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View Full Version : LA Fitness--A review


-Ross Hunt
04-09-2007, 05:44 PM
I know that many Performance Menu readers must be troubled by the following question: In a world of affordably-priced and convenient big-box health clubs that all offer perfect atmosphere for training gains and lots of different fringe benefits, how to choose? Which is more worth your 15 dollars a visit-- the economy of 24 Hour Fitness, or the classic tradition of Gold's Gym? Which fringe benefit will better further your quest for elite strength and power-- The lunk alarm of Planet Fitness, or the Juice Bar of LA Fitness?

And since all inquiry here at the PMenu is always conducted in the spirit of scientific inquiry, we must not limit ourselves to second-hand information or conjectural theorizing: Only personally-collected empirical evidence will do.

First Entry:

LA Fitness, Las Colinas at Irving

Price for 1-day walk in: $15
Ratio of Cardio machines: Weight machines:set benches: squat racks: ~5:4:3:1.
Ratio of Men to Women: 3:2
Ratio of ATTRACTIVE Men to Women: At least 5:1
Gaydar Reading: 7.3 (NTTAWT...!;) )
Piece of training equipment worth having: Multipulley system has this opening between the ergonomic chin-up grips that's just big enough for you to put a leg through when you're lowering down through a 1-leg lever. That and dumbbells to at least 125 pounds.
Number of olympic weightlifting platforms complete with jerk racks and werk-san training sets: :D
Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.....
Number of guys clearly on a rigorous vitamin supplementation program: 2. 1 of whom actually accompanied at least 50% of his sets with the exclamation, "Yeeeeah, BUDAAAAAY! LIGHTWEIGHT!!!"
Number of overweight or obviously untrained girls ordered to do 'plyometrics' by their LA Fitness trainers: At least 10.
Number of girls doing chin-ups: 1 (Hey, not bad... :) )
Number of Males in tight jeans and backless tank-tops with nipples showing humping the air as they incline bench press 155: One too many.
Lamest performance (besides author incline benching 135): Two 235 pound+ dudes arguing about whether to use wrists-in or wrists-out grip on 30-pound-fixed weight EZ curl bar.
Most impressive performance: Guy who weighed ~100 kilos DLing 365 for a couple sets of 6-9 reps without maximal effort and good tech.
Cost of 16 ounce Banana Bliss Smoothy with two scoops of whey protein: ~$6-7.

Rating:

http://static.flickr.com/2/3074747_861ae03fd9_o.jpg

Pierre Auge
04-09-2007, 06:09 PM
Ross,
Thats got to be at least an 8 on the Gaydar!

Chris Forbis
04-09-2007, 06:19 PM
Fixed-weight EZ-curl bars drive me absolutely bat-shit insane.

Steve Liberati
04-09-2007, 06:41 PM
Ha...yeah I had a membership to La Shitness yrs back when I was still living at home with the rents. Basically it was a country club for singles without the liquor. I was the weird guy who did "squats" and "deadlifts." You know those exercises only steroid freaks or muscleheads were seen doing. My lifting buddy and I would laugh at the girls who walked around all dolled up with loads of makeup on looking like they were on their way to the club.

Never seen sooo many treadmills in one building in my entire life. Each one with their own tv...lol

Mike ODonnell
04-09-2007, 07:09 PM
my fav memory is trying to cancel my membership.....you have to walk in....and then they can tell you to write the corporate office in LA....and they will cancel it in a month or two......wait...I can't cancel it here where I signed up and I have to write a letter so you guys can bill me 2x more?? F&*& them.......that and they didnt have any of these so I had to leave......

http://www.bookofjoe.com/images/5t7678678678.jpg

Steve Liberati
04-09-2007, 07:14 PM
Yeah BUT they had the best locker rooms in town and the hottest girls working the front desk. The final straw for me was the towel policy. The rule was you had to wipe down the machine after you finished using it. Not like anyone ever broke a sweat tho...lol

my fav memory is trying to cancel my membership.....you have to walk in....and then they can tell you to write the corporate office in LA....and they will cancel it in a month or two......wait...I can't cancel it here where I signed up and I have to write a letter so you guys can bill me 2x more?? F&*& them.......that and they didnt have any of these so I had to leave......

http://www.bookofjoe.com/images/5t7678678678.jpg

Robb Wolf
04-09-2007, 07:17 PM
Fixed-weight EZ-curl bars drive me absolutely bat-shit insane.

Word. The lighter versions are perfect for breaking windows and generally causing a ruckus.

Pierre Auge
04-09-2007, 07:18 PM
At least in Canada its law that you have the right to cancel a service by phone.

Mike ODonnell
04-09-2007, 07:22 PM
I never understood why they bolted down the single flat benches to the floor....yes they were bolted...like I was going to steal one??....but I'll give them one prop....there was always plenty of room in the free weight area....although I got yelled at for doing squats in the curl rack....

Pierre Auge
04-09-2007, 07:40 PM
Yeah BUT they had the best locker rooms in town and the hottest girls working the front desk. The final straw for me was the towel policy. The rule was you had to wipe down the machine after you finished using it. Not like anyone ever broke a sweat tho...lol

Yes, because inert sweat is so dangerous ewwww. But after we "workout" lets go have a burger at McNasties.

Frank Needham
04-09-2007, 09:10 PM
my fav memory is trying to cancel my membership.....you have to walk in....and then they can tell you to write the corporate office in LA....and they will cancel it in a month or two......wait...I can't cancel it here where I signed up and I have to write a letter so you guys can bill me 2x more?? F&*& them.......that and they didnt have any of these so I had to leave......

http://www.bookofjoe.com/images/5t7678678678.jpg

oh yeah, they put us through that one too. Can't say I didn't expect some type of shitty scam from them though. You know you are getting it stuck to you when you sign up for the deal. I mean, getting a sales pitch to sign up at a gym?!! How lame is that to begin with?

Chris Forbis
04-10-2007, 02:28 AM
my fav memory is trying to cancel my membership.....you have to walk in....and then they can tell you to write the corporate office in LA....and they will cancel it in a month or two......wait...I can't cancel it here where I signed up and I have to write a letter so you guys can bill me 2x more?? F&*& them.......that and they didnt have any of these so I had to leave......

http://www.bookofjoe.com/images/5t7678678678.jpg

Why is there a guy on a Sybian in this picture?

Steve Shafley
04-10-2007, 05:11 AM
Hah.

The best way to get them to revoke your membership is to wear the same workout clothes without washing them until the reek takes on a life of it's own.

Allen Yeh
04-10-2007, 07:16 AM
oh yeah, they put us through that one too. Can't say I didn't expect some type of shitty scam from them though. You know you are getting it stuck to you when you sign up for the deal. I mean, getting a sales pitch to sign up at a gym?!! How lame is that to begin with?

So annoying!!!

Bally's did this to me and frankly pissed me off.

-Ross Hunt
04-12-2007, 08:15 PM
I never understood why they bolted down the single flat benches to the floor....yes they were bolted...like I was going to steal one??....but I'll give them one prop....there was always plenty of room in the free weight area....although I got yelled at for doing squats in the curl rack....

This place actually seemed to be OK. The guy deadlifting had some chalk squirreled away and used it discreetly but not furtively without giving him any grief; another guy was squatting 3 wheels (don't know about ROM, but whatever...)

It was the sheer spectacle of the place that got me, though. I'd HEARD about people wearing designer clothing to the gym, but I'd never actually witnessed it...

Catherine Imes
04-13-2007, 04:04 AM
Why is there a guy on a Sybian in this picture?

LOL...I've listened to Howard Stern for a long time and I always wondered what one of those looked like.

CI

Derek Simonds
04-13-2007, 04:15 AM
I have been thinking about this thread a lot. I travel for a living and get to experience the wonder of commercial gyms on a regular basis. After I travel I will post a review of any gyms I visited that week. If everyone does it we could have quite a handy reference guide.

Derek Simonds
04-13-2007, 04:25 AM
Overall

This gym was a small bodybuilding gym. They just had a comp and one of the trainers that was there had won it. Pretty good mix of equipment, 1 squat rack, 1 stand up 3 tier rack, db's up to 200, 3 flat, 1 incline, 1 decline, standard cable machines, lot of hammer strength. They also had supplements, RTD's and a smoothie bar. The omelette shop and bakery has a fit 4 you menu with healthy breakfasts.

Coolest Moment

There was a guy doing power cleans with 135 in the squat rack. He was doing sets of 6 and resting in between.

Most Basedow Moment

It must have been righteous traps day at the gym. First There was a guy doing micro shrugs, if I hadn't seem him twitching his whole body I wouldn't have known what he was doing, 2 inches from the floor length mirror. Second, one of the trainers had a female client chalk up, and hit the shrug machine. I am not sure why because she wasn't a bodybuilder, maybe some kind of rehab.

Mike ODonnell
04-13-2007, 05:19 AM
Feel free to tell anyone the rule of shrugs......you are only allowed to shrug anything you can squat....anymore and they are not allowed.....

Steve Shafley
04-13-2007, 05:23 AM
Derek:

My buddy trains at a gym in Traverse City that used to be a Powerhouse but now has some goofy name.

It's not bad. There's no crossfit kind of thing going up there, but it's a non-gay gym.

I don't know if it has 200# dbs though.

Derek Simonds
04-13-2007, 09:28 AM
I am pretty sure that was across the street from this gym. The way it usually works is I shake down the hotel I am staying at for a free pass. If they won't cough one up I ask for a gym that has a decent day rate.

This gym charged $10 for a day pass, not bad. I prefer $5 but hey what are you going to do.

Traverse has a pretty active health community from what I observed in 24 hours. Thursday morning an 8 time ironman triathlete stopped by the hotel lobby looking for any travelers that wanted to go out for a quick run. Did I mention it was a freaking blizzard. Apparently he picks up training partners at the hotel quite often.

-Ross Hunt
04-13-2007, 11:44 AM
Overall

Second, one of the trainers had a female client chalk up, and hit the shrug machine.

I'm almost afraid to ask, but.... what did he have her chalk up?


Incidentally, what's wrong with shrugging more than you squat? Doesn't everybody do this? Or am I just missing a joke...?

Mike ODonnell
04-13-2007, 12:07 PM
what's wrong with shrugging more than you squat?

Was once told to me by a PL buddy of mine.....probably a long standing joke of guys with no legs worrying about trying to shrug alot....like "Hey dude...you need to do some squats....not shrugs"...or probably can say don't shrug more than you can DL....as in if you can't pick it off the ground you don't deserve to be shrugging it.....

Derek Simonds
04-13-2007, 12:54 PM
I'm almost afraid to ask, but.... what did he have her chalk up?

Hands. I guess the chalk goes under the coolest moment there hasn't been many commercial / big box gyms that I have visited that provided chalk for the athletes.

-Ross Hunt
04-13-2007, 04:54 PM
Hands. I guess the chalk goes under the coolest moment there hasn't been many commercial / big box gyms that I have visited that provided chalk for the athletes.

So what kind of a shrug machine is this? I was picturing a calf raise-type machine, where you stand under the pads, squat up, and shrug your traps against resistance with your arms hanging loose.

Derek Simonds
04-14-2007, 02:47 PM
The machine has 2 handles that you stand between and grasp just like you would if you were using free weights. I am in the car right now and will try and find a picture of it online tonight.

-Ross Hunt
04-15-2007, 05:05 PM
That sounds pretty convenient. It beats the whole 'attempting to load 20-kilo plates on a bar on blocks without it falling off' routine.

Derek Simonds
04-16-2007, 10:53 AM
Ross here is the closest I could come to finding the machine I was talking about.

http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/seatedstandingshrug

Ron Nelson
04-16-2007, 11:51 AM
Ross here is the closest I could come to finding the machine I was talking about.

http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/seatedstandingshrug

The very same machine I used to practice deadlifting when my back was out of whack. Stand facing the machine, load the plates, lift away.

It actually worked very well to increase my DL when I couldn't deal with a regular bar. Shorter range of motion.

Mike ODonnell
04-16-2007, 12:27 PM
Ross here is the closest I could come to finding the machine I was talking about.

http://us.commercial.lifefitness.com/content.cfm/seatedstandingshrug

I'm not a big fan of doing anything with heavy weights while seated (as that pic has a seat)....due to the excesive force going down through the spine (that is NO longer supported by the legs)...aka more lower lumbar forces....more pressure on the discs that naturally should be distributed through the legs when standing. Just my $0.02.

Allen Yeh
04-17-2007, 04:54 AM
I'm not a big fan of doing anything with heavy weights while seated (as that pic has a seat)....due to the excesive force going down through the spine (that is NO longer supported by the legs)...aka more lower lumbar forces....more pressure on the discs that naturally should be distributed through the legs when standing. Just my $0.02.


Whenever I used to use this apparatus I'd always do it standing as well as you can do this facing the pad or facing away from it. I doubt it made a huge difference but at the time Charles Glass had recommended it for Gunter S. and of course what worked for him would work for me right? heh

-Ross Hunt
04-22-2007, 08:36 PM
Oh, seated shrugs. That never occured to me. That IS certifiably lame.

-Ross Hunt
04-28-2007, 07:45 PM
I returned to LA Fitness.

Don't plan on doing an oly workout here. The employees were cool with it, and the bars spin OK, but they don't have any snatch-grip knurling. It's like power snatching a polar bear.

There was some kid deadlifting pretty heavy and pretty low reps there--up to reps w/275, pretty young. Maybe this place isn't so bad after all.



Wierd exercise of the day: Some trainer was showing his client an exercise like this: Put a bench in front of a smith machine. Place your hands on the bench and pike at the hips to bend over, bending your knees slightly too so that your ass is right under the smith machine bar. Extend your legs and hips to elevate the bar. I don't know what you call this exercise--'Back that ass up?'

The wierd thing ways, both of the people seem in question seemed to be straight. I just don't understand... :confused:

Derek Simonds
04-29-2007, 04:17 AM
That is weird. I was trying to think of some reason to do that exercise and I couldn't come up with anything. That had to be uncomfortable with the bar across the lower back with any kind of weight.

Allen Yeh
04-30-2007, 08:42 AM
Wierd exercise of the day: Some trainer was showing his client an exercise like this: Put a bench in front of a smith machine. Place your hands on the bench and pike at the hips to bend over, bending your knees slightly too so that your ass is right under the smith machine bar. Extend your legs and hips to elevate the bar. I don't know what you call this exercise--'Back that ass up?'


The "please sue me" exercise?

Ronnie Ashlock
05-16-2007, 12:06 AM
Chalk me up as lame, but I actually joined the L.A. fitness near work today. I have all the legit weightlifting and GPP fitness stuff one guy will ever need at home, and there are three Crossfit facilities not too far from where I live or work, but one thing I don't have and none of the CF places have and probably never will have is a swimming pool/jacuzzi combo as good as the one at LA fitness. That alone, to me, is worth the $30 a month it costs to have a membership. Now, I know in California, you can throw a rock in any direction and it'll land in a pretty nice swimming pool, but in Washington state, a good pool is hard to find. LA Fitness, believe it or not, is cheaper than the Y here and has better hours. Did my first swim and hot/cold contrast bath routine there tonight. It rocked. I also have some co-worker buddies who go there and I wouldn't mind working out with them every once in while, provided we stay away from the machines and use the dumbbells and free weights. LA also has that CF staple, the C2 rower (usually nobody on them, but hey, credit where credit is due).

I haven't had a lot of flexibility with my hours lately and I have been doing some heinous crunching at work the past four to six weeks now. It's nice to be able to pop over to a gym, do something, anything, physical for an hour or so, then clean up and head back to work. It's what I did a lot in San Diego when I was crunching there and living in a tiny apartment and really didn't have the room to create my own little gym like I've done now.

I still plan on doing all of my legit weightlifting and exercise at home and I'm for sure still taking my weightlifting class in Sumner, but I do miss swimming (if you want to call what I do swimming) and having that convenient, get-it-when-you-want it workout away from home. So for me, a corporate franchise gym like LA Fitness actually has some real value. In a perfect world, the whole goofy meat-market charade that is the modern gym scene wouldn't exist, but you take the good with the bad, I reckon.