I tried a new gym and I hated it!

June 22, 2017

Since we moved a month ago, we also left behind our little independent gym. Between moving, my husband selling his mother's house, and some more general chaos, we'd put off signing up for a new gym. We'd been checking out a couple, first trying to find one in walking distance, then trying to find one with a parking lot, but nothing really seemed like a great fit.

We were out grocery shopping, when we saw a big, OPEN NOW! sign for a gym we'd never heard of before. We did some googling, found out that they were a part of a chain, had really cheap rates and offered a one day free trial. Awesome! It would be even cheaper than our former gym, and it sounded like they had a lot of equipment. We signed up for our free trials online, and got a barcode to scan for entry in our inboxes.

After a quick lunch, we headed back down to the shopping center to go to the gym for the first time in about a month.

It was terrible. My husband said he wasn't surprised based on how the gym advertised itself, but I had been really hopeful. It was just so busy and chaotic and I always felt like there was someone really close to me. It also kind of felt like no one who designed the place or purchased the equipment actually intended to ever train there:

+ The bars at the bench and squat racks were not standard powerlifting bars! I *think* they were women/youth oly bars, but they didn't feel quite right (the bar was narrower) and since I didn't know how much the bar weighed, I have no idea how much I was lifting! It seems like such a weird choice to replace powerlifting bars (same for men and women) for the powerlifting stations with womens's oly bars when there was no Olympic lifting in the gym and most lifters are still men.
+ No 2.5lb plates, so the smallest increment you could increase the weight by was 10 pounds!
+ The staff didn't seem to realize the gym offered a free one day trial, and even tracked us down to try to correct us after we signed in.
+ It was full of highschoolers doing weird tandem bench press exercises and looking like they might hurt themselves or someone nearby with flailing dumbbells
+ ...and big dudes who spent the whole workout on their phones, occasionally doing shrugs and nothing else.
+ The plates were already all mixed up, which gave me weird anxiety.  
+ People didn't rerack their weights or clean up their stations, so you had no idea what was free and what was being used.
+ Not enough collars for all the bars/stations
+ Only hex plates, no bumper plates, no room for deadlifting,so I'm guessing it's not allowed? The no bumper plates is even weirder because there were only oly bars.

Honestly, I felt really intimidated being in the weight section, something I haven't really felt in a while. My husband said part of what made it seem really busy and chaotic was that people were jumping on a station, doing a few reps, and then moving on to something else. He said a lot of guys were "peacocking" (his phrase, not might) and were more interested in strutting around and being noticed than training. This would explain all the dudes who obviously go to a gym regularly already but decided to make an appearance at the opening day of a new gym.

I guess this is why some gyms are so much more expensive than others, or have a sign up fee. Before going, I didn't really understand why my husband was so against the cheaper chains, but I guess if you cater to everyone you cater to no one in particular.

Oh, well, it was free and we still have a few more gyms to look into, so all hope is not lost! 

1 comment:

  1. That sounds crazy and unfortunately if they keep that up they won't be in business for long.


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