What to look for in a gym?

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What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rorschach on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:20 pm

Hi all.

Following on from people's suggestions and what I felt anyway, I'm looking for a gym to replace home weights.
There're several in the area, and there's a uni gym near me which is pretty cheap, so that'll be my first port of call.
Plus it's half price for spouses of staff. Hrm, housemate works there, it's only £30 for a civil partnership... now I just have to persuade him. :D

My question is what's good to look for in a gym? Not having any direct experience of gyms, I'm not particularly sure.
Plenty of free weights/bars/benchs/racks, and somewhere to do chin-ups?

What's useful to ask about? The uni gym does a monthly membership if requested, so I'd probably try that for the first month.
What's their policy on being barefoot for squats/deadlifts? (it's how i lift at home, and my trainers are very bouncey running shoes anyway)
What's their policy on chalk? (not that I have any yet)

Can't think of anything else off the top of my head.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby simon m on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:22 pm

If you have a uni gym, just use that mate. It's cheap and will have more kit than you have at home.

I look for heavy dumbells and spare benches so I don't have to wait.

i also hate chavs, so no chav rule applies.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Jake The Muss on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:24 pm

simon m wrote:If you have a uni gym, just use that mate. It's cheap and will have more kit than you have at home.

I look for heavy dumbells and spare benches so I don't have to wait.

i also hate chavs, so no chav rule applies.

Exactly what i was gonna say! :lol:
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Craig on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:27 pm

Squat rack/power rack

lots of free weights and olympic bars

hot women in tight clothing

hot receptionist to try to worm my way into her knickers

all of the above and your good to go.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby simon m on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:31 pm

Craig wrote:No Squat rack/power rack, that's too hard core

lots of machines hardly any free weights

hot men in tight clothing

hot receptionist to try to worm my way into his boxers

all of the above and your good to go.



That all confirms what I thought about you!
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rorschach on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:37 pm

Mmm... freshers...

Olympic bars are longer, so you can fit more weights on? (told you I'm a newbie)
That was another reason for looking for a gym, I can't fit anymore weight on the single bar I have right now (for deadlift only, rest of my lifts are a lot lower, of course).
Still, it's nice to know you're lifting more than your dad did. :D
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Marks1972 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:39 pm

look at the practical side of things as well, specially with winter close. Theres no point joining an uber gym if its 30 mins drive away and you rarely go once its pissing with icey rain all the time.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rab on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:10 pm

Rorschach wrote:Mmm... freshers...

Olympic bars are longer, so you can fit more weights on? (told you I'm a newbie)
That was another reason for looking for a gym, I can't fit anymore weight on the single bar I have right now (for deadlift only, rest of my lifts are a lot lower, of course).
Still, it's nice to know you're lifting more than your dad did. :D


Olympic bars are for the 2 inch dia holed plates, the wee bar you probably have at home s for 1 inch plates. You will know an olympic bar when you see one.

Look for the exact opposite in a gym from what Mark goes for. Something cheap, dirty and heavy with sawdust on the floor. This is where most serious lifters train and where you will learn allot
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Marks1972 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:10 pm

Stop trying to lure him into your shed Rab... he's far too pretty for you :D
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rab on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:14 pm

Marks1972 wrote:Stop trying to lure him into your shed Rab... he's far too pretty for you :D


Shut up you big over pamperd girly-boy. I almost had him convinced there. My hair was all done and everything :lol:
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Gym-pig on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:06 am

If its a general fitness gym most of the stuff you will need will be free as people love to train on machines

You need

Squat rack /cage

Benchs - there must be enough as Muss says . Waiting around is shite

Dumbells - you will row with these at some point and most people hover around 40 - 60 kgs . Check what weight they go to

Visit the gym at 4 - 7 pm and see whatits like when most busy

Pully machine for lat pulldowns etc

Leg press



(Sauna / steam room - I personally love these for getting rid of lactic acid build up . A lot of hard core gyms advertise that they dont have these cos they are hard core . Load of rubbish - use anything that helps . A hard core gym near me now does sports massage . )

Avoid ones full of Scots - they tend to hog the hairdryers
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Resurrected on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:30 am

An oly bar also weighs 20kg, you can get some gyms that have bars that will take oly plates but are less than 20kg.

I'd agree with all of the above comments on looking for a gym but also add in one very important factor - You personally have to like how the gym feels to you. This is one of the most important factors imo opinion. You can have very type of machine and the biggest range of weights on this planet but if you do not like the atmosphere in the gym you'll stop using it.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby GymBunny on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:42 am

The atmosphere of the gym is important, if people piss you off you will snap and this can get messy.

Find out their policy on olympic lifts, as I've been told off for doing these
* Chalk - yes/no
* Are there deadlifting platforms?
* How many other people use the squat rack/cage. If there's 15 of you wanting to use it and only one this can get messy too. If there is only 1 and you are one of 5 people (in the total gym ever) using it, it is not so bad.
* Are people in the weights room lifting or chatting?
* See anyone you could trust to spot. - I've complety given up on some things like bench as I has seen so few people spotting who actually have a clue how to.
* Opening hours! Especially if they are reduced at the weekend = pain.
* Uni gyms often make you fork out extra for a weight room induction, ususally about a 5er, irritating as hell, but it does mean the general riffraff swissball lot are kept out.
* Number of sets of DB.....its a pain if they only have one set of each
* Are there extra bars etc.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Pingu on Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:27 pm

Agreed with GB.

I would say if you can stay away from "lifestyle" gyms. Go where people are serious about training or you will end up in a fight. I nearly did which is why I moved! :lol:
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby SCOTT GALTON on Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:44 pm

the less fancy the better. Think about if i stay hear for 5+ years will this place for me to progress on. My old gym did not so i had to move.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Pingu on Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:47 pm

Me too Scott. Belt and braces with all the basics you need. Fancy does not mean better.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby GymBunny on Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:54 pm

Oh yes and what is the maximum DB weight. You might not need very heavy ones right now but it could end up that in 6months you are frustrated and annoyed as they only go up to 40kg.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Dtlv74 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:45 pm

Need to get back into a (decent) gym too. Agree with all the points raised so far... the worst for me is having my 'flow' interupted by having to wait excessively for things, either because of not enough equipment or (and much much worse) because a bunch of non training posers are blocking what i want to use by using it to sit on/lean against whilst having a long conversation!
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Pingu on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:11 pm

Or those damned women who think that walking on a treadmill while chatting with their friends is "training"...who think pretending to do tricep kickbacks with 1kg weights is gonna magically get rid of their bingo wings....

Aaaaaaarrrrggghhh!!!
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Dtlv74 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:46 pm

Pingu wrote:Or those damned women who think that walking on a treadmill while chatting with their friends is "training"...who think pretending to do tricep kickbacks with 1kg weights is gonna magically get rid of their bingo wings....

Aaaaaaarrrrggghhh!!!


Exactly... or their male equivalents who only do bench press (with horrible technique) and curls, and then spend a hour walking around posing in the mirrors. I guess we both talking about the two sexes of a very sepcific breed of humanoid... perhaps such gyms are where they go to meet in order to breed!
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Pingu on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:49 pm

Can we find out where it is they breed and firebomb it?!!! :evil:
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Dtlv74 on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:57 pm

Pingu wrote:Can we find out where it is they breed and firebomb it?!!! :evil:


LOL, i think the whole of ESN would want to help out with that one!
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rorschach on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:58 pm

It's a shame the most experienced aren't here to help, eh?

>_>
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rilla on Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:48 pm

Powerrack, lots of plates, good opening hours.

Lower priorities include: dipping bars, chinning bars and a good range of DBs.

That's all you need, really.

Personally, I do 90% of my workouts using a barbell, a rack and dipping and chinning bars.
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Re: What to look for in a gym?

Postby Rab on Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:50 pm

Somewhere........

Big mean looking guys train
heavy weights
Sawdust on the floor
Cheap
A club, not a business
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