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25 January 2010

*Making Your Gym C&P Friendly

Most people haven't the luxury of training in a real gym, due to the steady decline of mankind and the concomitant death of hardcore gyms. In spite of this fact, there are a couple of things you can do to up the ante in your gym, and make it a bit more useful.

  • Bring in rubber matting. While this might seem somewhat odd, and perhaps outside the realm of what your gym might allow, it's worth asking. You might be pleasantly surprised by their response- Sportsplex in Birmingham agreed to let me bring in rubber matting and leave it there for doing olympic lifts and deadlifting, and Top Gym in Vienna encouraged me to bring it in. You can buy it used from restaurants, or occasionally get old shit for free, and a couple of layers of it will pad the floor enough that you won't have to worry about a "controlled decent" for heavy lifts.
  • Buy fat gripz. They'll confer the ability to do fat bar lifting without having a fat bar.
  • Conversely, you can create a fat bat by buying a cheap bar and then hooking pvc piping around the bar. The ends of most bars unscrew, so you can just slide the pipe on. Check out this site for tips on how to modify a barbell or dumbbell.
  • Talk to your gym owner about allowing you to use unused space (like a large storage closet) as a "scream room" for powerlifting. You'll likely have to supply your own equipment, but with the number of gyms going out of business these days, craigslist is a gold mine for equipment.
It might suck to lift in a big box gyms, but you can employ any of the above techniques to make the place, at the very least, tolerable.

10 comments :

  1. Word. Horsestall mats are the same type of rubber flooring they use in most gyms. I picked up 2 4x6ft 3/4in thick sheets for 90 bucks at a local horse feed store.

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  2. I got the Fat Gripz a few weeks ago, and so far I've been pretty happy with them. They have a nice "feel" to them, in terms of having a bit of give. I've found that on some barbells/dumbbells they are a bit loose, though.

    J.Ja

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  3. Nice. Good to see you fuckers are on the ball!

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  4. Those fatgripz are in fact so inexpensive (at least when I bought them...what 40 bucks including shipping?) that it's actually easier and cheaper to use them than to jury-rig a bar as described. Really great product.

    Oh, and if you don't want to bring in rubber mats to your gym, those hang up mats that tubby uses to lay on when doing her obscene leg lift exercises work pretty well too, at least for deadlift dampening, so as not to disturb the chakras of the yoga class downstairs. Why they chose to put the weights on the top floor, I'll never know.

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  5. Every gym I've been to (not many) already has rubber mats on the ground, but I admit, I am not in love with tossing the weight on the ground anyways. When I did DLs before CnP, I'd go down slow and milk the negative part of the lift for a great burn, now I do a "controlled, rapid descent" just because I'm going heavy and it would kill me to put it down slowly. I might look at the rubber mats for when I do snatches though, I really don't want to drop a barbell 7 feet onto the floor, and right now, controlling it on the way down is not so wonderful. It's OK with dumbbells, but not the barbell. :)

    J.Ja

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  6. Yeah, I prefer to save my energy for completing the next attempt- fuck that slow burn negative bullshit.

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  7. slow burn negatives on dl's? why bother?

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  8. When I was doing sets of 8 - 12 reps, it made sense... it was the only way I felt like a good workout. For me, there are two deadlift weights: weight I can lift all day, and weight I can hit for singles to triples. In that situation, yeah, slow negatives make a sick sense, if you don't mind having muscle spasms in your lower back for a day or two.

    One of the problems with a commercial gym (which is where I was going for a while), is that you might be the only person there doing deadlift, squats, military press, etc., so you don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of an learn from.

    J.Ja

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  9. A good way to mimic thick handled training in the gym is to do one-handed T-bar rows in the corner. You just grip the two-inch thick sleeve at one end of the bar with one hand while the other hand is stuck in the corner.
    Do it with two bars in the power rack at about mid-thigh and it's a good way to practice the car deadlift.

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  10. I don't know, J.Ja, I sort of like death sets. I can't do them for the time being, but I like them.

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