Real Tallahassee strength clubs are making a come-back, and we couldn't be happier.
Gyms like Planet Fitness on Capital Circle don't even have barbells.
Other gyms like YouFit have such limited equipment that getting the sole squat rack can take >30 minutes.
For a long time we were limited to setting deadlifts down ever so gently on the second floor of Gold's Gym Tallahassee, but the dark days are over.
Gyms seem to be moving in two directions: soft health clubs for those who would rather spend 30 minutes on an elliptical then do a machine circuit, and well-equipped strength training clubs for people serious about weightlifting.
Let's talk about the latter.
What makes a barbell gym
If you read our article on the must-haves for a Tallahassee strength gym then you already know what equipment a barbell gym should have.
But there is more to a strength club than that.
Namely the people that flock to them.
Typically these gyms are filled with guys 20-35, although by no means are they exclusive. Most of the gyms do their best to be a welcoming place for all sexes, ages, and fitness levels.
But the common theme among members is their desire to use strength training as a vehicle to reach their goals.
Most people would like to be leaner, but everyone wants to be stronger.
There is generally a scarcity of traditional cardio equipment, and instead people do "conditioning" instead of cardio. Conditioning is most often a HIIT workout where heart rates are raised to near max and then allowed to come down before repeating the cycle.
These are a great atmosphere to learn strength training because there is a high concentration of experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly weight lifters.
Why they are different
The single largest difference between the big health clubs like YouFit is that the barbell gyms in town actually want you to be there every day.
They usually charge a little more than the $10 you will find at the big gyms, but those gyms can only charge that by overselling memberships and counting on you not actually coming.
The strength gyms in town want you to be there. They want you to be a part of their culture and their family.
You'll probably interact with the owner every day; the person pouring their heart & soul into the gym.
At the big gyms you're just a keycard.
At Tallahassee's strength gyms you are family.