This week the roof caved in at my gym. Seriously: Wet chunks of ceiling tile were splattered across the floor, and puddles splashed my shoes when I walked from one machine to the next. I decided it was time to at least explore alternatives among local gyms.
At the first gym, I saved myself a tour and lengthy sales pitch by strolling up to the large windows outside and pressing my nose to the glass. My eyes were drawn first to an empty dumbbell rack, and then to the knee-high pile of dumbbells heaped directly in front of it. I had real hopes for my next stop, a well-known national chain. Inside, however, I found equipment so old that the metal was orange with rust, and a general state of affairs not worth the extra drive.
In his bodybuilding encyclopedia, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote about the primitive state of bodybuilding science during his prime, believing it robbed him of 10 percent of his potential. I also feel only 90 percent complete, though in my case, I’ve been handicapped by a chronic problem with gym quality.
Stuck with my current gym membership, I’m resigned to increasing the amount of elemental equipment in my gym bag.
When it comes to seated pulley rows – possibly the best back builder out there – I’ve got two choices at my gym. I can use an older machine with lousy action but a nice handle; or, I can use the new machine with great action but a handle that’s far too narrow. Of course, the gym has welded shut the link attachment on the good handle so it can’t be moved to a different machine.
|In an attempt to stop the madness, I ordered this handle from a commercial gym supplier. Now I know it’s ridiculous to lug around a five pound piece of metal on back days. Nevertheless, at least I’m one step closer to reaching my full potential.|