I love our bubble that is JB Performance. Everyone is efficient in their workouts and their technique is on point. Last week I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try working out in various commercial gyms throughout the city. Yes, you read that right...I was out of my comfort zone walking into a gym. I have to admit, I was nervous. I had no idea what to expect. Here’s what I discovered:

-          The set-up of most gyms (in my opinion) are not conducive to maximizing one’s results

-          Guys are creepy

-          In general, exercise technique can use some tightening up

Let me expand on this.

Gym Set-up

I was a lost cause right off the hop. The first thing that stuck out to me was no warm-up area. I stood there like an idiot, wondering how many strange looks I’d get if I started doing some mobility work. I also didn’t see any foam rollers. So that was out too.

How I felt walking into that gym is how most people feel when they first step foot into our facility. It sucked. But Josh is pretty, so that helps.

I tried to save face at a squat rack, but sadly the only two (in a 20,000 sq. ft. facility) were being used. One was stolen from me as payback by the girls I dragged along. Way to represent JB with some squats!

Oh- did I mention it was Monday?

“International Bench Press Day” is a real thing.

It may even be a rule, who knows.

It’s on strike at JB Performance, so I don’t have to deal with that garbage.

Other things I noticed:

-          There are way too many machines. They need to get rid of half of them, expand the weight room, and build a warm-up area. You don’t need three different variations of a preacher curl machine

-          Having no chalk sucks

-          Wearing shoes sucks

-          “This is my Fight Song” has been stuck in my head for the past week. It also sucks

-          The “Ladies Only” section should exist because of the creepy guys, which I will expand on later. But let’s cut the bullshit. Quit stigmatizing females by filling the room with light weights and toning bars. Fill it the exact same way as your main area. You’re adding fuel to the fire and perpetuating the myth that women are weak and fragile creatures that shouldn’t lift anything more than five pounds

Guys are Creepy

This was a social experiment of sorts. I brought along some female clientele/unwilling victims to whom I now owe a free lunch. I’ve heard from numerous female clients at our gym that they love the JB environment. They never hear lines like “You should smile more. I like girls that smile before they get their grind on.” True story. That happened Day 1 at the first gym. We were off to a good start.

Some gym etiquette for the fellas’ out there. Remember, I am hearing this straight from the source so it may be a good idea to pay attention.

-          Girls don’t need a spot on their squats. If you don’t know who they are, don’t ask them if they need a spot. It’s weird

-          Don’t choose the bike directly behind their treadmill (they know why you chose that spot, they are smarter than you)

-          Eye contact should not last longer than two seconds

-          Don’t stare. They know you are staring at them (again, they are smarter than you)

The gym is not Tinder. If you don’t know what Tinder is, it’s safe to assume this doesn't apply to you. Have some respect and let your gym crush workout in peace. Maybe if you’re lucky they’ll be the one asking if you need that much (un)needed spot.

Exercise Technique

There is no such thing as a bad exercise. There is, however, poor execution of a lift, and poor exercise selection for certain individuals. I won’t go into detail about programming because I could go on for hours. I will say that most people are inefficient in their workouts.

But then again, why would they be efficient? And why would their technique be on point?

If you told me to build a house, I would have no idea where to start. The same thing holds true for programming. Why would anyone know what to do, or where to start?

If you told me to take a ballroom dance class, why would my technique be any good? The same thing holds true for lifting weights. Most people are just going to suck.

And guess what?

It’s not your fault.

Human movement has so much variability in it. Something that works well for one person may not work well for the next. Your anatomical make up will determine a lot of what you can achieve in the weight room.

Have deep hip sockets? You probably won’t be a good squatter.

Are you kyphotic (rounded) through your thoracic spine? Overhead movements probably won’t be a good thing for you.

You can’t fit all of your clients into one program and expect to maximize results. It’s just not going to happen.

So how do we fix the problem? Most people can’t afford a trainer, and unfortunately most trainers just aren’t that good. Sorry, but that has to be said.

It’s quite simple actually.

Every Saturday in 2016 we will be offering free “Learn to Lifts.” If you don’t know how to work out…we’ll teach you…for free.

There is no catch to this.

You won’t get weekly phone calls from us pressuring you into a gym membership. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I lied about everything on the drop-in forms at the commercial gyms I visited.

I’m sick and tired of seeing people workout with poor technique. It shouldn’t happen. Collectively this industry needs to do a better job of teaching and educating our clients. From what I saw at these gyms, we have a long way to go. The “Learn to Lifts” are a step in the right direction. Visit our website for more information on the sessions.