Gym or "Fitness Center"?
I'm an ex-powerlifter and my wife used to be a top national level bodybuilder. We still lift seriously and like to have fun in the gym too. We have entered many gyms (or excuse me Fitness facilities) and they have basically told us to our faces that Bodybuilders and Powerlifters are not welcome. Is this what Joe Weider is teaching the outside world? Is this what World Gym, Gold's Gym and Powerhouse Gym franchises are teaching their franchisees? I remember when Joe Gold was very upset with Arnold when Arnold was changing the format at World's Venice.
The places that saturate America, the places we call gyms are virtually the same in every way shape and form. It's true. If you think I'm wrong go to each and every gym in your town and across town and tell me this; what makes them different from one another? Here's my point; They all have the same type of people working behind the desks; the same type of equipment, the same bland dÃ©cor, or neon lights all over the walls, the same commercial laden radio stations pumping through the gym, a few have hard courts or swimming pools, and let's not forget their titles are mostly the same too. Yes, it's true, they all title themselves the same i.e.: "Fitness Center," "Family Fitness," and my favorite the "Athletic Club." Even when someone has a franchise name, they attach the above titles to them. Try this: Powerhouse Gym and "Fitness" Center: Gold's Gym and "Fitness" Center: and World's Gym Family Fitness Center. That's my favorite.
Did I miss something or is this a "Gym?" When you look back at history, the majority of members in public gyms were mostly Physical Culturists, Bodybuilders, Powerlifters, Olympic Lifters, and let's not forget the early strongmen. These were the spine and subsistence of ALL weightlifting facilities that called themselves gyms, until recently. But, people, gym owners and current gym managers do not know that their gym of today would not be around if it wasn't for the Bodybuilder, Powerlifter, Olympic Lifter and strongmen of yester year.
How many gyms now days will let you use chalk? How many gyms can you go in and see real people that know how to lift weights working behind the counters? What about the music? Do you hear real up-beat lively music surrounding the iron occupied room or a local radio station that play's more commercials then music? What's the atmosphere like? They're all "DULL!" Every place you go to workout is a place to pump iron. That's why all the machines are weight-loaded apparatuses. If this is not a gym then they shouldn't offer weight lifting. Can any of you remember when you signed up for a gym membership and everyone in the place was into lifting weights, getting into bodybuilding or powerlifting, helping each other, and when you needed a spot you could count on the person you asked to know a little about lifting weights? One big happy family geared toward getting into a serious fitness working out lifestyle. Not now. When the real ones who want to lift weights walk through the doors they have to watch their P's and Q's. I don't want to disturb that person sitting on the leg extension reading their mystery novel.
So, why is it that most individuals that open a gym don't think about who really is their members? Why do they offer the same stuff as their predecessor does right down the street? Not to mention cater to the same non lifting people who only hang out for a few weeks at a time and make your life miserable when they show up and get in your way. Why?
When Gyms Were Gyms
Music or no music while working out doesn't matter. But, if you want to watch a basketball game stay home! I miss going into a gym when everyone around you was into the same thing, being cordial, polite, fun, and enthusiastic about being around others that lifted. I miss going to a gym that is like that. I miss being able to use chalk when I workout. I mean it's a staple for powerlifters. Have you ever tried doing heavy deadlifts without chalk? I guess it's possible. Bodybuilders, powerlifters and even the wannabe's are not welcome in these sudo fitness centers calling themselves gyms. They say a gym can't make any money from the above people. That's not true. In fact that's one of the biggest "Bull Shit" lies I've ever heard.
From DaveDraper.com. More pics.
Why are we "unwelcome" in OUR domain? Do I not pay my membership just the same as the individual who uses the squat rack to do curls instead of using the fixed bars that are located in the corner of the gym? Do I not pay a membership like the girl who sits on a machine reading her book or Cosmo magazine in-between her sets? Yet, I'm considered rude for asking nicely to work in? But, to the current fitness gym owner and manager the Bodybuilder, Powerlifter and hard-core junky we're a liability. I spend too much time using their equipment because I really want to work out. Those members we scare don't use the equipment as often.
And another thing, lifting weights is serious business folks and I'm supposed to be courteous to the person who interrupts me when I'm going for a PR in the Bench Press or Squat? This is my health and safety we're talking about and your liability. Excuse me but they are in the wrong and endangering my safety. Teach them gym etiquette. Gym etiquette what's that? Well, it's instructing them on the dos and don'ts in a gym and to remember to be courteous and polite to everyone around them. If you can't teach them that, you could at least tell them that lifting weights is serious and there are people in this world who take things seriously. What and waste the time when all you care about is signing them up for a membership. You just want their money right? Who cares about anything else?
Next thing that's going to be allowed by gym owners and managers is Symphony music. So, am I supposed to not train the way I want in these so-called gyms? I'm supposed to appease those who only workout once a week? Or find another place to train, right? Am I supposed to conform to the person who doesn't give a rat's butt about working out? Just to appease the non-lifting clientele. You know those people who come into a gym; spend hours talking about yesterday's game, while sitting on equipment you want to use and they're reading Cosmo. Yes, I'm the dinosaur, the powerlifter, the bodybuilder and strongman, the member that no one wants around his or her sudo neo commercialized non-fun family oriented place of exercise. This is what today's gyms have become. Thanks Joe!