T Nation

Worst Gym Award


I, Finalyear, nominate my gym for the worst gym award of 2005.
I nominate my gym because of the following news I received today. My gym has removed a relic probably of the 1960s, a power rack towering to the low ceiling of the free weight room. Made of Iron and welded, not bolted together, it will be scrapped. In place of this ONE AND ONLY rack at my gym, they will be placing a brand new SMITH Machine. Woah to me my friends. The gym manager would not give me the old squat rack to bring to my house because it would be a safety issue. She also tried to convince me that I should be excited because of our gyms new investment. I explained to her I was an athlete, and that a Smith machine wouldn't help me in my quests. She asked why this was so.

One good think came out of this discussion, after causing her to give me blank stares after the reference of mine of mesocycles and planes of motion, she said it would be okay for me to move the bench out of the way in the already tiny free weight room so I could continue my olympic lifts. Curse her ignorant stupid mind but bless her pure heart. I took it as a sign from God that I should start doing all my lower body lifts from the ground up, hardcore Dan John olympic lifting style. Yet I still see this as a day that will live in infamy, the day where a friend of mine will be replaced by a useless piece of machinery which I and probably even the fool who pushed for it, who by the way is quite strong, (I have no idea why someone who somehow built himself up to his current strength would think a Smith Machine would help him) will never use it. That is all.


kick him in the nutz.

Sorry about the loss. I too would nominate your gym. Give my gym time though. Hammer strength equipment is about 80% of my gym now. It is sad.


I just want to say OFTEN a little cash can often change the mind on such things as this so called "SAFETY ISSUE" Doesnt have to be a ton just a little paper motivation.


Maybe they'll let you take it off their hands?


I offered to buy it, but she wouldn't let me. If I really wanted it, I'm sure they just put it out back, I could probably just go get it. I seriously can't understand why I can't have it. The only problem with actually brining it home is that I don't really have anywhere to put it. Man, thats so sad. The words she used. They're going to "scrap it." It's just not right.


"Safety Issue" might be a polite way of saying "One Of My Friends Is Already Taking It For Free But I Can't Let The Company Know". Another thing is maybe there really is a safety issue and you offering to sign a waiver stating it's all your responsibility might alleviate the concerns.

Re: guy who suggested replacing it with the Smith machine - punch him in the balls.


I feel you, man. When they "scrapped" the old weights room here at my uni (they've now built a new Sports Centre) they threw away all the old weights...and the squat rack.

They kept the Smith machine, though.

Bastards, the lot of them.


Final, offer to buy the rack as scrap metal, that may be a way around it.

BTW a Smith machine can be useful: I use it as a variable height bar to hook my JumpStretch bands on, so I can stetch my back / shoulders from a few different angles. (Get a few odd looks though!) Oh and it makes a great place to hang your coat off.


Who TF was this Smith @sshole anyway?

Note that he used an extremely common name so as to not be found and beaten to death years later by guys like you.



I would way rather have a Power Rack than a Smith Rack, BUT, the Smith Rack gets way too bad a rapp on this site. If you do lunges, try 'em on the Smith. No, don't call me a sissy. Try it then talk.


For some reason I just loved this line. I read it a few times and just chuckled. That's too bad about the squat rack. Sounds like it's time to find a new gym. The best way to make gym owners understand is by taking your money elsewhere.


And with very good reason too.


I used to do good mornings in the smith rack when I hurt my shoulder.

And had I done lunges in the smith rack, as suggested here before, I wouldn't have torn the tendon below the kneecap on my right leg. It's still recovering and I probably won't be able to squat for half a year at least. :frowning:


Your injuries are entirely your own fault. I think a good rule of thumb is "If you need the smith machine to protect you, you don't know what you are doing".

How do you do a good morning in a smith machine anyway, the concept makes me feel like a pretzel.


my thoughts exactly.


Sorry to hear about your loss, my condolences. I will pray for you and yours dufing this time of great sorrow.


Please don't back me up by talking about doing Goodmornings on a Smith Rack. I can fight that fight by myself if need be.

It does crack me up that the same guys who rip the Smith are often the guys lunge walking the length of their gym with dumbells in hand.

I've lunge-walked, lunged pushing back, done step-up lunges. I've lunged with dumbells, lunged with barbells and I reassert; no lunge beats a lunge on the Smith. It hits your gluts better and for athletics you can perform it more ballistically.

Also, when I had a pec injury I was able to bench in the Smith where I couldn't with a free bar. It was good for rehab. I'm not a Smith lover or anything but I recognize it as a tool that has some use.


What about the gym I went into the other day that has no power rack, no bench press, no dumbells over 80lbs, no chin up bars, and doesn't allow anyone to drop the weights or gunt b/c it might intimidate the other members?

In fact they even have this big. blue, fire-alarm looking thing that goes off if someone does something "intimidating." It's called a "lark alarm" or something....Supposedly people that do that stuff are judgemental and the gym is referred to a judgement free zone.

Not surprisingly the receptionist that gave me the tour was chubby herself...

You can all guess I didn't join the place....


Oh Yeah!


Smith Machine Good Mornings are the second worst idea I have ever heard of. I do like them for lunges, however.