The Glory Days of Lifting
The innovations in the fitness industry have brought many advantages to the bodybuilding world. From the revolutionary supplements from Redcon1 to the development of the various exercise machines, the average weightlifter was able to simplify the process of building the desired muscle mass. These developments resulted with the old school gym style being almost gone in today’s commercialized industry. Many gyms have transformed into a more of a fitness centre with different programs and not just bodybuilding. Moreover, many gyms have incorporated rules of forbidding the dropping of dumbbells and weights. Also, these modern fitness centers have specific weight limitations that are put in place as part of the safety standards. These new modern gyms and their limitations made many bodybuilders return to the old school bodybuilding gyms.
The Gyms in the 80’s and the 90’s
The Gyms in the 80’s and 90’s were one of the crucial elements that made the bodybuilding so popular at the time. These gyms did not have a specific design as the modern fitness centres have. The majority of these clubs were placed in basements, schools and garages. The workouts were more authentic and many users had the feeling of unique training experience during their workouts.
Today there are still some old-school style gyms. However, the reality is that their number is low. The equipment from the 90’s is rare which makes these gyms a limited imitation of the old school gyms from the 80’s and 90’s. That is why it is imperative to have a throwback and to look at the concept of these bodybuilding temples.
Advantages of the Old School Style Gyms
The first important benefit is closely related with the different equipment. The gyms from the 80’s and 90’s included specific old-school equipment that was designed to optimize the muscle gains rather than focusing on comfort. Moreover, these gyms had the total weight of their plates on a high 5 digits number. These elements had a galvanizing effect on the users as most of them were professional bodybuilders.
The Old school gyms main objective was to achieve more while still maintaining the traditional patterns of workout and training.
The bodybuilding clubs from the 80’s and 90’s had many power racks, Olympic platforms and multiple benches available. Combined with that, most of these gyms have excluded the smith machine and the treadmills.
However, the Old School Gyms from the 90’s had more equipment for powerlifting including traditional gym equipment. The dumbbells were up to 145 pounds or more. Other equipment included power racks, benches, squat rack, reverse hyper, bands, boards, chains, and other elements based on the West Side training concept. Some of these clubs had heavy dumbbells up to 265 lbs, or they would use adjustable dumbells providing the bodybuilders to have enough heavyweight to lift.
Also, a significant advantage was the interior designing concept of the old school bodybuilding gyms.
Most of these clubs did not have refreshment sections, studios for fitness classes and a modern air-conditioned mega weight room full of shiny equipment and flat-screen TVs.
Their design was strictly based on the need to just build muscle and not to provide conformity and variety of features. These gyms were simplified facilities focused on muscle gains and enjoyment of the sport.
Made by Experts
Unlike the franchised modern gyms, the bodybuilding clubs in the 80’s and 90’s were opened and operated by bodybuilding experts. These gym owners had a significant knowledge of the sport. However, the main reason for the opening of these gyms
was their love for the bodybuilding.
In the same time, some of these operators and staff members were personal trainers, fitness expert and professional bodybuilders. This optimized the bodybuilding and made it more open to beginners as they had experts to lead them towards success.
Also, the staff in the old school gyms had a great affection for bodybuilding in general. Additionally, they were always ready to share tips and knowledge about training, exercises, genetics and nutrition. These experts in the bodybuilding golden age were crucial in the process of developing many champions that came out and made significant success in the bodybuilding world.
Atmosphere for Success
The old school gyms were well known for the great atmosphere. The sound of dropping weights and dumbbells was a normal sound which was combined with rocking variety of motivational music. Many bodybuilders saw the powerlifting and being noisy as a regular part of their workout sessions. The gym atmosphere many people and improved their motivation and dedication in the second they open the doors of the facility. The positive atmosphere had was also creating a winning mentality and building many champions.
On the other side, the gyms from the 80’s and the 90’s excluded the element of whining and complaining. These characteristics were not part of the culture of the bodybuilders at that time. The Old School Bodybuilding Gyms were always attracting the muscle-minded and motivated weightlifters and fitness enthusiasts.
Moreover, these gyms also provided their members with some of the most competitive, intense and enjoyable exercise sessions at the time. The typical users were
bodybuilders and competitors who were always working on fulfilling their goal while also being helpful to others.
Yet, it should not be confused as these gyms were welcoming and willing to help both experienced and novice lifters in achieving their bodybuilding goals. Also, these old school gyms were able to attract a different class of people as the bodybuilding clubs in the 80’s and 90’s were financially affordable for many people.
The old school gyms were one of the main elements in the process of developing many notable bodybuilders. Their unique concept had a great influence on the process of developing the most well-known body physiques in the world. Their endless optimization enabled many bodybuilders to achieve their goal of becoming champions.