Not all gyms are created equally. Many are best suited for the casual exerciser, just trying to stay healthy or perhaps make up for that oreo binge. A serious weight lifting gym needs to have more than just a few machines and a row of treadmills. My favorite all time gym is Gold’s but there are other good ones. Before I list them here are my requirements for a weight lifters gym.
Weight Lifting Gym Requirements
- Free Weights
Of course a gym must have free weight but they also must have a lot of them. At a minimum they should have a bench press, an incline press and a decline press. They should also have at least three of each, as a minimum. Nothing worse than having to weight around for a bench to free up. If the gym is a very busy one, they may need more than 3 bench press stations.
Fixed weight dumbbells are a must as well. They should range in weights from at least 10 pounds to 100 pounds and they should have at least two sets of each, three is preferred.
- Cable Machines
Cable machines are a mainstay of most peoples workouts. They are great for abs and for isolating muscle groups. They can help you fine tune just about any workout. There should be two complete cable stations to handle the crowd.
- Hammer Strength Machines
Combining the fixed motion of machines with free weights, these machines are a nice addition to a workout. They also let you push heavier weights without the possibility of an embarrassing and potentially dangerous fail.
- Cardio Choices
They should have more than just a bunch of treadmills. Stair machines are a must as they are a great low intensity workout that burns a lot of calories. Other good choices include sitting and recumbent bikes and elliptical machines.
Weight Lifting Gyms
- Gold’s Gym
As I have already said, my favorite Gym that fits this mold is the legendary Gold’s Gym. Although not as commonplace as they used to be, if you are lucky enough to have one in your city, check them out. Gold’s truly is a weight lifters gym and I have also noticed that their seem to be less kids their. This is a huge advantage as most gyms like 24 Hour Fitness tend to turn into a Chucky Cheese as soon as school lets out.
- LA Fitness
Not as good as Gold’s in my opinion but they are a lot more plentiful. This can make it a breeze to stick to your workout as you travel. They have good equipment in sufficient quantity, are fairly clean and are priced reasonably.
- Local Gym
This is not the name of the gym but a concept. Almost every city has a gym opened by a devoted bodybuilder. They might be smaller but they are usually less busy and you might also find some great expertise to help you on your way. Choosing a private local gym is also a great way to support a local business and your community.