Looking at a decent gym...

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by M Lambert, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. M Lambert

    M Lambert Fitness Consultant

    OK, so Ive decided tarmac and a field isnt enough for me and Im trying to join a gym (need something to do during the day now I dont have college)...

    What should I be looking for to make sure its worthwhile, theres a few local gyms so I need to pick the right one. The one I am checking out tomorrow has recently been completely refurbished... so what am I looking for?
  2. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    With more free weights than machines...

  3. ItalianStallion

    ItalianStallion Valued Member

    Try to aviod the commercial gyms, they are usually filled with machines, people, not so great personal trainers, and more people. If you go peak time good luck trying to lift.
    Definately look for one with alot of free weights, and make sure they have a squat rack (for some strange reason some dont, maybe so you dont damage your knees :rolleyes: ) and Ive heard some people saying their gym owner would not let them deadlift?? :bang:
  4. wynnema

    wynnema Valued Member

    often the back street working man type gyms can be the best. I go to one like this, it has loads of free weights and not much else which I like. Probably because it is under a boxing club.

    Lack of distractions and scary bouncer type blokes roaming around means you focus on training. And at £3 a time its not bad.

    My experience with commercial gyms has not been good, way too busy, often expensive and too many machines. Also the instrcutors are usually idiots with a City & Guilds in bicep curling - who will shout at you out for doing proper squats.

    Still you get decent birds to look at :D

    P.S. have a look at how many bench presses they have. If they have only one then either no-one uses it or you will be waiting forever to get on it. Also the free weights section should be bigger than the cardio machines.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2006
  5. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    I went to JJB on Monday with a free pass. It was just what you explained to avoid. One bench press, had to wait to get on then constantly asked how many sets I had to go...

    And the cardio section was massive, loads of empty bikes etc. Why can't they have more benches :D

    I also prefer the feel of a smaller gym, better atmosphere, feels more like a club than a business.
  6. M Lambert

    M Lambert Fitness Consultant

    This one is in a County Council Leisure Centre, run by a company called "Images". Thanks for the tips!

    The other option is a gym which is national (or international) called LA Fitness.

    Im not too bothered cardio wise because I'll likely be cycling to get there and I can run here still. So I'm hoping the space has weights rather than Cardio-type machines as much!

    Crossing my fingers...

    Whats happening is a "meeting" with a "Membership coordinator" (membership is 30 pounds a month I think). This would be one-on-one but my brother is coming too so there we go. Its a walk-through of the gym explaining whats there etc. and about membership options.

    What do you think of that? Too much selling?
  7. wynnema

    wynnema Valued Member

    The fact it is called "LA Fitness" sets alarm bells ringing for a start but you could go along and have a look. As I said the birds there might be good to keep your motivation up if you think about skipping a training session on occasion :D
  8. narcsarge

    narcsarge Masticated Whey

    Agree. Here in the states, most communities have what I call 'family centered' gyms or fitness clubs. In fact, the one I attend has 3 benches, 1 incline, 1 decline bench, and a ton of dumbells. Of course it has a squat rack, Smith Rack, and leg press and all the machines. Wait time is minimal. It is clean. I started lifting in one of the "dungeon" type gyms back in the 80's. Good luck with your search. :Angel:
  9. NewLearner

    NewLearner Valued Member

    How many gyms do you know that are not commercial unless they are a Y or a school? Do you mean a gym that is local owned instead of being part of the big chains?

    Our gym is about half free weights and half machines. There is definitely more of a weight on the free weights than the machines. But it could be that we have a lot more beefy guys and the girls tend to either do the aerobics classes or the cardio machines rather than weightlifting.
  10. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    I take it to be a gym thats not part of a chain. Theres a few near to where I live. Generally in old buildings, set up by one of more weight lifting enthusiast. Seems to be the standard format :D
  11. wynnema

    wynnema Valued Member

    Isnt it obvious that is what he meant by commercial.
  12. cxw

    cxw Valued Member

    Another thing I'd ask is when you get the tour, expliain that your looking to increase your power for whatever MA you do. Hopefully the person will say something like "big, full body movements are best for improving power, these include squats, deadlifts, pull ups, cleans and bench pressing". Although don't hold your breath on this :D
  13. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    LA Fitness is exactly the sort of big chain with lots of cardio machines that's been mentioned in my experience.

    You can go here to see a list of the facilities for each of their many, many branches in the UK.

  14. M Lambert

    M Lambert Fitness Consultant

    OK so I went and checked out this gym with my brother.

    Deal was 33 pound a month, first session I can book as a 1-on-1. It has both Cardio and Weights/Resistance. It has Freeweights and Machines in about equal number really too. The membership also includes membership to the Pool and free evening classes (one is "Body Pump" which is basically the weights in a big manly sweating group, lol, and the other is "Body Combat" which is something that most gyms round here do as a class and thats punching/kicking/being beasted etc) in the Studio.

    Showers, Changing Room and lockers available. Fitness Trainers regularly on hand.

    There is also a set of cards with the exercises and reps to help you target specific areas, e.g Arms, Pecs, Fat Burning, Legs, etc. These are in 3 stages from "Beginner" to "Regular Exerciser" - the higher ones apparently even push the trainers there.

    Generally I was impressed by what I saw, its all newly refurbished and opens next weekend. I'll use it for a few months and see :)
  15. NewLearner

    NewLearner Valued Member

    Never been to England. It is possible that the government has gyms like we have parks here.

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