In part 2 of our blog series explaining why Elitas Fitness Oaklands is the best membership gym in Chichester, we are continuing to focus on equipment provision.
As mentioned in part 1, we have a whole host of cable stations and selectorised machines. They permit a huge degree of versatility in upper body training. When ordering these machines we specified that every weight stack be equipped with two micro adjusters, each weighing one third the weight of an individual plate. This means that on every weight stack in our gym there are two increments in between every weight plate, which is particularly useful for progression when performing less mechanically favourable exercises (i.e. exercises requiring only light weights). For example, if you are performing a cable external shoulder rotation with two plates, in order to increase the load in most gyms you must make a 50% jump in weight to reach the third plate. However, at Elitas Fitness Oaklands there are two intermediate weights to progress onto before going for the third plate. Enabling people to progress in this way makes a huge difference to training results.
When choosing our gym equipment, one of the first things on our list was a set of Watson dumbbells. Not all dumbbells are created equal, and these are the best of the best. They are the most comfortable dumbbells to use: the knurling on the grip is coarse enough to optimise your performance but not sharp enough to cause damage to your hands. They are also far smaller than other dumbbells when matched for weight, meaning you will never be limited by the size and awkwardness of your dumbbell. The smaller size also permits you a much greater range of motion on certain exercises, which can really accelerate muscle growth while improving long term joint health. These dumbbells are also calibrated to within a gram of their supposed weight. I have worked in a gym in the past where a “40kg” dumbbell was actually heavier than a “42.5kg” dumbbell! Due to their design, it is also impossible for Watson dumbbells to become loose or come apart, so you will never be tightening your dumbbells up in between sets or worrying about anything falling on your head while lifting!
Our entire gym floor area is covered with dense 12mm thick rubber matting. This means you can drop dumbbells, deadlift and even perform Olympic lifts in any available space. Underneath the dense rubber is a solid concrete floor, which means the surface is all flat and even. Most gym floors suffer from dents and holes from dropped weights, meaning you can be squatting with one foot lower than the other or trying to deadlift with a bar that keeps rolling away from you.
We are not solely about weight training. We also have a conditioning section consisting of Wattbikes and a Concept 2 rowing machine. These are, in our opinion, the two most effective indoor conditioning tools available. Wattbikes are the chosen indoor training tool for most of the world’s top cycling federations, as well as the top teams and athletes from other sports, such as the England rugby team. They are second to none when it comes to the accuracy and reliability of the data they produce; whether you are measuring your peak power output or assessing left leg/right leg discrepancy following an injury. We have achieved such outstanding fat loss results with clients at our personal training facility that Wattbikes were a must for our Chichester membership gym.
We have also included a number of specialist pieces of equipment and accessories that you will struggle to find anywhere else. We have 14 separate pull-up stations, each of which provides a number of different grip positions. A variety of pull-up grips is essential to optimise development of your upper back and elbow flexors. Five of our pull-up stations are also two inches thick, which is great for developing grip and forearm strength: excellent for grappling sports such as BJJ and rugby. Our adjustable pull-up handles, which double up as a dip station, also rotate freely. This allows you to supinate your hands as you pull, enhancing recruitment of the biceps brachii and reducing the chance of developing over-use injuries at the elbow and shoulder.
Adding to the versatility of our gym, we possess the widest range of cable attachments possible: multiple width lat pulldown bars, a number of different cable row attachments, rotating triceps pushdown handles and many more. We have also purchased multiple of the most popular attachments (ropes and single handles) to minimise the chance you will have to wait for anything in our gym.
Another often overlooked component of any gym is the variety of different bars. We have two Eleiko Olympic weightlifting bars with perfect grip, oscillation and spin if you are serious about your weightlifting. We also have two Eleiko powerlifting bars, with a much deeper knurling for a stronger grip. These will never bend out of shape from heavy lifting! We know how important variety is so we also have a safety bar and a trap bar from Watson. These add variety to your squat and deadlift and the safety bar enables you to squat with upper body injuries. It is also more comfortable to perform certain assistance exercises with, such as good mornings.
With all of this fancy gym equipment, it is easy to overlook the absolute basics; however, we know how important these are to your training experience. We have more than enough barbell collars (along with a mountain of spares!) and every rack has a full set of weight plates, so you will never have to waste time hunting around the gym only to find someone has then stolen your bar! We have provided weight plates going down into increments as small as 0.5kg, so you can always select the exact weight you need and make tiny jumps. We also have a good provision of boxes and steps: these seemingly insignificant additions permit endless variations of barbell movements as well as enabling the vertically challenged to reach the chin up bars!
Our gym was set up by experienced strength and conditioning coaches who all happen to be gym rats themselves. It was not set up by men in suits. Our insight into what is important and what is normally neglected has enabled us to put together the perfect facility for effective training.
Part 3 is coming soon, where I will continue to show you what makes this the best gym in Chichester.
If you would like to come in for a chat about training then please contact us on [email protected] or 01243 920536.