The main idea of the layout is that machines and free weights take up most of the room while cardio machines occupy the far right quadrant.
A weight lifting/training class comes in every weekday morning at 8 a.m., so if you work out in the morning, it's best to finish up before then, or else you'll be jockeying for machines.
One of the greatest spectacles here is the great number of college-age males, intent on getting 'teh big gunz', doing obscene numbers of bicep curls and tricep pushdowns. Other funny things to watch for from the male users include bouncing deadlifts, bouncing bench press, over-reliance on leg press, and the dreaded but oh-so-prevalent quarter squat. Sometimes, males will congregate in a power rack to perform bone-grinding do-or-die sets of... wait for it... curls! Many people deadlift inside the power rack... because they think it is helpful to take up space they don't need. And last but not least, there are the typical uninformed males who spend a half hour on the weight machines and wonder why they never make significant gains (but to be fair, I spent years in this category so I feel for them!).
There are three power racks (one is a half-rack), five flat benches with upright supports, two incline benches, one decline bench. Dumbbells up to 120 lb or thereabouts. A preacher curl station for the experienced bodybuilders (cool) and clueless 'gun builders' (dumb). Many, many treadmills and ellipticals. Some stability balls, a matted area to do obscene numbers of crunches in a quest for 'the eight-pack abs', some jump boxes, pull-up bars, dip stations, workout-inclined females, and the whole rabble of previously-mentioned predominantly clueless college-age males working for a 'sexy bod'. I've seen one legit powerlifter train here (and I can't imagine why he would want to) - probably squats 5 wheels or more (I forget exactly) and his nickname is Gym Santa. If you train hard and train smart, he may reward you with a gift for Christmas... lifting chalk or bumper plates! But lumps of coal for all the guys doing bicep curls.
Other notable personalities who frequent this gym include:
The Convict - an outwardly intimidating tall, muscular, bald, gruff, no-nonsense young man who would look at home in a maximum-security detention center.
Harley Davidson - a short, stout middle-aged/older gentleman with tattoos, a long beard who would look at home in a fun-seeking do-what-we-want motorcycle-riding crew.
The Caterpillar - a tall, skinny, inexperienced young male who squirms and commits every possible atrocious fault in good lifting form for the purpose of curling 5 pounds more.
Hot Chick - you know... the one that all the shameless guys blatantly ogle and the more respectable guys ogle on the sly.
Gym Santa - the warmaster of this gym who presumably competes in powerlifting and could easily lift twice as much as the next strongest guy in this gym. he is a man of few words, but I like to think that he rewards your hard training with treats and sweets, and possibly even an honorary title of Gym Elf. Gym Elves are invited to sit on his bar (and thus contribute their bodyweight) for when he squats, benches, and deadlifts.
This place needs more power racks - and less people wasting space doing deadlifts in the existing racks. They need a platform or two for training olympic lifts.
Don't take my word on this, but I suspect the Personal Trainers employed by the ARC are about as good as any that you'll find at a 24 Hr Fitness gym. Which is to say, mostly useless. They'll probably teach you how to use a few machines, how to do a few stability ball dumbbell exercises, and who knows what other manner of stupid stuff. Still, take this statement with great skepticism because I have only observed the PTs training clients, and it ain't pretty.
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2010-06-28 15:17:55 Man, what happened to this article? Used to be a nice overview of the weight room + a couple of jabs at the kids who curl in the power rack...now it's too much. Who cares that much about gym culture, really?
I lift here a few mornings a week and barely notice it, it's not a bad scene at all (athletes + normal people, occasional bodybuilder). I wouldn't wish an afternoon session in there on a dog, though. —iknd
You say that it's not a bad scene at all because you lift in the mornings, brah. In the afternoons, you get a bunch of people just horseplaying around and taking up machines and weights while not really working out at all. —hankim.
I think it's pretty on-point. No complaints here. —AsmaMaryamMohseni