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Do you go to a McGym? There has been a trend for gyms to spring up everywhere now days. While 30 years ago, only the hardcore lifters and athletes would go to a gym to workout, today it seems that it is trendy for everyone to sign up and at least try to be seen at the gym. Unfortunately with this mainstreaming of working out comes the advent of what I call a “McGym”. These are the all flash and no substance types of gyms, which are aimed at the recreational gym-goer, the office drone who comes in once a week or just signs up and is never seen again.

What are the main signs of a McGym?

1) No squat rack
Unfortunately, in most gyms of today, the squat rack has gone the way of the dinosaurs. You will rarely see anyone squatting or even doing legs for that matter. A lot of gyms have those Smith Machines, but they are a very poor substitute for being able to squat free weights.

2) A steady rotation of out of shape office drones doing “functional” exercises with trainers
If you go to a gym and see a huge horde of out of shape people who have clearly never played a sport in their life doing all kinds of weird exercises on a Bosu ball or hitting up them machines, then you are clearly at a McGym. Don’t get me wrong, functional exercises, Bosu balls and machines all have their place and can be beneficial for you, however unfortunately now days they are used as a substitute for real lifting. McGyms are usually geared towards these office drones and make their money off a steady rotation of them trying to “get in shape”. It is often easier for personal trainers to have them go through a set of these functional exercises than to actually make up a real workout for them.

3) All kinds of classes
If your gym offers hundreds of types of classes, then it is a McGym. Your average gym goer thinks that by doing “classes” they will somehow get in shape. While it can help, once again “classes” are not a substitute for a real workout routine. Classes are especially quite popular among women. This means many McGyms have a very large percentage of females. While this is great for eye candy, it is usually a sure sign of the gym being a McGym.

4) You can bench press the heaviest set of dumbbells in the gym even after coming back after a long period of not working out
If you take the heaviest pair of dumbbells and can do a set of reps with them, then you are clearly in a McGym.

5) There are all kinds of machines
While machines have their place, they should not form the bulk of your workout. Especially for beginners, free weights are the key to getting good gains and building muscles. Unfortunately most uninformed gym-goers think that going to the gym and pumping out a bunch of reps on the pec deck constitutes a workout and McGyms cater to that type of mindset.

6) There is a coffee machine in the gym
This one should be quite obvious. 🙂

Does your gym fit any of these points? Most likely it does, as most gyms of today are McGyms and it is very hard to find a decent gym these days. Unfortunately I also have to go to a McGym. It’s close to my work and so in this way it is very convenient. I can go to work and then after staying late at work, can hit up the gym at whatever time I want. However this comes at a price, and points 1 and 4 are the price I have to pay.

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