There is a new gym in my neighborhood. It’s only a 5 minute walk away from my apartment. As it takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to cycle to my current gym, I dropped by at the new gym to take a look.
A brand new spacious gym just around the corner!
The gym owner gave me a tour of the premises. The gym is located in a new block of buildings, everything is brand new, clean and spacious. There are no individual stalls in the showers, just a big room with 8 shower heads. But that’s ok because all gyms in Amsterdam are like this –Dutch people don’t mind getting naked in front of each other– and I prefer showering at home no matter how the shower room looks like.
They have the latest models of spinning bikes in the spinning room. The gym roster has a broad choice of group classes: mainly LesMills classes (Body Pump, Body balance etc) but also outdoor bootcamp classes in the park nearby. The membership price is about the average price for gyms in Amsterdam: 50 euro per month for one year. All of this sounds great but…
… They offer classes only
Which means you cannot and may not train alone. When you go to this gym, you have to take part in one of the group classes. If you want to weight train you have to go to their circuit training class where people alternate different machines under the supervision of a trainer.
When there are no group classes, the gym is closed. Which means the gym is open in the morning, closes after 11 am and opens again around 5 pm. It’s interesting for them because they have less staff expenses as opposed to a gym which is open from 7 am to 11 pm non-stop.
… There are no mirrors
Except in the locker rooms, there are no mirrors in the training rooms. The gym owner told me it was their training philosophy not to have any mirrors. According to him, a lot of other gyms don’t have mirrors too and you don’t need mirrors to train. The gym shouldn’t be a place where people stare at themselves or compare each other in the mirror. I thought that (1) I need a mirror to check my form when exercising and (2) yes, I may be a little bit vain and narcissistic.
I need to see what I’m doing when I train, both for weight training and cardio classes. According to me, training with no mirror or in large baggy clothes doesn’t allow you to see your muscles contracting. You’re less aware of what you’re doing. It’s more difficult to get that mind/muscle connection. And yes, I enjoy checking myself out when I get a small “muscle pump” after doing a few sets :-)
Does your gym have mirrors? Am I being shallow to expect mirrors in a gym?