Behind the fitness crazy are hundreds or thousands of gyms around the country. Yes, they contain equipment that can help you put on some muscle or lose some weight, or a combination thereof. But there are also things that they would never let you know.
Gyms are crawling with bacteria. For the most part, gyms do not sanitize things nearly as properly as they should. Sanitation is often undermanaged, and because of this, it’s much more likely that you’ll contract athlete’s foot, or, during flu season, something nastier.
Many gyms contain traces of MRSA (a highly resistant form of staph infection) on much of their equipment. When you touch a weight rack or get on a mat, there’s a good chance you’ve got a strain of something potentially deadly on your body. Be very careful to wash properly after working out, especially if you’ve been working out heavily–after working out heavily, your immune system is lowered slightly.
Many gyms aren’t equipped to handle emergencies, such as if someone were to collapse of exhaustion, sustain some kind of severe injury due to lifting too much weight, burst a blood vessel, or worse. Deaths have occurred in poorly equipped gyms from lack of preparation for emergencies.
Many (and I mean a vast majority of) the trainers in gyms have very little or any idea of what they’re doing. Be sure that the trainer you’re getting is certified or at least is very reputable among people you know and trust. A bad trainer can cause serious harm to you, if they suggest you do something that your body is not able to handle. In some cases, people with degenerative diseases have sustained severe injury from unqualified “trainers” instructing them to perform certain exercise regimens. Lawsuits have been filed in the past, though a lawsuit cannot repair permanent damage done from bad training.
Sometimes, the equipment is (get ready now) actually dangerous. Most businesses in the United States require a special license to own and operate; gyms are the exceptions. A gym can operate without a license, and completely fail at maintaining their equipment, allowing it to degrade and become more and more hazardous to an individual.
Fitness clubs and gyms can be very sneaky about making sure that if you get hurt on their equipment, you can’t sue them and win; in most cases, you won’t be given a gym membership without waiving your ability to sue if you sustain some kind of injury on their premises.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re signing to, make sure the trainers are qualified, and make sure the equipment is safe for you to use.