Gym Etiquette

Ric Drasin compares the gym scene between yesterday and today


Back in the day going to the gym was a no-frills experience. There were no fancy body washes in the shower or neatly folded towels at the front desk. In fact, at Gold Gym Venice, Joe Gold didn’t even play music.  If you brought in a portable radio (as some tried), he’d kick you out. He believed that we were there to train, and that’s all.

We didn’t have iPods, headsets, cellphones or any of the modern toys you see in the gym today. There were no distractions to our training. There were also no treadmills or Precor machines or stair masters. All we had was weights and a few machines, and it got the job done. There was no such thing as cardio at all, in fact. As we would often tell those who came in looking for a bike or treadmill, "Cardio never built big arms.”
Gold's Gym circa 1973 would probably be unrecognizable as a gym to many today. Looking back, it was a completely different animal. There were no lockers, just a coat rack upstairs where you could hang your jacket, so people usually came in their gym clothes and left in them. There was only one shower, and Joe only had it built so the place could pass inspection. Of course, being that there was just one shower, it was often shared by guys and girls. No one seemed to care though—it was the 70's.
The atmosphere and the attitude was different then as well. If you wanted to work in with someone on a bench it was never a problem, and whoever was there would always spot you and help push you to the max.
Today’s gyms are different. I see so many unqualified trainers who clearly are there just to make a buck, and who would be doing something completely different if a better offer came along. They appear disinterested and passionless about what they're doing. Lots of them don’t put weights back, and they talk on their cell phones while training clients. Many just count reps and have no problem when their clients take a call in the middle of a workout. What kind of focus is that?