Power Lifters Feel Pressed Out at Woodbury’s Xperience Fitness

New “sarcastic” signage at the gym targets common gym practices of power lifters, they say.

The writing, apparently, is on the wall.

Since , power lifters say new (or newly enforced) rules are singling them out.

New “sarcastic” signs have been put up, warning members about grunting, using chalk and wearing torn clothing, said Val Huerta, of Woodbury, who has been a member there since Gold’s Gym opened. He says the signs target power lifters such as himself.

One sign, according to Huerta’s son Chago, says: “We want our members ripped, not their clothing.”

“It was really disrespectful,” said Huerta, who has since quit the gym. “Basically, you’re not wanted there.”

He and Fenn Cournoyer, also a power lifter, said a friend was told not to wear sleeveless shirts and the signage seems aimed at keeping power lifters out.

“We feel like we were blindsided,” Huerta said.

Patch stopped in at Xperience Fitness and left two messages but never heard back from workers there.

Regarding grunting—or hearing encouragement from a spotter—Cournoyer, who recently got back into competitive weightlifting since he turned 40, said, “That’s going to happen when your body is under strain. And your spotter (shouting encouragement) kind of helps you finish the rep.”

He added: “It’s like banning belching when you’re drinking beer.”

“They’re trying to get rid of us,” said Cournoyer, who also equated not being able to wear torn gym clothes to cyclists not being able to wear spandex.

Also, equipment at the gym—particularly the grip on barbells—has worn thin, making chalk a necessity when they lift heavy weights, Cournoyer said, adding that they always clean up their chalk when they’re finished.

Huerta said he thought about just “riding it out,” but in the end decided that he goes to the gym to get away from stress and the atmosphere at Xperience “isn’t fun anymore.”

Cournoyer said he switched over to LA Fitness, where there haven’t been any problems with noise or chalk.

Huerta said he feels that he was “pushed out the door.”

“I feel like they forced me out of there,” he said.


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Ben Jones August 05, 2012 at 09:53 PM
I couldn't agree more with how unprofessional the staff is. I've been a member for nearly 3 years and can count on 2 hands how many times staff (other than the person scanning your membership car) has acknowledged me. Usually the trainers and membership advisors look right through you or pretend you're not there even if you walk directly passed one another. I'm not expecting them to treat me like their best friend and realize these people aren't the brightest bulbs on the tree, but this is as basic as customer service gets. If and when the Cottage Grove LA Fitness opens I will leave Xperience immediately along with a good chunk of their current members. I give the place 12 months before they close their doors.
Hockey Guy September 26, 2012 at 10:12 PM
How would you of changed it? What % of members are power lifters or body builders these days?? National average is less then 1% posted by URSA so should Xperience cater to the 1% or to the 99% of the general public?? Looks like they're doing a lot of things right!
Debbimac December 24, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I recently joined xperience fitness..when I declined to pay for the 300,00 personal training package the representative basically stopped talking to me. I asked if I could ask him questions about machines if I had any..he said ". No not really , that's not free",, I'm thinking about going to lifetime.
Vall December 30, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Ive been at Golds/Xperience ever since it opened. Ive started to hate it the last few years, and honestly don't feel safe there anymore. The people are crazy wackos, and you never know when someone will snap. The manager of the front desk is super rude, and is always either on FB, his phone, or flirting with other people. They don't care about you at all there. I wasn't aware that LA was 20 dollars a month too, however they just gained a new member! : )
Moose5308 February 12, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Says the guy who sits and texts instead of using the equipment...


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