Going hardcore - gym and workout advice? *updated*
I need to get stronger so my workout needs to get better. I've reached the limit of the cheap ass freeweights in my garage (well the limit of what i'll do without a spotter/squat rack) and so I need to join a gym. But I've never joined a gym before and the ones i was a guest at were mostly cardio and such - no one even on the weights, much less doing a clean and jerk or something. I'll say that my end goal is to be able to compete in some of the local strongman stuff and not look too out of place. They have highland games here about twice a year and I've wanted to be able to do that caber toss ever since I first saw it.
But I'm not sure where to start...
So what should I look for and what questions should I ask at these gyms? Squat rack I know is a must, but what else? What should I ask the people running it? What's the typical price for a gym? Should a ask about getting trainer or is that not strictly needed? As to the workout, pointers or tips for going from 'normal' workouts to strongman-type workouts would be fantastic. And good olympic / powerlifter type sites or books or magizines would be great.
If it matters I'm 6'4", 290lb, and currently my lifts range from bad to pathetic (ie 215 squat). As far as my current workout - weights 4x a week (2 upper, 2 lower), 4hrs boxing a week, and I pick up yoga next week.
more @ bottom.
Last edited by PirateJon; 10/25/2005 10:16am at .
You're in a tough spot with your particular goals. I'm sure Koto will tell you that it's almost impossible to properly train for strongman type lifts in a commerical gym. There are certainly some exercises that you can do that will benefit you, but you'll have to do plenty of stuff on your own, outside of the gym to properly prepare for that type of lifting.
Originally Posted by PirateNinja5000
I can tell you that you will have a very hard time finding a gym that will allow you to do overhead ballistic movements like the Olympic Lifts. It used to be common, now almost extinct. Unfortunately, most olympic lifters now train in their back yards on make-shift platforms. I assume most strongman competitors train the same way.
At your stage, however, I imagine you'll benefit from some serious, dedicated power lifting for a while to get your strength up where it should be. Power lifts should be possible in almost any commercial gym.
If you can find a smaller independent gym, you'd probably be better off as there will probably be less of the shiny equipment that you really don't need, and more people whose goals will be a little closer to yours. The problem is that those places are also hard to find anymore.
As for a trainer, IMO, most really suck big time. I'm certain there are some really good ones out there, but I've never seen one at a commercial gym. You'd probably be better off studying up on it yourself. I'm sure Koto can recommend some good books, like the "Dinosaur Training" book that can assist you in developing a lifting philosophy and training routine.
As for the cost, personally I would not pay more than $40 per month for a gym. $30 would obviously be better and possible. Most of your commercial gyms will negotiate with you.
Acupuncturist / Anesthesia Student
Oddly enough, some of teh best training can be had at a small college gym. These types of gyms tend to rely on older equipment as opposed to new chrome machines, and as a result, they tend to have such archaic equipment like power racks and benches.
Sometimes you can sneak it, or maybe get a reduced rate for non-students. The first place I trained at was $60 a semester and was a dungeon. Worth every penny.
I'm sure you could be competitive in local strongman competitions if you got your lifts up. I highly recommend this book
Yes. My yuppie gym has one power rack while my community college's gym has 4
Originally Posted by Quikfeet509
University weight rooms tend to be full of competitive atheletes lifting heavy or doing situps with weights clenched to their chest. Expensive gyms with shiny equipment are full of out of shape office workers (like me) and middle aged women wearing spotless sweat-free designer sports gear eating salads.
Originally Posted by Quikfeet509
Do you have enough room for a power rack? How much equipment and weight do you currently have?
While I admit I find training at home easier for a lot of the stuff I do, a small no-nonsense gym with a power rack and plenty of free-weights has its benefits. You can always buy some things to play around with at home and still work out at a regular gym, that's always an option.
I've always enjoyed training with serious people, the problem is that it is very difficult to find those gyms, especially now days because they usually don't make enough money catering to a small subsect of the population.
Do the CrossFit workout: http://www.crossfit.com
you can do it all at home. Commercial gyms suck.
There are also some Strong Man competitors on their forum.
Originally Posted by Cullion
Fixed that for you.