Fitness Friday Topic: The Gym Snob


Regular Member
Rescue Squad
Dec 23, 2009
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Across America there are countless gyms and facilities designed to help you achieve your fitness goals. And as we go about trying to improve ourselves we may encounter a few of them.

Olympic Gym: Most of your Olympic style gyms are mom and pop owned in that they are small businesses. Yes you do have some that are part of a franchise that operate in various parts of the country, but your Olympic gyms are geared more toward the bodybuilding and power lifting crowd. There you will find more of your heavier weights and bars that can handle several hundreds of pounds. You are going to find more of the equipment geared toward lifting heavier weights and light on the cardio equipment.

Crossfit Gym: Crossfit has become one of the fastest growing events in America. These gyms are more designed to do multiple movements for time as well as support climbing, jumping, and other advanced movements.

MMA/Boxing Gym: Geared for those looking to box or get in to mixed martial arts. You will find punching bags, mats, and space to allow for grappling, punching, kicking, and moving around.

Community Centers: Most of your community centers are supported by tax payer money and are designed to provide a place for community members to have a place to work out and play. Depending on the community you will find a basketball court (or several), tennis court, outdoor park, weight room, swimming area, and a recreational area. Most of these facilities are either free or membership costs are low and many of them provide programs for seniors (ie Silver Sneakers).

24 hr gyms: As we are becoming more global and connected we are finding more companies employ people around the clock. This opened the market for a string of franchises geared to allowing members to work out at a time that is best suited for them. Depending on the gym, most of these gyms are filled with cardio equipment and machined weights. Because of liability and safety you will rarely see weights and equipment that can support the lifter looking to lift at your Olympic gyms but they will get the job done.

Franchise Gyms: Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Curves to name a few, these gyms are across the nation and many of them swallow each other up. I have watched one gym go from LA Fitness to Urban Active, and now is a Planet Fitness. The equipment can range depending on the franchise but many of them are heavy with cardio equipment such as treadmills, ellipticals, and exercising bikes, as well as machine weights. Like your 24 hour gyms, these gyms will typically look to shy a way from the type of weights found at your Olympic gyms.

Other: Some gyms may incorporate multiple resources such as having a basketball court, mma area, areas for people to lift heavy, machine weight area, cardio area, etc.

No matter what gym you choose the main goal is to make sure you are meeting your fitness goals. But I have found over the years that some people will look down on certain gyms or disciplines whether it be the bodybuilder laughing at the planet fitness or the power lifter snarking at the crossfit gym you can find yourself wondering where to go depending on the crowd you listen to. In fact I must admit that I was one who looked down on certain gyms (Planet Fitness) and fitness facilities at one time. But I have spent time at many of the gyms listed above and came away with the belief that it is not the gym but the person. If you have a goal and are willing to work for it then you will achieve results no matter where you go even if it is done in your garage or basement. So if all you have in your area is a community center, 24 hr gym, or planet fitness then take advantage of what you have and go in with the intensity and determination to meet your goals.
Lastly; we are all unique in that what works for one may not necessarily work for the other (different physiques, motivation, or resources). Do not get me wrong dieting and resistance training is important but I have seen people meet their goals without touching a weight, just running, push ups, sit ups, and jumping. The most important thing is to stay active, bring the intensity, steadily improve your diet, and most of all never quit. If all you can do today is walk then walk, if you can not lift today then do cardio, point is to not miss an opportunity to improve yourself physically.
So don't put off your goal because you may not have certain resources available. Make the most of what you have and believe and achieve.