Where Have All The Real Gyms Gone ?

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It’s really disgusting what’s happening to gyms across the country.

My favorite gym, which was bought out by a chain a little while back, has now been closed.

Permanently.

I have a coupla gym memberships, and I like to rotate between them… until recently, anyway..

Slowly, my good choices have eroded away… and now, my favorite one is gone.

This gym was my favorite because, despite the old ratty carpet and dingy interior,
it had some terrific hard-core implements, machines that went nice and heavy,
and a row of Smith Machines—– their slogan: “never a wait- plenty of weights”.

I worked there for a good while as a fitness consultant and independent trainer.

And of course, I also spent a great deal of my own time there…….
I was working out there years before they asked me if I wanted to work for em.

As a matter of fact….
over the years, I had spent tens of thousands of happy hours there —
— sweating to death in summer cause the air conditioning never worked,
— and the same in winter, cause the heat was always on too high.

— it draws, I mean, it drew– clients from all walks of life- –
from homemakers to professional wrestlers,
from the overweight to IFBB and NPC bodybuilders –
from newbies to several world-record holders –
from no-names to names you’d recognize –
— because it had something for everybody……..

The gym was originally opened by wrestler Ric Flair as a Gold’s Gym-
………. and had a set up that any weightlifter would love.

The large cardio area was completely separate from the larger circuit training area-
… which was completely separate from the big weight room.

Nice.

The members (or management, either) never seemed to care that much about
those minor issues like carpet, a/c, leaky roof ……
….. or the juice bar that was never open.

I been to gyms all over the place..
..some a lot nicer, some bigger, some better equipped-
—- but I was always happy to get back home to that gym.

There are a lot of heartbroken muscleheads, gym rats and fitness fanatics in my hometown today.

So…. Why are they closing it, you ask?

Ummmm.. I don’t suppose you woulda said it’s all about the money, huh?

Yep.

But what bugs me the most about it, is that this chain bought the place just so they could eliminate them as competition – –
—- they bought it , to close it.

Their other places aren’t really competition to it, though…..

Their clubs –
are typical of the trend toward cheesy, light weight workouts–
–with shoddily built equipment, a thousand treadmills and no stuff to really help build muscle.

They don’t care about muscleheads- that’s not where the money is.

They don’t even call themselves a gym anymore – they’re a “fitness center”.

They are oriented toward high membership numbers – and that’s all they care about.

I’m currently searching for a new gym —
… but I’m telling ya , there’s not much choice around.

The corporate profit-bastards bought everybody else out,
— and then SOLD everybody ( the members) out.

If I could figure out how to finance it, I’d open a real gym right across the street from em.

Dammit.

But it’s not just MY gym we’re talking about here.

If you’d like a perfect example of the trend that’s taking over everywhere, check this story out from a coupla years ago…. keep in mind, this trend has only gotten worse since.

Dateline: November, 2006
Where: Somewhere up above the bunky line.
(Wappingers Falls, NY to be exact….)

40 year old Albert Argibay, body builder and correctional officer,
is working out at his local Planet Fitness…..
(hereafter to be known as the UN-GYM)

when, while executing a 500 pound squat …

(… a pretty good amount of weight;
that’s like having 1 1/4 Rosie O’whatsername’s across yer shoulders…
….. ewww.. perish the thought … )

………….. he lets out a sudden, audible exhalation.

Suddenly, the “lunk alarm” is activated…

(the UN-Gym apparently has an alarm that goes off when people violate one of a series of grunting, dress-code, screaming, weight slamming anti-musclehead/bodybuilder rules)

… whereupon, the Planet Fitness club manager walks over and tells him to buzz off :

it was time to leave.

Mr. Argibay, the manager explained, had violated one of the club’s most sacred and strictly enforced rules:

He was gasping … or as the manager called it, “grunting” .

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Our Un-Hero himself…Awww, he MUST be a nice guy.. he likes puppies.
(Actually, that’s probably gonna be the protein part of his next meal…..)

Asked later about his expulsion, the Un-Hero’s lawyer had this to say:
“They didn’t tell him it was Free Tampon Tuesday… and Curves would not
accept your membership even with proof of zero testosterone levels.”

Anyhoo, soon “Argibay was surrounded by town police officers, who told him
to drop the weight slowly and pack his bag, then escorted him from the gym”.

(Not, I’m sure, without several ‘Yo, Ah Fungoo, Ya Momo’
— and other such colorful regional niceties from our Un-Hero…).

Now, I admit freely …..

I’ve dropped one or two weight sets in my day, accidentally —-
(usually on the last rep of the last set… otherwise called “to failure”)…

and I’ve grunted once or twice too…
(you shoulda heard me ‘grunt’ when I tore my ACL…),

and I’m not sayin this Argibast (or bat or bay or whatever the hell his name is)
… is the patron saint of muscleheads, or any kinda saint at all.

But there’s somethin’ really messed up about a gym expelling a member for grunting,
or wearing a bandanna,
or dropping a weight,
or carrying a gallon water jug, or a gym bag,
or loading more than three plates on a bar,
or for violating any one of a number of other Planet Fitness ‘LUNK’ rules,

….. and what makes it worse is the reason WHY.

Planet Fitness claims to be ‘a judgment free zone’…

and further, they claim that expelling violating members is a part of that philosophy.
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Judgement free, my ass.

It’s got nothing to do with ‘judgement free zone’ or any other corporate-spin:

It’s got to do with $$$ MONEY $$$.

Lets put aside their purely judgemental idea of non-judgementalism…

Lets forget about the round ‘no-musclehead’ illustration on the wall….

Let’s ignore the sissified purple decor…..
(the machines in the Charlotte location are also bright purple….)

Let’s forgo the rotten nature of the whole lunk alarm concept…..

And lets pretend they DON’T have more rules than the Hitler Youth for a mo.

Look at the facts.

According to Planet Fitness’s own words, over 80% of their members are ‘first time’ gym members.

It’s also a fact that over 65% of ‘first time’ gym members use their new membership 8 or less times and then quit.

That means almost pure profit; the member doesnt go, but the gym still gets his money.

On the other hand,
— most body-builders and strength trainers go to the gym religiously 4-6 times a week year after year.

That means wear and tear on the facilities and equipment, more staffing needed, etc.

To a gym like Planet Fitness, a body builder is like Rosie O’Whatsername is to the $5.95 all-you-can eat Buffet:
“You no eat no more.. we no make monee….”

—- except that a gym is supposed to be a place where people work out,
not where they don’t even show up.

But, what makes this deal even worse still,
.. is that these bastards just bought up the ‘World Gym’ chain….
previously a bastion of hard core body builders and strength trainers …

See? It is happening everywhere.

And now that my favorite gym is gone, I got no choice but use the limited facilities available.
(– no connection to Planet “Fitness” , and still much better than THEM……)

SO, where the F*ck are WE — the people who PUT the fit in fitness – – supposed to work out????

I got no place else to go.

It’s like the man said: “Curves wont accept your membership even with proof of zero testosterone levels”.

( Now,
to you weekend warriors who might be laughing about now, and saying “tough luck, pal”….

… I got news for you… it’s yer problem too…

’cause if we all get run outta our gyms–

just guess who’s likely to be sitting next to YOU at AT YOUR gym —
— watching you push up them pussy-ass lil weights…..
……………………yeah, you guessed it. )

See ya at the gym…. errr… I mean….. Fitness Center.

Awwwww…….. phooooey.

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