I thought some people here might like to here about my experiences with this. I recently got a new job that requires me moving to a new city (no, i wont say where, fucking stalkers). Anyhoo, i went there and was doing some apartment hunting, afterwards, i thought "i need to find a fucking gym". Now, my hopes are usually pretty low when i start thinking this, and with good reason. bear with me and you'll see why. stop #1: a place called "the body building" (get it! its a pun! motherfuckers), but i think, if theyve got weights and bars i should be alright. i walk in and the first damn thing i see is two girls in matching pink warmup suits and my spidey sense is telling me that i in no way belong in there. first off, this place is a fucking broom closet jammed full of worthless shit. theres not even enough space to deadlift without moving shit around. i ask if i can take a look around, and of course one of them starts giving me the tour, trying the hard sell, telling me all about the awesome machines that ill never use. i start giving myself my own tour, checking out the bars and dumbbells. they go up to 80. fuck this. she senses the sell slipping away, so she starts prattling on about both her and the other girl are "personal trainers". i start asking them questions, and then i just go ahead and drop the bomb "can i use chalk?" the look at me like i just shit on their floor. they dont even know what i mean. like, they dont know what "chalk" is. i dont bother with an explanation. i simply nod, thank them for their time, and get the fuck on out of there. rating: 2 out of 5. stop #2: the YMCA. its been my past experiences that the Y is a pretty decent place to lift. why? because they are very smart about keeping the machines and cardio and free weights seperate. thus removing the "middle aged toner" from the equation/ i walk down into the basement where the free weights are and i hear sevendust playing. good start. the woman giving me the tour leaves me to look around by myself. also nice. an OK squat rack, dumbbells that go up to 120, and plenty of room. not too bad. then i see the group of people lifting. 10-15 metro fucks with frosted hair and abercrombie warmup pants instructing their girlfriends to lift with programs they learned from mens health. actually overheard quote: "these will really pump your arms!". ugh. chances are that people would leave me alone, however i would be mortified to ask for a spot. rating: 4 out of 5. stop #3. im trying to exhaust all possibilites, so i grab a phone book and start perusing. i see a place that says it has free weights (along with kung fu, cardio, personal trainer, cardio kickboxing). the name alone should have been setting off a thousand klaxons in my half empty noggin: "Fitness Matters". yes, yes it does. as soon as i step through the door, i again get that sinking feeling that i dont belong there. for starters, it. is. spotless. like immaculate. the chrome is polished, and the rubber mats are squeaky clean. theres recycled air being circulated. i think "fuck it, im already here, might as well take a look around". thats when i notice something terribly wrong. WHERE ARE ALL THE 45s? no, seriously?!?!? i count 10. total. in the entire gym. "hi, can i help you?" i turn, and i see a thermal long sleeve shirt, a fleece vest, wind pants and weight gloves, all attached to a 5'6" maybe 130 pound frame. the personal trainer. shit. fuck. ass. he starts trying to sell. i dont hear a word. i decide to bust out the a-bomb right away. "CHALK?!?!?" i could not replicate the look on his face even by sodomizing him with a cactus soaked in hot sauce. "cant you use gloves?" "no." "what about straps?" "No". thats when a light goes on behind his beady little eyes. "are you a powerlifter?" "well, id like to be". he makes a call, and gets me a number. he says that people dont always like training with this guy, because hes too hardcore. excellent. gym rating: 1 out of 5, service: 5 out of 5 (see, thats "foreshadowing") stop #4. i call the number i was given, and ask if i can stop by. "shit, sounds fine to me" is the response. i get there and out walks a 5'10 270 pound man with a shaved head and goatee. we take a walk back to his storage building, while he starts telling me about some of the lifting curriculum. he opens the door, and i swear to god, an aura of heavenly light burst forth. IT IS GLORIOUS. Glute ham raise with foot plate. Revese Hyper. NICE power rack. Sturdy ass bench. Bands. Chains. Dumbbells that go up to 200+. tires for flipping. farmers walk handles. safety sqaut bar. 45 back raise. and tons of weight. this place is heaven. im going to live there. he tells me they dont fuck around. theyre there to fucking lift. i tell him ill be there. rating: 6 out of 5.