Will the last real gym, please stand up

Will the last real gym please stand up!

Its sad but gyms these days are pure business.  Its about how much revenue they can generate per square foot per month, nothing else.  The gym I use for cardio is like this.  Don’t get me wrong, its a great gym.  Its spotlessly clean, its beautiful, ample equipment, and it smells fresh as a daisy.  Trouble is, they really don’t want powerlifters, bodybuilders or ambitious teens because these folks come every single day, often even twice a day,  clogging up the gym so more memberships cant be sold.  No, they design their gyms to lure in those with money who will use the expensive in-house personal trainers to generate lots of revenue.  The ideal customer for them is the middle aged successful local professional or the stay at home housewife.

It the early days of bodybuilding, it used to be the people who opened gyms were passionate about fitness.  They would organize local contests.  They would sponsor and promote local athletes and pay their way to regional powerlifting and bodybuilding events to add to the prestige of their gyms.  Not any more, gyms are run by MBA’s who talk about “moving product”.

If you know of a local gym owned by someone passionate about fitness and supportive of local athletes,  please post the name and address of the gym here!  Gyms that allow chalk and allow powerlifting.  Gyms that at least have a glass case or bulletin board to congratulate their members who have done contests.  Bonus points if they sponsor some athletes.  Are there any gyms like this left in the world?  Lets give them a shout out if there are any!

Support your locally owned and operated gyms!

107 thoughts on “Will the last real gym, please stand up”

  1. our gym here in philippines here is so cheap and you can pay per session for only 0.79 u.s dollar (not even 1 buck) or 30 php with complete equipments (exept treadmills but there are stationary bikes for cardio) and our instructor here is well equiped with knowledge and credibility to teach (no instructor fee) and i think this is a real gym.

    sorry for my bad english :)

  2. fitness plus seven hills!! they give out chalk for those who ask (pref if you look big), and theres nobody to stop you from powerlifting, but it might be frowned upon. i already know 60% of everybody at gym because we show up 5-7 days a week 50 weeks in a year, and they always welcome us back by giving us drink bottles etc.

  3. Yeah! standard commercial gyms are as bit odd.
    My dream gym has a good selection of kettlebells, indian clubs, olympic barbells and an olympic platform, some good olympic-rings, a few mats for backflips, a good cable machine, good selection of resistance band, good pull-up bars, maybe a pommel horse, and some other stuff too. I don’t think a gym anywhere has this stuff.

  4. Scooby I totally agree. All the gyms in my area fit this description to a Tee. They are all filled with isolation machines and self spotted bench press machines… * PILLOW SCREAM * . For cryin’ in the sink I want a badass gym with free weights and good powerlifting trainers who are passionate about pumping iron. Scooby should open a chain of gyms across the country!

  5. The Rahat Executive Gym, Saddar, Lahore, Pakistan is about pure passionate powerlifting and bodybuilding. It doesn’t have all the fancy wquipment but man oh man, the guys there will keep you motivated to lift a mountain. I agree scooby, even here it’s the same. Pansy gyms.

  6. There are still gyms that operate like this, but honestly, I think America at this point is probably more in need of casual, if not business-oriented, gyms. Most of the population is overweight, average fitness is terrible, and the majority of the population gets very little exercise. Sure, as someone committed to fitness, it’s gratifying to see other people who take it as seriously, but ordinary people who’re trying to get in shape don’t go to gyms that sponsor powerlifters; they feel intimidated. In terms of getting a population that meets basic health standards (and remember, we’re all paying for one that doesn’t through our insurance,) numerically, I think we have more call for casual gyms, and it’s only natural that people are going to step in and capitalize on that.

  7. here got one. its not a big gym. but the owner is quite big. haha. and the membership fee is so cheap, plus he(owner) always gives free advices and tips. :D

  8. Sunne Kraftsport => Great Gym in Sunne, Värmland, Sweden. It is located in an old school “Åmbergs skola” on the hill. The way to become a member is to contact another member.. or talk to the guy at the gas station. But it was a couple of years ago I moved from the town.. might have changed.

    it is a bit dirt Gym with a lot of weights and friendly ambitious people.

  9. I dislike how many gyms now adays do not have free room to lift, with bars that you can do deadlifts, cleans, and olympic lifts with. Also no more rubber weights. I DONT WANT EXPENSIVE MACHINES, I WANT FREE WEIGHTS!!

  10. In Edmonton, Alberta there is Hardcore Gym, which have displayed the pics of all the members who have competed as bodybuilders. They also have powerlifting and strong man type of equipment. At least that’s what it was like when I used to train there.
    There is also the Bull Pen Gym in Edmonton, Alberta. Big Bears Fitness in Airdrie, Alberta is also like that. All these gyms are owned and run by former competitive bodybuilders.


  11. I attend a great gym, IMHO, in Mexico City.

    It’s called the New Olimpic (yes, without the “y”) Gym.

    It costs me about 28 dollars a month. It’s quite large and they have a wide variety of machines, dumbbells and discs so you can work all muscular groups, and most of the time there’s enough equipment for everyone to use (and we’re talking about a crowded gym). It hasn’t got the newest equipment, but they give regular maintenance to their gear, so it’s always in optimal condition.

    Drawback is they have a time limitation for cardio machines, but it’s merely suggested so as to allow everyone to use them: 25 minutes for the elliptical and treadmill, and 15 on the Stairmaster. However, even I have used them for above that time limitation, and I haven’t had any problems.

    The owner himself works out there. He’s not the fittest person, but he’s really into it (he’s 75). The cost also includes trainers, and you can receive personal attention for nearly 8 more bucks a month.

    One of the trainers is a powerlifter and he himself has placed 2nd in the Mr. Mexico contest.

    They charge 8 extra bucks to use the showers and it has no locker room, but for the price, I think it’s a great cost-benefit relation.

  12. golds gyms are generally good at staying original. i work out at the golds gym in arizona for 10 bucks a month and no drop out fee. the gym is full of white powder and powerlifters. (sometimes you can hear that one guy scream across the gym.) they have power lifting compatitions and strength tests on a regular. ps everything in that collumn screamed LA fitness to me.

  13. The local gym to me is totally opposite to this! purely for people who know what they are doing, no induction, no membership fees, just come and go as you please, £3.50 for unlimited time, everything is weights based, they only have 1 treadmill! The guy who owns it is the only staff member and he is brilliant for advice.

    Gerrads Gym
    Unit 6, Thorne Farm Business centre
    Kings Hill
    EX23 8QH

  14. I’m in the army and have to say that the on base gyms are geared only towards fitness. No bull with trainers and all that, they are free for all military personnel stationed on base and realize that they will have soldiers constantly coming in to better themselves all day long. Sometimes they can be a bit crowded but for with 5-6 gyms conveniently located all over post who can complain?

  15. I used to go to this one gym called One 2 One Fitness, and you can go as a small group or by yourself, they have personal trainers their, that’s pretty much what its all about getting personally trained, I always came out sweaty and sluggish (because of the intense workouts of course) every trainer their is very friendly, they sponser events such as Kids in distress. I know your all about the free training guide, but for a beginner I believe its good to have a certified trainer with his/her CSCS to be able to correct your form, because some people that work out may think they have the correct form when they really do not, and no one wants injuries.

  16. haha, good observation … the gym I go to is exactly like this! Full of underachievers paying 50 an hour for “personal” training and to have someone motivate them. I mean, what the … if you cannot motivate your self to lift the damn weight then how the f*** is your brain supposed to send the signal to the muscle that it has to start going as fast as possible! The last time I was approached by a personal trainer I could not help it so I told him “You need to work on the legs more man … ” :D

      1. Instead, we could try and convert him to the healthy and natural way of working out, instead of just banning him. It would be saving him from the cruel and unforgiving life of steroid use

  17. I recently dropped about $1000 to get a wicked ass sturdy treadmill for at home. I figured paying $50 a month to a gym is disappearing money, it’s not like a car loan where eventually the car becomes yours. they will take your money until you die and get nothing out of it.

    if the treadmill lasts 1 year, it pays itself off with the money saved from going to the gym (plus the cost of fuel to drive there and back, it wasnt feasible to walk or bike to the gym I went to)

    the added bonus of being able to exercise every day at any time morning, evening or afternoon and not have to schedule the rest of my day around going to the gym during their hours is such a relief

  18. I actually work at a local gym thats owned by three 40ish year old folks that each offer group training sessions for those that want them and they hold an annual biggest loser challenge. they really do care more about getting people in shape than making loads of profit. It’s a really tiny place like 1000sq ft and everyone is allowed chalk (as an employee i find it slightly annoying but i use it too so i cant criticize) and powerlifting as long as they dont disturb anyone else.
    It’s Devon Total Fitness in small town Devon Alberta!!!

  19. B.O.N.A Fitness, run by Keith Tobias and Tuan Tran. They’re both powerlifters/ bodybuilders themselves and they even hold annual powerlifting meets for the members there.

  20. Loprinzi’s in Portland, Oregon. They’ve been around since 1948 – still family owned. My grandfather and uncle used to lift there in the 50’s and 60’s, and my brother and his wife did until they recently moved to another neighborhood. Very old school gym – whenever I walk past, it reminds me of the famous black and white photos of ARNOLD working out in the 1970’s.

  21. The best gym I have ever been a member of is the one in my basement. No waiting on iron or machines. No loud and smelly gym rats. No contracts. No monthly dues. Gave up free weights and machines several years ago. Have some quality resistance bands and access to free live exercise shows. Packing on the muscle and getting ripped. Convenient and effective. Good stuff.

  22. The best gym I have ever been a member of is the one in my basement. No waiting on iron or machines. No loud and smelly gym rats. No contracts. No monthly dues. Gave up free weights and machines several years ago. Have some quality resistance bands and access to free live exercise shows. Packing on the muscle and getting ripped. Convenient and effective. Good stuff.

  23. This is a true bodybuilding gym in west London area it a family run business everyone is friendly personally i call it a hood gym cause it old school gym the equipment is very good dumbells go past 50 kg /110lbs

    G’s Gym
    210 Popes Lane
    W5 4NB

  24. I’m a member of City Fitness in New Zealand. It’s a great gym. There’s other gyms that you can join here for similar rates which don’t offer anything comparable to what City Fitness offers.

    While yeah it isn’t the cheapest gym per week, it doesn’t have any sign-up fees, and they have incredible stuff for everyone. There are the typical powerlifters and roided up bodybuilders that use the place at the same time as both men and women of every level and age. It caters for everything for everyone which is really incredible and they always have lots of qualified trainers floating around as well and when they’re not busy they come and have a chat with you and if you need any help or pointers then they straight up help you out with whatever you’re wanting.

    I guess the biggest selling point for City Fitness is it’s numerous fitness classes which I’m pretty sure go for an hour each session. They’re of all different types and run at different times so it works out really well for people who want to get involved in that kind of stuff. Personally I don’t use any of that. I do kickboxing at a separate place and when I’m at the gym I’m simply there to lift weights but everything is top notch for everyone no matter what the goal or experience level.

    Of course if you were a bodybuilder or powerlifter who’s not in need of the personal training or circuit classes etc and only interested in paying for the use of the weights then it’d be cheaper to join something like snap! over here which is also open 24/7. But I guess that’s only for people who really know their shit.

  25. There’s a gym not too far from where I live that is owned my a couple who coach (drugfree) powerlifters. They’ve hosted Strongman Competitions for the past two years at the nearby annual Libertyfest, which is held in September.

    S&M Fitness
    201 N Gum St.
    Harrisburg, IL 62946

  26. I’m getting a gym membership for the first time next week, I hope it caters to Bodybuilders. I have no problem working out alongside casual clowns but when they start trying to take over they can gtfo imo.

    It’s my dream to own a gym one day, if I ever get there I will most certainly ensure Bodybuilders and Powerlifters are treated like local celebrities in my gym. As they should be

  27. http://www.styrka.net/

    “Burlövs Styrka” is Swedish for Burlovs strength. If you click on “Seminarium” You can see some pictures from year 2002.
    I have been working out here for a year now and the place is pretty much fallen apart, holes in the walls, broken sink, broken doors in the locker room, no air conditioning etc. The positive things are the people who workout their and passion they have for lifting. Because as seen in the pictures, their is some gym equipment like machines, but also and more importantly they have sets of dumbbells and bars etc. Thats all I need!

    The ironic thing is that their is a high tech cardio gym 300 meters away. But I get the same feeling as you, that I don’t belong their.

    Btw the site looks like Scooby’s old website xD

  28. In Mauritus,nearly every gym is likely to do local contests and promote athletes,bodybuilders and powerlifters.I don’t know a single gym which is open just to make profit.

  29. I agree with most of the comments.

    Just because a Gym owner pays premium rates per square foot for renting the building and then pays hundreds of thousands of dollars on the latest home fitness and body building equipment does not give him the right to charge fees for being a member and using the equipment.

    If he wants me to be a member, I am not willing to accept anything but the latest equipment, and he must also make available the latest change room facilities, kept clean on a continuous basis, of course at his own expense. He can’t expect me to pay for the little extras. After all, those are the facilities that will encourage me to join his gym.

    In addition, I want to see a certificate of registration on his wall when I enter, showing quite clearly that he has ample public liability insurance should I be injured. And he better provide the necessary staff and have them available to advise me if I am using the equipment in a way that could prove harmful and cause me injury. And if he thinks for one moment, that the additional outlay for insurance or advice should be passed on to me as a legitimate business expense he better think again. If he wants my membership the fees they better be minimal.

    The truth of the matter is, that I never asked him to open his gym, and just because it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up should have no bearing on the cost of membership.

    He needs to remember, that I am young and I spend most of my money on take away food like Macdonalds which I like better than those meals my mom cooks. I also have to make sure I have enough money for my weekend drinking. I also have the latest wheels on my car, and don’t think those speakers I just installed were cheap. They were a must-have, and the gym owner should be willing to subsidise me a lot more for when I update my car next year.

    One last thing; I expect my gym membership to be put on hold while I go over to Hawaii or Bali for my vacation. He can’t really expect me to keep paying while I am away. I bet he doesn’t have to keep paying his car payments and house mortgage when he goes on holiday.

    Anyway, I have to stop now as I am off down the gym to see if he has any special offers on this week. It is about time he thought of others instead of just focusing on what he wants.

      1. otherTim, in the time you took to write your reply you could have eaten 2 meat pies and a pizza. and you need to learn the meaning of sarcasm cos at the moment you are just spewing crap

  30. The gym I go to is really quite high-tech, it has a function on the cardio machines that shows you a leader board for how much has been burned off on it. Shamefully it’s hard to find and nothing is done with the info. It’s also from machine to machine not for the whole gym, good idea I suppose just failed to live up to it’s potential.

  31. When i changed gyms the PT’s thought i was new. They kept asking about what I do and everything. Now, because i think they worked out I don’t need personal training so they can’t take my money, they ignore me, unless I say hello first.
    I really hope gyms don’t tell people to get out if they are in too long. My previous gym said all CV machines (treadmills and bikes) had a 30 min limit per day. Thankfully they din’t follow though this.
    I wish my house was big enough (Some UK house are small) to have a space to workout. I have the time. I know the workouts ect.
    I have to admit, my gym am in now allows the advanced body-builder/power-lifter.
    I looked on a video on Planet Fitness and saw they don’t allow weights being dropped or grunting and claim they are NON judgemental. Hippocratic, they are judgemental against PL’ers and BB’ers.

    1. Metroflex is the real deal!! Motivation all over. Cracked plates. Bars split in half from those heavy ass squats. Men Yelling and grunting to get those last few reps. Anchor chains. This is a true gym.

  32. MG-Fitness, Stuttgart, Germany. Private, no fitness, chain, just a real old-school gym.

    i moved to cologne half a year ago, and know i’m faced with what you’re talking about.. =(

  33. Well, the gym where I go ain’t really an “open gym”, as you will have to be an employeed worker in the local hospital of mine. But, the gym is run by only few people who take care of the equipment, few people who clean it three times a week, and it is completely free. You can run in whenever you feel like it, you can run in and out how many times you ever like in a day, and it is fully equipped. It has safety racks, lots of dumbells, presses… anything you would dream of, and more. Plus, it has billions of cardio options. Lots of bikes, treadmills, somekinda weird skii’ing sticks (never used) and so on. I think the host of this gym are pretty passionate!

  34. Metroflex Gym Forth Worth MMA is a hardcore gym. No A/C or heat and chalk around every corner. Massive amounts of testosterone floating around with loud music in the background.

    1. Metroflex sponsors bodybuilding athletes, MMA athletes, bikini and fitness professionals. The owners, Rendy and Christina DeLaCruz, are avid powerlifters and bodybuilders. A great place to achieve your body sculpting goals.

  35. Brave Legion in Vancouver, Wa. Allows chalk, sponsors fighters and doesn’t try and force feed you personal training you may not need. Been there over a year and know the owners by name.

  36. My gym powerfitness in hammamet, tunisia, is run by guys who are all about the work and not about the money, if you dont show up for a couple of days they call you, if your form isnt good enough they’ll tell you about it they dont do 1 on 1 personal training because they keep an eye on everyone and push all of us. In fact they’re so bad at the business side of things that i have to remind them when my membership is up for renewal because they do so much for free that i’d feel terribly guilty taking advantage, ohh and they never let me just walk on the treadmill you have to run.

  37. Kenneth Evan Powell III

    It’s a small local gym, but my hometown gym, “Work’s Fitness,” has held powerlifting/bodybuiling competitions before, is very friendly to powerlifters, has trophies/awards scattered about throughout the gym, and so forth. I don’t know if they sponsor athletes or anything like that; it’s a small local business. But it’s clean and has all one needs and is pretty open to just about anyone.

  38. hi scooby. i live in southend-on-sea in england and there is a gym near me called “Estuary Gym” which is a propper weight lifting gym which is owned by Roy Perrot Former 1968 Mr Universe. he and the other staff will train with you and give advise plus its only weight equiptment there so everyone is there for the same purpose. Great place. but i am currently working out at home as i cant spare the money for a membership but i plan on joining again when i can.

  39. My solution is going at 6:00 AM. There is very little makeup worn, hair fixed, etc. It’s lots of ball caps, ratty t-shirts and even lots of elderly folks keeping themselves young. It is almost its own little “community”. I’ve made many friends at that time of the morning, many who are friends outside the gym now. The posers and screamers and happy hour crowd don’t show up in the early AM.

  40. Dalepersonaltrainer1

    The Pit Bull Gym in Latonia Ky. It’s Private They give you a Key to the place and you workout when you want only $300 per yr.. Now that’s Awesome!, clean Awesome Equipment.and only Guys Allowed! Body Builders Welcome!

  41. How about a celebrity gym, or at least bodybulding celebrity ? Temple Gym run by Dorian Yates, Im sure he’d charge you for personal training but as far as old school gyms go, his seems to be a prime example. Also Yates is one of the few pros Ive seen who give to the point, no BS advice just for the asking instead of constantly throwing advertisign at you

  42. There’s a gym in singapore by the company name fitlion at an area called punggol. That’s where I train and at that gym you have support in no matter what you’re training for, be it bodybuilding, power lifting ,fat loss etc!

  43. I actually use three gyms. Two of them are owned by the local council, who have 5 in total around the county. I pay £29 a month, and I can use them any time, including the pools, courts, etc. I could use any of the 5 but I just use the two closest to me. The staff are genuinely helpful and will help out in any way they can, and they’ll even spot me on certain exercises if I ask. However, they’re not very big gyms so powerlifting areas and chalk are nowhere to be seen.
    The other one I use is at my place of work (so it’s free for me), but it’s tiny. I work in a holiday park so the gym is basically for fitness enthusiasts who want to keep fit while on holiday.

  44. There is one here in Vienna(Austria). It’s really small but the people there are always nice and the owner won several competitions and he also trains many of the people there so they can take part in competitions without taking extra money for it.
    I was a member there for about a year but i switched to another gym because it costs only half as much and I didn’t plan on becoming a professional.

    Am Freihof 27
    1220 Wien

  45. Hey Scoob! Before I joined the military I used to go to this gym in my hometown and they had a separate room just for power lifts and were always willing to help you. As a young kid, Carl the personal trainer would give advice to me and my friends to help us along. The nice thing was that it wasn’t some super fancy gym with 500 treadmills, just a nice big area with lots of weights to choose from. They also sponsored an annual bodybuilding tournament!

    Buena Health and Fitness Center
    255 West Wilcox Drive Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

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