20 Things that PISS ME OFF About Commercial Gyms – Part 1

The time has come my friends, to vent some LONG overdue steam on the fluffy, cotton wool-wrapped, namby pamby so called ‘Health and Wellness’ Centres!

Commercial Health Club Hassles

A Health and Wellness Centre…

These places are packed full of all the latest new fangled, over priced gizmos and  over-complicated machinery that wouldn’t be out of place in the next Star-Trek movie!

Such gyms make the MOST money from innocent, dissilusioned members who pay huge amounts of cash and then don’t attend from one month to the next. Should it be allowed? I’ll let you decide!

I’ve taken the trouble of writing down just a few of my all-time pet hates about the corporate beast and some of the cretins (sorry!..) who inhabit them. Lets start with Part 1 and we’ll get on to Parts 2 and 3 next week. I will be welcoming comments below.

Next to each point i’ve put what I affectionately call a ‘WTF’ (what the f**k) star rating from 1*-10*…. WTF 1 being, this mildly pissed off, all the way up to WTF 10* which means you’d better prepare to have my full unadulterated wrath bestowed upon you!!!
Deep intake of breath and here we go… points 1-10:

1) No lifting in bare feet/socks. Look, IT’S VERY SIMPLE, dead lifting in trainers with a heel is going to F up my form and risk injury! I don’t want to get injured so I choose to remove my trainers. I’ll take the consequences if i’m stupid enough to drop a s**t load of weight on my foot!  WTF 8*

2) No chalk – Why not?? So it’s messy… who cares? Have you not made enough profit this year to afford to pay someone to clean up the gym properly? WTF 6*

3) ‘Easy listening’ music – No, no, NO! If i wanted to hear Ronan Keating and Lulu singing ‘If tomorrow never comes, i would have gone to see Boyzone in concert! WTF 8*

4) ‘Vipr’ training (the latest in ‘functional’ training from the M.I.B (Mindless Idiots Brigade!) – Functional?? I’ll give you ‘functional’ in a minute…. how about i stick my ‘functional’ foot up your ‘functional’ ass!!!! Next time i’ll jump on a Powerplate to show how to do functional *cough* WTF 7*

5) ‘Vibrating Platforms’ – A prime example of Gimmeckery at it’s finest! Unless you suffer from MS or are doing a tiny bit of rehab/stretching then i don’t want to hear the  ‘P’ word! Why don’t these so called gyms try spending the money on more Barbells, Dumbbells, Power-racks and other useful pieces of equipment? WTF 9*

6) People who read newspapers on treadmills, X-trainers or any other useless piece of cardio equipment! – It takes a special type of gym-goer to believe that walking at the pace of a 2 year old while reading the latest copy of Reveal magazine will magically melt away that stubborn fat!  Hmm…… WTF 6*

7) Half reps – This includes Personal Trainers, and/or spotters who allow, even encourage half reps during a set or a 1RM for example! You know who you are and i don’t care how you justify it unless you’re deliberately doing a rack lock-out or floor press, YOU’RE F*****G WRONG!!! This will take up too much space if i complete my rant in full so i’ll skip to the end.. Grrrr! WTF 9*

8 ) The “It’s all you” crew – Going along the same lines as point 7, it’s NOT ‘all you’  if the neanderthal spotter behind you is bicep curling the bar for you!! WTF 8*

yes, yes, YES…. get it, it’s ALL YOU!!!… (note the half rep here)

9) The person who asks “How many more sets you got on there mate”? while you’re halfway through a set of  heavy military press.

– First of all, i’m not your ‘mate’ and just because you can see my eyes in the mirror it doesn’t mean I want to strike up a f*****g conversation halfway through busting my ass you inconsiderate moron!! How about next time you’re struggling with your partial rep heavy squat, I come over and suggest you go down ALL the way – see how you like the distraction! WTF 8*

10) Personal Trainers prescribing stupid exercises for their clients! – This is brilliant! The MOST stupid exercise I have EVER seen in my whole training life was this… I hope I do it justice!……The client holds a medicine ball with outstretched hands and performs a sideways jump into a squat onto a Powerplate which is vibrating on full speed!!….

*Leaving time in anticipation of a sharp intake of breath, long sigh or spontaneous laughter from anyone who is reading this*…..

If you don’t see the problem here then please DO NOT leave a comment below. WTF 10*

For anyone else, please feel free to comment.



Strength and Performance Coach.


8 thoughts on “20 Things that PISS ME OFF About Commercial Gyms – Part 1

  1. I really enjoyed this rant.

    I built my own gym in my garage just to avoid ever going through any of this again. Looking forward to part 2 :0)

  2. This is brilliant! Although I will say that Powerplates are a god send! Out in America training with Michael Johnson’s guys I wouldn’t have got into the gym without one before the afternoon session! Keep it up guys!

  3. I was going to comment but by the time I’d added another 32 I thought I’d better stop…you obviously felt my pain

  4. yeah pretty much agree with all of that but after training up on the ViPR i was in pieces for days, so I bought 2 when I come down to the unit I’ll bring em with me and see if I cant make you change your mind??

  5. No. 4 – how about i stick my ‘functional’ foot up your ‘functional’ ass!!!!

    Hahaha that sounds like something Poliquin or Rippetoe would say.


    Havent tested the ViPr myself but cant imagine it being harder than a heavy sandbag 😉 . Heavier comes up trumps in my book


  6. i have decided im gonna go and chop a tree down and swing at it fedor emelianenko style rather than ever use a vipr again. the instructor had some good points about training though! holla, j bone!

  7. Some things never change I am afraid in relation to the Commercial Health Clubs.I have worked in them and now cannot stand them.I think the instructors with a few exceptions are the worst you can find,have done Micky Mouse courses usually referred to as being Gold Standard by people who believe their own publicity.I got fed up with instructors who knew little,not even the names of pieces of equipment and who were bloody know all dancers for Christ’s sake and referred to barbells as for example as being dumb bars,single station machines as being multi gyms etc.You got employed in those places for having the right hair cut,not having a single idea in your head and qualifications that had the word Master in.Sounds cynical but its true.A whole industry has grown up providing spurious qualifications and instructors who cannot demonstrate a single exercise well but who spout pseudo-science at the drop of a hat.

    The main objective in such paces seems to make enough money as you can from an ignorant and gimmick hungry public.Hence the endless so called innovation as one gimmick gets worn out to be replaced by another.Excuse me heavy Swiss Ball leg presses{I kid you not} as so yesterday its time for another circus trick how about dancing sideways with a vibrating stick whilst being shouted at by an idiot with a mouth mike-one more you can do it.

    Now you got me going there.

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