Today I again was on the road for work. Again I am back on the Sunshine Coast which is about 100km north of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Given that I do weight training 3 times a week, I decided that I needed to find a gym on the Sunshine Coast where I could train. The regular readers would know that I am not a member of a commercial gym so where ever I decided to train, I was going to have to pay. So in trying to find a gym to train, I googled gyms in and around the accommodation where I am staying. This search led me to a place call ‘Suncoast Fitness’at Maroochydore. It is one of the larger more well known gyms on the coast and was fairly convenient for me.
Prior to arriving I rang up ‘Suncoast Fitness’and spoke to a staff member who was very helpful and told me that the cost of membership per month was $139 or I could buy a 10 visit card for $150. Both scenarios didn’t sound overly appealing to me as I don’t currently pay any gym memberships. But, I thought I would go along and check it out because the friendly staff member offered me a free session to come and check out the gym.
So at about 2:00pm I arrived at the gym. The staff member was again very friendly so I asked him if the $139 per month was the best price that he could do. He informed me that he couldn’t make that decision, so he took down my name and number so that someone from the gym’s marketing team could give me a ring to see if we could work something out. After a bit of friendly chat it was time to start my session.
As I have outlined on previous posts, I have set myself several strength goals, which I am aiming to achieve by the end of the 12 week program. I am placing these goals in brackets after the exercise that I am performing.
My Program for Staying Lean and Strong
• About an hour before training I downed a Pre-workout shake.
• 5 minutes of rowing
• Dynamic Stretching
• Push-ups x 20
• Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curls (Goal Weight: 27.5kg Dumbbell)
- Set 1: 10 reps x 10kg
- Set 2: 8 reps x 15kg
- Set 3: 6 reps x 22.5kg
- Set 4: 6 reps x 25kg
• Standing Straight Bar Curls (Goal Weight: 50kg)
- Set 1: 8 reps x 30kg
- Set 2: 6 reps x 40kg
- Set 3: 5 reps x 42.5kg
• Close Grip Bench Press (Goal Weight: 90kg)
- Set 1: 10 reps x 60kg
- Set 2: 8 reps x 70kg
- Set 3: 6 reps x 80kg
- Set 4: 6 reps x 80kg
• Tricep Pushdowns (N/A Due to the fact that I am in so many different places and the machines all vary so much)
- Set 1: 8 reps x 50kg
- Set 2: 6 reps x 82kg
- Set 3: 6 reps x 85kg
Finishers – My High Intensity Fat Burning Circuit
I am still incorporating finishers at the end of my weight training session. Today I alternated between Single-Arm Dumbbell Swings and Squat Thrusts. I started by doing 10 of each back to back, then 9 of each back to back and so on until I reach zero. The whole circuit is done without rest and took me only about 4mins to complete.
• Static Stretching
The whole session including warm-up, the workout, finishers and warm down took me 46mins to complete burning about 453kcals.
• Straight after the session I downed a Post-workout shake.
• All reps and sets are done with good form (no cheating or swinging the weight)
• Rest for exactly a minute between all sets except for the last 2 working sets where you rest for 2mins.
• During the workout sip on water.
Today is a lesson for all that are looking for a new gym to train at, always try before you buy. Gyms are a business and as with all businesses they should be bending over backwards to get your hard earned cash. So, I think the least they can do is offer you at least one free session, if not more. If a gym is not prepared to even offer you a free session I would walk away. I’m not prepared to sign a contract without trying the gym out. You need to find a training environment that you are comfortable to train in, that means you need to do at least one session. A simple walk through of the gym does not cut it. It’s not until you are training that you really get a feel for the gym (other trainers/equipment/space).
About half way through my session I decided that this wasn’t the gym for me, for a number of reasons:
Firstly, there was no specific area for free weight training, somewhere to do heavy deadlifts, cleans ect..
Secondly, there was insufficient free weights, a couple of times I had to look around for 5 and 10kg plates to use.
Thirdly, it is more of a machine dominated gym and given that I rarely use machines, it was all a bit of a waste to me.
Fourthly, the heaviest dumbbell in the gym was 40kg. That is a massive problem to me as it means I cannot perform a number of exercise with dumbbells as I am already lifting more than 40kg on those lifts (flat and incline bench press and single arm dumbbell rows).
Fifthly, the other patrons in the gym did not appear to have the same training goals as me. I want to get into the gym, not talk to anyone, lift heavy with intensity for no more than 45 minutes then leave. The other patrons appeared to be there for more of the social aspect.
After my session I thank the staff member, on my way out he assured me that they would be in contact about membership. If all the reasons above weren’t enough of a reason for me not to go back, guess what? They never called me back to talk to me about membership, so I never went back.
Let me know if anyone else has had a similar experience or on the flip side tell me what gyms you rate and why?