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Topic # 150871 6-Aug-2014 12:13
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Let's talk exercise and gyms (if you go to one). Your opinions of gyms you've been to, are going to, exercise programs/successes and your goals etc. Almost anything goes :)

I have recently joined Jetts. I know dissing them is almost de rigueur, especially amongst the bodybuilding types due to the perceived lack of equipment like free barbells (the Jetts I go to does have the Smith Machine and bar) and other things but I am loving it way, way more than the three other gyms I've been to. Love it for the fact that I can go when I want and it eliminates my biggest excuses for not going (hating crowded gyms, disliking being forced to go at peak times because of limited opening hours, and hating non-air conditioned gyms). It's clean and well setup for those more focused on functional fitness, rather than bodybuilding or lifting huge weights.

Compared to Les Mills (the less said, the better) and Club Physical, it is particularly a godsend for me. The lack of group exercise classes mean so much to this guy, who's easily annoyed by all the "pumped up" shouting and all that from the group class instructors, not the mention the absence of (usually) middle age women congregating around the gym before and after classes generally getting in people's way. I also love the fact that the PTs at my local Jetts have much more varied background than the typical bodybuilder/trainer for women's typical insecurities archetypes.

I've gone for the distinctly unmacho option of having a female PT, who is herself an accomplished martial artist (I train karate - and no I am not much good). I love the fact that she's listened to my desire to increase my speed, explosiveness, whilst improving my core stability/balance, in addition to trying to gain some weight. I've been put on a circuit program featuring a mixture of using hand weights, body-weight exercises, plyometrics, as well as abdominal exercises using medicine balls. She's also insisted on a much more serious adherence to proper warm ups, warm downs and stretches. So far, I am getting good results and, most importantly, I don't feel seriously sore and dead the day after exercising. Definitely feel exercised but not wasted all round, when previous PTs have just focussed on single body part isolating weight lifts that involved lifting as much as possible.

And I love the fact that my PT has suggested lesser time spent with me each session (30 minutes as opposed to the full hour in my previous experience) in return for doing at least 3 to 4 sessions a month. It works out much cheaper and she's focussed on keeping me safe, challenging myself when lifting weights, and watching my progress, as opposed to gym-mothering me through warm ups and stuff that I can easily manage on my own. And my doctor other-half, who is herself a far more accomplished athlete than I ever will be, approves of my PT's ideas.

Loving it so far!

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  Reply # 1103214 6-Aug-2014 12:27
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I am lucky enough to have a decent gym setup at home (squat rack, bench, elliptical, treadmill, dumbells, kettlebells) - this is the only way I was able to get to workout regularly.

My local YMCA was good but only got there once a week - plus I hate being in crowded, busy gyms.

Whatever works for you - good you have found a trainer you like, makes all the difference. Good on you for doing something.

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  Reply # 1103215 6-Aug-2014 12:28
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I briefly joined Jetts and liked it for all the reasons you state above...until I lazed out and stopped going - which raises their other huge selling point; no lock-in/contracts.

If I rejoin a gym, it will certainly be Jetts again.









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  Reply # 1103237 6-Aug-2014 12:52
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I went to jetts when it first started but over about 6 months it got really busy. I prefer to just go for runs throwing in the odd push ups, squats etc in the workout.

Since I have moved house I'm miles from the nearest pool now which is annoying. That is the one part of a work out I really enjoy.

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  Reply # 1103248 6-Aug-2014 13:06
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  Reply # 1103251 6-Aug-2014 13:09
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Personally for me, it is location and availability that determines if you show up. At the end of the day a 10kg plate is a 10kg plate. Group sessions have no value to me as that is where I get uncomfortable with the 'look at me' posers

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  Reply # 1103260 6-Aug-2014 13:16
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A smith machine (and any machine for that matter) is one of the worst things you can use. It promotes incorrect movement and does not use the smaller stabilizing muscles that you use to keep yourself upright etc. when using free weights.

"focused on functional fitness" if you are using machines and doing isolation exercises i.e. bicep curls, seated shoulder press etc. then you are not gaining functional fitness - when do you ever bicep curl anything in real life?

Functional movement is things like deadlifts, squats etc. with free weights and correct form. 

I went to Jets once and left after half an hour as there were no free weights and the place was full of people with terrible lifting form and no one assisting them.

Disclaimer: I have been an avid gym rat for about 6 years and spent the first 3 years in places like jets. For the last 3 years I have been doing CrossFit where there are no machines and no mirrors, just real movement and constant coaching.




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  Reply # 1103321 6-Aug-2014 14:13
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khull: Personally for me, it is location and availability that determines if you show up. At the end of the day a 10kg plate is a 10kg plate. Group sessions have no value to me as that is where I get uncomfortable with the 'look at me' posers


Damn right. As someone who's been on and off with gyms (have held a membership over 5 of the last 10 years), I concur 100%. Too many people get too fixated with whether their best mate goes to X gym (remember, your friend is allowed to move away if you depend on him/her going with you as motivation to keep exercising), whether X gym does [insert name of latest fad style/class], and frankly relatively irrelevant things like the state of the shower rooms (just go home and shower) at the gym.

People also need to understand what works for them and the limitations of their choices. I might loathe group exercise classes but they work very well for people who need to feed off the camaraderie and mutual support. However, beware that in big classes at places like Les Mills, sometimes personalisation/adjustment to individual abilities intra-class is close to non-existent. I would also research VERY carefully places offering more high-risk stuff like Crossfit.

Geekiegeek: I am basically not using any machines at all, except for squats using the smith machine. I would prefer totally free barbell squats but Jetts has to operate within occupation health and safety realities and its other advantages to me outweigh its limitations. My partner, I and another doctor visited a Crossfit gym and frankly we were horrified by the poor coaching and over-exertion of people who were obviously very new to exercise. That along with the high costs pretty much drove me away.

I personally also take a very strong view that it should be compulsory for people to have regular PT sessions (say at least once a month) to ensure they are exercising with correct form etc. Terrible form and dumb exercises were frankly the norm in every gym I've been to. But in a costs conscious/"Kiwi ingenuity rocks" (sigh) world, any gym who tries to enforce such things would be committing commercial suicide.






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  Reply # 1103329 6-Aug-2014 14:25
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It is debatable how good gym going is for you, and whether it does more harm than good. If you live a normal healthy lifestyle and eat well, and do lots of walking etc, you shouldn't really need it. It is what people are eatting that needs to be looked at more.

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  Reply # 1103333 6-Aug-2014 14:29
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geekiegeek: A smith machine (and any machine for that matter) is one of the worst things you can use. It promotes incorrect movement and does not use the smaller stabilizing muscles that you use to keep yourself upright etc. when using free weights.

It depends on what your goals are and what you prefer to do. There is nothing wrong with resistance and assisted machinery as long as you use them correctly. Sure they might not build up the small stabilizers in your body, but sometimes those muscles can be a limiting factor if you only want to hit your chest for example. In which case you would use a smith machine and it allows you to place all of your strength only into chest and therefore accelerating your chest growth results without the need to build up the other muscles.

Not to mention lots of people go to the gym for looks over performance which means the stabilizers aren't important.

For the last 3 years I have been doing CrossFit where there are no machines and no mirrors, just real movement and constant coaching.

This video comes to mind :)




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  Reply # 1103337 6-Aug-2014 14:37
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mattwnz: It is debatable how good gym going is for you, and whether it does more harm than good. If you live a normal healthy lifestyle and eat well, and do lots of walking etc, you shouldn't really need it. It is what people are eatting that needs to be looked at more.


I both agree (to an extent) and significantly disagree with you. On the matters of agreement, you're undoubtedly right that diet is a huge issue and any exercise is better than nothing. You can have the world's greatest exercise program and dedication but if you eat trash, you'll never be healthy. However, if your lifestyle consists of relatively low intensity exercises like walking, steady jogging at relatively low pace only (with a good diet) but no weight training at all, you simply will never achieve your full athletic potential and some of the benefits that weight training confer. I'm talking about stuff like building up more lean muscle, increasing your base metabolic rate, and getting stronger bones and ligaments.



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  Reply # 1103358 6-Aug-2014 14:54
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I joined Jetts recently, to do weight type stuff mostly. The smith machine's ok, not awesome, but they have dumbells and a few barbells. It'll be enough for now, when it's not I'll build my own gym. With No1 Fitness you can build a decent enough system (nothing fancy) with cage or rack, weights, flooring, etc for $2K or so.




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  Reply # 1103363 6-Aug-2014 14:57
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timmmay: I joined Jetts recently, to do weight type stuff mostly. The smith machine's ok, not awesome, but they have dumbells and a few barbells. It'll be enough for now, when it's not I'll build my own gym. With No1 Fitness you can build a decent enough system (nothing fancy) with cage or rack, weights, flooring, etc for $2K or so.


Which Jetts is that? Most Jetts I've been to do don't have barbells, only those fixed weight curl bars/easy grip bars.

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  Reply # 1103374 6-Aug-2014 15:06
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AidanS:
geekiegeek: A smith machine (and any machine for that matter) is one of the worst things you can use. It promotes incorrect movement and does not use the smaller stabilizing muscles that you use to keep yourself upright etc. when using free weights.

It depends on what your goals are and what you prefer to do. There is nothing wrong with resistance and assisted machinery as long as you use them correctly. Sure they might not build up the small stabilizers in your body, but sometimes those muscles can be a limiting factor if you only want to hit your chest for example. In which case you would use a smith machine and it allows you to place all of your strength only into chest and therefore accelerating your chest growth results without the need to build up the other muscles.



Its not just the stabilizers, its the fact that it forces you into incorrect movement. I came across a dead-lift machine at Jetz that had your body fully out of alignment and was a recipe for lower back injury.

I guess if you are only worried about looks and not having actual usable strength, use machines.




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  Reply # 1103394 6-Aug-2014 15:16
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Disclaimer: I taught Group Fitness at Les Mills and Cityfitness.

The idea that Les Mills is full of body builder "look at me" type of people is an inaccurate stereotype.  I've been attending multiple gyms around Wellington for almost 2 decades.  I'd say the body builder types make up about 1% of the actual gym members.  To be honest they're not posing in the gym waiting for people to look at them, they might do that on stage but in the gym they're incredibly focussed and committed and don't worry about what anyone else is doing.  Body building isn't my cup of tea but the amount of discipline required to do what body builders do is impressive.  The majority of people in gyms nowadays (based on my experience in Wellington) are average joes just trying to stay in shape.

Group fitness classes can be great fun and very motivating but I can fully appreciate some people don't enjoy it.  I enjoyed teaching and participating and met lots of great people doing so......but I'm retired from that now.

Nowadays, like geekigeek, I prefer to do Crossfit or Crossfit inspired workouts.  If I can I'll pop into a Crossfit gym or make up my own workout at Les Mills.  I like the olympic lifting and high intensity aspects of Crossfit, it's certainly made me a lot stronger and the workouts are often short so can do them in a lunch hour.


















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  Reply # 1103408 6-Aug-2014 15:27
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My reasons for going with Jetts (aside from what I've already outlined) were fairly simple: I (generally speaking) prefer not to exercise with machines and frankly can't be bothered modifying my house or doing whatever it takes to store a variety of hand weights; I also would like to have the opportunity to run on a treadmill, use a cross-trainer and rowing machine occasionally. Essentially, my $500 a year to Jetts basically just buys me a nice air-conditioned exercise environment with a wider variety of cardio options without cluttering up my house as well. And of course I get access to a PT whose method I very much approve of.

Since the sort of weight training I want to do can theoretically be done at home quite easily, the less full-featured a gym is, the better to me. I don't give a crap about whether you have XYZ spin class or those machines that middle-aged housewives love because "they tone my thighs"! (ROFL). And I have to hand it to Jetts about getting certain things right, e.g. giving you clear choices about who you book for the initial assessment and PT session. Almost all the other gyms I went to, it was simply whoever PT it was that happened to be available at a given time. Whereas here I got access to an online interface that gave me the PTs' profiles and allowed me to make an informed choice. So the PT got to learn about me and we actually got going right away.

And I have to give credit to my Club Physical and No Name (now closed down and I forgot its name) PTs previously too. The PT at No Name actually got a skinny flabby, very unfit guy into exercising regularly and achieving regular fitness, with good humour and lots of patience. Club Physical might have been a crap gym IMO but my PT there was a great guy who pushed me hard and helped me achieve my (then) goals and then some.

BigMal: in my experience (6 months) at Les Mills, it wasn't so much filled with the "Look at me!" bodybuilder types but rather an excess number of people who seem to go to the gym for the sake of telling people that they go. It might have been the perils of attending a LM based in a corporate building but the number of times I saw people ignoring simply rules like not hogging cardio machines (especially when they are just walking on a dreadmill or texting on an exercycle whilst going at snail's pace) was astounding. And the staff struck me as relatively uninterested in the concerns of people who want to work out properly/hard when such issues were raised.





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