| July 23, 2021
Read time: 4 min.
No matter who you are, there is always a suitable studio or gym facility for you. My training venture started 15 years ago at different facilities across the city. I will share some of the positive experiences that I have had in these gyms and it will also give me a chance to reflect on a bit of hindsight involved in my journey thus far.
I was gifted my first bench press when I was 12, with a skipping rope and some dumbbells with sand in the plates, as well as a mat for ground work. This is where it all started for me.
When I first started going to a gym, my first facility was YMCA, I was 13 at that time, and I remember I would bike there from my parents house which was an 18km bike ride there and back, this was done six times a week. I would do light intensity full body circuits, and at that age, it seemed formidable and safe as I was just getting into fitness, and I knew at an early age that it was important to build a well balanced foundation. Thereafter, I would run for about 30-45 minutes, as it tied into the conditioning sports that I was doing at the time and helped to promote overall wellbeing. A couple things I absolutely loved about the Y was the pool that I would do laps in post-training and to cool off, little did I know at the time how beneficial this was for the joints (I simply just loved swimming), they also had a hot tub which is also great for recovery. The track was also great. They had a racquetball area that I liked to mess around in a bit, you can definitely build up a sweat playing it!
After the Y, three years later I migrated over to Golds gym, this was also during the time I played football for 4 years. I would go to school, do an hour practice with the team, then go to the gym for 90 minutes to 2 hours. The edge that it gave me with the sport was great, as I had been incorporating squats and moderately heavy leg training at that time as well. This had been the true start and introductory to my initial understanding of compound exercise and how important it is in training. They also had a cardio theatre which was nice for steady state to take your mind out of it but to still maintain focus. I also began to incorporate cables and dumbbells more often as well. They had a hot tub and sauna too which was a huge bonus. I was here for 4 years.
World Health was my next venture, this is where I began to incorporate deadlifts into my training. At this point, I had now covered all three compounds in power, and had been consistently applying them to my week of training. I always appreciated World Health for the amount of space that it provided. It is also a very well rounded gym that appeals to every athlete. There are rigs and platforms that welcome every individual, the members and staff were wonderful, and it really set a high pace for social structure for me in a gym setting. The steam room was always an after-workout essential! I spent about 3 years here.
I then moved on to Goodlife where I had first been employed as a trainer, this is undoubtedly where I learned the most about bodybuilding and my experience of hypertrophy was best developed in this gym. I also had the chance to work with clients for 3 years here. Goodlife is a good gym because it has a variety of different stabilized machines and cables (they have a huge selection of free motion equipment) however at the same time, they appeal to strength training with platforms and at least a few squat racks per location. The cardio area is very diverse and they supply stair climbing machines which if you have not yet tried, and want a hard cardio workout, give it a try (stairs are my favorite form of conditioning).
I then moved to Evolve Strength, and through all of my experiences this facility has been the absolute best, not only does it directly correlate with my training philosophy, but the facilities are stocked with competitive grade equipment. The amount of space in regards to surface area is unmatched, Evolves outlook is to appeal to the athlete and people who want to go into competition, but this also ranges as far as people who are there to simply exercise. The community is wonderful and through my experience I have met some close friends and such great people who I fortunately am lucky enough to see each day. I rent space out of Evolve, and run my business. They also host powerlifting, strongman, CrossFit, and Olympic lifting competitions. I could never ask for a better facility, and a better place to call home.
In between all of these there has been several community gyms as well as private studios that I have visited. The point of writing this, is to give all of these facilities the positive recognition they deserve, and to remind everyone that there is a gym for everyone, you just have to keep looking until you find your fit!
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