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4 Things Gyms DON'T Want You To Know

Written by Mohit Chawla


Gyms are widely considered the place one must go to, to become "healthy". Over the last few decades people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman, Rich Froning and Sallu Bhai, among countless others, have inspired many to get off their butts and into shape. Gyms have become immensely popular in the last decade with this new generation now feeling the consequences of round bellies and a junk food dense diet. If you, like many others, are considering joining or re-joining a gym there are a couple of things we think you should know before taking the 'gym plunge'.

Gyms are homes for bacteria
We're not claiming that gyms should be sterile environments (far from it). However, it would warrant being wary of gyms that do not have a hygiene policy in place. The grime of dead skin and sweat between every bar mesh, the public juices collected inside the grips and benches and the unbathed & unbrushed (teeth) morning gym goers are just examples of how gross gyms can get.  Look for signs that include "Please wipe down the machine after use" or "Please bring and use a towel." Or even "Please wash your hands before using the gym." Additionally, hand sanitiser, a clean toilet and liquid hand wash is a must at gyms. As a customer you are well within your rights to keep gym management on their toes and ensure you work out in a clean and hygienic facility.

They make money when you don't show up
Most gyms have a standard formula for making money. At most, 20% of any gyms members are the daily members who come and train no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT. 20-40% are the casual lifters who show up a couple of times a week (less than 4 days at any rate). These people are dressed in all the top gear like an athlete who is training for a sport they don't even play. The last type of gym goer that makes for about 40-60% is the "lazy health enthusiast" who comes in 2-3 times a month at most, and works out with the energy of a geriatric sloth. Looking at these three archetypes, gyms offer annual memberships where the likelihood of people showing up daily is low (less than half the year), resulting is low wear and tear of their equipment. Gyms don't really want you to learn how to improve your health, or stay fit. They want you only to pay.

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Your end game is health. Theirs is not.
Most gyms in general (not all) are there only to cater to their bottom line. If you cant lift much, you're ignored and left to your own devices. If you can lift enough, injuries from "ego lifting" (that is, lifting to show off, without caring much for proper technique) are common. If you are a regular, and lift beyond expectation with good form - get ready for steroids. and Mr.So EnSo competition talk. The focus is seldom on your overall long term health, and there is far more emphasis on aesthetics. Bottom line is that they don't care about your health; just how you look, and the short-term cash grab.

Many gyms have unskilled personal trainers
Yes, there are trainers who are certified PTs and have the requisite qualifications to train one for endurance, strength, flexibility, posture and muscle growth. But, such trainers are hard to come by. Most gyms are run by "juice heads." JHs are dudes who just took a bunch of steroids and lifted heavy ass weights. They don't really care about your health. All they want is for you to have an unhealthy body image (of trying to look like the hulk), and to try and be like them. Being a personal trainer myself, I find it absolutely unforgivable when I see trainers not helping the weakest members of the gym. Not sure why this happens TBH; maybe because some gym instructors are not well compensated, or maybe they don't care if their establishment does well or not.

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