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Thread: Commercial Gyms

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    10

    Angry Commercial Gyms

    • starting strength seminar december 2021
    • starting strength seminar february 2022
    • starting strength seminar april 2022
    I have to start off by saying I'm a broke full-time college kid really only going to the YMCA because it's close by and affordable. Most other gyms in the area are either too expensive or too far. Going to the YMCA already takes 30 mins, which doesn't sound like a lot, but I'm already pretty limited on time, so an hour or more of transport is too long. I've been working at the YMCA for around the time I've been training here, which had been about a year before going to the SS gym. I knew this gym wasn't the greatest, but itís what I got. However, I've been overqualified for my position since day one and only becoming more so as time progressed; being paid minimum wage and working much harder than all of my coworkers combined. I know this not because of pride, but because I constantly have patrons come and tell me that themselves. I mean, I was a vet when I started, and now Iím a certified personal trainer while not having the occupation of a personal trainer because management is slow and lazy, but beyond that. "You're the only one who actually cleans and organizes the weights, everyone else just sits at the desk on their phones." This is the norm here, filthy and scattered equipment with trash laying everywhere. Every time I open the gym up, I have to spend 30 minutes just picking up trash and reorganizing. I've come in for my workout too many times and sometimes struggled to find available 45lbs plates, safety clips are often missing or hidden away, sometimes I wouldn't know if someone is using a machine because people wouldn't put away their weights and the person working wouldnít put them away. The patrons themselves are bad, too often do I have to ask someone just walking on a treadmill to wear a mask only to be scoffed at. If I can squat 235 with a thick cloth mask, you can walk with a thin ass medical mask. I'm really only annoyed that I don't have the laziness in me to simply sit at the desk and accept minimum effort like my other coworkers. I donít even care for most of our personal trainers who will happily just put clients on machines and tell them to use it for 10 reps then move to the next machine.

    That brings it back around to the barbells, the only thing I actually care about. As you can see in the pictures, they are covered in gunk. They went from a stainless steel shine to a black rust (I hope) around the rings. Some patrons bring in gloves because they don't want to touch it, understandably. I eventually got fed up. I did my own research on how to clean them, listed what we need and what to do in an email to my immediate supervisor only to never receive an answer. Talking to them personally, they just seem too busy or something. That seems to be what happens when you assign PTs and group instructors to suddenly be in management while still doing personal training or instructing classes. So I went out on my own. I ordered, with my own money, a brass brush, a nylon brush, and 3-in-one oil, and brought in my own rag. After taking 30 mins cleaning the gym from the last dude who didn't bother doing it, I went to work. I got through half a barbell with what I had before the brushes and rag got covered in the rust. I couldn't clean them off with anything either, so I just had dirty brushes and a dirty rag I had to bring home and wash. After taking some pictures, I've emailed my supervisor again, this time with these pictures, links to the exact products I used, how long it would approximately take to clean the rest, and a strong recommendation to clean these at LEAST once a month. Meanwhile, the SS gym didnít have any of these problems. The bars were clean and beautiful. The whole damn place was. There were more than 3 squat racks that werenít so close to each other I couldn't load my bar while the dude next to me was squatting, everything was neat and organized. It felt like someone gave a shit about their gym. I felt genuine sadness after having to leave it, because everything was just so much better about it. People were actually squatting and not loading a leg press with 6 freaking plates each side and then leaving it only for no one to touch them until I get in the next day, or using squat racks during peak hours to do kegel exercises. And it especially had more than one set of round plates. If one person is deadlifting, it becomes a chore finding good plates, our standards are octagonal.

    I know these are seemingly small things, I'm still able to train here either way. But it felt like tasting the best pie Iíve ever had, then going back to the crummy pie. It bothers me more so that it wouldnít take much work to fix the pie either, it's just general laziness that really lowers our standards. 23 treadmills, 18 ellipticals of 4 different types, a half dozen Expresso bikes (that require paid-subscription services), a few more dozen regular stationary bikes stored away for our no longer existent biking classes, every type of cybex machine imaginable, multiple cable machines, but only 3 squat racks, and only 2 have platforms. And yet, we seemingly canít take care of the 3 racks and their bars. I feel insane having requests like ďhey, can we keep things clean?Ē only to be met with indifference.

    Iím honestly nervous to start personal training here because Iíll suggest using the rack, only to find all of them in use, then resorting to dumbbells only to find those in use as well. Most trainers just do functional or balance training, so it isnít an issue for them, but I donít want to just settle for something easy and take peopleís money like that. For $75 a session, I hope to actually train them and not sell the next session to try to squeeze money out of them. Iíd rather have people excited to come back in, to see results, and to learn so one day they wonít need me.

    I donít know, maybe college plus job stress is getting to me. Online-only college fucking sucks by the way.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    46,602

    Default

    We see no pictures here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    10

    Default

    Ha, guess I forgot in my ramblings. Here is said bar. Imgur link just shows two more close ups.
    8XU6xE5.jpg
    Imgur: The magic of the Internet

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    46,602

    Default

    Now, leave out the other 500 words and type your question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    10

    Default

    I originally wanted to vent and to know if this was the norm. Are most commercial gyms this dirty? This uncared for with ironically such lazy employees? Are decent barbells just a fucking myth for all but the good gyms? Are this many PTs that incompetent? I knew many were, but that many?
    I would kiss the ass of the local SS gym some more, but I already ran out of lipstick.

    Also any cleaning tips would be nice, we have 8 barbells more barbells with just as much rust and a myriad of equipment which I would have to clean myself in between people using them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
    Posts
    38

    Default

    I want to say that looks like a stainless, chrome, or a coated bar of some sort.
    I don't think its rust. See how the knurl-gap-ring on the right side is clean?

    Some gyms have plastic J-cup protectors, and the knurl gets filled up with the cut plastic.
    People turn and slide a loaded bar around while in the J-cups.

    The dark areas seem a bit wide from lay-people's grip width but too narrow for J-cup debris.
    I suppose if a lot of people are using gloves, the glove material would get 'exchanged' into the knurl.

    Also, people do some silly stuff with a landmine row U-joint attachment (if you have one of those) and a barbell.
    Put a narrowgrip seated row handle meant for the lat pulldown, underneath the bar (knurl) and do rows.

    I bet they've just never been cleaned one time since in their existence.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    10

    Default

    That's better to hear than rust, to be honest. I'd rather tell people its bit of plastic than just old rust.
    I wouldn't be surprised either if they've just never been cleaned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    95

    Default

    In my experience, most commercial chain gyms are generally pretty clean - except for the YMCA. Those seem more like refugee encampments than gyms.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    10

    Default

    That's sad to hear really. I'd rather not my place of work be known for its filthiness, but I don't have the resources nor backing from my supervisors to change that for where I work. Sucks worse I have to use this equipment.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    83

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by LuzTheBuz View Post
    I have to start off by saying I'm a broke full-time college kid really only going to the YMCA because it's close by and affordable. Most other gyms in the area are either too expensive or too far. Going to the YMCA already takes 30 mins, which doesn't sound like a lot, but I'm already pretty limited on time, so an hour or more of transport is too long. I've been working at the YMCA for around the time I've been training here, which had been about a year before going to the SS gym. I knew this gym wasn't the greatest, but itís what I got. However, I've been overqualified for my position since day one and only becoming more so as time progressed; being paid minimum wage and working much harder than all of my coworkers combined. I know this not because of pride, but because I constantly have patrons come and tell me that themselves. I mean, I was a vet when I started, and now Iím a certified personal trainer while not having the occupation of a personal trainer because management is slow and lazy, but beyond that. "You're the only one who actually cleans and organizes the weights, everyone else just sits at the desk on their phones." This is the norm here, filthy and scattered equipment with trash laying everywhere. Every time I open the gym up, I have to spend 30 minutes just picking up trash and reorganizing. I've come in for my workout too many times and sometimes struggled to find available 45lbs plates, safety clips are often missing or hidden away, sometimes I wouldn't know if someone is using a machine because people wouldn't put away their weights and the person working wouldnít put them away. The patrons themselves are bad, too often do I have to ask someone just walking on a treadmill to wear a mask only to be scoffed at. If I can squat 235 with a thick cloth mask, you can walk with a thin ass medical mask. I'm really only annoyed that I don't have the laziness in me to simply sit at the desk and accept minimum effort like my other coworkers. I donít even care for most of our personal trainers who will happily just put clients on machines and tell them to use it for 10 reps then move to the next machine.

    That brings it back around to the barbells, the only thing I actually care about. As you can see in the pictures, they are covered in gunk. They went from a stainless steel shine to a black rust (I hope) around the rings. Some patrons bring in gloves because they don't want to touch it, understandably. I eventually got fed up. I did my own research on how to clean them, listed what we need and what to do in an email to my immediate supervisor only to never receive an answer. Talking to them personally, they just seem too busy or something. That seems to be what happens when you assign PTs and group instructors to suddenly be in management while still doing personal training or instructing classes. So I went out on my own. I ordered, with my own money, a brass brush, a nylon brush, and 3-in-one oil, and brought in my own rag. After taking 30 mins cleaning the gym from the last dude who didn't bother doing it, I went to work. I got through half a barbell with what I had before the brushes and rag got covered in the rust. I couldn't clean them off with anything either, so I just had dirty brushes and a dirty rag I had to bring home and wash. After taking some pictures, I've emailed my supervisor again, this time with these pictures, links to the exact products I used, how long it would approximately take to clean the rest, and a strong recommendation to clean these at LEAST once a month. Meanwhile, the SS gym didnít have any of these problems. The bars were clean and beautiful. The whole damn place was. There were more than 3 squat racks that werenít so close to each other I couldn't load my bar while the dude next to me was squatting, everything was neat and organized. It felt like someone gave a shit about their gym. I felt genuine sadness after having to leave it, because everything was just so much better about it. People were actually squatting and not loading a leg press with 6 freaking plates each side and then leaving it only for no one to touch them until I get in the next day, or using squat racks during peak hours to do kegel exercises. And it especially had more than one set of round plates. If one person is deadlifting, it becomes a chore finding good plates, our standards are octagonal.

    I know these are seemingly small things, I'm still able to train here either way. But it felt like tasting the best pie Iíve ever had, then going back to the crummy pie. It bothers me more so that it wouldnít take much work to fix the pie either, it's just general laziness that really lowers our standards. 23 treadmills, 18 ellipticals of 4 different types, a half dozen Expresso bikes (that require paid-subscription services), a few more dozen regular stationary bikes stored away for our no longer existent biking classes, every type of cybex machine imaginable, multiple cable machines, but only 3 squat racks, and only 2 have platforms. And yet, we seemingly canít take care of the 3 racks and their bars. I feel insane having requests like ďhey, can we keep things clean?Ē only to be met with indifference.

    Iím honestly nervous to start personal training here because Iíll suggest using the rack, only to find all of them in use, then resorting to dumbbells only to find those in use as well. Most trainers just do functional or balance training, so it isnít an issue for them, but I donít want to just settle for something easy and take peopleís money like that. For $75 a session, I hope to actually train them and not sell the next session to try to squeeze money out of them. Iíd rather have people excited to come back in, to see results, and to learn so one day they wonít need me.

    I donít know, maybe college plus job stress is getting to me. Online-only college fucking sucks by the way.
    Don't you have a gym on campus? Get a new job. Companies are desperate to hire lower skilled workers and paying way more than minimum wage.

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