workouts (especially supersets) become compromised. I’d like to hear how people deal with these circumstances.

Not trying to be an ass, but you have just reminded me of one of the main reaons why it was worth every bit of money (way less than you may think) and effort to set up a small, but very usable gym in my basement.

–Tiribulus->

I would question whether the average serious trainer would get everything he needs from a home gym assuming his goals are to build a balanced amount of muscle mass well above average.

If you max out most machines, there is simply greater benefit in going some place where you don’t have to keep buying new weights to match your strength level. That may work for those who claim to only be interested in powerlifting or 3 basic lifts. It may also work for beginners or those who simply aren’t planning on outgrowing their weight stack any time soon.

As far as peak times, that is why I train at night. There is no point in trying to jump in during peak hours unless I just want to be pissed off for an hour while some skinny dude finishes reading his novel on the HS machine.[/quote]

I’m doing rather well at home. I have invested about $10,000.00, over 10 years growing my gym. I don’t need machines per se. I have a cage that I do all my big lifts in except the Deadlift for safety. There are some pieces of equipment that I would like to have but I can do without. It is possible to get as big from working out at home. The most difficult part for home trainng is motivation, that is why I have mirrors :slight_smile: I also don’t have to wait in line for no one and I also have no excuses for missing workouts.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I would question whether the average serious trainer would get everything he needs from a home gym assuming his goals are to build a balanced amount of muscle mass well above average.

If you max out most machines, there is simply greater benefit in going some place where you don’t have to keep buying new weights to match your strength level. That may work for those who claim to only be interested in powerlifting or 3 basic lifts. It may also work for beginners or those who simply aren’t planning on outgrowing their weight stack any time soon.
[/quote]

I understand your point and am in no way trying to say that my home gym is nearly as versatile as even a half ass commercial gym. However, the machine I bought uses olympic plates for everything and can accomodate 600 pounds (I have almost 700) on the high and low cables. If I ever outgrow 600 lbs, I’ll join the Powerhouse a few miles away.

It is also a rack and chin bar. I have 2 olympic bars and eight sets of adjustable dumbells and plenty of plates for those too. 2 inclinable/declinable benches (a third still in the box) a dipping/leg raise stand an adjustable ab bench, hyper extension bench and a shitload of handles ,chains and carbiners clips. With a bit of creativity you can do quite a bit with this. I was astonished at how inexpensive this kind of stuff could be had if you shop smart. It’s adequate for my purposes, though, yes, there’s always something you kinda wish you had.

On the topic of gym times, when I was going to one my work schedule at the time allowed me to go at 2:00pm and it was less than a mile from our house so that was great. Now though I would have to go in the evening and would wind up being dismayed with the aggravation. I don’t how I would handle it. It is SO convenient having everything downstairs. It cost me about 3 to 4 years of full time membership fees for this stuff. I would still like to belong to a good gym, but at this time this was the better choice for us.

–Tiribulus->

[quote]dmanor wrote:
It is possible to get as big from working out at home.
[/quote]

Doubtful. Unless your home gym looks something like Ronnie Coleman’s (which is truly impressive by the way aside from the lack of air conditioning), I just don’t see a person making the same progress as they would with access to everything.

Yes, it is possible to get big working out at home…and if you are able to get the right equipment, it may be a very good choice. Nobody needs a Ronnie coleman gym which probably comes with all the syringes your ass cheeks can take.

I like the idea of using dumbbells or even good bands. I wouldn’t drop out superset…just be smart about it. SAID principle folks… this includes adapting to your environment. Tudor Boumpa created agreat program I use on some of my clients where you use the same barbell and rack for your whole workout. So it is possible to superset or eeven circuit in one area.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
dmanor wrote:
It is possible to get as big from working out at home.

Doubtful. Unless your home gym looks something like Ronnie Coleman’s (which is truly impressive by the way aside from the lack of air conditioning), I just don’t see a person making the same progress as they would with access to everything.[/quote]

LOL, yeah you’re right my frame of reference was “naturally” big. If I wanted to be Mr Olympia I would definitely be at a commercial gym just to be around these monsters, and do as Ronnie did and have a kickass gym at home. People like him have the drive to make it happen, I can respect that no matter what he is doing to achieve it or people think he is doing, no matter, he is working hard to be and stay at the top, he deserves his props.

What is it they say “Don’t hate the player…”

[quote]gustojack wrote:
Yes, it is possible to get big working out at home.[/quote]

It isn’t about whether someone can qualify as “big” by working out at home. The issue is whether their gains will match those of someone who has full access to all equipment. We can talk about “possibilities” until we are blue in the face but real world results make all of that useless chatter.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
dmanor wrote:
It is possible to get as big from working out at home.

Doubtful. Unless your home gym looks something like Ronnie Coleman’s (which is truly impressive by the way aside from the lack of air conditioning), I just don’t see a person making the same progress as they would with access to everything.[/quote]

You’re a smart guy, I’ve seen numerous of your posts, but what is making you believe you need 300 pieces of equipment and 5000 pounds of iron to make way more than satisfactory progress? If I was training for the olympics or a bb contest I probably wouldn’t be able to limit my training to my basement, but I’m getting good solid resistance work that leaves me pumped, sweaty and growing. It may not be as convenient as just moving to a different area, but if you plan ahead you can cruise through a thoroughly productive workout on a fraction of what is in a commercial gym.

–Tiribulus->

Edit: your (professorX) post above mine appeared after I already submitted this one, but go ahead :smiley: