The terms old school and hardcore often conjour up images of iron cast plates, heavy duty leg press machines, squat racks, and blood, sweat and tears staining the bare brick walls of a place us bodybuilders like to think of our 2nd home, the gym. From the bodybuilding boom in the 80’s and 90’s, people immediately associate hardcore or old school with this era. Dorian Yates discussed what hardcore means. I’ve also seen him speak about what hardcore or old school means in video interviews.
During my NABBA Contest Prep, I’ve had the chance to pick the brains of my mentor, a 5 time Mr Universe, Eddy Elwood, and he shares the same sentiments of what old school or hardcore in bodybuilding means.
However there is a thin line between ‘old school’ and run down. There is a difference between ‘hardcore’ and shit hole. Unfortunately, some gym owners have blurred vision and are unable to distinguish the difference between these areas. I recently had a bad experience when working out in a ‘old school’ gym, when in fact it was just a complete disaster.
Hardcore Should Not Mean Scruffy & Unsafe
As many of you who regularly read my blog or follow my youtube channel will know, during my contest prep for 2014, i’ve been training twice a day, sometimes 3 times a day, as part of my 6 day workout split. I typically started off my day with a brisk walk. Sometimes this would be on a treadmill, or sometimes id just take a walk outside. Then I’d hit my first weight workout early afternoon, and finish up the day with a second lifting session in the evening, sometimes followed up with HIIT cardio.
The gym I train at on an afternoon is a gym, near one of the offices im situated in. It’s convenient for me to get there, although it isn’t state of the art, by any stretch of the imagination. It just about manages to stay open, with what I can only guess, are many grey areas in health and safety circulating for the owners.
Dumbbell Breaks Mid Set – Epic Gym Fail
My second week of training there, I was warming up for a dumbbell press, as I hoisted the dumbbell in position ready to press, the weight flew off one side of the dumbbell. I couldn’t believe what I had experienced. The gym membership here is cheap, but that shouldn’t mean members should have to put up with unsafe conditions. The owner rushed and apologised, as he rushed the weight away to ‘fix it’. I continued on working out, making sure to pay extra attention to the stability of the weights I was picking up.
2 Wrongs don’t make a right
So what happens 2 weeks ago? It was the Friday before my show, the NABBA Britain Finals, a week out. I was training heavy biceps. I had already performed my barbell curls, and moved onto hammer curls. What happens next? The dumbbell, 14kg, for the second time in my experience working out in this gym, dismantled itself once again. I was pissed. Like really pissed.
Why the hell would any gym owner allow their establishment to become so run down? Its annoying when a machine is out of order, or a cable snaps. Somethings can’t be avoided. However the exact same dumbbell has broken on me twice now. I don’t need the newest, shiniest equipment to train with. I just need something that isn’t going to break half way through a set.
You can check out the dumbbell breaking on me, along with some footage from the bicep workout in the video clip above. I’ve gotta ask you though, what would you do in my position? Complain? Leave? Demand a refund?
I’ve still been performing cardio there, but that’s it. I’ve not touched their weights, machines or anything other than the treadmill and cross trainer since this happened for the second time. I don’t need to train weights twice a day now, so I think i’ll just let my membership expire this month. I might either look for a second gym to take a membership out with, or just train on an evening, and if i feel like doing any cardio, go for a morning walk, or perform hiit on my rest days.
Im back to bulking now, so im not really needing to hit cardio as much as I was, so cancelling the membership isn’t a huge concern. It’s an annoyance that it happened to me twice however. When you’re signing up at a new gym, just bare in mind what hardcore or old school means to you, and what this means to the person trying to sell you a gym membership. If you are looking to take out a gym membership when travelling, or take out a second gym membership be sure to check out this guide on blagging a cheap gym membership from http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk
Let me know what you would do down in the comments below.