Since the release of “Twenty Things That Piss Me Off About Commercial Gyms, Part 1,” we have been inundated with Facebook messages, emails and text messages. Most of these messages confessed admiration for our ballsy approach toward the health and wellness centers where physical mediocrity is not only accepted but preached. Various clients in the legal profession warned us to “err on the side of caution” in case certain manufactures of “vibrating platforms” got offended. Let’s hope they have more important things to worry about. So without further ado, here is the much anticipated part two. Enjoy!
11) People who wear Beanie hats and other fashion accessories in the gym: Unless your name is Dave Tate or you happen to be a serious bad ass, I don’t even want to see you with your hood up. Take off that ridiculous hat, mini cashmere scarf, and those Christian Audigier jeans. They won’t help you add weight to the bar or pick up girls. Don’t you realize you look like an idiot? WTF: 8*
12) Gym managers who don’t know s**t: Now he might not look like your atypical gym manager, but you can bet your bottom dollar that lurking within the magnolia walls and uber comfortable surroundings of your health and wellness center, there will be a desk bound jobsworth, a glorified sales rep—the elusive gym manager!
This person doesn’t care about you or your results. All he cares about is how many new members he can cram through the doors. He probably just plays with bits of paper all day and uses irritating acronyms like “FTE.” This person has probably never felt the caress of cold steel on the fingertips, and when it comes to training, he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow. His idea of a 1RM is the furthest distance he has thrown last month’s sales figures into the waste paper basket. WTF: 9*
13) People who talk a great game and then ask for a spot on 60 kg: I don’t give a s**t what you used to bench! If you tell me you can bench 120, then you’d better be pretty damn sure you can bench 120 because when the bar comes crashing down on your windpipe, I won’t be there to bicep curl it up for you. WTF: 7*
14) The overweight fitness manager: Do I really need to go into this?
“Now, listen up guys. The best way to burn fat is that vibrating platform thingy!”
You can’t seriously tell me how I should train my clients when you clearly have never seen the inside of a gym, or if you have, it must have been through a rose tinted, Krispy Kreme doughnut haze. Instead of boring me with targets, how about you target that spare tire with some barbell complexes. WTF: 8*
15) The person who needs a spot on rep four and then tries to squeeze another six reps out: This is always good for a laugh. “Yep, yep, I’ve got it…my bar…no, no, just give me a little hand and I’ll go again!”
If you read part one, you’ll immediately recognize the “it’s all you” approach that has to be employed here. When the bar is descending at the speed of a scud missile and you find the bicep curl back to the top position is getting harder and harder and the lifter is still adamant that he has “another two reps in me,” you know it’s time to rack the bar, mutter an obscenity, and walk off. WTF: 8*
16) “Balance training”: I realize that I may be leaving myself open to a whole load of abusive messages from avid “wobble board/disc” thingy mgiggy fans and personal trainers from all over the world, but the thing is I really don’t care!
“But my trainer said I need to do my rehab on a wobbly, semi-circular rubber disc in order to strengthen my ankles.”
Yes, I concede. This is true for some post-injury rehabilitation work. There—I said it! However, if you aren’t injured—and this is the thing that really hacks me off—maybe, just maybe—and don’t shoot the messenger here—but how about you first try your “standing on one leg” balancing act on a stable, flat surface. It’s hard enough trying to perform a strict set of pistol squats on the floor let alone on some over turned semi-circular rubber disc! And let’s face it—when will you ever be in a situation where the floor magically starts to tilt? And don’t be a smart a**. If you want to work your “core,” why don’t you try a set of deadlifts on for size? WTF: 8*
I can’t decide who I want to scream at more…
“How was your super functional workout?”
“Oh yeah, man, mine was great. My core got worked a treat!”
17) Personal trainers who can’t teach the most basic lifts: Instead of trying to baffle your client with Tabata jumping dumbbell squats (great for the advanced trainee of course) and single leg Siberian twisting medicine ball lunges, why don’t you learn how to coach a f***g back squat properly? WTF: 9*
18) The member who performs the same routine every week, every month, all year long and then pisses and moans when he doesn’t get results: “But my mate Dave has been training for 10 years. He’s a big lad, and he says that if I keep adding weight to my drop set chest flies I’ll stack the size on!”
Look, I don’t know your mate Dave, but if he’s anything like you, he must be a f*****g idiot as well. I’m not trying to help you break through the plateau for the benefit of my own health. Fine, don’t listen to me. You keep your creatine induced, water retention, swollen arms and your chest and triceps program and f**k off! WTF: 8*
19) Personal trainers who do internal qualifications and then instantly become expert authorities on…: In my humble opinion, taking part in a two-hour kettlebell “master class” led by some pimply faced personal trainer who at first glance doesn’t look old enough to be your offspring doesn’t make you the leading light on one of the most difficult and taxing physical disciplines.
In some gyms, poor unsuspecting members are cajoled into taking part in poorly taught, dangerous, and sometimes frantic kettlebell swinging sessions. I’m not pointing the finger of blame at the fitness professionals, who as a direct result of attending stupid fluff filled courses, unwittingly became qualified in losing muscle and gaining fat but more at the paper pushing fat managers. Sorry, did I say “fat?” I meant fitness managers… WTF: 7*
20) People who don’t put their weights back: I bet you were wondering when this was going to rear its ugly head. It’s unbelievable how people can load the bar with a zillion kgs of weight and then expect them to somehow fly back on to the weight trees all by themselves. Oh sorry, did you think that the magical, tiny weight pixies did it for you? Or did you think that it’s the duty of the hapless fitness professional who has been slaving away his entire shift just to keep your grubby paw prints off the benches?
Seriously, how lazy can you be? Thank the good lord above that you don’t train in our gym. And another thing for those choice few stars who actually do bother to begrudgingly roll their weights back to the racks—could you at least spare a few brain cells in order to think for a second and then put them back—and here’s the really super amazing bit…*insert drum roll*—where you got them from? Bingo!
I don’t know about you, but nothing pisses me off more than a f******g pig sty of a weight rack where you have to break your back in order to get the 40s out because some bright spark with all the brain capacity of a dead chicken has decided to place them right on the top tier at the back so you have to reach over two feet in order to pick them up. Grrrr! WTF: 10*
Well there you have it—my top twenty things that piss me off about commercial gyms! To be honest, I think there may well be another installment to follow because I’m not convinced that we’ve covered all the topics. We’ve just scratched the surface really!