Most gyms have a fairly standard layout. Some treadmills and elliptical machines along the outside, weight lifting machines in the center, and free weights along one wall where all the mirrors are. There are of course some variations, such as seperate rooms for cardio and weights, or having yoga and spin rooms, and the like. Navigating most gyms, however, is fairly straight forward. I just started going to a new gym last week, which is a converted office building. The layout is distinctly odd.

On the first floor they have a stretching area that has situp boards, light dumbbells (1 lb through 15 lb), swiss balls, back extension machines, and the like. Opposite that area are the crunch machines and lower back machines. The rest of the first floor is devoted to cardio machines of every ilk (most with their own individual televisions!) The gym is definately geared towards the cardio market. You head upstairs, and you’ll find the locker rooms. The weight machines and free weights are arranged around the outside of the building in a square, and the center of the building is tanning booths.

This is rather odd, since it is difficult to navigate from one exercise type to another unless you do them in the order they laid them out going around the buliding. This would not be such a big deal, except that sometimes you do not want to have rest time between exercises. For example, the purpose of my resuming lifting after time off workout is to get the heart rate up; having a 30 second walk between excercises as you go around the building 30 times doesn’t help any. Also, the dumbbell area is really narrow, which is kinda strange.

As such, I rewrote the resuming lifting after time off workout to fit the new circumstances, and I will post it in the next day or two. It is still a good workout, but it doesn’t work quite the same way as the original. Muscles are worked too close to one another, and the ab and lower back gets moved out completely or placed only at the end instead of as part of the main body of the workout. It will show the flexibility that any lifting plan can have, though, which is the important thing.