Gym renovations are bad news for the Jersey Shore crowd

The gym renovations at the Oakville YMCA are done and I was very excited and a bit nervous to see what they had done.  They call the gym the "wellness centre" and part of me feared it would be transformed into one big yoga studio with a few small dumbbells and a smith machine.

As Vivian and I drove into the parking lot, it was already evident through the windows that there was at least one additional power rack.  Good news so far...

When I got to the 'wellness centre', I was immediately shocked and amazed.  Somehow, somewhere, some equipment salesman/woman had convinced the Oakville YMCA to create a 'wellness centre' in the style of a training facility.  No, there weren't any sleds or tractor tires but what they had done was get rid of all the stand alone bench press, decline press, and incline press stations and instead install 6 (SIX!) power stations. Each station is equipped with two chinning grips, bar dip attachments and an adjustable bench.
4 of the 6 new powerstations, that's Vivian getting her bench press on

While they aren't full cages, so no reverse band work, they do have band pegs at the base for traditional band work.  The picture above was taken at about 7:30pm on a tuesday night.  Notice how there's no one else there.  There were actually about 5-6 other people using the room while Vivian and I were there but I honestly think this set up scares many of the Jersey Shore wannabe's that normally would be there.

First of all, notice there are no mirrors.  Because it's nighttime, you can see some reflection in the windows but during the day, there would be very little reflection at all.  Not good for the average GTL'er that wears a tanktop so they can constantly check out their pump every two minutes.   Second, those are power racks.  The average GTL'er doesn't know what to use a power rack for unless it's barbell curls or somewhere to rest the bar in between sets of sloppy underhand grip barbell rows.

While every pro and college level weight room has long ago shifted to the power station configuration due to its versatility, the multitude of options offered by a power station set up is confusing to the average upper body only 'bodybuilder'.  I suspect in time, gym members will learn to appreciate this new set up but I think they'll forever complain about the lack of mirrors.

Another little gem obtained by the gym as part of the renovation is a Grappler Base.  Again, I suspect the average GTL'er will see this as only something to use for sloppy form T-bar rows but there are so many excellent upper body and core exercises that can be done in addition to rows and presses.
yay! the Oakville
YMCA has one of these!
After seeing the new powerstations and the grappler base, I half expected to find a reverse hyper machine hidden somewhere but, alas, all my dreams didn't come true.  Still, I am very happy to see what the Oakville YMCA has done to their 'wellness centre'.

As for my workout, since the meet is this Sunday, today was just to keep the cobwebs at bay.  I worked up to a double with 405 in the squat and did some speed work in the bench press.  One more light volume workout on Thursday and then rest and get strong until lifting day on Sunday.


  1. hot damn! lifting in those new digs will bring a steady stream of PRs I'm sure. The old 'benches' were ridiculous. I've never actually accomplished any work there and would basically just resort to useless vanity pumps and extended sauna sessions.

    do you think with the apparent new focus on real lifting they will stop complaining about deadlifts?

  2. I hope so. I've been fortunate no one has ever said anything to me but I tend to set my deadlifts down quieter than most. I know there are many that advocate dropping deads but I'm willing to trade increased recovery time for the benefits of a controlled eccentric portion of the lift--plus, I've never had the luxury of training in a commercial gym that could tolerate a drop or even a contest-style lowering of the bar.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

SBD Lever belt review -- TL DR; it's good, very good.

New shoes reviewed, Adidas Drehkraft to replace my Adidas Power Perfect 2's

Indochino suit review, Part I: Chronic iron overload presents a challenge for online made to measure suits.