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            FITNESS TIPS FOR 4/26/2000           

How To Find the Gym or Health Club That's Right For You 
By Matt Danielson 

Today we have a wide array of different gyms to choose
from, ranging from the dungeon kinds of gym with
chalkdust covering the free weights to the modern,
high-tech health clubs with spas, a juicebar, a gazillion
aerobics classes and all the latest machines in catchy

Of course, the right choice for you depends on who you
are, your goals etc., but there's a few basics that one
should always take into consideration before joining,
regardless of who you are.

Checkpoint 1: Atmosphere
This is one of the most important, perhaps the number one
checkpoint: You must enjoy being there. If you walk in there
and feel like an American in Paris, you can forget about
getting optimum results from your training. The hardcore
powerlifter might feel misplaced when all the other
members stop and stare at his non-fashion clothes, just as
the 50-year old guy who hits the weights twice a week
because his doctor said so might feel equally misplaced
among the 300+ lbs monsters in a dungeon down the
street. Simply put: Make sure it's your kind of people, that
the interiors don't give you the creeps and that the gym is
at a comfortable distance from your home. 

Checkpoint 2: Equipment
OK, so you found a few nice places that are "you," so to
speak. Now for the equipment. There should be a certain
balance between free weights and machines, and if the
clerk starts giving you some clever speech about how their
twelve machines is all you need - leave.

If you have a little experience in lifting, you'll recognize a
good machine when you see it. Hammer Strength-kind of
machines are usually good. Don't be afraid to ask other
people in the gym if you're unsure. A few pointers to look
out for: 
1.Does the equipment seem to be well-maintained? Are
there cracks in the pads? Are there lots of taping and bad
soldering to keep the machines together? Do the
foot-plates have two bare spots from thousands of feet
through the rubber on the leg-presses? Do you see any
"Out of Order"-signs anywhere? What you see is what you
can expect for the coming years.
2. Make sure that it's not only the most popular machines
being present. What do they have for calves? Do they have
a seated legcurl for hamstrings? How about neck and
forearms? Everybody has good chest, back and
ab-machines, so it's the "weaknesses" you have to look
out for.

Checkpoint 3: The locker room
Of course, you've already checked the locker room out
under point 1 - if it's icky, go somewhere else. But you
should also have a look at the lockers. Are they safe?
Would you feel comfortable putting a wallet, carkeys and
laptop computer in here unwatched for an hour? Or do you
get the feeling that any kid with a screwdriver could get it
open in 2 minutes? And while we're at it - if there's a sleaze
hanging around in there who offers you something to spike
your training with, so to speak, report it to the police and
inform the gym owner about what happened and that it's
the reason why you are not going to train at his facility. I
believe this kind of economic pressure on the gym owner
is the most effective way to make sure the scum are kept
out of the gyms.

Checkpoint 4: Other services
If you're interested in step-up classes in combination with
 your weight-training, it's a natural thing to make sure the
gym provides you with the kind of classes you're interested
in - at suitable times and levels. But it's also a good idea to
find out what else they have to offer.

Discounts on clothes and supplements? Massage?
Personal Training? Seminars? It's very competitive out
there, so almost every gym has a few added bonuses - use
it to your advantage! A massage can do wonders to a
troublesome back, a seminar can boost your inspiration for
months ahead, and why not solve the problem with a
Christmas present to your overweight brother with a
3-month gym pass and 10 free sessions with a personal


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the following gains:

Twenty-five percent increase in the bench press

1/4 inch gain on my upper arm

Went up 15 pounds for curling

Went up 25 pounds in shoulder presses

Gained 10 pounds of solid body weight

I have tried almost every supplement out there with little
results. Taking the Super Hormonal Stack was like a breath of 
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impressed with my results that I've been telling everybody
at my gym that they need to try this!"

Gerard Ganter E-mailed to tell  us about his gains on the 
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"I have seen fantastic results in the past 3 weeks! My
appetite is up but my weight stays down. I went back to my
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