Monday, December 22, 2008

A New York Sports Club Review: First Impressions

This post was inspired by my training at a New York Sports Club this week. As I'm home for the holidays my normal gym on the other side of the country is unavailable, so it's trail membership time at the local gym. The guy gave me some schpiel about trying to lock me in for a full term membership and wasted about 10 minutes of both of our time(that's 20 total minutes for the math whizzes out there). He was a pretty good salesman and probably would have conned most people in to one, but frankly I don't know if having a membership in a town you don't reside in would be all that useful.

As for the workout. I had a fairly simple workout lined up that involved box squats, glute ham raises, forward lunges, one legged box squats and some bar roll outs. I guess it would be considered simple in most gyms, but not here.

The locker room area was pretty nice with all the amenities one could dream of. Honestly I thought it was too nice, and they could have better spent the money on, umm round plates. Seriously all the plates were shaped like stop signs with holes in them. As Lyle MacDonald has taught me, there is no way to keep the power inside the bar if you have plates with holes in them. He's right as everything I tried to lift felt heavier than it actually was.

Try doing a bar rollout with plates shaped like this...

The warm up area was pretty sparse. So sparse in fact was all it had was some as seen on tv ab device that I thought went out with the 20th century and every different sized fitness ball you could imagine in this putrid green color. Sadly there were no foam rollers in sight(*edit* I found a foam roller on day 2!). I don't know how anyone could start a workout without one of them.

One sign I noticed that was pretty cool was that cell phone usage was limited to designated areas. It was as if cell phone users were akin to smokers, and this is as it should be. I hate people that use cell phones in the middle of sets. If you are that important, just skip the workout and get the lipo. It reminded me of a sign that the boys at Cressey Performance hung up after I had left. I believe I inadvertantly provided the frame for that sign. There are exceptions to the cell phone rule, though there are few and far between. One acceptable reason might be that you are making dinner plans with Jessica Alba.

That better be you on the other end, else get your butt back in the squat rack

The center had your standard run of treadmill/ellipticals and bikes all equipped with your very own television. I even saw a girl reading a book while on the elliptical. I honestly get car sick reading, so I'm not entirely sure if this elliptical reading is humanly possible. I quickly came to the conclusion that she must be an alien as that was the only rational explanation. I wasn't able to get a glance as to what she* was reading but I'll just assume it must have been the most rivetting book ever. Anyone else have some ridiculous spottings at the gym, feel free to post them in the comments section below.

My favorite machine by far(sarcasm) had to be this smith-machine-like-contraption that not only was controlled in the vertical plane but also the horizontal. This is to ensure that you actually don't do much of the work at all as the contraption will stablize the whole thing for you while you can pretend you are really strong because you get to use the big boy plates for the first time. I think it would be better served up front right next to the lockers for additional coat rack space.

So the glute ham raises didn't happen as I wasn't able to find any suitable equipment to do them, or even a place to do natural hams. As for the bar roll outs, lets just say I had to substitute another exercise. All in all this isn't a training environment I can thrive in, but hopefully can hold me over through the holidays.

*I'm not well versed in aliens, so I'm not sure if they assume the female human form they actually are female. Maybe they are in fact like slugs and possess the abilities to be either sex.

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