ASK A TRAINER: 'Where Did Gym Culture Go Wrong?'


Hello everyone. Yesterday Shai from LA stated his dislike of gyms and, more specifically, the people who frequent them. (To view that column, click here.) Shai is clearly not a gym person and that's okay. I am a gym person. I have been hearing that with increasing frequency recently, "I'm just not a gym person." Or, "I enjoy lifting weights. I just can't take all of those gym people." Toward the end of yesterday's column, I posed the following question to myself:

"How did we get to a point where there are gym people and non-gym people? Where did gym culture go wrong?"-Michael B., New York, NY

There are a number of offenses committed by gym folk that make non-gym people want to steer clear. I would like to take advantage of this platform to point out where gym culture has gone wrong and urge my fellow gym folk to change our ways so as to convert some of those non-gym people into gym people.

Gym owners: Stop making it so difficult for members to cancel. You shouldn't run your gym as if it's a cult. By the time someone gets around to cancelling a gym membership, they probably haven't used the gym in over a month. The business model of a gym depends on selling memberships to more people than the facility could possibly accommodate. I think people are on to that and it leads to the distaste some people have for gyms and gym people.

Volume control. While that 600 pound deadlift is indeed impressive and it's understandable that you would want to draw attention to such an impressive feat, your screaming and grunting and breathing like you're in a Lamaze class, is distracting and disturbing to others.


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Michael Buckley Michael Buckley is an NASM certified personal trainer and fitness model. As an actor, Michael can be seen in a recurring role on the popular PBS children?s television show, ?Cyberchase FOR REAL.? Other acting experience includes roles in the feature films DELUSIONS OF GUENEVERE, HETEROSEXUALS, MONA, GYPSY 83 and national tours of GREASE and SOUTH PACIFIC. He is also a produced playwright and had two feature screenplays optioned.