Friday, July 8, 2011

No Frills and No Excuses

I spent some time in Japan this summer and, while my in-law's car port is "enough" (2009 blog post), I wanted to be able to return from Japan ready to squat a little heavier than when I was doing the volume binge of one million pounds. So, I managed to find a weightlifting gym. 

I don't think most of these men would know a glute-ham bench from an extra-terrestrial...

There were no frills at this one - an assorted mish-mash of plates, barbells old and worn to the point of having no discernable knurling, an early Universal station that probably predates my birth, a power-rack prototype that doubles as a chinning bar, and a few plate loaded dumbbells that collect dust. There's no music, no air-conditioning, no heating, (when I was there) no women, and (as far as I could tell) no collars. A little better than the pipes and cogs gym perhaps, but nothing extra here.
Gym hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 6pm to 9pm. 
Cost: about $100 a year.
Active Members: 20-30.

I never saw less than 60 kilograms on the bar in the squat rack or on the bench. It was as if these blue Uesaka plates were never to be removed.

A high-tech chalk box

So, the question is, how does your gym stack up? If it has everything you need to get strong (and no one needs much really), are you exploiting those resources the best that you can?


Falufalump said...

That gym looks so delightful! Character is another word I'd use.

Boris said...

That's a good word to describe it! Thank you.

Charlie said...

Reminds me of the guy over at Scooby's Workshop who advises to only buy weights at yard sales cheap, because your muscles don't know if the stuff is new and shiny or old and rusty, only if it's heavy - and you use it.
:-) charlie

Peter said...

That's an awesome gym. How did you find it?

All the gyms in my prefecture, except for the weights in my SHOOTO gym, were glitzy, expensive, all-inclusive "health clubs." Not exactly conducive to getting strong.

Boris said...

Hi Charlie,
I think the barbells and plates, when they were new, were very good (probably expensive products. "Functionally" they still do the job very well 35+ years later, but they have clientele that respect the equipment.

I found it on the internet and then just dropped by during its open hours. It's at least partially funded on tax-dollars and I think it's owned by the city.
It's an intriging business model...